I’m a Morn Watcher
I’m watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9 for the second time through with my older sons. That’s the Star Trek series that you watch when you’ve recently watched all of Next Generation and Voyager and you’re feeling desperate.
It’s not that it’s a bad series – it’s pretty good, and sometimes great – but it doesn’t have the same sense of motion and progress as the others, partly because it’s set in a fixed place, namely a space station. Therefore, the story often revolves around recurring problems, namely the tension between Cardassians and Bajorans, which stems from a just-ended brutal Cardassian occupation.
Anyhoo, one other thing that happens on Deep Space 9 is that many of the characters are not Federation members, meaning that they don’t have military training at “The Academy.” Now, it makes sense for soldiers to be trained, but this Star Trek Academy is really a cross between Harvard and West Point, and the worshipping of the culture there can be really over the top (I’m looking at you, Wesley Crusher). So it’s nice to see Star Trek characters that have nothing to do with the military. They’re just hanging out.
Specifically, I’m talking about a character on Deep Space 9 called Morn.
Morn hangs out at a bar on the Deep Space 9 station owned and managed by Quark, who is a Ferengi (and thus famously obsessed with material wealth, in contrast with the rest of the socialist Federation) and a main character. And although by the second season or so Morn shows up very consistently, he never, ever speaks. Not once. Although, just to add to the mystery, other characters are sometimes heard complaining about how they were kept up all night listening to Morn’s stories.
My son Sander and I always keep an eye out for Morn – we noticed him about halfway through the first time we watched Deep Space 9 a few years ago – and we’ve recently gotten so obsessed with him that we scoured the web looking for Morn info and found out there was once something called the Morn Watchers, which is a fan club devoted to this speechless character.
They even had a quarterly magazine, probably containing all sorts of observations on how close Morn came to speaking recently. And how close he’s come to looking like Norm from Cheers who, legend has it, was the inspiration for Morn’s character.
Anyway, if there are any other Morn Watchers out there, I’m up for restarting the fan club. This can be taken as the initial newsletter.