Thursday, August 10, 2017

Some Thoughts on Star Trek: Discovery

I'm a little late with this, but after seeing months of such unbelievable negativity directed at Star Trek: Discovery, I need to get this off my chest. Unlike so many loudmouths who have decided to hate this new series, I actually like the trailer and I'm looking forward to seeing for myself whether the show is good or not.

One of the complaints is that it's set ten years before The Original Series, but the uniforms and technology don't look anything like TOS. Well, saying this as a fan since I was 4 or 5 years old watching TOS every day at 5:00 PM in the early 1980s ... I don't really care. I'm fine with it looking like something made in 2017 rather than something made in 1966. I've always loved the original, but I wouldn't be able to take the new show seriously at all if it had the 1960s look. To paraphrase Nicholas Meyer, these things are all products of the time in which they're made. A few differences are inevitable, and I'm not going to fly into a nerd rage over something like this.

Besides, Star Trek kind of has a history of contradicting its own canon, doesn't it?

Another complaint is that the Klingons "don't look like Klingons." The nearly-universal reaction was ongoing rage in the comment sections on Facebook and YouTube. My reaction? "Huh. I wonder why they look so different?" I'm curious to find out if it'll be explained in the show, and if so, what the explanation is. I'm not completely losing my goddamn mind and calling the show's producers "assholes" because they aren't exactly the same as the Klingons we've seen before.

Besides which, this wouldn't be the first time the appearance of the Klingons has changed. In TOS, they looked like humans with big eyebrows and huge mustaches that they could twirl with glee, but starting in The Motion Picture, they suddenly had bumpy foreheads (which gradually became the go-to design for almost any Trek alien -- just put some bumps or ridges on the foreheads, and we're good to go). The change was finally explained in Star Trek: Enterprise, but come on, let's be honest, that was a retcon.

And let's not forget the Romulans. In TOS, they looked exactly like the Vulcans (for good reason, as they were originally Vulcans who left their homeworld thousands of years ago and settled another planet). But when they reappeared in a first-season episode of The Next Generation, they had their own forehead ridges. And as far as I can remember, this was never explained. I've hardly ever heard anyone complaining about that, but because these Klingons don't look like the ones we're familiar with, that's somehow a valid reason to start frothing at the mouth and hurling insults and screaming that you hope the new show gets cancelled?

So why do these Klingons look so different? Some possibilities I can think of right off the top of my head ...

This particular group of Klingons are mutants. Or they're a different ethnicity, either from a part of Qo'noS we haven't seen before, or a colony planet where environmental pressures caused the local Klingons to end up looking different after a few thousand years. Granted, evolution actually takes far, far longer than that to produce major changes, but it wouldn't be the first time Star Trek's writers misunderstood evolution. Or they're ancient Klingons who were in cryo-stasis for thousands or tens of thousands of years.

Whatever. These Klingons look a lot more "alien" than the walnut-forehead ones, and I think they're quite intimidating. I'm curious about why they look like that, but even if it's never explained, I'll just roll with it. I'm sure as hell not going to predict or demand the show's cancellation.

And I'm not even getting into the idiotic screeching about "pandering to SJWs" and "white men aren't allowed to have lead roles anymore because of political correctness" bullshit just because two of the main characters aren't white men. Seriously, in the past couple of years, I've seen that kind of crap thrown at The Force Awakens,  Rogue OneStar Trek: Discovery, and Doctor Who any time the entire cast isn't nothing but straight, white men. The people throwing such a fit about this deserve only one reply:

I do have one big problem with the show: In America, it's only on CBS All Access, which I'd have to subscribe to and pay extra for. I already have Netflix and Hulu, so I'd prefer it to be on one of those. But it's not, and I really want to see the show. And I want to support it, unless I find out it's not a good show. And if it turns out to be crap, then I'll cancel my subscription and stop supporting it. But I'm actually going to see it for myself and make my own decision, rather than just jump on the same kind of bandwagon that's partially responsible for tanking another of my favorite series, Mass Effect. (And that's a whole other rant I'll save for another day.)

My other concern is more minor. The trailer looks like the show is going out of its way to be "dark and edgy." I'm partly okay with that because it looks like it'll be dark because that's the nature of the story it's telling, and I've always preferred mostly-serious storytelling. As long as it doesn't cross over into "dark and edgy" just for the sake of being "dark and edgy," I'll be willing to go along for the ride. I just hope there'll be enough humor to break the tension wherever it's appropriate, because if there isn't, it might become too grim to keep watching. If all the Star Wars movies were as grim and bleak as Rogue One, I would never have watched them all or become a fan.

Anyway. I'm just sick of the negativity being hurled at this show months before it premieres. Sick of all the assholes proclaiming, "It's gonna suck!" and "It'll be cancelled after the first episode!" or even worse, "I hope it gets cancelled!" Oh, okay, you want something other people might enjoy to be taken away from them? Fuck you, you fuckstain.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and being a part of the internet hate machine, I'll watch the new show and then decide whether I think it's good or not.