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Wormhole Aliens vs. Prophets (vs. Wraiths)


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Report this Mar. 01 2010, 12:38 pm

When all is said and done, do you consider the Prophets vs Wraiths a spiritual battle, or simply two non-corporal lifeforms warring with each other.  

Are these just different life forms in the Trek Universe on the level, of say, Q?  Or is there really a larger than life theme here?

Note:  We will keep the Bajoran viewpoint out of this this and I ask this to you, the viewer.  What set of terms do you think of when you think of who these beings really were?

I think the first 5.75 seasons this was nothing more than an alien plot.  By the end of Season 6, with that one episode (can't think of the name--Jake was possessed by the Wraith), they turn this plot into a spiritual one which I believe took the Trek out of this show for me.

I AM a spiritual person, but I did not need to watch that here.


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Report this Mar. 02 2010, 1:14 am

I don't see the two interpretations as mutually exclusive. It's like Sisko tells Jake in "The Hands of the Prophets" and also Kira tells Sisko in "Destiny". Even if the Prophets are aliens, they do have powers beyond our comprehension and there's no Earthly reason why they shouldn't be thought of as Prophets.

As for "The Reckoning", when Jake was possessed by a Pah Wraith and Kira by a Prophet -- people on Star Trek have been possessed by non-divine entities before, so it doesn't really take away from the science of it all. Part of it I guess is in what you understand "god" and "alien" -- especially aliens with a very different view -- to mean, and to me the ideas of spiritualism and science do not cancel each other out.

The Prophets are a very different type of alien, with many of the characteristics which could still be reasonably attributed to gods.

I can't pick one answer.


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Report this Mar. 02 2010, 10:40 am

Well said indeed. I was thinking along the same lines. The spiritual aspects of DS9 don't diminish the "Trekkieness" at all for me.


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Report this Mar. 02 2010, 1:29 pm

Maybe it's because we are forced to see the Bajoran veiwpoint--and then Sisko even adapts to this conclusion--that it seems to me that it changes the "science/alien" image.

Ultimately, I believe they are aliens.  But you have to admit, the God vs Demons parallel is too close to ignore.  Even in 'The Assignment' when O'Brien related the story, I thought I was reading the Book of Revelation.


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Report this Mar. 03 2010, 6:44 pm

I went with the spiritual standpoint since I believe that they could be seen from either viewpoint.


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Report this Mar. 04 2010, 9:25 am

I'll take science over religion every day of the year. The Bajorans viewed the wormhole aliens as deities because the only way they could explain certain things that they experienced was to presume that there were unseen supernatural beings and forces guiding them. That's really how most religions began.


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Report this Mar. 04 2010, 11:57 am

But, as Sisko pointed out, the wormhole aliens/prophets took an interest in Bajor. They took an active role in its development.  That wasn't just the Bajorans trying to explain where the orbs came from...the aliens actually sent the orbs!

I'm just unclear as to why it has to be science or religion.


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Report this Mar. 05 2010, 1:07 am

I can't see the distinction either.  This may be a flaw in the writing of the show - there was no ambiguity in the matter of the Prophets.  We know they're real, we know they have superpowers and we know they sent the Orbs to Bajor.


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Report this Mar. 23 2010, 9:28 pm

It seemed to me that since Behr believed in God, the Prophets were supposed to be taken as gods. I don't believe he was mocking the concept or trying to cheapen it with the fact that they could be (kind of) explained in terms of science as simply wormhole aliens. Their presence was never completely accounted for. They were the only ST beings that knew the past, future, and the present... that were truly nonlinear. And so, the Prophets are the closest thing to gods, at least on Bajor. Nobody tries to claim that they are universal gods (or just one god).

How much different are they from an obvious fraud like TOS Vaal? It's hard to say. I don't remember there being a myth of creation by the Prophets. They just kind of watched over Bajor. They knew the future and yet they did not interfere enough to save Bajor from Cardassia. They seem to have their own reasons for things that happen.

When Sisko becomes one of the Prophets, it is clear that he was always one of Them. Did Sisko's corporeal form die in the flames? That is, did Sisko DIE (and that was his afterlife) or was he transformed through his sacrifice (death)?

And the ultimate question is... how far do we dare to compare the character of Sisko to another religious figure? The parallels are hard to ignore.


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Report this Mar. 26 2010, 3:43 pm

I've sometimes wondered how long the Prophets would have lasted with Kirk. Would he have determined that they are no-good meddling aliens, discovered their source of power, and had Spock come up with a way to destroy them, thus granting the Bajorans independence? Sounds plausible.

I think of them as Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. My biggest issue with them is that the clumsy term "wormhole aliens" got stuck to them so quickly and never got unstuck. Couldn't they come up with a better name? My second biggest issue is the good vs. evil conflict. Every time I watch those episodes I wonder how the Pah-wraiths are any different from the Prophets -- both meddle, both have violent zealots, both are kind of annoying, etc.


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Report this Apr. 03 2010, 6:36 pm

I view them as advanced lfe-forms, nothing more. Their existence does give the Bajoran religion a little more credibility than most actual/human religions since there is actually empirical evidence for the existence of their 'gods'.


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Report this Jun. 22 2010, 2:53 pm

You have to remember that Ron Moore frequently uses this theme in his shows.  Battlestar Galactica was all about *faith*in terms of both cylons and humans.  Even in Caprica it is a significant theme.

It was the heart and soul of DS9.  Sisko stubbornly called them wormhole aliens for quite some time but when he began to embrase being the Emmisary he changed.  Even others refered to the Prophets now and again.  They are clearly very advanced life forms, but they are intertwined with Bajor in a special way.  They do not see linear time, so that Bajor was under Cardassian control did not seem something they must change.  For it would not always be.  And in essense the Bajorans freed themselves.

After the Dominion war is done and billions plus Federation citizens have faced the end of everything, I wonder if faith in something other than pure luck will become important.  Perhaps even some form of the gods of Bajor.

Very few purely secular states exist in this world and I see no reason why this would change.  The pre-Dominion war Federation was in a nice bubble of paradise, but that bubble was burst and I would have loved if tptb had had the guts to explore that beyond movies like Insurrection.


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Report this Jun. 22 2010, 4:48 pm

The Prophets are both 'Wormhole Aliens' and 'Prophets'. It depends upon your perspective; personally I see them as both; scientifically there non-corporeal beings, but spiritually... well I guess if your a Bajoran you'd understand.


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Report this Jun. 24 2010, 3:08 pm

Considering we now know they live outside linear time the titile "prophet" is technically inacurate (a prophet sees the "future" and the term "future" does not apply in regards to their existance) although upto Sisko's discovery of the wormhole it could be argued that "prophet" is accurate from a Bajoran perspective.

From what we see they are a highly evolved form of life from a prior evolutionary line on bajor, that at some point devided philosophically into good and evil. Or are in fact what the Bajorans will eventually evolve into or turn into after they die, a possability due to them existing outside linear time.

I doubt they are more powerful or even close to equal in power to the Q.


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Report this Jun. 24 2010, 4:42 pm

Quote (OtakuJo @ Mar. 02 2010, 4:14 am)
I don't see the two interpretations as mutually exclusive. It's like Sisko tells Jake in "The Hands of the Prophets" and also Kira tells Sisko in "Destiny". Even if the Prophets are aliens, they do have powers beyond our comprehension and there's no Earthly reason why they shouldn't be thought of as Prophets.


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