Star Trek on streaming has opened the series to some more adult-themed materials that shouldn’t be explored.
Star Trek has found a fanbase over the years for several reasons. Strong writing, good acting, engaging stories, but also due to the premise. It’s a franchise that embraces a brighter and more dynamic future. Infinite possibilities and the like. Yet, to get there, Star Trek had to leave some elements of modern sci-fi behind.
Sex, violence, and swearing were all nerfed pretty hard by the studios, and for good reasons. Not only would that stuff not fly on network television, but embracing a more torrid showcase for Star Trek would be counterintuitive to the idyllic future.
Beyond that, however, it also spat in the face of the idea that Star Trek was for all. You can’t be a show for all and showcase raunchy sex scenes, which to be fair the series hasn’t done. You also can’t be for all and use offensive language. You have no idea who is watching or why. The shows have always been for all ages and all people, so incorporating things like swearing or grotesque body horror, like we’ve seen in Star Trek: Picard, is a slap in the face for what Star Trek was meant to be.
Star Trek needs to be for all at all times
If you watch an episode of Star Trek unsure if your child could watch the show with you, then you’ve failed as a Star Terk property. While Trek will always have heavier elements, even some scary and darker ones, it was always done in such a way that a parent could watch with the child and not worry about things.
After all, Trek is for all.
And that’s why it’s so disheartening to see someone like Patrick Stewart forget that. Stewart talked recently about how he “applauded” the choice of his character, Jean-Luc Picard, to swear for the first time. Speaking to The Wrap, he revealed that the scene where he dropped the “F-bomb” was adlibbed and that he was happy the crew gave him the freedom to do just that.
But should we be applauding that? Swearing isn’t something that should be celebrated. It’s overused in today’s culture to the point that it often comes off as cringy and juvenile. Not only that, but with the multitude of words in the English language, and the infinite ways they can be paired, you’re going to go lowbrow with one single word?
Star Trek is not a crass show. It’s not a morbid show. People want to say that Star Trek can be anything, but it can’t. If it was anything other than Star Trek, then it wouldn’t be Star Trek anymore. It’d be something else. I for one don’t want something else. I want Trek. I want the Trek that we all fell in love with.
The optimistic, hopeful Trek. The Trek that doesn’t rely on cheap tactics like swearing and gore to garner a response from the audience. Trek is better than that. It’s better than being just like everything else. It’s Trek and it deserves to be observed with the same reverence now that it had 60 years ago.
Star Trek has to stop being edgy for the sake of being edgy. It’s a cringy thing for the franchise to do and considering how Trek is constantly talked about as a property that’s for all, they need to remember that not everyone wants to see the show become just like the other lowest common denominators out there. Ask anyone, words can be offensive. And Star Trek should not be ignoring the segment of fans that don’t want to hear such crude language at every pass. Trek used to be better than that.
Trek needs to be better than what places like HBO are pumping out. Trek works best when it’s reminding people to do better, not accept what’s worse.