It’s Not Called Spock Trek

Look, I get it. I like Spock. Spock is great and is, realistically, a big reason why Star Trek was ever a success to begin with. But Star Trek doesn’t have to revolve around Spock.

When Star Trek: The Next Generation happened, they made a wise choice. The sequel show was going to feature an all new cast unrelated to that of the first show. In spite of being called “the Next Generation” it isn’t about the original cast’s children even. It’s about the same universe, but different characters, later. It gave permission for us to think of Star Trek as not being about seven or so chumps, but to be a vast sci-fi universe bristling with interesting characters with lives to get invested in.

A couple shows later, Voyager brought in Tuvok, another Vulcan, and there were Spocklike elements, but he was a different character in a different role. It wasn’t too bad. Then came Enterprise, which sought more directly to parallel the original setup with its Vulcan, T’Pol, being in the second-in-command role, but she was again a bit different, so it wasn’t the same thing. But after that, Star Trek decided it just can’t not have Spock. The reboot movies took the exact setup from the original series and did that again, and even occasionally doubled-up on Spock thanks to time travel. Discovery allowed itself to get near Spock by giving him a sister and making her the main character, which allowed Spock to show up as a guest star and also allowed the Discovery spin-off Strange New Worlds to just put Spock back on the original Enterprise in almost the exact role he had in the beginning (and on a canonical track to become exactly what he was in that original role).

Here’s the thing about a sci-fi franchise set in a supposedly vast galaxy full of adventure: if one guy is always there, and all the important events revolve around him or his family, the galaxy feels a lot less vast.

And it isn’t just Spock. The franchise seemingly just won’t do a show ever again that did what TNG did and create a fresh new cast for us. That’s not what popular culture is anymore. We don’t let characters rest anymore. We apparently just want everything back forever and for things to never end. I don’t like it, but I’m not the one making money off these big successful franchises.

So I don’t know, as with everything I post on this site, I’m just rambling my opinion as if it is correct in a space where nobody cares about arguing with me. Personally, I’d be thrilled to see a new Star Trek featuring a cast utterly unrelated to those that came before and maybe, just maybe, we can see the old cast now and then just for fun. I’m just saying that the Star Trek universe is a fertile one with plenty of room for ideas to grow, and if we stagnate, that’s, I dunno, illogical I guess.

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