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Star Trekkin' Across the Universe: Discussing The Porgs






Plaintif submits exhibit A, your honor, the test of the Federation, Chapter I, Article II, Paragraph VII, colloqually referred to as “the Prime Directive”:

Nothing within these Articles Of Federation shall authorize the United Federation of Planets to intervene in matters which are essentially the domestic jurisdiction of any planetary social system, or shall require the members to submit such matters to settlement under these Articles Of Federation. But this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.

The word “warp” does not feature in that paragraph.


“The final sentence of that clause negates your entire argument, and as a result I have removed your family from existence”


Seems to be a common thought. I was disappointed when ST:E came into existence, and thought we should move on a couple centuries instead of going back. I wondered if The Milky Way shouldn’t be invaded by Andromedans. Then we get two strands of conflict: that from the invading Andromedans themselves, and the internal wranglings of trying to put to gether a multi-quandrant defence force.


My idea for a post-TNG Star Trek: The Federation has fallen after being devastated (by the Borg? Something new?) and has to rebuild Starfleet and the UFP. A resurgent, militaristic Klingon regime rises after conquering what’s left of the Romulans. In addition to the Klingons being the bad guys, Section 31 also becomes an antagonist, wanting to replace Starfleet with a more militarized, fascist-leaning body.

A ragtag crew of former Starfleet officers come together to oppose Section 31, and restore the Federation.


That reminds me of this show:


It’s funny that the above suggestions include exploring a previously unexplored region of space (Voyager) or featuring all-out war (Deep Space Nine). Neither option proved particularly popular when done before. I’m not trying to open discussion on creative merits, but it’s certainly relevant to mention these facts. Next Generation was conceived to feature all-new threats, but other than the Borg, none of them were nearly as well-received as previous ones. No one is ever going to argue that the Ferengi were the second coming of the Klingons. Gene didn’t even want Worf in the series, but he ended up helping redefine Klingons in the franchise.

Which is funny, because another popular option has been a Klingon series. It’s not new aliens or a new century that fans crave, but storytelling they find universally acceptable. And yet, fans of any extraction are notoriously hard to please. Once they find one gold standard they find it incredibly hard to accept even the idea of another. Imagine the Chicago Bulls trying to say, “We found the next Michael Jordan.” Twenty years on and…? Other franchises, other stars, but no one has found the kind of cultural impact as Michael Jordan. It’s one of those generational things. Not that I want to get into that again (different thread).

It’s also funny (and somewhat relevant to what I was just saying), @SimonJones referencing IDIC in such a casual way. Everyone involved in the original series hated the idea of Gene shoehorning that concept into one of the episodes, because supposedly he was just doing it as a marketing ploy for some pendant he wanted to sell. (“Merchandizing, merchandizing,” as the parody of another franchise suggests.) But times change. Maybe one of those ideas the franchise already used can work in a new iteration…

Me, I love the deepening of the lore. I loved the Klingons in Next Generation. I loved the station life of Deep Space Nine. I even loved the Andorians in Enterprise, and yes, the Borg in Voyager. If you get bored learning more about alien cultures, chances are you’re not the kind of person I want to hang out with anyway. I love the curiosity factor. Fans like to think curiosity comes from exploring the unknown, but there’s a lot of template episodes dealing with the unknown, and there’s a reason episodic storytelling has been supplanted in the popular culture, and why fans clamored for so long for Voyager to go full serialized, and why Enterprise’s final two seasons, featuring plenty of serialization, were its most popular (among fans, anyway). This doesn’t mean a new iteration can’t devote itself to one new thing for an entire season or its whole run. That would be pretty interesting. But saying that Star Trek hasn’t attempted it already (the Gamma Quadrant, the Delta Quadrant, the Expanse) is just wildly inaccurate.


I agree with you to a point. I think that there is a lot of existing stuff in the Star Trek Universe that can be mined for stories.I think that has been done in the shows, and is currently being done admirably in the spin-off novels and in some of the better fan films. It is quite a rich universe to tap.

However I am conscious that these things can be made by fans, but ultimately the audience needs to a lot wider and bring in people who have never watched an episode of Star Trek before. That was the approach that Peter Jackson took when he made Lord of the Rings and that was the approach that Russell T Davies too when he brought back Doctor Who. Peter Jackson said that LOTR was made by fans rather than for fans. Russell’s concept with Doctor Who was to start from first principles - he’s a guy who travels in space in time and his ship is shaped liked a Police box (and is bigger on the inside). All of the other stuff came with time.

So I think that you can use the existing stuff if you want, but you have to ensure that it doesn’t become too-cliquey or in-jokey. It needs to be told in way that is fresh and exciting for all audiences.

I will be interested to see what CBS do with Discovery, given that it is based prior to the Original Series, I would hope that it doesn’t go over old ground.


While the Klingons send a drokkin’ war fleet to expand the Empire.


It’s worth noting that the last three movies have wildly succeeded in bringing in broader audiences. They were all far more successful at the box office than any Star Trek film before them. It’s been the fans who’ve done all the complaining.


The reboot mechanism they used has to be one of the smartest going, now if they can just sort out the books mess it’ll be perfect.


In terms of raw dollar performance, they vastly outperform the original movies, but adjusted for inflation they only narrowly beat the earlier TOS era ones


True. And I liked the most recent one a lot.

That said, I still think that Star Trek works best on TV. The movie model of having the crew go up against some potentially world/galaxy/universe shattering phenomenon which has been in place since the Wrath of Khan, is slightly at odds with the original series, which was about the crew going from place to place and facing little moral conundrums (with a thick layer of allegory).

However I think that sort of storytelling can work. The rebooted Battlestar Galactica did that sort of thing. The Expanse deals with a lot of modern issues. I don’t see any reason why Star Trek can’t get back to first principles.


What would actually happen is that the Federation would prop up the “resistance” while the Klingons helped the evil dictator bomb his people to smithereens, while both parties claimed to be trying to end the conflict as quickly as possible. Feds and Klingons continually bad-mouth each other but never quite come to blows, it’s all fought through strikes on strategic “military” targets on alien soil. The only winners are the photon torpedo manufacturers and the only losers are the civilians on the ground.

SF works best when it’s about the present :slight_smile:


And yes, I do realise Star Trek did this plot already in 1967.

And it was about the present then, too :frowning:


It’s Star Trek. The Organians would show up and tell everyone to stop and make their weapons too hot to touch.

I may have watched Errand of Mercy over the weekend.


The Organians didn’t show up when the Federation went to war with the Klingons on Deep Space 9.


That’s because they were too busy going “this shit is awesome”


I’ll bet they were busting a nut during the Dominion War.