Author Topic: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore  (Read 140 times)

Offline Hydra009

Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« on: February 26, 2020, 11:50:26 PM »
Let me start off by saying that I love Star Trek.  I grew up watching Star Trek, and it has profoundly influenced my life to the point that I've essentially internalized Roddenbery's vision for the future, a future where people of all races and nationalities live and work together and mankind ventures forth to the stars with a secular humanist ethics and a love of discovery and diplomacy and compassion instead of myopic bigotries and superstition and cruelty.  To me, that's the core of Star Trek.  Trek is ultimately an optimistic series where mankind struggles but eventually succeeds in mastering its own dark impulses, joins the galactic stage as a truly mature race, and ever pushes forth into the beyond.  Without that core vision, Trek is nothing.

For decades now, Trek has slowly broken off from that vision and has slowly become something else entirely, something dark and nasty and... depressing.  It's hard to say exactly when that started, but it has become increasingly noticeable and now with Star Trek Picard, it is super obvious and incredibly off-putting.

In TNG, we're told that humanity no longer has need of money, that disease and poverty have been eradicated, that people's passion in life isn't the accumulation of wealth or objects, but the improvement of oneself and one's skills.

Cut to ST: Picard and Earth looks like something out of Blade Runner, almost everyone are space racists and don't give a fuck about other people, no one is happy, people complain about lack of money several times, people are straight up dicks for seemingly no reason, terrorism is super in vogue, and apparently drug addiction and pop-up ads (dafuq) are still a thing.

And if that weren't bad enough, even the best people are just these abysmal wrecks of human beings who haven't done anything good with their lives for the past 20 years and just live for revenge or wealth or some sort of aimless self-indulgence.  And by the way, there is little to no exploration whatsoever for these people.

And the brutality of this series...  I mean, there have been some pretty messed up deaths on Star Trek, no doubt about it.  But the tone and the casual brutality of some of these deaths makes Battlestar Galactica look like My Little Pony.  It's just super grimdark in a series whose main selling point is that it's nobebright.

I had to explain some of this stuff to my brother.  Imagine 20 years into the future where Jake Sisko is an adult, but he's living in some shack and his girlfriend is a heroin junkie and she owes the mob so they torture Joseph Sisko and burn down his restaurant. So Jake goes on this murder spree and shoves a red-hot poker through the mob boss's eye.  That's the level of dark and twisted that Star Trek is on right now.  And I've gotta ask, who the hell is this for?  Cause it isn't for me and it damn sure isn't a family show.

Like honestly, I half expect to see Wesley Crusher covered head to toe with tribal tats and the word "damaged" written across his forehead and a deep scar over one of his eyes.  And he wields an energy katana against a bunch of motorcycle-helmeted goons who continually teleport down around him.

Like seriously, wtf.  I had hope that ST: Discovery would pull Trek around.  I was bitterly disappointed.  And recently, I've put all my hope in Picard's last ditch effort to save this franchise.  An even more crushing disappointment.

Unless things change in a big way in the future, Star Trek is dead to me.  And to my knowledge, the last ember of Trek still alive is in The Orville, which technically isn't Star Trek but shares the same aesthetic and central themes as TNG.

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« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 08:20:25 AM by Hydra009 »

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 01:11:10 AM »
Thanks for the warning. I was planning to subscribe to CBS to watch Discovery and Picard but now I'll pass. I love Star Trek, including the novels. It seems like a lot of writers believe that dystopian futures automatically have more gravitas and that dark, gritty pessimism is more true to life but creating a functional utopian future is difficult. If I remember correctly, in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture: A Novel", which is the only Star Trek novel written by Gene Roddenberry, the humans who were interested in space travel were considered less enlightened than the general population. Most of the people of Earth, having no material needs, were essentially self-actualized and therefore had little desire for adventure or novelty. Setting stories in that kind of atmosphere requires as much or more creativity than the typical man-versus-man or man-versus-nature themes, which are staples of dystopian stories.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 08:42:41 AM by GSOgymrat »
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline Hydra009

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 02:18:25 AM »
If I remember correctly, in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture: A Novel", which is the only Star Trek novel written by Gene Roddenberry, the humans who were interested in space travel were considered less enlightened than the general population. Most of the people of Earth, having no material needs, were essentially self-actualized and therefore had little desire for adventure or novelty.
That makes sense, though one wonders why Starfleet is so prestigious if the average person doesn't see the appeal.

And apparently humans on Earth keep busy with some extremely creative stuff, like making a subcontinent out of nothing (The TNG episode, Family, gives us a rare gimpse of Earth as well as telling us that Picard's childhood friend Louis is working on creating a new subcontinent called Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.)

My picture of civilian humans was that they're very creative and inventive, pouring their heart into great cultural and engineering feats as well as visiting other planets and cultures.  Sure, there are people who leads rough and tumble lives like the Maquis, but that's at the extreme edge of the spectrum.  Most people aren't like that.  And then there are still some diehard traditionalists like Joseph Sisko (who runs his own restaurant for fun) and Picard's brother (who tends a vineyard).  And once again, this is a minority.  Most people aren't that traditional.

Suffice it to say these creative humans leading fulfilled lives are very different from the civilians in ST:Picard.  These people are more like Walking Dead characters, but less likable or memorable.  And written even more poorly.  Such a crying shame.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 02:19:56 AM by Hydra009 »

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 06:11:40 AM »
I read the subject line and thought "Well, that's a relief."
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 09:38:56 AM »
Suffice it to say these creative humans leading fulfilled lives are very different from the civilians in ST:Picard.  These people are more like Walking Dead characters, but less likable or memorable.  And written even more poorly.  Such a crying shame.

That's very disappointing because there is so much material for writers to draw from. I assumed the story would center on Picard and how he approaches aging and transitions into a new life on Earth. This is someone who has traveled the galaxy, become a Borg, experienced the Nexus and even lived an entire lifetime as a member of a different culture. What person living a simple life on Earth could relate to that? What is Picard's place on Earth and what is Earth's place in a universe of different cultures? As an amateur archeologist, he could be visiting other planets and getting into all kinds of situations. He could have to confront the mistakes he made through the years. Hell, whatever happened with those parasitic aliens that infiltrated Star Fleet? There is so much that could be explored!
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline Hydra009

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 10:29:49 AM »
What is Picard's place on Earth and what is Earth's place in a universe of different cultures?
Drowning in regret and guilt and being hated by just about everyone he meets.  As for humanity as a whole, they're perpetually living in a state of fear and isolation and bitterness.  Really compelling stuff, lemme tell ya. Practically ripped from today's headlines. 

One might assume that the writers are painting such a bleak picture so that Picard can turn things around and rekindle hope, but there is absolutely no indication that this is the case.  In fact, humanity's psychological wounds and Starfleet's abandonment of its core values are so long-lasting and complete that it's almost inconceivable that any victory could possibly undo the damage.  In fact, a major character whose words carry a lot of weight outright states that Picard is an old fool and that his view of the inherent goodness of humanity is naive and wrong.  And we're talking about the same Picard who convinced Q that mankind is good enough to spare from destruction.  It's all very strange.

Imho, this new show's writing actively harms existing lore and hurts enjoyment of the old series, analogous to Game of Thrones infamous last season.

Online Munch

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2020, 11:26:23 AM »
It's like the 90s all over again, that edgy bullshit where everyone's an emotional basketcase
'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' - George Carlin

Offline Baruch

Re: Star Trek isn't Star Trek anymore
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2020, 11:51:15 AM »
It's like the 90s all over again, that edgy bullshit where everyone's an emotional basketcase

Blame Euripides.  Sophocles and Aristophanes aren't responsible for this tragi-comedy.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't to that.