Yes, it’s finally happening: We’re getting a new Star Trek TV show for the first time in over a decade. Since this week’s announcement, Trek fans all over the world have been speculating and sharing their desires for the series—here’s just 7 things we’d love to see come 2017.
We’ve asked you already when you’d like to see the new series set across Star Trek’s vast timeline, and this was by far the most popular choice—and there’s a reason for that. Although JJ Abram’s Star Trek reboot largely brushed over the universe it left behind, the main continuity of Star Trek (composed of all the TV shows and movies that came before it) after the beginning of that movie is an incredibly interesting place. The Federation is slowly recovering from the fallout of the Dominion War depicted in Deep Space Nine, only to be hit with the galactic catastrophe of the seeming death of Spock and the total destruction of the Romulan and Reman homeworlds, killing billions and leaving countless beings without homes.
This is something that Star Trek Online, the franchise’s official multiplayer online role-playing game, explores in great detail—it’s set in 2409, two decades after the supernova that destroyed Romulus and Remus, and finds the Federation fractured and at war with the Klingons. This isn’t necessarily the path the new series would follow, as the game has no real say on the “canon” of the franchise. But exploring a continuity that has the legacy of past Star Trek TV shows to look back on, especially for a series being launched as part of the franchises’ 50th anniversary celebrations, is an incredibly tempting prospect.
But if the series does have to take place in the alternate reality established by the new movies—what little information we have about the show says it’s not directly related to Star Trek: Beyond, it could still be a part of that universe—essentially pulling a Next Generation could be equally interesting.
It’d leave the movies well in the past and out of the way of the show interfering with them, but at the same time it’d be interesting to imagine and explore what this particular version of the Star Trek universe looks like a century down the line, especially in terms of look and the technology at hand. It wouldn’t have to be a direct parallel to TNG—I definitely wouldn’t want to see an alt-Picard and crew—but something in the spirit of it, about a future crew inspired by the legacy of Kirk and the Enterprise’s five-year mission, would be a fun way to be linked to the movie without having to directly work around them.
Okay, before you really string me up, hear me out. The Enterprise and its many incarnations is one of the most iconic features of Star Trek. But like Voyager and Deep Space Nine did in the 90s, it’d be cool to see the show focus around the crew of a different kind of Federation ship.
Voyager was primarily a research vessel. The Defiant was a gunboat made for combat. The new ship could be something like that, or even of a similar size and scope to the Enterprise, which was a sort of jack-of-all-trades—but getting a new ship that’s not just the Enterprise-G or something, with a new design that is evocative of the classic ship rather than a direct emulation would be a way to keep things fresh.
If there’s one criticism you can level at Star Trek and Into Darkness, its that they focus on being action movies rather than Star Trek’s ideals as a show about communication, exploration, and challenging ideas. And that makes sense for a movie—but those sorts of ideas sit at the very heart of what Star Trek is about, and what makes it so beloved to many people. Some of Star Trek’s best moments haven’t been about battles and conflict, but about exploring and understanding other people.
That’s not to say you can’t have some ship battles some times, but a new series that focuses on that optimism of science and exploration, seeking out bold new worlds and civilizations would be a fitting love letter to Star Trek’s legacy more than an action-focused series. Voyager may not be the most loved or critically-appraised Star Trek show, but its aim of recapturing that sense of exploration found in the original series was a noble one.
Star Trek has some iconic alien species—the Klingons, the Romulans, the Vulcans, and so many more. But it also has a slightly mocking reputation for having swathes of races that are little more than humans with a dab of makeup on.
Today we’re living in a world where Television can do much more with effects, both practical and CGI—we have shows like The Flash or Game of Thrones or Doctor Who giving us amazing creations and creatures born from either digital artists or prosthetics masters. It wouldn’t be Star Trek without new aliens to meet, and we’d love to see some truly amazing new species that can stand alongside the show’s icons.
Star Trek is no stranger to a diverse cast of main characters. The original series broke boundaries with the addition of Uhura and Sulu to the main . It’s had a Black Captain in DS9’s Sisko, and a Female Captain in Voyager’s Janeway. So some diversity wouldn’t be new—it’d just be carrying on the Star Trek trend.
But there’s still opportunities to shake things up a little. Could we get a LGBTQ bridge officers and Captains? More ethnicities among the humans? Hell, why not more alien crew members? An alien Captain may not be entirely feasible, but it’d be an interesting prospect. As long as the cast as a whole is emblematic of Rodenberry’s original vision for Starfleet, a world where people of all classes, genders, and races were united, it’ll be great.
You might have noticed that a lot of the things I’ve focused on here emphasize either doing something new, or adding a new twist to something that Star Trek has already done. Because even though this new show is being created as part of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, above all that it should be adding something new to the franchise.
In an age of Sequels and Reboots, we already have the Star Trek movies being a direct reboot of the original series. That’s all well and good for the films, but a new Trek TV show shouldn’t just be a rehash of series past. If anything, it should keep those series at arm’s length—respect them, love them, reference them, but don’t just retell them. It should be connected, but standalone, just as the shows before it were. We already saw how bad that could be when Star Trek Into Darkness revealed itself as a mild reheat of Wrath of Khan. After so many years of waiting, a new series that just did that for one of the past series would be monumentally disappointing.
What’s given Star Trek such a fantastic longevity to the point that we can even be talking about a new series, 50 years later, is that each addition to the franchise took the basic premise and added something of its own to it. Above anything else we want this new Star Trek to forge ahead as its own thing: to boldly go where no Star Trek has gone before.
Agree or Disagree? What do you want out of a new Star Trek show? As always, let us know in the comments.