I’ll say this up front. I’ve been a Star Trek geek (Trekker, Trekkie…whatever you want to call us) since I was eight years old. I’ve seen all the episodes of each of the iterations (Original Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise) many times and love them all. I’ve enjoyed each of the movies as well, though admittedly, not as much as the TV shows in most cases. (And I still really wish they’d done DS9 and Voyager movies. I would have really enjoyed those.)

I’m very disappointed, however, in the new ST movies. In my opinion, they are missing THE fundamental element that made all the other iterations so good.

Sure, they are adventurous and exciting, but there are many shows/movies that fit that description. What the makers of these movies don’t seem to realize (or don’t care about) is that ST isn’t about adventure. Gene Roddenberry had a vision of an optimistic future where people are truly equal, and each of the shows under his purview was an example of the universe he envisioned. First, almost all the episodes stood alone, on their own merits. The only time we saw this fail were the Borg, Cardasian, or the Xindi episodes, shows that focused only on adventure and fighting. Those episodes became boring and trite and, in my opinion, the reason Star Trek: Enterprise ultimately failed is because it almost exclusively focused on the Xindi after the second season. Second, each episode taught a lesson, be it moral or ethical, and those lessons weren’t only for kids; adults benefited from them as well.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Vvt4m07vbP4/UG0lns6ylYI/AAAAAAAABQI/6_JZ7r8ISmI/s1600/Let+That+Be+Your+Last+Battlefield+1.jpgConsider “Let That be Your Last Battlefield” (Original Star Trek, Season 3, Episode 15). This episode revolved around two enemies, seemingly of the same race, whose faces were half black and half white. I remember the first time I saw that episode and the shock that came at the end when we finally understood why they hated each other so much. It was ridiculous to those of us on the outside looking in, and I know that many ST lovers who also happened to be bigots thought it equally ridiculous until they realized it was an allegory meant to shed light on their own bigotry. For some, I’m sure it was a big “Aha!” moment and maybe even convinced themhttp://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f331/planetshannon/Sourced%20Elsewhere/STTNG517TheOutcast14_zps3228ab57.jpg to throw off their bigoted attitudes. (I knew of at least one person for whom this was true.)

Then there was “The Outcast,” (TNG, Season 5, Episode 17) a TNG episode where Will Riker falls in love with a person from a non-gender race of people. The person he falls for identifies as a woman but has to keep it a secret, because their race frowned on those with gender identities and saw to it that that type of thinking was “corrected.” Beautifully written and performed, this episode clearly pointed towards prejudice towards gays and transgender people in our own society.

“Remembhttp://www.startrek.com/legacy_media/images/200303/voy-148-torres-experiences-a-v/320x240.jpger” (Voyager, Season 3, Episode 6) saw B’Elanna Torres experiencing dreams in which she is a young Enaran woman having a love affair with a young man known as a “regressive.” A group that spoke against technology, the regressives were deported and executed in a program of mass genocide, much like Earth’s own Jewish Holocaust.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. My disappointment in the new ST franchise is really two-fold. I’ll openly admit I’m not happy about the alternate timeline created in the 2009 movie by the destruction of Romulus and the Vulcan home world. This, in effect, nullifies every ST episode I’ve ever seen, and I don’t appreciate that. (Yes, I realize they “exist” in another timeline, but that doesn’t make a difference, since we won’t ever SEE that timeline again.) But my real disappointment comes from the fact that the movies are all about adventure and do not support Gene Roddenberry’s vision. I don’t think Gene would have liked them either.

I welcome others’ comments on this subject! It would be interesting to see what other ST fans think.