Everyone knows Star Trek. It’s a thing. A pop cultural force. The originator of pop culture fandom. “Spock-with-a-beard” is shorthand for parallel universes; kids know about “Mirror, Mirror” before they can do math reliably. It’s a fifty year old phenomenon. Everybody in entertainment now grew up on it. There are goddamn tenets to the thing.
So, please, somebody. Tell me why the folks making Star Trek in 2017 don’t know if something is Star Trek or not? For obvious craftsmen who can sculpt a phaser and put three nozzles on it to echo the lasers of “The Cage,” nobody thinks how iconic the gold, blue, red uniform thing is? Oh, never mind; forget that. “A rose by any other name should smell as sweet,” yeah? Except it doesn’t.
Star Trek: Discovery is a flower, yeah, but it’s not a rose, and it doesn’t smell sweet. One of the main hallmarks of Star Trek is to seek out new worlds, and new civilizations. No one makes assumptions, and no one interferes with the society they find. In “Bread and Circuses,” McCoy spells it out: “No identification of self, or mission; no interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space, or the fact that there are other worlds or more advanced civilizations.”
That’s it. That’s all anybody ever said about the Prime Directive in TOS. Oh, sure, you can assume all sorts of stuff and extrapolate to your heart’s content. Most everyone has an idea what this means, though. Go make friends, and, failing that, don’t throw a wrench into what you find. Pack out your trash; live lightly.
So somebody explain to me why it looks like they’ve captured an alien being to navigate through space like they did in
Dune and made it look like a giant version of the little microscopic dude that all the nerds love on the Internet? Are these guys so creatively bereft? I looked at my wife at the first act break and she just rolled her eyes. Star Trek for Millennials, she said. Sure, Kirk violated the Prime Directive left and right, but at least he nodded to the fact that maybe he shouldn’t have, and here’s a flimsy excuse to get us out to the end credits. This show doesn’t even seem to admit it exists. Rehka Sharma’s character got killed doing the most un-Star Trek thing possible. She literally went in
to attack a being to cut its claws off for science experimentation without knowing anything about it. Anyone watching this show who knows what NO KILL I means had to be just scratching their head at the idiocy. It’s like they wanted
to kill the character to prove some kind of anti-Star Trek point.
Speaking of points, here’s some deep thoughts, cheap shots, and bon mots (to steal from Scott Ostler):
It’s just so generic, and, when it isn’t, it’s stealing from BSG or Dune or something.
Jason Isaacs is the only one I like. He’s like Han Solo, or Jack Sparrow, or Goose from Top Gun. He’s in a different show than everyone else.
“Displacement-activated spore hub drive!” I don’t even know what to say about that.
I gotta admit I’m done with reading Klingon subtitles. i just do not give a crap. Sure hope they aren’t imparting any salient plot points because I get up to pee during that idiot affectation.
I feel badly for the actors they make learn nonsense syllables and try to talk around the ice cubes in their mouths with a rubber bag over their heads. It’s all so idiotic.
They’re delivering mail to Burnham? How did they get the telescope in the first place? I know when I’m fleeing an exploding spaceship, I like to grab all my friends’ stuff in case I have to Space UPS it to next-of-kin. While leaving a fully-functional dilithium processing George Foreman grill just sitting there for people to pick up.
And by “people,” I mean “Klingons” who have just been hanging around the space battle junkyard for six months. That makes sense.
I’m not going to even get into the acanonical use of the Franz Josef Tech manual UFP flag or the direct line Johnny Starbase has to NCC-007 because the primary hull is spinning like a giant fidget spinner. Star Trek for Millennials, she said.
And let’s leave you with the hero, John Price: “Nothing about this show makes sense to me. Like, The Star Trek Universe is a thing. It’s a thing with a coherent, detailed history spanning the 1990s into the 25th century. You can’t just make shit up and call it Star Trek and then get all pissy when people call bullshit. It’s a friggin ‘verse’ — you can’t just say ‘Oh, I’m making a new Tolkien movie and it’s set between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and in it Frodo’s cousin is actually a seven foot tall sea monster but it’s still canon.’ Or ‘I’m making a new canon Star Wars movie but in it Wookies are actually blue fish and the Millennium Falcon is a snow speeder.’
“And in all of these layers of nonsense, we’ve lost sight of a glaringly stupid error that proves this isn’t the prime timeline: there are aliens on that ship. There should be exactly zero aliens on a human ship pre-TOS. Segregated crews, y’all. Welcome to the whole point of ‘Spock’s character’ — he’s not welcome on the Vulcan ships and has to serve on a human ship.”
I just love Price. Also, I love how they said this is The Primeline and yet nothing about it jibes with what we already know. It’s like they dared hardcore Trekkies to poke holes in their cheese and then didn’t even bother to set it up correctly.