Why Star Trek can’t always stay the same

Anson Mount as Capt. Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock in episode 205 “Charades” of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+
Anson Mount as Capt. Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock in episode 205 “Charades” of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ /

Star Trek has been a part of our lives since 1966, and some fans want it to stay the same.

Change is a part of life, but, according to some fans, not a part of Star Trek. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds changed things up a bit in season two, including a musical that wasn’t as highly rated by fans as other episodes. Now, Akiva Goldsman is saying that they’re going to genre hop in season three, and some fans are really unhappy. But here’s the thing. Star Trek is all about exploration. So shouldn’t the storylines encompass that?

Even Leonard Nimoy encouraged us to open our mind to where Star Trek wanted to take us. [Shoutout to Ro Laurie from our Red Shirts Always Die Facebook fan page for sharing the quote first!]

"“Canon is only important to certain people because they have to cling to their knowledge of the minutiae. Open your mind! Be a ‘Star Trek’ fan and open your mind and say, ‘Where does Star Trek want to take me now’.”"

Star Trek can open many doors, but only if fans allow it.

What is wrong with the franchise finding unique ways to continue each series? Deep Space Nine had its fair share of dissenters because it wasn’t set on a spaceship. Still, it became a beloved and successful series. Starfleet Academy, for the most part, likely won’t be set in space, either. And Section 31 will explore the darker side of Starfleet Intelligence. Prodigy, for the first time, set a series on a ship outside of Starfleet while Lower Decks doesn’t explore life among the officers or the bridge crew. So, in essence, all of the series took and are taking risks.

The viewer scores and ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB have been referenced as indicators of fan disappointment; however, those are not the only ways to measure how fans are responding to each episode or seasons of a series. They aren’t the deciding voices of all the fans, many of whom love Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for thinking outside the box.

If all things stayed the same on Star Trek, we’d still have the Gorn in the rubber suits, the sets would still look like the 1960s, and the Klingons never would have become the warrior race that has become such an integral part of the franchise. When you think about it, Trek is all about change, and I’m not just talking about the small things like Captain Pike cooking, which is something the other captains didn’t do.

The Next Generation introduced the holodeck and the Borg. Deep Space Nine brought in the Dominion War, the Ferengi, and the Trill while Voyager threw the crew seventy-five light years away from home, used a hologram as The Doctor, and made the Maquis part of the crew. And even though two of these series were still aboard spaceships, they were much different than The Original Series. Some diehard fans of The Original Series declared they wouldn’t watch The Next Generation, and yet, that series went on to become successful and one of the best series in Trek history. While not everyone is a fan of change, the simple truth of the matter is the franchise has always been changing.

Next. Why there was less Captain Pike in season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. dark