Chakotay crash lands in the middle of a war, and winds up being recruited to fight for one side — but nothing is as it seems, and Tuvok must rescue him before it’s too late. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch looks at a brilliant examination of the power of propaganda in “Nemesis.”
This is a superlative meditation on propaganda, one that does what Star Trek does best: use science fiction to comment on the human condition. Propaganda has always been a powerful tool of manipulation by people in power, particularly when its used in terms of riling up people against an enemy, whether that enemy is real or perceived. It gives people a focus for their animus that is other than the people in power themselves.
It’s also very effective, and we see it being expertly used on Chakotay here. Yes, Chakotay is an anthropologist at heart, and an explorer, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was fighting a guerrilla war against the Cardassians. The journey from a person of peace to a soldier in a war is one he’s already made, and the Vori’s expert manipulations—mostly by way of giving him people to care about and then seeing them killed in nasty ways by the Kradin—make it easy for him to go down that road again.