Ever since the announcement that Star Trek will be returning to TV (or CBS All Access, if you want to be specific) in 2017, I have been asked over and over again…
What do you want to see from the new Star Trek series?
The news broke while I was out of town at the beginning of the month, and many people beat me to the punch of writing up a wish list of what they’d like to see in the new series. Full disclosure: I only recently read the full press release; the news and immediate response were just so overwhelming. Anyway, we know that the new series won’t be related to Star Trek Beyond and that it will feature new characters, both of which are positive points for me. And, for now, I’m feeling pretty positive about Alex Kurtzman as showrunner as well.
All of that being said, my wish list for a new series is very similar to most, and probably exactly what you’d expect:
- A gender-balanced crew
- Racial diversity
- Body diversity
- A non-human captain
- A genderfluid/non-binary main character (perhaps a great way to explore the Andorian culture more, which has four genders – especially since the recent shared continuity novels address a fertility crisis on Andor)
- LGBTQUIAP+ characters
- Characters with disabilities
- New aliens/more aliens
- Non-humanoid aliens (which will take some really great practical effects or really expensive CGI, tbh)
I could go on… and on… and get more specific…
But there was one line of the press release that really caught my attention:
[Star Trek] also broke new ground in storytelling and cultural mores, providing a progressive look at topics including race relations, global politics and the environment.
Now, that is what I want. I was this new Star Trek series to return to the ideals of Star Trek – and I’m not just picking on the JJ-verse here. In my personal opinion, Enterprise, some of DS9 and Voyager, and certainly the TNG films all dropped the ball on this one.
So what do I want? I want a Star Trek that pushes the envelope. I want it to make us reexamine social conventions and expectations of today. To make us wonder what it really means to be human. To ask the difficult questions. I want a Star Trek that looks forward to a future of peace and exploration and shared knowledge rather than war and famine and dystopia. I want a Star Trek that celebrates people for their differences, rather than forcing conformity or turning those differences into the comic relief.
I want a Star Trek filled with optimism. A Star Trek shows us what we can be if we are willing to learn, grow, and change.
And I don’t even care if there’s not a single explosion. Really.
And if this new Star Trek series does those things – continues that mission, pursues that goal put forth by the Great Bird of the Galaxy, really celebrates infinite diversity in infinite combinations – then I truly believe that my long list at the top of this post will take care of itself naturally. Because a show that seeks to do those things should, by nature of actually doing them, have no problem meeting and exceeding my expectations.