Gene would have been disappointed by Star Trek Discovery
I have been a huge Star Trek fan since watching TNG, DS9, and VOY episodes as they aired since I was 6. Additionally, I watched TOS reruns throughout my childhood and teens and have continued to watch episodes throughout my 20s. I have literally seen 1000s of hours worth of Star Trek, so yes, to get it out of the way now, I am that angry Star Trek nerd most of you hate.
The Problem: Everything is dark & pessimistic, it lacks Gene’s Vision
Many writers fought Gene Roddenberry (the creator of Star Trek) because he would not allow them to include crew conflict or portray humanity as vile or evil, Gene always cultivated an optimistic view of the future of humanity.
Gene really did want people to have hope in our future as a species, and although writers took liberties in later series, things never got to the level at which Star Trek Discovery is at. Here are many direct quotes from Gene and the people he worked with which should truly clarify that if he were alive today, he would be disappointed in the new show.
Below I provide the sections of quotes and the relevant of imagery of what old Star Trek did right and new Star Trek does wrong. (read the captions)
Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms-
-if we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there. — Gene Roddenberry
The human race is a remarkable creature, one with great potential, and I hope that ‘Star Trek’ has helped to show us what we can be if we believe in ourselves and our abilities.
— Gene Roddenberry
If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety-
-not something to fear. — Gene Roddenberry
I hope that I helped to build a fierce pride in what we are and what we can do if we set our minds to it.
— Gene Roddenberry
Gene Roddenberry continually reminded us that the Star Trek Enterprise was a metaphor for starship Earth. And the strength in this starship came from its diversity, coming together and working in concert as a team. That is the strength of our countries, Canada and the United States. We are nations of diversity.
— George Takei (Actor who played Sulu in TOS)
It was towards the end of the show and I was really considering leaving the show, for no other reason than I wanted to return to the theatre. I went in to talk to Gene — this was I was getting up nerve to tell him I was leaving the show, but at this point I went in and I said “Gene, I’ve been watching each of the episodes and they each get better and better” and I said, “And I discovered something: you’re writing morality plays.” And he said, “Shhh. They haven’t figured it out yet.
— Nichelle Nichols (Actress who played Uhura in TOS)
It is important to the typical ‘Star Trek’ fan that there is a tomorrow. They pretty much share the ‘Star Trek’ philosophies about life: the fact that it is wrong to interfere in the evolvement of other peoples, that to be different is not necessarily to be wrong or ugly.
— Gene Roddenberry
The original Star Trek series (and some later series) are like our cheesy looking cheaply made teddy bear that we all had as a child. Everyone else thinks we are crazy for still carrying it around with us. Sure it could be made to look better, cleaner, longer lasting, but we still love it. What other people don’t see is the love, the emotion, the complex stories, the good feelings, and the optimism behind it all. Our teddy is such a relief when the world around us is full of pessimism.
Star Trek Discovery goes much the other way, they rip the comfy soft teddy bear away and replace it with a cold, hard and sterile teddy. With Star Trek Discovery they give us unnecessary situations, darker tones, and more negative outlooks on humanity. They do nothing to keep it familiar.
Cheesy and old, but a comfy positive teddy that has been with us for years:
Metal teddy bear, dark, gritty, meaningless, we were told to love because it is shinier, unnecessary, and unfamiliar, but more like other cool modern things!
The unfortunate truth is that it is easier to write big explosions, war, and a grim future, than a story where humanity has risen above such violence with political maneuvering, morality and cheer.