Star Trek, Now More Than Ever
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know there’s a new Star Trek series coming to streaming services this September. Titled Star Trek Discovery, the new show takes places 10 years before Kirk, Spock, and The Original Series episodes.
An op-ed article we wrote earlier this week spoke about how now, more than ever, the world needs the optimism of Star Trek. Today in a C|NET interview, Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman addressed this point, echoing our sentiment saying “Star Trek gives you hope“. He also said that it gives an “optimistic outlook” for the future.
At it’s core, Star Trek is a show about optimism and what the future can hold for all of us. On that, Kutzman had the following to say. “I think that at the core of Roddenberry’s vision, and this is why I believe it has endured as long as it has, is the belief that humans beings will always find a way to persevere and connect to each other. And that there’s an optimistic outlook to where we could be going. And now more than ever we need that. Desperately.”
Concerns Over Canon
As interest in the new series has heated up over the last few months, so have opinions on social media. One of the main points of contention is the time in which the show takes place. Rather than setting the series in the time after Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Discovery is a prequel, taking place before Star Trek: The Original Series, but after Star Trek: Enterprise.
If there’s one thing that Trekkies have made clear, it’s that they have little patience or interest in seeing series canon broken. “You have to respect canon as it’s been written. You can’t say ‘that never happened‘… you can’t do that… Star Trek fans will kill you“, says Kurtzman.
Reiterating on the point about Star Trek: Discovery needing to place itself within a long canon of material; “if you’re a fan of Trek, you’re going to see a lot of things that hark back to the original series. I’m not just talking about plot. The spirit of what that show was” referring to the previously-mentioned optimism.
It’s clear that Kurtzman is doing his best to put fans concerns to rest, and show a respect for the series and canon, while still going into creative, new directions.
“We are adhering to a timeline, and sticking to the rules, but also I think finding similar areas and avenues of exploration that have been only eluded to but never fully explored.”
With over 700 episodes in the franchise, knowing when you’re breaking canon, or when something has already been done can be difficult. “You have to keep very meticulous track of ‘who, where, when, and why’. We have people in the room whose sole job is to say ‘Nope. Can’t do that‘.”
On Strong Women
Although it has since turned things around, Star Trek: Discovery was originally decried for not having enough women in the series. Plenty of social media commentary and websites wrote about the issue – this site included. Gender equity has always been problematic in Star Trek, which has missed the mark on many occasions. The series showrunners are hoping Discovery can help change that.
With two women at the helm, Discovery is set to break new ground on the show. “I love stories that are based around strong women, and we have some very strong women on that show“. Kurtzman is speaking of Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), and First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green).
Star Trek Discovery airs September 24th on CBS All Access (USA), Space/CraveTV (Canada), and on September 25th on Netflix (rest of world).