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It’s a Mexican Invasion! Quick, Build a Wall!

by Paddy Tye – He Lies, He Cheats, He Steals

17th November 2016

In Creative, everyone has their own ideas for how to name universal characters. Sometimes we use a twist on the actor’s name. Sometimes we use a theme (currencies have been used for a couple of Ferengi). Sometimes we slip in references to novels (Yeoman Vaughn in Through the Looking Glass was a reference to Elias Vaughn from the DS9 Reboot novels – a relative perhaps?) and sometimes it comes down to personal preferences.

Ensign Guerrero

For The Terran Empire, the universal characters consisted of some conquered aliens (Andorians, Orions, etc), some MACOs, and some miscellaneous Terrans. For alien characters, creating names that sound similar to existing characters is important, to fit the tonality already associated with that dialect. For Terrans though, ethnicity is also important. We need to ensure that images and names appear consistent – we can’t go around picking an image of someone with the complexion of Draco Malfoy and name them Lt. Mugabe! Similarly, for Federation and Starfleet characters – uniforms are equally important too. Someone with a SCIENCE classification and no SECURITY doesn’t fit with a TOS Red-shirt or an Enterprise MACO. So often we need to find the image first, as that drives a lot about the character names. 

In this example, we were looking for a mirror universe Enterprise crewman in a Blue-trimmed SCIENCE division uniform who might fit with skills of Smuggling, Stellar Cartography and Geology. Such images weren’t available in large quantities given we had only 2 episodes to choose from! We eventually found this guy, next to Trip, in front of Soval and T’Pol wearing a blue-trimmed uniform. Appearing more hispanic in nature, some earlier suggestions of names from one Creative team member based on an Icelandic Rock band no longer seemed to fit the heritage of the character. So we decided we needed draw on some Mexican inspiration instead…

Eleven years ago, on 13th November 2005, Eddie Guerrero – a Mexican-American Wrestling Champion in the WWE – died from a heart attack aged 39. Eddie had been a favourite character of mine, thanks to his in-ring ability and his legendary trickery (like throwing a steel chair to an opponent and then collapsing on the floor so the Referee would disqualify his opponent, thinking his opponent had used the illegal weapon). His death at such a young age was shocking – the first such incident I’d experienced on WWE – and the emotion shown by his fellow wrestlers was really touching and unlike what you normally experienced when watching such a show. So when we needed a Latino-sounding name, Guerrero was the first name that sprang to mind!

Now, I’d like to point out that the “Smuggling” skill was already on his card – and more attributable to methods for obtaining rare gemstones (as per his Geology-driven lore) than any sweeping generalisations from hair-brained politicians that many Mexicans are rapists and drug smugglers! However, Smuggling does feel an appropriate fit for the crafty antics associated with Eddie Guerrero!

Viva La Raza!

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