Wil Wheaton Was Right
I was hunting down Star Trek minifigs this week to go with my TOS Bridge that is arriving any day now. Which led me to a site selling an awesome TNG crew, including a cute Wesley Crusher for an outrageous price. That led me to learn that Wil Wheaton’s blog where he answered how he felt about the cute cry-baby Crusher. In response, people made fun of his response. That sucks, because I think he’s right.
The Cute Conflict
The fine folks at Minifig.me made an excellent set of Next Generation lego figures (called minifigs by those in the trade). Including a young Wesley Crusher, after his horrible sweater phase, but before he got a spiffy space pajama set. He’s got this hilarious scared expression on his face. Even Wil acknowledges that it is funny. But, as a now famous image thanks to people writing articles about the set, it’s not a good reflection of the character.
Here’s a link to the set, so you can see it:
A Tale of Two Wesleys
Wil does a great job of explaining his position. The gist is that as a Star Trek fan, we want the characters to be remembered and respected. Bad writing in Season 1 tainted that for the Wesley Character. Making him the butt of jokes. Jokes are good, I’ve made fun of Star Trek myself, and I’m also a fan. But Wesley gets crapped on, despite putting in 5 seasons of work, when others did a year on the show and had just as bad scripts yet are idolized. That sucks, because the latter years Wesley was really good.
Here’s what Wil Wheaton had to say when asked about his feelings on the subject. Meaning, he didn’t make a big deal about it, people kept asking, so he gave it more thought.
Captain Jellico was Right, Will was Wrong
What’s Captain Jellico got to do with this? Glad you asked. I hated that guy, when they brought him on to shake up the crew of the Enterprise. Will Riker (the other Will) didn’t like his style or priorities. Then I recently watched a video where somebody made a solid case for Captain Jellico. If we’re looking at these characters in the context of being good Starfleet officers, etc, the crappy writing really did Wesley a disservice because episodes like DataLore which famously made Wesley look bad, did so by making the officers act out of character. Just as badly as Riker smugly making Jellico ask him to fly a rescue mission.
Here’s a link to that video that made me question my deeply held feelings and beliefs:
Actors Care About Characters
People gave Wil crap in the comments for caring too much about his character. It’s not like Wesley wears his face or something. Most people have never heard about the snit Patrick Stewart had when the studio let a weatherman prance about in his uniform. Sir Patrick wasn’t pissed because it was his private space jammies. No, his reason was that the man showed disrespect to the uniform. Disrespect. To a costume. That represented the best of humanity. For a television show.
Wow. I wonder why Star Trek endured for so long. Maybe because most of the actors gave a crap about their characters and the themes of the show. Personally, I disconnect that it’s the actor who played Wesley Crusher, and look at it as a guy who loves Star Trek, which I’m pretty sure he does. He’s right that it would be nice to have Wesley get a treatment as seriously as the others. I can ignore the crappy bits so I can enjoy the good parts, and I think there’s more good Wesley bits than bad.
Where do we go from here
If jolly Saint Nick dropped off the TNG set, I’d be tickled pink. I’m happy Wesley was included. But if Wil ever came to Houston for Comicpalooza (hint, hint), I would leave that fig at home. Or swap a different head. Maybe I’d make Academy Crusher and get a picture with that. The thing I love about Star Trek is that it could make you think. In this case, a simple quest to supplement my new toy that’s not here yet, led me to rethink how I looked at the writing, the characters and how totally unlicensed these sites are. But don’t shut them down before I get my minifigs.
And because I’m linking like a mofo, here’s my TOS Bridge from Megabloks: