Starlog 14: Adventures and Star Trek: Leadership

Professor: Adventures

Professor and alf1

The darkness has covered me.  I look for light but cannot find it.  I am in a deep well— I am in a night from which I cannot escape.  Soon I no longer want to escape.  My head is full of dullness.  My heart is despondent.  If I had a purpose, then I no longer know it.  What care have I now?

Star Trek: Leadership

In Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, Episode 4, Saru officially is designated the captain of Discovery.  Such a promotion only can happen after Saru has proven his worth through personal and professional development.  Saru is an empathic Kelpien, a fearful species with heightened senses, including an ability to sense approaching danger.  Kelpiens were colonized and taught that vahar’ai indicated it was time for them to be slaughtered by their colonizers.  Vahar’ai actually was a process in which the ganglia on the Kelpien head that indicated the presence of danger were replaced by a structure containing spines that could be shot outward.  Saru was instrumental in communicating the truth of vahar’ai to Kelpiens and thus was instrumental in their release from colonization and victimization.  Saru moved from a position of fear to one of courage while helping an entire civilization transform—literally.   He also not only learned to get along with Commander Michael Burnham, who once posed as an obstacle to his career ambitions, but also became one of her closest friends.  In her absence in Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, Episode 3, it is he who captains U.S.S. Discovery through time and space.  In the same episode, it is he who recognizes Ensign Tilly’s ability to serve as a “wonderful first impression” while also being a trustworthy engineer, both of which are the reasons for his selection of Tilly to accompany him in an endeavor to make contact on an alien planet for assistance with a ship-related repair.  In the same episode, he demonstrates understanding, compassion, and empathy regarding Tilly’s fear of the mission yet asks her to “contain it”—to avoid letting fear prevent her from accomplishing the mission. In Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, Episode 3, It is he who firmly holds Captain Philippa Georgiou to Federation ethos in the face of her penchant for violence. After U.S.S. Discovery and Commander Burnham are united in Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, Episode 4, he offers his formerly temporary seat to her.  She declines.  No longer is Saru competitive in a way that is informed by the ego.  Instead, he follows protocol and has in mind the best interests of the crew and the Federation.  

In that same episode, though, Captain Georgiou responds to Book’s query about Michael’s whereabouts:  “In another world, I might have said Michael is somewhere being earnest and doing the right thing.  In this one, I’m not so sure”.   While Saru’s promotion to captain seems to be part of deus ex machina–Michael already has started a journey of change both personal and professional in which she has operated out of bounds so someone must take her place as leader of U.S.S. Discovery, the fact remains that he displays the skills that make for great Star Trek captains and real world leaders.  Saru is the right captain for the time and space.  He must maintain and build unity within the existing crew even as that same endeavor is to occur within the deteriorated Federation.

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