Star Trek: Section 31 doesn’t need to keep franchise’s optimism


The showrunner for the just announced Section 31 has assured fans that it will keep the show’s trademark optimism, but should it?

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry long said that he wanted the series to represent an optimistic view of the future, one without the petty issues that seem to plague our society today. That he wanted Star Trek to be a positive representation of what humanity could accomplish.

And for the most part, that vision of the future has been a part of every Star Trek series since. Even Deep Space Nine, which went to some pretty dark places in the show’s final seasons, still managed to show humanity at its best and keep that vision alive.

Now some fans are apparently concerned that the just announced Star Trek: Section 31 series starring Michelle Yeoh will somehow abandon that idea. That the show will become another example of a grim and dark future. Even Newsweek ran a story talking about how Section 31 will “finally kill Star Trek optimism.”

In response Bo Yeon Kim, Section 31 co-executive producer and showrunner along with Erika Lippoldt, took to Twitter to reassure fans that Section 31 will not suddenly become the Blade Runner of the Star Trek Universe.

However, that all being said, do we really need yet another happy shiny Star Trek series?

By its very nature, the whole idea of a secret, clandestine organization within the Federation would seemingly go against everything Star Trek is supposed to represent. Which makes the series the perfect opportunity to do something different and daring. Show Star Trek like it’s never been seen before.

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Michelle Yeoh is an incredibly talented actor. She has shown she can play a dark and twisted version of Philippa Georgiou and it would be a real shame to waste that opportunity.

One of the reasons the original Star Wars did so well was because it showed a world where the bad guys had already won and a galaxy in disarray. The Terminator and Matrix films (even the bad ones) showed viewers a different kind of science-fiction and where good needed to triumph over evil despite overwhelming odds.

Section 31 is the perfect concept to try some of those ideas out in a different context. Should the series take Star Trek in a darker, more violent direction? No. But maybe it could show us that the Federation and Starfleet aren’t the altruistic and universally positive forces they have long been shown to represent.

Maybe it’s time to show the dark side of Star Trek and dim the halo just a little bit. Otherwise it will be an incredible waste of a chance to try something unique.

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Producer Alex Kurtzman has said he wants each Star Trek project to have a different voice and point of view. Section 31 will be a perfect test to see exactly how much he means that.