902: Darmok and Jalad
|Darmok and Jalad|
Title text: I wonder how often Patrick Stewart has Darmok flashbacks when talking to Star Trek fans.
This comic is a parody of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok" in which Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew meet with a Tamarian ship. They can translate the individual words of Tamarian with perfect accuracy, but the Tamarians communicate using metaphors based on their own history and culture—without these cultural references, the Enterprise crew are unable to understand what the Tamarians are actually saying. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" is repeated many times in this episode by the Tamarian captain, Dathon. Picard is eventually able to decipher the line to discover that it was a story of two warriors marooned on an island (Tanagra) who work together to defeat a common foe. The alien's intention is that he and Picard work together to defeat a monster as a way to cement ties between the Tamarians and the Federation.
In the comic, instead of suggesting a dramatic gesture to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough, the alien seems to be suggesting a one-night stand, hence the wink in the final panel. It is not clear if he is chatting up Deanna Troi (who has the long curly hair) or Picard. However, given that in the original episode Darmok and Jalad (the two warriors) were metaphorically identified with Dathon and Picard, it seems likely that he is flirting with Picard.
The title text suggests that the actor Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Picard, might find Star Trek fans indecipherable, in the same way that Captain Picard found the Tamarians indecipherable. This is a joke about how Star Trek fans stereotypically make constant references to the franchise which are so dense and obscure that even the program's actors might find them impossible to understand.
- [Captain Dathon is seen on a communications screen.]
- Alien: Darmok and Jalad at Kalenda's!
- [Jean-Luc Picard and Deanna Troi stand next to each other, looking off to the right.]
- Picard: Their language must be based on folklore and metaphor! Computer! Search cultural archives for Darmok-Jalad-Kalenda!
- [Picard and Troi listen to the response.]
- Computer (off-panel): In Tamarian legend, Darmok and Jalad got totally wasted and hooked up at a party at Kalenda's.
- [Dathon is seen on the communications screen again, winking.]
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