Prequels do not work for Star Trek so stop making them.

Making a television series based on the Star Trek intellectual property is like having a license to print money. Basically all you have to do is not fuck up and not be stupid. Somehow the last two Star Trek series have been completely fucked up from the concept stage forward.

The reason is that prequels do not work for Star Trek. Unlike Star Wars, which is fantasy based, Star Trek is based around science advancing, society advancing, morality advancing, and in general, just advancing. Star Trek is about going forward and getting better.

You can’t do that if you going back 100 years and deliberately avoiding the lessons learned in earlier shows. Or, worse, by having learned said lessons and screwing up canon by having people in the future be backwards. (Kirk lusting over people, Janeway committing genocide).

Also, shows in the past do not have world ending stakes. We already know the future is going to be okay because, in STD’s case, we know about the shows which will all happen in the timeline. There’s going to be an Enterprise E and even J. Shits gonna be fine.

I mentioned the advancement of science on the show mattering. It’s not as much the case but it definitely does matter. We’ve built canon around remodulating phasers. No one wanted to see fucking PHASE CANNONS. They’re weak. But also, we learned how the Federation slowly developed new weapons and we had a general sense of power of items. New shows in the past totally throw that out the window. It’s like value being thrown away.

What about societal advancements? Making peace with the Klingons and learning to have coexistence with long time enemies? Prequels throw that out the door and we get to see the enemies. Again. And in STD’s case, they look like hell.

Another issue is real life tech advancing. Prequels should look old school but they never do. People actually ignorantly claimed Enterprise had a bridge that looked old school. It looked like a bridge made in 2002. It looked 40 years ahead of Kirk’s bridge of pastels colored children’s blocks. We all just accepted that until you made prequel. Knowing you can’t have the Match Game looking bridge, you made it have 4×3 flatscreens.

Discovery has similar issues. They had holograms so advanced, they had to write a line about removing them because Pike, who is destined to be in a horrible looking wheel chair, doesn’t like them. This was dumb. What would be someone’s problem with light?

I have a problem with light when it is lens flare

“Get that telephone out of here. I don’t want to receive messages through anything but phonograph!” Logic of STD writers.

The dipshits figured this out on this show and sent the ship into the future. It’s their only hope of saving the show (there’s no hope. This is just me needing to use a line here and it sounding good. I’d rather read a book than watch this shit). Now, they can finally write with true stakes, explore moral dilemmas that haven’t and have been fleshed out already, and fuck up a new era. Yum yum.

One thought on “Prequels do not work for Star Trek so stop making them.”

  1. I disagree in principle. Prequels could work, if done right. But yeah, prequels haven’t done much for Star Trek. Or Star Wars, for that matter.

    Especially a prequel that isn’t allowed to look too much like the source material. But if you set that aside as cosmetic (after all, it could be attributed to an aesthetic fad that insisted on flat paneling or, as they did with the Klingons in the motion picture, to the assumption that it was always better looking, we just didn’t get it because of budget considerations, which is the real world truth), it’s pretty easy to look at tech as it evolved and come to some conclusions.

    TOS introduced transporters. It also introduced it as a technology for which unforeseen complications abounded. Kirk being split in two, accidental death, and unexpected visits to parallel universes. That sort of thing. You got to see what could go wrong because clearly a lot still could.

    In TNG the kinks were mostly worked out, and holodecks were what went wrong.

    Voyager carried that further with the development of a sapient holodoc, then portable holoemitter technology. Plus you got issues that were pretty similar to what Data went through. Was the Doctor a life form? What if he interfaces with the on board system and something goes haywire?

    The point is that any prequel needs its own ‘new’ tech to mess them up. And it has to be consistent with the future tech, so writers need to be a bit inventive. Star Trek Enterprise royally screwed up that opportunity right out of the gate.

    The big new tech was warp speed. If the first movie could come up with wormholes as an unintended, but known, consequence, surely we should be able to have a little fun with the first time they made a warp wormhole.

    And that’s just off the top of my head. What about tech that later became obsolete? Was there something between the food dispensers from TOS and the replicators? What did they do before energy shields were perfected?

    The problem with prequels isn’t that they don’t work. It’s that they must be, by definition, substantially different from what came after.

    But in every prequel we’ve seen, the earlier time period is treated as just a new place. As if going back in time were as simple as changing apartments. You get to the new place and situate it just like the old, because it’s what you’re used to.

    You see, everyone is afraid it won’t look like Star Trek. That’s why future tech always turns up in the past.

    And they’re right to think so. Fans who don’t get to see what they’ve come to expect from Trek probably won’t like an accurately less developed universe any more than one that is obviously too developed.

    The only answer is to make the journey toward that future an interesting one, while at the same being able to see how it relates to said future. And you’re not going to get there by making the Klingons the main focus of the series. I know that Worf lovers will hate me for this, but Klingons just aren’t that interesting. They don’t trust a smiling face because a smiling Klingon is not a good thing. That should make them interesting, yes. But they are too single-minded and straight up primitive to hold interest for long.

    One gets tired of all the overreaction and violent attitude. After all, that’s not what Trek is about either.

    Liked by 1 person

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