There have been a lot of articles written about Star Trek: Discovery “saving” the Star Trek franchise, the only problem is that Star Trek doesn’t need to be saved.
You’ve seen the articles and editorials all over the internet.
“CAN STAR TREK: DISCOVERY SAVE TREK?”
“CAN CBS SALVAGE STAR TREK?”
“WILL STAR TREK LAUNCH AGAIN?”
Some of these are just clickbait, while others are well thought out pieces, but they all have one major flaw in my opinion… Star Trek doesn’t need to be saved.
The premise of these articles is usually that Star Trek has been off of television for over ten years, and that in their opinion means the franchise is dead, or at least dying. Sometimes they also throw in that the last Star Trek film Star Trek Beyond didn’t make as much money as some of the previous films. The problem is that Star Trek really shouldn’t be judged on when the last series was, or how much money the last movie made, it’s so much bigger than that. To judge Star Trek by what’s happened in the last few years is like judging Star Wars on Star Wars Episode 1, it’s certianly not the bright spot of the franchise, but it’s a tiny piece of the whole.
When you add up the over 700 Star Trek television episodes and the 13 Star Trek motion pictures, you end up with 33,603 minutes of Star Trek; that’s 560 hours, or just over 23 days of Trek! Star Trek has been a vibrant franchise with a loyal and devoted fanbase for fifty years for a reason.
Even if your metrics on a franchise are popularity based, have you not seen Star Trek merchandise everyone online? Are there not huge Star Trek conventions? There’s no doubt that there have been blunders, and the franchise probably needed a break, but doesn’t the love that Trekkers and Trekkies have for Trek even after those blunders mean something too?
In a world saturated with dystopian science fiction, the bright future Star Trek presents, built on science and diversity, stands out. Star Trek isn’t like other science fiction franchises. Star Trek has a message of hope for humanity, and it’s foundations are in storytelling. Star Trek is a science fiction show set in space, but it’s trying to tell us something about ourselves right now, and that’s why it connects with people. You don’t have to wait three hundred years to hold the values of the Federation, you can start doing that right now.
Star Trek might never be the blockbuster franchise that dominates all others, but that’s ok, that’s not the point. Star Trek connects with people, entertains people, and encourages people. So even if CBS succeeds in butchering Star Trek: Discovery, it doesn’t mean the end of Star Trek.
All you have to do is look at the loyalty and excitement in Trekkers and Trekkies to know that Star Trek isn’t going anywhere. There’s a reason Star Trek landed at 14 in the FanSided Fandom 250 after all.
When you see articles predicting the death of Star Trek don’t panic, remember that entertainment writers have been writing those for the last 50 years, and yet Star Trek’s still here.
So what do you think? Is Star Trek dying or alive and well? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.