The first Star Trek Discovery trailer hit yesterday and we keep getting asked what we think. So here goes:
First and foremost, we at Axanar LOVE Star Trek. I have personally been a fan for 50 years, longer than anyone at CBS or Paramount has worked on Star Trek. 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 I am looking forward to the new Star Trek as much as any fan. I have my reservations though.
First of all, CBS fired Bryan Fuller. Huge mistake. Fuller has already proven that he is one of the best show runners in Hollywood with both Hannibal and now American Gods. Letting him and a bunch of the creative team go handicapped the new Star Trek from the start. Can it recover? We hope so, but we will always wonder what it could have been with Fuller at the helm (Just look at the rave reviews Fuller’s American Gods is getting.)
Second, 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.
Third, if this takes place 10 years before Kirk, then the crew should NOT be wearing the Starfleet chevron, which Gene Roddenberry himself stated was only adopted by Starfleet after the return of the Enterprise from her first 5 year mission (see the TMP novelization). We all know this. The Discovery crew ignored this fact (as did the JJ movies it is only fair to point out). We specifically address this in Axanar by using different patches for different ships which is one of the things fans love, our acknowledgement of the minutiae of the universe. It would have gone a long way to winning hard core fans if Discovery did the same thing (but OK if you acknowledge it is a reboot like JJ did).
I really think most of the things hard core fans have an issue with all would have been solved by NOT placing this 10 years before Kirk. The ships would look right, the chevron would have been correct, the fact that everything looks like it takes place years after Voyager would have been fine! Why go back when fans want to see the story move forward? (Let us fans deal with the past in our fan films, since we frankly do a pretty good job at it). I bet we would even let the Klingons slide! (though we really all would have loved to have seen JG Hertzler as the Chancellor Martok!).
OK, that being said, I am looking forward to Discovery. How could a Star Trek fan not? Give it a chance. I know many of you are pissed about the JJ movies, or Enterprise, or whatever. But remember we are Star Trek fans and there is that idea that we live by certain enlightened values, one of which is IDIC: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Is this not the perfect opportunity to try and live by that value?
No one says you have to shell out the $ for it. The premier will be on CBS, so you can watch for free. After that, go watch at a friend’s house.
Meanwhile, we will be watching on the bridge of the USS Ares at OWC Studios in Atlanta, and you are ALL invited!