Science Fiction Film & Television

Reshaping the universe in an amorphous image

Science Fiction Film & Television (2012), 5, (2), 201–220.

Abstract

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is often regarded as the darkest and most morally complex of the franchise series, and the Dominion War storyline, which addresses such issues as fascism and genocide, changed the once utopian landscape of Gene Roddenberry's vision. The shape-shifting Founders are the central force behind the Dominion, and their civilisation, the Great Link, epitomises many of the frightening characteristics that Michael Foucault identifies with biopolitics. Although the Great Link and the Dominion seek to foster life, they adopt a politics of death to ensure that goal. The Founders' emphasis on the disciplining of bodies so as to ensure docility and political stability is further evidence of their biopolitical worldview. Furthermore, as in the case of Nazi Germany, the Dominion's imperialistic and genocidal actions are based largely around a biological conception of state power. Although the defeat of the Dominion seems to signify a rejection of fascist biopolitics, the writers inadvertently endorse such a vision due to the potentially anti-Semitic characterisation of the Founders and to the casual extermination of the series' other central villains, the Cardassians.

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Napolitano, Marc