On the character of Wesley Crusher

Filed in SF&F, Star TrekTags: , ,

Or the things that float through my mind while watching paint dry servers build.

(pure unedited stream of consciousness)

Wesley could have been such a great character..  starts out at about 10-11 years old at beginning of the show.. adhd, very easily frustrated by the stupid adults around him, explores everything anywhere, often getting into trouble.  Not a ‘whiz kid fix it by the end of the show deus-ex-wesleya.  Just a hyper intelligent brat.

As the show progresses and he ages, he is drawn to Data, Geordi, etc.. because they’re at least smart enough to keep up and take a bit of interest.  He still gets more and more withdrawn into his own world and studies.  Spends inordinate amount of time hyperfocused on whatever interests him at that point, often triggered by some minor or major thing going on around him.   Driven to prove himself their equal or better.

By mid series he’s 15-16 and really hitting both his mental stride (outstripping even geordi on theory at times, if not necessarly practical application) and spending more and more time alone.   Gets kind of scary at times, intense, focused, extremely impatient with anyone and anythign that interrupts him.

Outwardly, it looks almost bipolar with grandiosity, bouts of isolation / depression / moodiness with sudden bursts of energy and effusive megalomania.    What’s really going on is the hyper focus vs. exploration and searching for the next problem to solve.

near end series, he’s old enough to be a civilian part of the science teams and working on and off with data, et al..  Starts encountering some of the aliens of the week and from that encounters Q who takes a bit of interest in him.   End series includes Q introducing wesley to the ‘ascended’ one who takes him away for further study and growth, etc…   He ‘Graduates’ from his mere human limits and eventually becomes one of the great scientific minds.

Very good, solid arc for that character.   Would have taken writing a 6-7 year arc for him, but could have been done.  He wouldn’t have been in every episode except maybe in the background or a passing moment in 10-forward.  If that.

Take out the Q factor and just have him, on his own, communicating on-line with other scientists, theoreticians, etc… and one of them agrees to sponsor him to something like the equivalent of the MIT or some hyper-think tank or some such.  No big finish, no ‘Wesley’s a god now’ or other bullshit.  Just the normal life arc for a hyper intelligent military brat.