Star Trek: Discovery drowned itself in emotion, and Star Trek: Starfleet Academy needs to avoid such trappings

Star Trek: Discovery overdid it with the emotions, something Starfleet Academy needs to avoid.
Anthony Rapp as Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 9, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/Paramount+
Anthony Rapp as Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 9, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ /

Emotions are a good thing. They're a necessary part of human survival and are often the things most people need to connect. They're very important when it comes to the human experience. Yet, too much of them can be a burden. That's something a lot of Star Trek fans have had to realize when watching the last five seasons of Star Trek: Discovery.

The series intentionally tried to be more emotionally driven than past Star Trek shows, focusing more on the interpersonal aspects of the crew than maybe any other show. They also resolved far more of their issues with conversations than we've ever seen in a prior Star Trek series. We're not talking about political negotiations, either. We're talking about just emotional connections that seem to resolve the plot.

It reached its apex of silliness when Michal Burnham had to use her emotions to solve a puzzle in "Labyrinth". We know that Discovery was intended to be a new take on Star Trek, and for lack of a better term, it failed. It was never the go-getter franchise that the showrunners hoped for, nor did it really attract a younger audience as they hoped for.

The new series, Starfleet Academy is literally designed to appeal to younger fans, meaning they need to hit this out of the park. Watching how Strange New Worlds and Prodigy handled things, both of which aimed at younger audiences as well, it would behoove the showrunners of Starfleet Academy to ignore how Discovery did things.

They need to embrace the concepts that made Star Trek the show that we all love. The complex situations with dynamic characters set the tone of a very climatic scenario that could change the course of existence as we know it. Not everything needs to have more emotional weight to it than the climax of a 1990s Disney animated film.

Logic and reason can and should be a major player in how Star Trek resolves its episodes. Something Discovery got away from. We're not the only ones who think Discovery was far too steeped in emotions for the point of the series. There's a lot of people that felt Discovery felt out of place as a Star Trek series with its tone. This is an issue I've spoken about with other shows like PIcard and Lower Decks.

Shows that don't feel like Star Trek. It's why we're hoping Starfleet Academy can capture more of the vibe of past shows, and focus on the more nuanced conversations that we crave from Star Trek. With less of the emotionally wrought scenes, Discovery became known for.