CBS Launches a Star Trek series ideal for the Trump era
For those of you who may not have heard, CBS has just launched a new Star Trek series, set ten years before the iconic “original” ship captain James T. Kirk would assume command of the starship Enterprise.
This isn’t your daddy’s Trek: for one, the first episode was broadcast last night on the CBS network, with the remaining episodes streaming on the newly-launched CBS All Access platform.
For another, the tone is radically different: without disclosing too many spoilers, Discovery’s plotline begins when a ship from the United Federation of Planets, representing dozens of intelligent species armada of ships focused on exploration and humanitarian outreach, has the first encounter in about a century with a spacefaring warrior race, the Klingons. The cliffhanger situation with which to opening episode concludes appears poised not to end well for wither side.
Ian Millheiser writes:
The core of Star Trek has always been its optimism: its deep, unyielding belief that humanity shall, in President Obama’s words, “choose our better history.” Its audacity is its hopefulness.
Star Trek: Discovery, the latest chapter in the venerable franchise, arrives at a very different time than the original series. It arrives at a time when many are wondering if the arc of the moral universe really does bend towards justice. It arrives when the forces of prejudice and hate that retreated in the 1960s have staged a powerful counterattack. It arrives while those forces control the White House itself.
And it is also a very different show. Darker and much more conflicted. Unsure of its own moral vision. Discovery is a Star Trek series for the Trump era. It is a Star Trek universe in which the Klingons are still a vicious, evil foe — and in which they very well could win.
Not only are they evil and vicious – and (spoiler) cult-like – but you could even say they are deplorable, as Helen Daly in the Express suggests:
A huge [number] of Klingons are seen preparing for battle in the teasing clip, with the leader riling up his troops by telling them: “We have become complacent since we last battled. They come to destroy our individuality. Great leaders, look to the stars… Our destiny has arrived.”
Some have noticed that there is a similarity between Donald Trump and the new Klingons
He then yells: “Fire!” as a series of explosions fill the screen and endanger the lives of the Discovery heroes.
It’s not just a war in space, as hand-to-hand combat hits the screen, making this one of the most violent installments of the hit science-fiction show ever.
However, some have been quick to find a link between the Klingons and President Trump, particularly towards the end of the trailer where the leader shouts: “Shall we rise up together and give them the fight they deserve? Remain Klingon!”
CNet reports that show runners Harbarts and Gretchen J.Berg began production for Discovery just a week before the 2016 presidential election in America.
With the aliens’ main catchphrase now “Remain Klingon”, the website suggests that it is similar to the “isolationistic” approach of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Furthermore, Harberts referred directly to the recent Charlottesville riots when discussing his writing process, saying: “When you’re distressed about things and you’re a writer, you get to write about it.”
And several of the actors who play the series’ central characters got a little political yesterday:
Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green pointedly kneeled for an Instagram post along with the CBS show’s executive producer Akiva Goldsman and several other members of the cast (such as Anthony Rapp, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Wiseman, Mary Chieffo and Shazad Latif). The image included the hashtags #StarTrekDiscovery #takeaknee. The post went live a few hours after the world premiere of Discovery on CBS.