Star Trek reboot blasts off franchise revival

Audrey Serrano, Features Editor

For decades, the Star Trek franchise has been influencing popular media and many fans, both young and old, who have grown up watching and loving the series, both the original and reboots.

“Star Trek: Discovery” released its first episode on Sep 24 on CBS and follows the tales of the USS Discovery and its crew through its journey through space and time, as opposed to the USS Enterprise the previous series focused on.

Unlike previous reboots, “Discovery” focuses the series on an entirely different crew, an entirely different ship and an entirely different plot.

The show follows the adventures of the USS Discovery during the Federation-Klingon cold war and introduces a different cast far from the crew many grew up knowing and admiring.

The plot of season one so far follows protagonist Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, with her role as first officer on the USS Shenzhou for the first two episodes and on the USS Discovery from the third episode and on.

Compared to the Star Trek original series and the reboots, “Discovery” does not follow the journey of Captain Jim Kirk and his memorable crew. Martin-Green’s Burnham, also, does not become captain and maintains her position on the ship as Commander.

Adding on to the Star Trek canon timeline, the time period in which Discovery takes place roughly a decade before the canon timeline of “Star Trek: The Original Series”, in which iconic characters such as Captain Jim Kirk, played by William Shatner, and Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, were introduced.

“Discovery” also strays from the timeline of the most recent Star Trek reboot. The 2009 and ongoing J.J. Abrams feature-film adaptations of the series introduced an alternate universe of the Star Trek timeline and added a new twist to Captain Kirk, now played by Chris Pine, Spock, now played by Zachary Quinto, and other memorable characters.

With “Discovery” following the development of a Starfleet first officer rather than a Captain, it puts a whole new perspective to the franchise’s canon. Doing this showed the different dynamics between captain and subordinates and the relationships, both hostile and tactile, between the officers.

It was a risky change, switching over from the usual perspective focus, but it was a good tactic for the franchise to flex the plots and character studies as it delved deeper into the Star Trek universe by showing a side of canon that has never been seen before. Admittedly, it was a bit hard to get into, but the episodes released so far showed good promise for the show

The witty and sarcastic nature of the characters, mixed with the seriousness of the plot, adds a comedic sense to an otherwise heavily suspenseful show.

Though so far there have only been three episodes released since its debut, there is already potential for character development, certain dynamics between the characters and the ongoing significance of morals during intergalactic war, as shown multiple times before in past Star Trek adaptations.

The show gives extra insight on team dynamics first established by the original series and adds on to the adventure and curiosity of missing plot-points when jumping from timeline to timeline. “Star Trek: Discovery” in turn, has the potential to introduce the franchise to a whole new generation, as the past reboots have done, and to delve more into the Star Trek universe more than the past adaptations have.