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Is a Star Trek “Re-Imagining” Overdue?

There is a new, animated version of Star Trek being considered for production. It would most likely be web-based like Clone Wars and take place about 150 years after Picard’s tenure. The premise:

The setting is the year 2528 and the Federation is a different place after suffering through a devastating war with the Romulans 60 years earlier. The war was sparked off after a surprise attack of dozens of “Omega particle” detonations throughout the Federation creating vast areas which become impassible to warp travel and essentially cut off almost half the Federation from the rest. During the war the Klingon homeworld was occupied by the Romulans, all of Andoria was destroyed and the Vulcans, who were negotiating reunification with the Romulans, pulled out of the Federation. The setting may seem bleak and not very Trek-like, but that is where the show’s hero Captain Alexander Chase comes in. Relegated to border patrol, Chase is determined to bring the Federation (and a ship called Enterprise) back to the glory days of seeking out new life and new civilizations.

Looking at the test art doesn’t make me shiver as much as I thought. (Translation: my initial fanboy backlash was once again proved baseless.) Now it makes me wonder if a Trek “re-imagining” is long overdue. Look how well it worked out for Battlestar Galactica. It’s more modern and more bleak an people love it.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

6 Comments on Is a Star Trek “Re-Imagining” Overdue?

  1. I am once again stunned at the insistence that the show has to be allegorically relevant, but if it must, I’d prefer it take on more scientific/ethical issues, like a justification for banning genetic enhancement.

    I still hold by my belief that Trek should take it up a level: travel out into some heretofore unexplored quadrant and find that it is heavily populated by Type II Kardashev cultures, lovecraftian ancients, Kirby-esque star gods, Matrioshka brain AIs trying to tap reality’s source-code, post-singularity societies like Banks Culture or Hamilton’s Edenists, etc. In short, I’d like to see Trek catch up with the rest of SF. It would be much more cohesive than a series of Shakespeare quote-riddled morality plays about slavery/holographic rights/drug addiction/whatever. The idea of a biological race eschewing a singularity yet still roaming out amongst the older/more powerful/scarier races could have a nice Brin/Uplift tone to it.

    I’d also like a smarter race to explain to the Vulcans what a debasement of logic they are, and that maybe working on a cure for that disease that drives them crazy might be a better use if their time than touching each others foreheads.

  2. I like the Teen Titan‘s style of artwork, sorta.

    It also seems like there is an opportunity for more of a military-focused ST, with more space battles. I’m not sure this is a good or bad thing.

  3. Scott: I’d say “bad.” I’ve noticed that Military SF seems to be the default setting for TV SF. Even Firefly delved into several times. The only recent American shows I can think of which really avoided it were Earth II (which replaced it with political conspiracy) and Earth: Final Conflict, both of which were horrible.

    Compare this to the whole of written SF, where military stories make up a much smaller portion.

    I flipped through the Star Trek Manga that came out recently. There is one two-page spread where the Enterprise is surrounded by giant robots. I must admit, it set my heart a-quiver for a moment, solely because it was so visually interesting.

  4. Also: bringing the Enterprise “back to the glory days” sounds a bit to much like Andromeda to me. I’m uncomfortable with stories where the good guys are trying to instigate a big step backwards.

  5. At least this idea sounds better than the new movie they’re working on. The cartoon is set in the future instead of moving backwards to a friggin’ prequel.

    Jeff – your idea would be amazing.

  6. dingosatemybaby // December 18, 2006 at 1:16 pm //

    I do think that BSG may have just ruined any reimagining of Trek that might have worked. I am as big an uber-geek as many who might comment here, and I was disappointed when they gave Enterprise the axe just when it was getting good.

    But with the circles of folks I talk with, BSG is the new standard around which SciFi fans seem to be rallying. I am not sure a Trek show would work with today’s viewership unless a *MAJOR* scrub of the mythos took place. And then I’d find myself asking not if a re-imagining was overdue, but rather, whether it was even necessary.

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