Star Trek: Discovery is finally gearing up for its big premiere, finally has a date (it’s September 24, by the way), and the show is continually pulling back the curtain on what fans can expect. One new reveal shows how the series is going to be considerably different than every other iteration of Star Trek that preceded it — and it’s going to be controversial.
There has long been a rule in place for the writers of Star Trek, installed by series creator Gene Roddenberry, that they should not make members of Starfleet have any major conflict with one another without it being caused by outside forces. The reason for this was that, in the age of Starfleet, humanity is supposed to be enlightened to the point where they wouldn’t fight like us primitive humans. The rule hasn’t always been followed all that closely, but it has restricted the types of stories that could be told on Star Trek. Now, however, the rule has officially been thrown out.
“We’re trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions,” showrunner Aaron Harberts told Entertainment Weekly. “People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We’re still going to argue in the future … The rules of Starfleet remain the same. But while we’re human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect.”
The change doesn’t mean the showrunners are tarnishing Roddenberry’s legacy, though, as they’re still following his lead when it comes to resolving their characters’ conflicts.
“The thing we’re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts,” Harberts said. “So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it’s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.”
The change was implemented for a couple of reasons. For one, sci-fi TV fans have come to expect more complex storylines in recent years thanks to shows like Battlestar Galactica, and the writers of Discovery felt Star Trek had to evolve to compete. Secondly, the series is going to be far more serialized than previous Star Trek shows, and interpersonal conflict between the characters of the main cast will be what keeps viewers coming back week after week to see how the story progresses (presumably).
In other Discovery news, the series has released the first image of one of the new transporter rooms. This room is onboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou, not the show’s main setting of the U.S.S. Discovery, and it doesn’t look anything like any transporter room we’ve seen before. The image shows the Shenzhou’s captain, Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), alongside the show’s main protagonist, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), as they prepare to be beamed down to somewhere (maybe to that desert planet we saw them exploring in the show’s first released image). You can see the image, and its very high-looking production values, below.
Image credit: CBS via Entertainment Weekly
From the ditching of old rules to the serialization to the sleek new look, Star Trek: Discovery really looks unlike any Star Trek series we’ve ever seen. We’ll have to see how the hardcore fans react to all these changes when the show finally premieres this fall.