Where Should Star Trek Go?

Every year my family and I opt to watch the Start Trek movies instead of Christmas specials from December 1 – 13 (as there are 13 movies at the time of this writing). This is so we don’t overload on Christmas movies and specials. And let’s be honest— after a while they can really get to you and this is a fun way to go on an adventure and leave the magic of Christmas intact. Now, there is a hold up with the next two Star Trek movies that were announced back in 2016 and later in I think 2017? This week it became official that Star Trek 14 (or Star Trek 4 in the new timeline) is indefinitely cancelled. In my opinion there is an issue with Star Trek as a whole. Repeating the same thing again and again won’t result in anything new or fun. 

Us watching Star Trek in December, leading up to Christmas 2019.

A Short Timeline of the Star Trek Movie Franchise

We started off with Robert April and Christopher Pike in command of the Enterprise, then we moved to Kirk and company and they really took off on the 5 year mission with 3 of them being shown in live action then followed by the animated series finishing up the last 2 years. Then with Kirk and the original bridge officers of Scotty, McCoy, Spock, Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu, we see them make the jump to movies in Star Trek I The Motion Picture (I know that there isn’t a 1 in the actual title, but I do that for myself because it is the first movie). From there, we get Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, All of this still with the original characters who are now aging. These are all great stories, but still the original crew.

It isn’t until around the time of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, do we get Star Trek: The Next Generation, then Star Trek: Deep Space 9, then Star Trek: Voyager. This is the first breath of fresh air around a new crew aboard the Enterprise or even a new ship completely (Voyager). What was really cool was that one show was on a space station (Deep Space 9)! This was great because we get to see the Star Trek universe beyond just the eyes and ears of the original crew and the sometimes the supporting crew.

Yet we still see Star Trek VI with the original crew to give them a send off —which was nice to do for them. I really do like this movie as a way to say goodbye. But then things get strange. Star Trek VII is supposed to be a “passing the baton” that I don’t think anyone really needed. We see Kirk and just 2 other officers (Chekov and Scotty) meet up to christen the Enterprise – B (that should have been a regular Excelsior class —not the Frankensteined mess they had on screen because they felt that the viewers were getting tired of seeing the excelsior class). But low and behold, the original crew is thrown into another adventure. At this point, it feels like someone who should have retired to let the new crew take over. A.k.a let’s learn more about Picard and crew! So this movie is meant to bridge the gap, but I really didn’t feel like we needed to do so. 

Now we finally have movies Star Trek VII: First Contact, Star Trek IX: Insurrection, and Star Trek X: Nemesis. That featured only the Star Trek The Next Generation crew. I can understand First Contact being an only “Star Trek The Next Generation Crew Movie” to give them their own movie completely, but Deep Space 9 and Voyager should have gotten something more. In First Contact and Insurrection, we get a mention of Deep Space 9, but none of the crew (except for Worf) and in Nemesis we only get to see (now Admiral) Janeway on the screen for just a moment. They could have done so much more in these now waining movies to bring in crews from other starships, visit iconic space stations, etc. 

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, instead of getting movies to expand the Star Trek Universe and learn more about Voyager or Deep Space 9, we double back and tell a story (yet again) about Kirk and the original crew. Those 3 movies are fun action movies, but you can tell that it’s getting stunted. They are just trying to rehash the same stuff from Star Trek 1 – 3. Eample: Star Trek I: Giant scary super powerful ship making it to Earth to destroy it Star Trek XI: giant scary super powerful Roman ship coming to Earth to destroy it. Star Trek II Khan – Star Trek XII: Kahn again, but British. Star Trek III: Enterprise is destroyed – Star Trek XIII: Enterprise is Destroyed. 

This reminds me a lot of the South Park episode “member berries” where they keep saying, “remember when X was good because it was original” or something to that effect. They want to keep the old audience while growing a new one. However, this is not working. 

The Future Of Star Trek

To get this going again, we can see how successful Star Trek Discovery has been (you had to subscribe to a new service to even watch it) And guess what —people DID! We DID! There was a huge following and everything. New crew—new ship, new adventures that didn’t have to be tied to the Enterprise! Finally another breath of fresh air. 

So what should happen with the now paused Star Trek XIV and Star Trek XV? Please go with a new crew and new ship or even station! Star Trek can even work planet side too. The universe is massive – EXPLORE IT!  If you absolutely need Chris Pine and crew, and need to explain why Chekov is not there anymore (my heart does go out to him – so sad to hear about his death), have a character say on screen that he was promoted and accepted a station on the Reliant. 

If we also look at how Star Wars is doing in comparison, look at how Rouge One did in comparison to the “main” movies like episodes VII,VIII, and IX. It is still one of my favorite Star Wars movies because they had their own storylines and fun character moments. There is a lot of “social justice” taking place in them. Characters being created just to show how someone who shouldn’t be there can still be in a movie. They are also just rehashing a lot of plot points previously used. Lot’s of the fans are upset over this. The Mandalorian also gives us a look into the Star Wars universe without having to tie into the original characters. It’s a breath of fresh air. 

My final thoughts on Star Trek

So, Star Trek, please let the crew of the Enterprise go. Let’s have some fun with lower ranking officers and crew members. Let’s learn about Starfleet academy and how they take tests. What about the economy? What about those who don’t get accepted into Starfleet? What about those who served and are now retired? What about those other ships that we hear about USS Hood, USS Farragut, USS Excelsior? There is so much potential to start fresh!

By the way, if you’re into playing old Star Trek videogames or know someone who does, I started a YouTube channel called Star Trek Games way back when where I get old Star Trek games to work on Mac computers.

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