The new “Star Trek” series couldn’t come at a better time 2022-05-01 07:14:18

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Roddenberry, who was 17 when his father, Jane, passed away, says, “It was only as I grew up and more mature that I appreciated the depth and intellectual side of Star Trek.

Roddenberry is now all aboard “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, which the first show May 5 at Paramount+. A prequel to the original series that aired in the 1960s, and is based on the years when Captain Christopher Pike, the fan favorite who appeared on the original series, commanded the USS Enterprise.

Such an idealistic view of the world could be a tough sell to today’s masses, who are battered by hateful politics, violence, war, and dire warnings about a rapidly warming planet. But it’s a change that Roddenberry, the executive producer on the new show, lauds.

Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, which develops science fiction graphic novels, podcasts, television projects, and films.

He adds, “It’s going back to the original series format. It’s the kind of thing we need to publish to give us hope.” “I understand this is just a TV show, but it inspires countless people to live better lives.”

What can we expect in the new series

Akiva GoldsmanThe series’ executive producer said the new series will be different and yet the same. Fans should expect more independent episodes, more original series optimism and mind-boggling twists reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone.”
Another wrinkle is the new show’s focus on some of the iconic “Star Trek” characters. The show will look at the evolution of characters like Spock and Uhura before they became mythical characters, says Goldman.
Celia Rose Gooding as young Aura and Ethan Beck as young Spock in the new series, which is streaming on Paramount+.

“Uhura we have a young woman. She started as a student,” Goldman says. “Where did she come from? What decisions did she make to allow her to be in Starfleet and become the heroine we know?”

Another big change in the captain’s chair. Goldsman says the character of Captain Pike is very different from that of Kirk.

“Jim Kirk is a young boy’s fantasy of a Star Trek captain,” says Goldsman. “He’s reckless and impulsive – he knows the rules but doesn’t follow them. He’s arrogant. Pike is a rational, thoughtful man who builds consensus.”

There are endless debates in the Trekkie world about the best TV version of “Star Trek,” and whether the subsequent series strayed too far from the optimistic tone of the original. This optimism is reflected in the voiceoveronologue by Captain Kirk at the beginning of each episode. He says Enterprise’s goal is to “search for new life and adventure” and “explore strange new worlds” — not conquer civilizations or force populations to accept certain beliefs.

By contrast, later versions of the show, such as “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” featured some characters who took moral danger or sometimes made decisions that went against their values.

Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner in the original ";  Star Trek.  & quot;  Actors' & # 39;  An on-screen interracial kiss was considered audacious for its time.
Ben RobinsonCo-author of “Star Trek – The Original Series: A Celebration,” says he hopes that a return to the franchise’s “original recipe” will preserve hope for the first series while introducing complex characters with moral struggles.

“I’m looking for the original series on a 21st century budget,” Robinson says. “If they could combine cutting-edge storytelling, beautiful special effects, and the energetic ‘Right Stuff’ storytelling of the ’60s, I’d be over the moon.”

Why hopeful storytelling is never outdated

One unspoken question in the new series is one you won’t see on many of the show’s discussion boards: Does Star Trek’s optimism and focus on inclusivity seem outdated in today’s cynical world?

It’s hard to believe in humanity by looking at the headlines. Racial, ethnic, and political divisions are as deep as the outward extensions of space itself.

Then again, feel-good, inclusive TV series like “Sheets Creek” and “Ted Lasso” have found huge audiences in this pandemic, a trend many attribute to audiences starving for hopeful stories.

“Dark times require storytelling with hope,” Goldsman says. “Optimism and belief in a better future are essential to many of us.”

Goldsman says it’s a myth that the original “Star Trek” aired in a kinder era that was much different than ours. He cites 1968 as an example.

“We were at war,” he says of the US involvement in Vietnam. “The civil rights movement was still in its moment of intense struggle. Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were murdered, not to mention the looming nuclear threat. The country was completely divided. The 1960s was a turbulent period.”

The futuristic universe of “Star Trek” allowed it to tackle some of the era’s most explosive issues in a way no other show could, says Robinson, the author. He says the formation of the Enterprise crew was itself a call for forgiveness.

The crew of the USS Enterprise in the original
Consider: The United States was embroiled in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, but one of the Enterprise’s key officers was a Russian (Chekhov). Only 20 years ago the country had ended a brutal war with Japan, but the captain of the ship was Japanese (Solo). Blacks couldn’t vote in many parts of the country, but a black officer–and a woman–(Uhura) He was the ship’s communications officer.
Spock was a model minority in the Enterprise. He was an outsider with prejudice. black and biracial . people were identified with him (there Beautiful story About actor Leonard Nimoy writing a letter to a biracial girl who felt rejected. One Star Trek fan I called him “The blackest person in the Enterprise” because he “didn’t let ‘the man’ see his feelings” and “was as cool as the best jazz musicians.” “

“It’s metaphorical storytelling that allows you to take science and imagination to look at your community,” Robinson says. “he is [Roddenberry Sr.] I spoke of race by owning a Vulcan instead of a black man.”

“The Troubled Soul” of the Creator of “Star Trek”

It’s a small miracle that the creator of Star Trek is so optimistic about humanity. He had seen and experienced many tragedies during his life. Roddenberry Sr. was born in El Paso, Texas, and nearly died as a young child when his house caught fire. The passing milkman saved him.

He had more close calls as an adult. He was a US Army Air Force pilot who conducted combat missions in the South Pacific during World War II. He was a crew member of Pan Am trip That fell in the Syrian desert, killing 14 people. For a later period as a Los Angeles Police Department officer, he was exposed to the more dazzling side of life.
Actors Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley and William Shatner pose for a photo with "  Star Trek "  Creator Gene Roddenberry, poser, and director Robert Wise, left of the camera, during the filming of the 1979 film, '  Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  & quot;

However, despite it all, Roddenberry imagined a future world that was merciful and harmonious, much different from the one in which he lived.

How can someone who has seen so many tragedies be optimistic?

Author Robinson cited a quote from musician John Lennon.

“Lennon said the reason I keep talking about peace and love so much is because I’m really angry,” he says. “Maybe you’re looking for what you need for yourself. Gene was definitely a troubled soul.”

Roddenberry turned his pain into a vision of the future that continues to inspire millions more than 50 years later. Phrases such as “Live Long and Prosper”, “Ignite me, Scotty” and “Warp Engine” are now part of popular culture.

And so is “Star Trek”‘s humanitarian message, which continues with the new show.

“If people say, ‘Why does Star Trek still exist?’” Roddenberry Jr. says. I’ll tell you why.” “Because it is the idea of ​​appreciating all things that are different and not just tolerating them, and that it is the differences that we will grow out of.”

The response to “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” will reveal whether that vision still resonates with people, or whether the barriers of ridicule and hate are now too high for even the USS Enterprise to overcome.

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