Star Trek Discovery is 10 years before Kirk and Spock? Ten years? Really? Did no one learn the lesson of Enterprise?
It’s actually a pretty simple lesson: The end boxes you in. Sure, there are individual story arcs with fresh characters, but the viewers have already seen the future. They know where this show is headed. I find this take particularly egregious when it comes to the Star Trek franchise, which is all about wide, open ends. Exploration. Going boldly. No box. No ends.
A prequel structure also sets up contradictions. “That’s not how they met the Romulans.” “They don’t meet the whatevers for another 15 years.” Etc. The blips counteract whatever ah ha moments the writers hope to generate by showing an early iteration of what’s to come. The fun of seeing a piece of pipe laid for the future that happened 50 years ago is, well, not that much fun.
I hate to base my ire on a trailer. Still, this looks like a black and blue show. Gray industrial tunnels. Cobalt lighting. Stuff that looked cool when Alien was released in ’79. None of the brilliant, primary color, optimism intrinsic to the design language that launched the series of seven shows, novels, comic books and live entertain experiences.
Maybe the show will be great. Or maybe this new streaming service’s view of the future is painfully short-sighted.
We’ll discover soon.