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Guinan was always just… November 23, 2013

images…Guinan for me. She wasn’t a favorite character. She didn’t even stand out as anything other than Whoopi Goldberg. Uhura was the first black woman in outer space, so Guinan didn’t have that to set her apart. One thing I have always liked about the character is that she was the last character Gene Roddenberry created and developed before he passed away.

I grew up on Whoopi being the psychic in Ghost and the lead in Sister Act, so to me she was always a superstar. By the time I saw her in Star Trek, I found it distracting, like that one time Madonna showed up in a James Bond film. I didn’t watch TNG in its original run. (I know, I know!) But, I have been exploring the female characters of all of the Star Trek shows and movies lately. My friend and fellow convention panelist, Jamala Henderson has a deep affection for the character. She sent me this video and I was deeply moved by it.

Some people saw her as a calculated move to put a famous person in that role. Plus, why do we need another counselor type when we have Deanna? Much less one that is the cliche bartender? Well, I say just as  Seven of Nine evolved from a ratings-booster into a complex character, Guinan proved she was there to listen not because she had to, but because she wanted to. Her unsurpassed closeness to Picard and untold backstory (which I now appreciate as a writer), always added emotional depth and charm to the show. Whoopi could hold her own with Patrick Stewart in any scene, which is no easy task. She wasn’t in as many episodes as you would think and there’s an air of mystery about her that I really like. Thanks Jamala, for helping me see her as more than just a barkeep with a famous face!

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One Response to “Guinan was always just…”

  1. RobG Says:

    My first take on Guinan was like you — what do we need her for? But I agree; she grew into an awesome character. One of those ones that just adds to the whole story rather than standing out. It was her NOT standing out that was good. I think one of her best scenes was in BOBW when she told Riker that he had to let go of Picard.

    As for Voyager, it was my favorite of the Star Trek series. I’m currently re-watching it for the umpteenth time on Netflix, and I’m into Season 6. I always liked Seven of Nine, and not because of her “bombshell” appearance (to me, overdone characters like that are annoying), but I really like her character. I love her interactions with Naomi Wildman, and how Harry Kim wishes soooo bad he had a shot at her. Plus her relationship with Tuvok and the Doctor are great… on one hand, she and Tuvok and be all logical and efficient, and she and the Doctor can discuss more emotional topics.


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