Star Trek Discovery 

It won’t be long now before the sixth series of Star Trek hits the TV screens. Annoyingly, the plan is to air Star Trek Discovery behind a ‘pay wall’, namely by sticking on the streaming service Netflix. To be, this goes against the ideals of inclusiveness and openness that Star Trek is all about. Yes, studios want to make money and I get that streaming is big business, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’ll not be paying out still more money for the sake of one show, even if Star Trek is wired into my DNA. 

That aside, this post isn’t really a rant about that, but rather, it’s about the ferocious criticisms of a show that hasn’t even aired yet. I’ve seen posts on Twitter that complain this show ‘is made for social justice warriors’ and that they won’t be watching it – for those of you wondering what’s meant by that, their issue is with a black female lead, a Chinese woman as a captain and the inclusion of at least one homosexual character. 

Guys, this is Star Trek, a franchise built upon challenging misconceptions and giving social issues a platform. Anyone who’s seen the original 1960s show will be fully aware of the social commentary on offer, to say nothing of the controversy it generated. Subsequent shows have continued to offer up this sort of thing. It’s what Star Trek does. Besides, the tantrums being thrown on the web at the idea of women in charge only go to show why putting them in charge in necessary. Something needs to push back against this sort of misogyny, and it’s not just misogyny.

Racism plays a part in the objections too. I don’t recall the idea of Captain Janeway – a woman – in Voyager creating nearly as much of a backlash as the casting of Michelle Yeoh as Captain Han Bo and Sonequa Martin as Commander Rainsford. Might it be because Yeoh is Chinese and Martin is black? Are we not only as a fanbase hung up on female leads, but on race as well? 

Come on people. Star Trek was placing black women on the bridge of a starship in the 1960s. Have we made no progress since then? Are we not a fanbase of inclusion? Where are the principles of diversity and equality that the show itself has long practiced? Let’s not shame ourselves by rejecting the core message at the heart of the franchise. We are not sexist, or racist, or homophobic. Let’s be better than that.

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  1. Hello Meerkat! It’s been awhile since we last talked from within the depths of Youtube, but I was casually browsing the web and thought I’d give the site a visit.

    Off the topic from the post, but I LOVE the layout.

    Right, back on track here. I completely agree on the paywall…it makes no sense to me.

    As far as the era of inclusiveness, however, I do have to disagree. It’s not that I’m a racist (I’m Native American and white mix myself) but the entire point of Star Trek is the characters themselves. You aren’t supposed to look at them and think, “Oh, a black person.” You are supposed to look and think, “Oh, that’s Benjamin Sisko [or insert other character name].” Discovery…doesn’t have that feel for me. The central premise of Star Trek was never the multiculturalism, it was the belief in working together. Looking past race, not slamming all the races together to pander towards diversity.

    Not only that, a TV show directly alienating half of its viewership by directly implicating anyone who supports, well, You-Know-Who, is evil certainly shows a displacement between the writers in Hollywood and their audience. C’mon, we’re better than this! Making a political enemy into the badguy in a story you write is something I did in elementary!

    Off of the track of multiculturalism for a bit, though, and we hit another odd issue. Canon. It’s set “10 years before Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise” so one would think TOS-style uniforms, right? The rebbot movies of the Kelvin timeline, before Nero’s messing with the timeline itself, showed uniforms not that different from the TOS T-shirts. Discovery feels like it should be in the timeframe of the USS Franklin with their uniforms and bridge style, not basically the TOS timeframe.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    1. Hi Kåre! I hope all is well, and I’m pleased you like the site layout – I tinkered with it a few times before settling on this one – eventually, I’ll overhaul it again, but for now, I like this look 🙂

      I dare say my own, early experiences with some fans has highlighted a complete rejection of the principles of the original show – TOS gave us a diverse bridge, including a black woman, Asian man and a Russian at the height of Cold War tensions – Discovery gives us a black woman, a Chinese woman (at least in the pilot) and will feature a same-sex couple, doing what Star Trek has always done in terms of diverse crews – and fans are rejecting it, on that basis. This means they’re effectively rejecting what TOS did, and they’re rejecting a major part of Star Trek.

      In the show itself, Michael being black hasn’t been a subject of comment, but within the fan base, there have been people moaning. Likewise about having homosexual characters. Their mere existence is an affront to so-called fans who misunderstand what Star Trek stands for.

      I agree that the look and style of Discovery is jarring. It might have been best served as being a reboot. However, the statements from the producers are that the show is canon, so we have to proceed on that basis.

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