Originally Posted by kevin
Thanks. I forgot 'Star Trek : The Undiscovered Country', which was written before Roddenberry died and hit the theaters shortly after his death and gave us a terrorist conspiracy to engulf the galaxy in war.
I think another reason we overlook all of this as references to terrorism is the fact that the iconography of the issue has changed drastically. Before 9/11 terrorists where depicted as what they allways have been: ruthless criminals or guerilla fighters with a political agenda. The message was usually that while their cause may be just or at least humanly understandable, their actions where appalling and intollerable and all legal methods provided by the justice system must be used to stop their actions
, not their cause
. They must be brought to justice and/or the negotiation table.
With the propaganda going on after 9/11 this iconography changed a lot. From there onwards terrorists where shown as monstrous fanatic unhuman beasts, automatons, who never eat, never drink, never sleep, never laugh or smile, who never doubt or question, who seek no joy nor peace nor dream of a better future, who have no families, no friends, who trust no one and who have no other goal then slaughtering innocent people for no other reason then hate. From there on war and torture where the method to stop terrorists and innocent casualties where acceptable. Due process was shown as a foolish thing of the past and moral principles as an obstacle to overcome if one wants to live. The terrorists actions
became blurred with their cause
and their cause was of no concern anymore.
Also the perspective changed. Untill 9/11 the hero and with him the audience where usually caught between the lines of the terrorists and the faction they fought against. The audience was neutral to the conflict, merely geting caught in the crossfire, like in the TNG Episode 'Starship Mine' of season six, where Picard, concealing his true identity, must stop terrorists.
Nowadays though the hero and the audience are the very target of the terrorists.
And finally the depiction of terrorism nowadays usually involves torture and the ticking-time-bomb-dilemma, moral and ethical corruption of the hero and psychological scars and trauma. This trend goes on in BSG, Stargate Atlantis and most recently Stargate Universe. But this has more to do with the involvement of the US in two wars and with the critical reception of war since Vietnam then with terrorism per se. Like the second and especially the third season of Enterprise where actually more about WMD's and the Iraq-War then about terrorism.
Also, HDTV and digital filming made much darker sets possible.