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?
“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.