What Was So Evil About Wesley Crusher?

Okay, I admit it… I’m a Trek poseur. All the Wesley jokes I’ve uttered over the past ten years have all been in an attempt to fit in. He’s never really bothered me, his presence on the bridge doesn’t incite me to violence, and none of my Trek fantasies involve killing him in cruel and unusual ways… what is it about the character that everyone seems to loathe?

I could understand if it was someone like Troi despite liking the character myself… I mean, she’s just eye candy and is a Commander despite not knowing what a core breach is. Her claim to fame is bedding the alien of the week and saying “I sense hostility, Captain”.

I could also understand it if it were Worf… the only thing he (and all other Klingons) is is a walking case of testosterone poisoning. “Gar! Me Klingon! Me have three testicles* and ridge on penis**! Now sing opera to you!”.

And, of course, anyone with any sense at all hates Pulaski as much as most hate Wesley so there’s no need to ask about her.

So… what is it? His youth? Wil Wheaton the actor? Him saving the ship a handful of times? What?

  • Klingons have redundant organs. Two eight chambered hearts, two livers, a double spine, etc. A third gonad is conceivable and I seem to remember reading about it somewhere but I can’t find a cite.

** Klingons have ridges on their chest and the tops of their feet. It’s possible they have them other places as well.

It’s not Wesley per se that’s annoying (though he is), it’s the fact that the writers are so idiotic that they’d design Starfleet to be an institute that has unqualified children with access to vital ship systems. On numerous occasions, Wesley’s access to vital ship functions nearly caused a disaster.

Furthermore, it’s the whole “Kid Genius” cliche… the writers think it’d be cutesy-wutesy to have a kid save the ship, and so they do, no matter how stupid or idiotic of a plot they need to pull out of their asses in order to bring that end about.

Ultimately, the character of Wesley Crusher simply showed that the writers thought that their audience was stupid. An audience doesn’t like to be called stupid, even if they are.

Okay. I can understand that. I admit, I was annoyed by the boy wonder routine myself. I didn’t really like the quasi-nepotism in Wesley being allowed to pilot the ship either but where does the loathing come from? Shouldn’t you hate the writers and not the character for the poor storytelling?

Yes; but the writers are faceless hacks, whereas Wesley - the prime indicator of our ire - is right there on screen, big as life. He gets to be the goat.


To clarify: I’ve never ranted about “Wil Wheaton did a crappy job as Wesley!” Actually, I think he did a great job. However, the character was unsalvageable… once they started with the Wonder Kid routine, it was all downhill from there.

Although I understand your sentiment, I disagree with that last statement. Wesley’s character, like just about every aspect of that show, started out at the worst it could possibly be, and went uphill from there. :smiley: Recall that his quintessential take-over-the-ship maneuver was in the very second episode.

I’m neither a fan nor a detractor for the character and/or actor playing him. I’m just curious as to why he’s become the universal Trek whipping boy.

That and I need a Trek thread to follow since I can’t read the latest Enterprise thread until I see the episode this Saturday. :smiley:

Wesley was sort of a super-intelligent Gilligan of the future. “Gee Mom, sorry I accidentally imploded the universe.”

It certainly didn’t start with Star Trek: TNG. Lots of old SF movies had little kids hanging around in the middle of everything (not only American ones. See most Japanese monster movies from the 60’s and 70’s). Having a child in the cast lets lazy writers take the easy way out when it comes to explaining a situation. Rather than following the “show, don’t tell” rule, they just have the kid ask “Gee, whillikers, Captain, what’s that? Why’d they do that?” and then Captain Buck Ironjaw can answer "Well, Timmy, when Earthlings first encountered the Destructorians, we… …and if the needle on that dial ever goes above 25, then the ship will… " and the viewer is given the full background story and every plot point necessary to guess the outcome. Star Trek wasn’t any more ham-handed in its approach than its predecessors, but that didn’t make it any less annoying.

Wesley is not apart of the Crew/not in Starfleet, and for the officers to treat him as such just was wrong. He is a dependant, a son of a Crew Member, albeit an Officer.

I was in the Navy, I never saw dependants on the ship I was on given Crew status, even if they wanted to serve in the Navy.

and he is obnoxious, I understand why Picard didn’t want him on the Bridge.

Minor nitpick here. Surely eye vomit would be more accurate.


I agree the “Kill Wesley” movement was just a shorthand and a scapegoat for all the other things wrong with the show. Troi was infinitely more annoying, since no one had any idea what her “empathy” ability meant. (I recall at one con, Marina Sirits was talking about Troi taking part in the poker games and had to be told by the audience that no one would play with her since she’d know if they were bluffing.)

Although Pulaski was a great character; it was great having someone prickly and human as part of the crew of nice nices.

In spite of the fact that it’s a long-standing tradition in hastily-written plays, deus ex machina is not a particularly well-liked way to tidy up loose ends, and he was one walking, talking machina.

I already explained myself, man. Don’t make me say it again.


And here

Wesley Crusher = smarmy little pissant.

And that doesn’t take into account the excellent points made above re: obnoxious wunderkind plot devices and the presence of children where, for their own safety and that of the starship’s crew, they most certainly should not have been allowed. Indeed, there should not have been kids on the damn ship at all.

Disclaimer: I have no problem with Wil Wheaton or his acting; to be honest, I thought he did a decent job of making Wesley lifelike. Alas, a lifelike assclown is no less an assclown.

It was just such an obvious demographic stunt. The producers thought they needed to put a teenager in the cast to get teenagers to watch it. It was insulting. Plus Wesley was such the cliche little Hollywood kid actor.

I don’t have the stats but I’m pretty sure Weasle Crusher saved the ship more than anybody else did in the first season.

This was a writing crutch that was abandoned later but it sure didn’t inspire confidence in the skinny bald man, who wasn’t even allowed to beam down with permission.

Now if Wesley had had a big pet robot, and if instead of being his mother, the doctor had been a despicable villian always tricking Wesley into participating in one of his schemes so that they had to be rescued … then they might have had something there.

I’d totally watch that, TGWATY!