Will Star Trek become more militarized in Picard’s final season?
Star Trek has, at least in modern shows, kind of lost what the series was actually about. It was a submarine in space, having submarine space battles and meeting aliens. It’s a simple concept. Yet, a lot of shows kept diving into “we’re explorers and scientists” motifs, without ever acknowledging the entire premise of the show was that they were a branch of the military.
The navy, but with space whales instead of Earth whales. That’s something Terry Matalas, the showrunner of Star Trek: Picard, is changing. He wants to steer into the space-navy concept even more than past shows, feeling that they’ve moved too far away from the original in that regard.
Matalas spoke to TrekMovie.com about that very concept;
"I very much prefer Starfleet to feel like the Navy. And certainly, The Original Series and a lot of what [Star Trek II and VI director] Nick Meyer did feels like that the most. And the trailer, as does the first episode, starts with an air of pomp and circumstance. So it’s just getting a feel of what I think Starfleet should feel like. It’s the military. It’s serious. There are protocols. And that sort of permeates throughout the season.…Again, harkening back to what I said earlier about this being the military and how legacy characters like Picard and Riker tend to be able to throw their weight around within this organization and get special treatment doesn’t always sit well with everyone within the Navy."
Starfleet should always be seen as a military in concept
Whether you agree with Matalas about how you should see Starfleet, he’s right. Everything that Gene Roddenberry used to create Starfleet in the original series was derived from his time as an Army Air Force pilot (progenitor to the Air Force). As with real militaries, they too have science, medical, and engineering divisions. They too do more than patrol. They also explore. So many of the world’s greatest inventions came from the United States military. My favorite is the Slinky.
So yes, Starfleet can have its adventures and whatnot, just as long as everyone knows there’s a chain of command and you better follow it.