Later this year I plan to do a series of writings all about aliens and how we depict them in fiction, but before I can get to that, I want to write up what has to be one of the most niche things I’ve ever written, and on this site that is saying something.
I am declaring it loud and clear:
This is about Star Trek, and it is about Star Trek so obscure that I bet most people who actually love Star Trek wouldn’t care about it. But to me, this is a chance to do something cool.
It’s like this: On the Star Trek series Enterprise, there was a species of aliens called Arkonians who were enemies of the franchise’s more famous aliens, the Vulcans. They only appeared once. On the Star Trek series Discovery, we saw an alien yeoman serving on the bridge of Christopher Pike’s Enterprise. She didn’t do much.
You may notice that the yeoman doesn’t actually look all that much like the Arkonian. I disagree. It is only in the world of Star Trek, where a few ridges on your nose or a point to your ears makes you an alien, that these two individuals don’t look like the same species. Sure, I admit that they have different skin colours and eye colours and one has hair and the other doesn’t but, little known fact, you can find examples of the human race on Star Trek where one has a different hair colour or skin colour or more/less hair than another. And the show expects us to believe that those are members of the same species. So, why not use this as a chance to show some variance in what Arkonians look like and make them seem more like a real species?
But there’s more to it than that. Star Trek has a long tradition of turning former enemy species into friends. The Next Generation gave us a good Klingon, a species who had been an enemy in the original show. Deep Space Nine gave us good Ferengi and Voyager gave us good Borg, both of which were enemies on TNG.
I don’t even know if this yeoman is going to show up on the new Star Trek show that will be continuing Pike’s adventures, but if they do, why not make her an Arkonian? What’s to lose? I don’t know if she’s the first Arkonian to join Starfleet or if the Arkonians were the first species to join the Federation after the founding four or what, but it’s the right choice to make.
I yield the remainder of my time.