Star Trek is about change, and that’s why you shouldn’t worry about Star Trek: Discovery fitting into established Star Trek canon.
Fans are protective of the franchises they love, that’s only natural. When you have a franchise as important and with as much longevity as Star Trek the concern form fan is amplified. Star Trek has touched so many lives and made such a huge mark on pop culture and our society, it’s to be expected that fans would want the best for the franchise they love.
The problem is that instead of focusing on what Star Trek is at its heart fans can sometimes focus on the minutia. Star Trek isn’t a show about Klingons, or Vulcans, or even a ship out in space. Star Trek is a show about humans. Star Trek tells stories about what humanity could be if it embraced diversity and science. Star Trek, above all, is about change.
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Change, in the words of Spock, is the essential process of all existence. This is particularly true in the case of Star Trek. There have been many science fiction franchises, but few have the power to last like Star Trek. The reason that Trek has been able to last is because of the stories it tells and change.
Star Trek has never been afraid of change. Trek took the bold leap from television to the big screen, from Star Trek: The Original Series to an animated series, from a ship to a space station, and from the Alpha Quadrant to the Delta Quadrant. The thing that ties all these together isn’t the universe they are set in, it’s the stories they tell and what they promise about humanity.
"I just love how frazzled some of you get about canon. It’s a show and they are doing a prequel to something that was made 50 years ago. Star Trek was always more about the stories and messaging than the look. If they screw that up; roast em alive and kick em in the you know what! If they don’t; then enjoy it. Kirk out!"
Shatner is clearly right. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look exactly like the Trek of the 1960’s. If the stories hold true and the show stays true to what Star Trek is then that’s all that matters.
One of the most glaring and hilarious changes in Star Trek history was the difference between the way Klingons in Star Trek: The Original Series looked and the way they looked in Star Trek: The Next Generation. They tried to address the lack of ridges on the foreheads of TOS Klingons in Star Trek: Enterprise, but in my opinion the episode only made the difference more ridiculous. The difference was best summed up by Worf in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s “Trials and Tribble-ations” when he said “we don’t like to talk about it.”
Star Trek was originally created fifty years ago, before you could watch episodes over and over on Blu-ray or Netflix to find every detail and discrepancy. It was certianly before there was an online database where you could find out everything you might want to know about Captain Kirk’s childhood pets. Long before there were online forums discussing fan theories on the meaning of each and every word of dialogue. These things are now a reality for fandom, but they still shouldn’t define a franchise.
We don’t know where Star Trek: Discovery will land as a Star Trek series, but we shouldn’t judge it on the details. For now we are just going to be happy that the franchise is boldly going once again.
What do you think? Are you worried about how Star Trek: Discovery fits into Star Trek canon? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.