As I have said many times, “We at Axanar LOVE Star Trek.” And that means we love all Star Trek. Sure, some is better than others, and sometimes a certain flavor isn’t to your liking, to which I say IDIC. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. There is something for everyone in Star Trek.
So sometimes I am amazed how vitriolic fans are about things they don’t like! Some fans are downright obsessive about what they don’t like about their beloved franchise. And I honestly think fans go way too far with this sometimes. But fans take ownership of their franchises.
Look, I have personally been a fan for 50 years, longer than anyone at CBS or Paramount has worked on Star Trek. Yeah, I don’t like all the decisions that CBS makes, and I can argue that I have more reason to hate Star Trek than any other Star Trek fan, but guess what? I don’t! The lawsuit didn’t make me lose one ounce of love for this beloved franchise, as I can separate the current owners of the IP from the franchise itself.
So when someone complains that we bash JJ Trek, or Star Trek Discovery or even CBS, I have to respond “Have you read anything we posted?”. My last article on Star Trek Discovery’s new trailer pretty much sums up what we think, and our hopes that Discovery will be good. Because we want all Star Trek to be successful. I was genuinely disappointed that Star Trek Beyond didn’t do better at the box office, because I was pulling for Justin Lin, the director, to make a great movie. And I think it was really good with some great Star trek moments. So yeah, we want Discovery to be good!
And I know all the issues the production has had. I probably have more inside info on the Star Trek Discovery production than almost anyone not working on the show. I know people who work there, and have friends who have filled me in. Yeah, it is not good. The things I could share! But I don’t. Because not only would that betray confidences, but I want to wish for the best, hope Discovery overcomes all of its challenges, and is ultimately successful. Good Star Trek is good for us all.
Do I like everything I see coming from Discovery? No, and the new photo of the “transporter room” makes my point about what my only real issue is once again for me. So let me quote my last article:
“This is NOT the Prime Timeline. This is a reboot or an alternate timeline like JJ created. You can say all you want that Discovery takes place in the Prime Timeline but the fact is the Prime Timeline has been defined by TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and even Enterprise. Discovery doesn’t even remotely look like any of those shows, and doesn’t try to. It clearly looks more advanced than Voyager, and the Klingons aren’t Prime Timeline Klingons. So this is a reboot.
And that in itself is FINE! We have no problem with a reboot, and I am huge fan of the fact that JJ Abrams and his team made their movies an alternate timeline. That was genius and why not just say that CBS? Let’s be honest, this is a reboot, embrace it. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is trying to tell us this is prime timeline when it clearly isn’t. I LOVE the idea of the Star Trek multiverse. FASA, the novels, the comics, these are all alternate timelines and that is what makes the Star Trek universe great.”
So Star Trek fans, see? I can have issues with Star Trek without hating it. Heck, you may not even think it IS Star Trek, and that would be fine. We each have our own head canon, the things we feel belong in our Star Trek universe, and that is personal to each of you. Some of you hate Enterprise, or the JJ movies and don’t consider them canon. Well, that is your personal head canon and I am all for you loving what you want to love. Just don’t hate what you don’t like!
So please everyone, in a time when there is so much dissension about our politics, in the country, let us keep Star Trek a safe harbor where we can agree to disagree. But let’s tone down the “hate” rhetoric.
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“Canon”. And I generally agree with you.
Totally agree with your sentiments. I could live with a reboot no problem. New crews, new ships. To me it’s the stories, acting, and message that is paramount. Looks maybe off, but if it deals with current issues, and problems like TOS, I’ll give it a shot. BTW if it does not repeat, could you spill the beans after the dust settles…..?
Well, Alec, how do I respond to such a piece? As another 50 year fan of Trek, the only thing I can say is….you nailed it. Personally I have enjoyed all varieties of Trek, to some degree, over the years. Not everything has been a favourite, but nothing has been hated. I have stated this in many forums over the years, and it is still my trump card in any discussion (presuming that term hasn’t been totally destroyed by your current presidential incumbent). Any Trek is better than NO Trek! Good Trek inspires more than jus the imagination, it inspires progress of a cultural and technological nature like no other show before or since. Not so good Trek (I refuse to call it bad Trek) inspires us to do better…to make Trek better next time, and to be better versions of ourselves, as it shows us nothing is perfect. There were fans that hated TNG when it came out …don’t hear from them so much any more. Haters of DS9, as it was on a space station, not starship…some grumble around, but none that say anything about the racial aspect of Sisco. Some grumbles about Voyager, admittedly not my favourite iteration…but that will always be TOS, that improved as it went on. Enterprise…I loved it, many didn’t. Again, improved as they went on, and a great shame to have been cut down early, as it showed great promise in the planning for future episodes/seasons. JJverse movies…great films for a bit of escapism, in the least. Beyond was the best so far, and shows signs of returning to true Trek roots. I would dearly love to see more fan productions, along side much more ‘official’ content, as, for me, there can never be enough Trek. But I am disappointed that there are people out there who say they love, understand, and ‘get’ Trek…and then complain about what comes out…the whole “Not my Trek” crowd. How can you say you understand and identify with Trek and complain that there isn’t enough whitepeoplein Discovery? Something that is doing the rounds at present. At the same time, how dare CBS say this is not a reboot, but a series set in the prime timeline of TOS? They say in the trailer (which was pleasantly surprising in that it was good) that it is 10 years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise… So, CBS doesn’t get Trek? That seems to be what they are saying, as anyone who knows TOS cannon…official cannon, that CBS are now custodians of, know that 10 years before Kirks 5 year mission as Captain of the Enterprise, he was serving in Starfleet already, and Spock was already serving onboard Enterprise! If you must rail about something, don’t rail against any version of Trek people…rail against CBS for continually lying to us. But don’t hate Discovery as a result of CBS’s way of trying to placate the fans or because they want to make you pay to see it…because it will be along time between Discovery and the next show if it fails.
As a aside, as much as I have enjoyed a certain other fan production, can I just say I find it disappointing that the lead for that production (one that is exempt, apparently, from the 15 minute 2 episode rule of the new CBS guidelines) would hammer the Axanar team, even if he didn’t mention it by name, in a recent interview in which it is pointed out they won’t be doing the 13 episodes they planned, but will be putting out another 3, along side the 8 already released (episode 8 after the new guidelines are out).
LLAP. Long live Axanar!
Did you consider Star Trek: The Motion Picture to be a reboot? The Klingons there looked very different from the TOS Klingons. Worf didn’t even want to talk about it. I know that Enterprise came up with a cute solution, but it is weak. Did you consider Star Trek: The Next Generation to be a reboot? How many Romulans had forehead ridges in TOS? Did you consider Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to be a reboot? Jadzia looked nothing like the first Trill we met in TNG. This is Star Trek, baby.
Changing make up does not make a reboot.
I agree… we should be allowed to disagree without looking to bury the other person.
Personally, I don’t recall ever saying that I hate Discovery — if I have, I’m certain someone will find it and point it out to me. BUT! I have said and continue to say that the production has disappointed me.
The reason for that disappointment starts with what you have said, Alec: CBS has been trying to sell Discovery as an “original timeline” series. This statement might fly with those that are rather new to Star Trek (though that is suspect if any attention was paid to the settings that even Enterprise used). For anyone, like you and I (the 50+’ers) it is blatantly obvious that this series has tossed aside everything that represents the original timeline — other than the use of the insignia and “Star Trek.”
Although another “alternate timeline” series would not have garnered great enthusiasm from me; seeing a series touted as being in the original timeline only to see that is most certainly cannot be, makes my disappointment in the things I’ve seen all the deeper.
The Klingons are utterly different! Who knows — we’ve only seen little teaser images of what might be other “well known” alien species — what will be done to other previously experienced alien species in this “re-imagining.”
These types of betrayals — I call them this because of CBS’s initial “original timeline” statement — ensure that Discovery will have a steep hill to climb for long-time fans like myself who when hearing CBS’s statement envisioned something more on the lines of what Axanar was to be (in the full length version).
As I’ve also said many times: I will watch the pilot to see if I can “overcome my now implanted prejudice” (think Gorkon to Kirk in ST:VI) and assess Discovery on whatever merits may have.
Fortunately for myself, and other Canadians we do not need to bite the bitter bullet of paying for CBS AllAccess to see more than the pilot; here ‘we’ can watch on Space (a cable channel). Which, I suppose will give Discovery a little more leeway to be accepted should the pilot episode be, like most pilots, a “toss-up” with respect to continued future viewing.
Well said Alec! I ‘ really pulling for Discovery, and getting tired of the critiques.
Let’s just see what happens.
I am a purist. While I am looking forward to Disovery, I wish it was in the Prime Timeline. There is a small voice in the back of my mind that says, “You call this Trek? On what planet and galaxy is this Trek? Then I recite cannon and mentally flip them the bird, then watch Trek on YouTube.” I guess this is what happens when you are a first generation Trekker. I hope it’s good and we can all enjoy it.
Amen dear sir, amen. I cannot agree with you more. I think everyone has their own idea of what is canon and what isn’t in the Star Trek universe. I don’t think anyone should “hate” something just because it’s not their cup of tea. (I’m not a big fan of tea but I don’t “hate” the people who do like it.) I think as true Star Trek fans we need to start to learn how to get along with people who have different ideas than ours. We need to stop the hate, stop the bashing and just enjoy the universes that we all get to imagine.
I also been a fan of Star Trek for at least 50 years but I want this to fail. Their last movies were not any good and so far from what I’ve seen of Discovery makes me think it’s also not going to be any good. CBS needs to learn from their mistakes and the only way to do that is for Discovery to fail. If people watch this then CBS will think they are doing a good job and the next thing they will create will be just as bad. The Orville looks more like Star Trek than Discovery does and that’s sad. People shouldn’t pay to watch Discovery they should let it fail and let CBS learn from their mistakes.
Me too! One of my earliest memories was watching TOS with my father on an old Motorola B&W. all Trek is good regardless of the production values
While I am not enthused about Discovery, that isn’t a big deal. I’ve not been enthused about much of anything that CBS/Paramount has done with Trek in quite a while. I did like the first reboot movie well enough to watch it again (and I have done so more than once) but the second offered nothing that I enjoyed and I can barely even remember watching it because it struck me as so very ‘meh.’ I don’t hate it. It just doesn’t appeal. Heck, I got a lifetime membership to the StarTrek MMORPG when it came out, but I’ve played it maybe twice in nine months for the same reason. The majority of it just doesn’t appeal.
Discovery seems to be taking a lot of odd tacks and making a lot of odd choices that I don’t understand. For example, a friend of mine who is a big Star Trek fan (and is black, which matters here shortly) refuses to watch it because, as she says, “When they made that Klingon did they just find the most offensive caricatures of my race from the 20’s and 30’s and say ‘Yeah, that looks good.’?” I can see why she says that, and I understand her point of view. It just doesn’t seem to be a smart choice, but that isn’t out of character. I may watch Discovery sometime in the future when it is on reruns or something, but I just don’t feel the need to do so now because of what CBS/Paramount seems to have done with it. It doesn’t appeal to me, and that is fine because it is their IP and they can do whatever they want with it. And I can just watch my favorite episodes of the Original Series, Next Gen, or DS9 and be happy with that.
Make what you want, CBS/Paramount. Try to catch the lightning in a bottle again. But it’d help if you’d focus more on the kinds of things that the fan films have shown that people like, such as well-defined, appealing, and interesting main story lines (that preferably aren’t serials), characters, and secondary stories (which can be ongoing). Maybe Discovery will have that. Who knows?
I watched Enterprise and Voyager again. Both I have a love/hate relationship with. DS9 in my opinion was brilliant. Having said that, I understand what ENT was all about. TOS was made made in the 60’s on a very low budget, ENT tried to make Star Trek relevant in our day and age with the new tech on the ship. If TOS was made today, it would probably be like ENT or the new series. Although I wish the series would be set post Nemesis or Voyager, We “trekkers” need to understand that things nee to be updated to fit within the age we live in to garner new “trekkers” for the future. As us “oldies” are surely to pass on. And if we have to pass on, then what better way to do it is to let time update, imaginate, create and propagate the idea of Star Trek for our future generations. Long Live and Prosper!
So, am I getting this right? Folks are upset because the production values don’t appear to be retro? Ridiculous. If this show came out and the settings were all egg crates and cardboard boxes, warp nacelles made out of disposable razors, and so forth, there would have been wild screaming about how cheap and disrespectful the thing is. Art doesn’t exist in a bottle. Each series is an interpretation of what has come before, whether as a prequel like this one, or Enterprise, a sequel like TNG or DS9. I don’t want to see creative teams using backwards tech to mimic the past. Expecting Discovery (I refuse to use STD) to look and feel like its predecessors. Coleridge urged us to suspend our disbelief. This shouldn’t even be an issue on a show the basic premise of which is that man invents faster than light travel, artificial gravity, and soars around a galaxy without benefit of spacesuits in order to get into weekly hijinks with the numerous alien species almost all of which are bipedal and fully versed in the King’s English. Are we that lacking in imagination that newly imagined Klingon head knobs make us whoozy? In the words of our mortal leader: #Sad.
As always Alec, this is a really good post! Best wishes from Margaret
As always well written and stated Alec.
The biggest problem about Star Trek having shows, series or movie that would be place before TOS, is the look.
Star Trek TOS was done in the 60’s, everyone know the technology and the imagination of future technology was very different from our present time. FX on television or movie were pretty much human inventive.
Now if we compare today technology, Star Trek Enterprise fit more with what a future ship might look like. TOS use lots of buttons, sure it was done in the 60’s. If TOS was to be redone, it would look like more JJ version, then that might fit better with our current trend of technology we use at the moment. Touch screen, verbal command and etc. I bet even that TNG, DS9 and Voyager could look very differently with today technology compare to what was use when they made them.
But my biggest problem with Discovery, is the time and the technology. Time, Star Trek need to evolve and continue, not go backward. It need to go forward. I would like to see after Voyager, what would happen next. I have Star Trek Online doing the job for this. But it is a game.
Technology, what I saw in the trailer, tell me that if this 10 years before TOS then what happen between Enterprise and TOS. The engineer decided that, to hell with a basis and try something new….come on CBS, Engineer will not scrap a design being used for decades just for the fun of it. I am speaking about the transporters. Even the design of the ship need to be rethink.
I bet that the show writers will be able to make great stories on the show. But as far as the techs goes in the story, it does not fit for Prime but goes very well with the JJ verse or another universe.
That is my opinion. I find that Star Trek Fan are doing a good job at telling stories in the TOS era. But I have to compare Discovery versus Axanar and I must say, I prefer to wait and see Axanar way before Discovery. For the story and the amazing work done on the modeling, texturing of the animation.
I’m a Star Trek fan since around 35 years, I love Star Trek universe, I love the shows, the movies.