Despite being an action-oriented drama franchise, Star Trek has consistently made it clear that war and violence are solutions of last resort and a phase of development that humanity may one day leave far behind.
Captains’ decisions leading to conflict and destruction are often shaded with regret and moral apprehension, as Starfleet’s guiding principles are peaceful exploration and building a greater community in the galaxy at large.
Nevertheless, we imperfect 21st humans can still get a cheap thrill by watching what happens when the world of tomorrow fails to live up to its ideals. Whether indulging in revenge, opposing grave evil, or, in rare moments of grace, honoring heroic sacrifice, there’s no denying that we unevolved humans do appreciate a good punch-up now and then.
As the Good Book says, there’s a time to kill and a time to heal, so with that in mind, here are ten especially rewarding times when Star Trek chose the latter and we all said “Yippee!” like the total savages we are.
10. Wesley Crusher
Early in the Enterprise-D’s mission, the omnipotent Q has made Commander Riker all-powerful like himself. Indignant, Riker refuses the supposed honor, so Q places the his crewmates in mortal danger on an alien world, and only Riker can save them.
As monstrous Napoleonic soldiers close in, Worf attacks and is cut down. Rushing to his aid, Wesley Crusher is stabbed through the chest. Both die. Riker is forced use Q’s power to undo things, including resurrecting Worf and Wesley.
So…yeah. Wesley dies but doesn’t stay dead. Welcome to sci-fi. We can still have a bit of ill-advised tittering glee at the thought of Wesley, that precocious, chirpy Mary Sue, being dropped like a bag of dirt, even if just momentarily.
And while the character wasn’t as bad as all that, really, there are still, decades later, more than a few in Trek fandom who wish that Q’s powers hadn’t included bring back the dead, even if it meant Worf got the short end of the stick too.