Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Star Trek '12: 1812 AD - Trelane

Trelane was a child.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  He barely understood what he did centuries later.  It stands to reason that he didn’t understand what he was doing when he looked to Napoleon Bonaparte for a bit of inspiration.

By the time Trelane observed him, Napoleon was close to losing it all.  But that also meant that he was close to having it all, too.  For many people, Napoleon was just about one of the most dangerous men in history.  He was a conqueror of the first order.  Trelane didn’t really get that, obviously.  What he saw was a human who seemed to be capable of anything, and very few compunctions.  What kind of impression of humanity would you have if you used Napoleon as your model?

This was what Trelane learned: that it was appropriate to take what you want, and that you get what you deserve.  It’s a pity that he didn’t look on at Napoleon just a few years later, because he really did lose everything, just when it seemed like he would have everything.  In fact, Napoleon was an excellent model for someone like Trelane, a veritable infant.  This is not to judge Trelane, or to judge Napoleon, but to say that it’s appropriate that immaturity embraced without question the splendor of so ruthless a figure without truly comprehending it.  What Trelane had and what he recognized was power, and so that was why he admired Napoleon, and why he didn’t bother to question whether he understand the man at all.  He didn’t have to!

From his perch he was greatly amused by what he saw, and all men who observe from perches are, and never stop to think about their entertainment.  It’s fine to be amused, but it’s a better thing to know what amuses you, and why.  Trelane didn’t do this because it never occurred to him.  He was king of his own world, and so was Napoleon, and oh if he’d only known what would happen!

But that was not meant to be.

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