Watching Star Trek: Discovery is like going to the casino, you’re hoping the next season is a winner, but there’s always that pit in your stomach. With Season 3 scheduled to come out sometime in 2020, I was excited to see the first trailer, only to have the pit return once I watched it.
In contrast, Star Trek: Picard is scheduled to be released January 24, 2020, and I have no doubt that it will be amazing. It’s Sir Patrick Stewart after all, a master of his craft and arguably the greatest Star Trek actor of all time. And the trailer did not disappoint. Rather, it added to the anticipation and excitement.
Here Picard is enjoying his retirement, tending to the grapes in his family vineyard, when he is pulled back into the fray by a girl in need of help. He goes to Star Fleet looking for assistance, only to be rebuffed. Never one to admit defeat, Picard assembles a team of his own and the adventure begins.
In the trailer we see Data, Riker, Deanna Troi, and Seven of Nine. There are also Borg, including what looks like the rebellious Borg Hugh from TNG, and there are Romulans. Did I mention the space battles? Yup, looks like there will be plenty of those too. All in all, the makings of a great addition to the Star Trek universe.
Then we have the Star Trek: Discovery trailer. Now I realize it is just a first glimpse but come on. Give me something I can hang onto while I wait.
Season 2 ended with Discovery propelled 930 years into the future making it the first Star Trek franchise to show us the 32nd century. This is a huge opportunity to “Boldly go” and capture the awe and wonder that Star Trek was built on. If Discovery seized that opportunity, the trailer should have offered us a glimpse of some of that awe and wonder. Right?
Sadly, that didn’t happen. Instead, we are shown Michael Burnham waiting by herself in the future for over a year and the best thing they can offer us is different hairstyles. Seriously Star Trek? That’s all you’ve got?
To be fair, there are more glimpses of what is to come. We see a rag-tag group of aliens including some Andorians, attacking Burnham.
We’re also shown a Federation flag with less stars on it indicating that the Federation has had some setbacks. In line with that theme, a new character asks Burnham if she believes in ghosts, referring to her Federation badge.
A withered Federation is to be expected since it’s been a good 800 years since Picard’s Enterprise. No empire lasts forever. The Federation may not be an empire, but that doesn’t make it immune to the geopolitical forces at work. But again, this is not surprising and certainly is not what I call awe and wonder.
So here we are, time traveling to the 32nd century and all we have is Burnham’s hairstyles, Andorians, and a dying Federation. What happened to the temporal agents?
In Star Trek: Enterprise we were told of a Temporal Cold War between time traveling factions from different points in time fighting against temporal agents from the 31st century. These factions violated the Temporal Accords, which prohibited the use of time travel to alter history.
In Star Trek: Voyager, the Federation timeship USS Relativity makes an appearance, recruiting Janeway and Seven of Nine. The Relativity was from the 29th century.
In fact, there have been many appearances of temporal agents throughout Star Trek’s history, not to mention old fashioned time travel. So, when Discovery jumped 930 years into the future, I fully expected to see a few timeships. But, if the trailer is anything to go by, that is not going to happen.
There doesn’t have to be any temporal agents, but there should be something cool. They’ve travelled 930 years into the future. It should be an age of wonder. I did not see any of that in the trailer.
As a die-hard Star Trek fan, I will watch every episode of Star Trek: Discovery, and I hope that the show will build on the success of Season 2 with an even better Season 3. But I’m worried that it will be no better than the tepid Season 1. Thankfully, if Discovery disappoints, there’s always Star Trek: Picard.
G.P. Hudson is the author of The Pike Chronicles and Fall of the Terran Empire