Red Shirts

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An initially joky but now often seriously used item of critical Terminology, based on fans' frequent observation that red-shirted security officers in the original Star Trek (1966-1969) tended to be rather quickly killed off. Thus a red shirt, or redshirt, is an expendable spear-carrier who does not survive for long. As with virtually every aspect of Star Trek, this trope is sent up in Galaxy Quest (1999). John Scalzi develops a narrative featuring such characters – who become aware of their sacrificial status – in Redshirts (2012). [DRL]

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