Star Trek is coming back! I’m very excited about this but I think they’re off to a bad start.
It’s going to follow the adventures of the Enterprise C. If you can’t feel my disappointment from wherever you are you’re lucky.
I feel like this limits them as far as where they can go. No matter what happens they’ll have to wind up with the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire (and Neutral Zone). Planets like Bajor and Batazed on the fringes of Federation space during the TNG/DS9 timelines will not have been discovered yet. Prequels can be fun but only if there’s a good story to tell and I just don’t see it.
Star Trek has always been about expanding human understanding, exploration of the universe, science fiction and politics. At the end of DS9 the Klingons, Romulans and Humans were brought closer together by the dominion war. The Cardassians were defeated but the Dominion still posed a threat to the Federation if they ever hoped to expand into the Gamma Quadrant. At the end of Voyager we see technology like ablative hull armour and the Borg trans-warp network. The Borg still pose a massive threat to the federation although Capt. Janeway violated the temporal prime directive to give weaponry suitable to combat it. My point is there are a lot of loose ends and stories to be told moving forward from where we left off.
Going back in time where technology will be weaker. One of the most annoying things about Enterprise to me was their crappy technology. I watch science fiction to dream big. Enterprise was minor league.
Gene Roddenberry was a dreamer! He dreamt not only of the physics of faster than light travel and phaser guns but of social issues like equality and diversity. TNG took it further with technology dreaming of AI in Data, holographic technology, and food replication. TNG, DS9, and Voyager all dealt with diversity and equality in their time as well.
Here’s my vision for Star Trek’s new TV series. I know it’s too late for this to happen but here it is.
Enterprise X3, 100 years after TNG. The Klingons have joined the Federation because they could not compete with the Romulan and Human technological advancement and were facing defeat from the Romulan Star Empire. The Federation is extremely more technologically advanced from where we left off. Faster travel, long range transporters, phasing through solid objects, you name it. There could be artificial intelligences and androids fighting for equal rights, respect, equality. What if a disenfranchised AI joined forces with the Borg?! Geez! What about the singularity? Humans or Romulans who decided to digitize their consciousness? Entire groups of immortal humans in computer systems or droid bodies. With crazy technology comes crazy morality issues like citizen safety and exchanging privacy for safety. The size of the Federation could become an issue. It could suffer from expansion issues like security being stretched too thin and Starfleet starts to be asked to fill roles not in the realm of science and exploration. They could also potentially be expanding toward Borg territory and share a border with the dominion. Who knows there could be long range ships being constructed to travel to Andromeda. Or maybe ships have already been and come back. Anything is possible when you’re leading the way!
Dream big people! DREAM HUGE! The bigger the problem the better the story!
My point is TOS was a mirror for how Gene Roddenberry hoped our future would be. TNG, Voyager and DS9 each picked up that dream, expanded on it, and ran with it. They continued to push the envelope of the long-term human horizon. I get the feeling the executives at CBS are forgetting that this is Star Trek (!!!) and are putting us all in a safe-zone of familiarity. I think they are going to give us a new crew, some new ships, a couple new planets and species and then wonder why we’re not spellbound.
My ideas would seem weird and out of place 30 years before the events of TNG. You certainly couldn’t get crazy with Alpha Quadrant politics if you are at all concerned with continuity. I predict epic failure from the new TV show but I hope I’m wrong.