10 Star Trek Moments More Important Than You Realised

Moments that seemed uneventful at first, only to be revisited when we least expected them.

Star Trek Prime Factors

Star Trek's lore is so expensive at this point that it's easy for certain plot points to not get the attention they deserve.

Important moments in characters' lives, huge mistakes made by Starfleet crews, and mysterious new technologies can often get no more than a quick reflection, and sometimes get completely forgotten by the end of the episode. Starfleet literally discovered that all humanoid life in the Milky Way shares a common ancestor and never discussed it on screen again, and that's only one example of their tendency to lose sight of the big picture through all their encounters with omnipotent alien entities and physics-defying space anomalies.

But sometimes, these moments can come up again when you least expect them, and go on to have profound effects on the future of Trek. This list is going to take a look at some of these important moments that have been largely forgotten by most fans.

10. The Ethical Logic Programming Of Starfleet Computers

Star Trek Prime Factors

During The Battle At The Binary Stars, in the Discovery episode of the same name, we learned something very cool about Starfleet's computers: "ethical logic programming."

After being confined to the brig, Michael Burnham watched as the area surrounding her cell was blasted away by Klingons and exposed to the vacuum of space. Knowing that her life was in severe danger, Burnham was able to convince the computer to help her escape the brig, despite being classified as a criminal.

This exposes something very interesting. Starfleet's computers can apparently be made to disobey direct commands from the crew if those commands put someone's life in danger. Burnham would surely die if left in the cell and, since Federation law prevents the unlawful execution of prisoners without a trial, it had no ethical option but to help her. It's unlikely that something like this could be possible unless the prisoner was almost guaranteed to die otherwise.

This small scene was a great nod to the Federation's sympathetic philosophy toward prisoners.

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Marcus Fry is a writer for WhatCulture and an amateur filmmaker.