Trailer: Star Trek Discovery

So the dominant complaint about the Star Trek films is that they simply cannot be the Star Trek we love without being a television show. The kind of exploration of philosophical issues is simply not suited to blockbuster movies, which demand a certain level of action, space battles, laser battles and explosions, and are by definition not allowed to be thoughtful and issue-driven.

So it was pretty exciting that there was going to be a new Star Trek TV show! Maybe it would be the bastion of quality and give us the real Star Trek fans have been aching for years now. And then we finally get a trailer for the new show and dear God oh Jesus no.

How do they make it simultaneously look so expensive and so cheap?

How did they channel the air of lameness that infects all Star Trek series’ after the original series?

Yes, Star Trek is notable and laudable for its social progressiveness and diversity, and continuing that tradition is welcome and required, but… maybe if the entire thing didn’t seem to be reverse-engineered around that? If we’re into Trek, we get it, we probably don’t need big giant points made, and what we really don’t need is for the good intentions to eclipse the storytelling. We’ll have to see how that works out.

We also have the prequel curse of the past being far more technologically advanced than the future it is supposedly leading up to. Apparently the Kirk this series takes place before is the JJ Abrams Kirk? I can see why they need to make it look modern, but taking it out of the Shatnerverse and into the Pineverse is tying it to a lame horse. Although I do appreciate the Lynch’s Dune-like beauty of the Klingons’ elaborate outfits and sets. But, especially given the ostentatious racial progressiveness of it all, I would be hesitant to go further down Trek’s dubious “Klingons = black people” tradition.

Oh, and one other thing: we were hoping the show would get back to the original philosophical stories and high moral ideals… and yet, here we are, in the first glimpse, with our new heroine shouting that Starfleet has to start firing first?

It’s hard to know, from this trailer, who this show is aiming for. Certainly not the old school fans who want thoughtful sci-fi. It seems to be aiming at the people who like the rebooted movies… a franchise whose audience already seems to be drying up quickly.

Still: it’s only a first trailer. We’ll see how the show pans out. Take a look below and let me know what your thoughts are. Be sure to schedule a moment afterward for quiet despair, and if you’re lucky you won’t need it.

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