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Star Trek during wartime!? Why didn’t they think of this decades ago!?

This is exactly what I’m talking about.

For full transparency: I want STD to be good. I want it to be the Star Trek that breaks the generational wall and allows the franchise to live on in the 22nd Century. I have no doubt the actors involved are going to be great. But the litany of unforced errors and blatant ignorance that’s been on display by the production team isn’t leaving me very hopeful, to say the least.

Now, back to the topic at hand. War. The showrunner of STD believes that war is a topic that has not been explored in Star Trek. In his own words:

The show is called Discovery. What will we be discovering?
We will be discovering the Federation and Starfleet in a time of war, and how the Federation has to look at itself and make some decisions about how it needs to behave and act.

He’s right, war is a great topic to explore in Star Trek, and the dynamic between a Federation that explicitly rejects militarism forced to face a hostile galaxy is super interesting. Where does the crew draw the line? How do they justify their actions? It’s great Star Trek.

Which is why it’s been done in literally every series.

I don’t know if he doesn’t know this or if he thinks his audience doesn’t know this, but for his (and perhaps your) reference, I suggest the following episodes and movies:

TOS: A Taste of Armageddon, Balance of Terror, A Private Little War, The Omega Glory, Day of the Dove, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

TNG: Conspiracy, The Neutral Zone, The Enemy, The Defector, Yesterday’s Enterprise, The Best of Both Worlds, The Wounded, The Drumhead, Redemption, Ensign Ro, Unification, I Borg, Parallels, The Pegasus, Preemptive Strike, Star Trek First Contact

DS9: The entire show. Literally. Special shout out to Homefront, Paradise Lost, For the Cause, In Purgatory’s Shadow, By Inferno’s Light, Waltz, In the Pale Moonlight, Valiant, The Siege of AR-558

VOY: Scorpion, Year of Hell, Equinox, Endgame

ENT: The Expanse and the entire Xindi arc, the whole prelude to the Earth-Romulan War

I’m sure I missed a couple, I was doing that from memory.

None of this is to say war is a topic STD should avoid, quite the contrary, it’s a really interesting topic to explore. But don’t pretend you’re breaking new ground.

Starfleet at war?! Breaking new ground!

The same goes with the Klingons. In TOS the Klingons aren’t very well developed. They’re dramatic stand-ins for the Soviets, which is fine. By the time of TNG, the Klingons have become deeper and more interesting as their “warrior race” nature gets explored. When Ron Moore takes charge of the Klingons they get much more attention and depth and DS9 crafts the Klingons into a living, breathing society with myths and legends, politics and culture.

We live in a world where all of this has already happened.

The show is called Discovery. What will we be discovering?
Mainly, when you cut away to Klingons (in previous Treks), they’re screaming “Qapla!” and firing torpedoes. (And on Discovery) you’re going to find a race of people who have their own philosophy, know it’s a philosophy of isolationism and it’s a philosophy of wanting to maintain their own unity in the face of their own… The Klingons have never been more fractured at this time, and they want to unite. They want to focus on themselves rather than focus on anything else outside that. We’ll discover that, too. We’ll discover how a war breaks out sort of by watching it happen on both sides.

This is factually incorrect. If nothing else! If all you know is TOS, sure, this answer makes sense. But there is literally a Klingon Civil War in TNG. We go searching for Klingon holy relics in DS9. We see not one but two Klingon chancellors die on screen in TNG/DS9. Other than humanity, the Klingons are the most well-developed race in the entire franchise.

Should we look for an analogy in Klingons, as they represented the Russians in previous Trek storytelling?
My take on the Klingons right now, and it’s hard to say it’s a perfect analogy because I believe too that things need to kind of move, but for me in the Klingons, I really look to the United States and the division that’s happening within our own country.
That’s a big change from the Russians?
That’s a huge change. It’s a huge change, but it felt apt. The Klingons want to unite, protect what they have. They don’t want to let anybody else in. They’re not interested in shaking Starfleet’s hands. Then, you’ve got Starfleet, who is a little bit shoving their hands in their faces. Obviously, we’ve got division all around the world, but I just thought, we all thought as a writing staff, that what was happening in the States was pretty provocative, and it’s almost like, “Well, we didn’t have to look too far from home.” That will change and grow, and not everything is exactly analogous.

First of all, the interviewer is clearly not fluent in this franchise. But Harberts doesn’t do himself any favors here. I have zero issue with the Klingons being allegorical foes. Klingons aren’t xenophobes, they’re an expansionist empire. Maybe there are xenophobes in the Klingon diaspora, but who cares? That’s not interesting. Also, don’t compare Klingons to Trump supporters. It’s probably a bad idea, even if it’s artistically apt.

Klingons attacking other Klingons!? Breaking new ground!