Showrunner Talks About How ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Will Deal With Issues Of Isolationism And Race

The first season of the upcoming series Star Trek: Discovery is set against the backdrop of a war with the Klingon Empire. At San Diego Comic-Con Discovery showrunner Aaaron Harberts talked to TrekMovie about how the Federation conflict with the Klingons was no longer an allegory for the Cold War conflicts with Soviet Union, but were more representing “different factions in the United States.”

Today Harberts gets more explicit, talking to Entertainment Weekly:

“The allegory is that we really started working on the show in earnest around the time the election was happening. The Klingons are going to help us really look at certain sides of ourselves and our country. Isolationism is a big theme. Racial purity is a big theme. The Klingons are not the enemy, but they do have a different view on things. It raises big questions: Should we let people in? Do we want to change? There’s also the question of just because you reach your hand out to someone, do they have to take it? Sometimes, they don’t want to take it. It’s been interesting to see how the times have become more of a mirror than we even thought they were going to be.”

Mary Chieffo as L’Rell in Star Trek: Discovery

However, even though the show began with using the Klingon/Federation conflict to reflect political debates within the U.S., Harberts explains that world events created new allegorical opportunities:

“North Korea is in our thoughts as we finish the series. What began as a commentary on our own divided nation — in terms of Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters — has blown out to North Korea and how we’re right on the brink. [The U.S. is] actually right at the place where Starfleet finds itself in episode one and we couldn’t have anticipated that happening. But how do you end conflict when both sides have such strong opinions?”

Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou in Star Trek: Discovery


Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

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I’m glad that Discovery is going to tackle these issues. One of the great things about TOS was that it dealt with the contemporary problems of a very tumultuous time, and the world seems to be becoming tumultous yet again.

agreed! :)

The world was tumultuous in the 60s, but the Star Trek universe occupied by Kirk and Spock was *not* tumultuous. A black lady was equal with the white people. That wasn’t the case in the 60s. A Russian worked at peace with the rest of crew, that was not the case in the 60s. Star Trek was an optimistic view of the future.

So painting the federation as being divided as a way of dealing with division today is the exact *opposite* of what Star Trek has always done.

The producers never said they were painting the Federation as divided, just that division was one of the themes the show would be dealing with.

She said quote… “The U.S. is actually right at the place where Starfleet finds itself in episode one”. Doesn’t sound like an optimistic view of the future to me.

Yes, Starfleet is about to face off against an implacable enemy that doesn’t necessarily want peace–yet, peace must be made. How does that mean the Federation or Starfleet is divided against itself? (Not that would be unprecedented; see THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY or DS9’s “Paradise Lost.”)

But those divisions that have been present in past Trek have never been directly tied by the people involved in creating the show as being an allegory for present-day divisions and issues.

I will never comprehend why so many fans get so pedantic.

Probably the same reason you came here to display your extensive, grammatical repertoire.

I can name, off the top of my head, several episodes in ALL Star Trek series, that were allegories for present-day issues and patently intended as such. And you could too, if you thought about it for 30 seconds–except it would derail your argument.

For sure, but the allegories for present day issues has never been so strictly divided across political party lines. They’ve usually been more universal, human issues that we’ve been dealing with since the dawn of time.

Don’t kid yourself. We’re STILL dealing with issues we’ve been dealing with since the dawn of time. Fascism, racism and authoritarianism are recurrent human problems. Just because they’ve never been as bad in the US as they are now doesn’t mean they aren’t baked into the human race.

If you don’t understand that, there’s a lot you don’t understand either about history or human nature.

People back stabbing each other… putting others down…. jealousy and greed… it is all still with us!

Fascism and totalitarianism is a coherent political philosophy that emerged in the 20th century. It is not a “recurrent human problem.”

You may or may not be a “political scientist,” but your grasp of the meaning of certain words in the English language appears to be deeply flawed.

Yes, they most certainly have. You seen to know nothing about Trek, and specifically TOS, at all.

Don’t be daft. They have been talking about inter personal conflicts in this show from he beginning. This is not your “GENE RODDENBERRY” Utopia Trek.

Goldman said this during STLV:
“So fundamentally the idea that there is no conflict ON THE WAY TO UTOPIA is absurd.”

On the way to Utopia……..they are not there yet.

That quote David was actually about the US being at the point that it is with North Korea (not divisions). She was saying Startfleet is at that same point with the Klingons

Yes, thanks. That was crystal-clear in the interview. Why some want to misrepresent such a simple concept for ideological purposes is beyond me.

I’m also glad to see this myself, as the franchise needs to deal with current issues again like it did in Star Trek Into Darkness (terrorism, responses to terrorism, use of drone devices, illegal covert responses, etc.)

This will tank harder than the new Ghostbusters movie.

This isn’t a discussion about Orville.

Blob, go poke your sister again.

This page is for Star Trek fans.

Unfortunately Blob, you don’t know that.

If you want a show where the main characters all get along and it’s almost impossible to have conflict between them, which drives ANY story, then go watch TNG.

And you know this, how?

…going in a little heavy handed on the “social allegory” for my taste. I prefer a more subtle approach in my Trek, rather than an entire season beating us over the head with it.

Oh really? The show you haven’t seen yet isn’t your cup of tea? Goofball.

15 episode arc of war with the Klingons. Actors commenting on the Klingons, and how they will let the audience decide if Klingons are really the “bad guys”. How present events make the first episodes even more topical.
Ever play connect the dots?
I get the distinct impression that we’re headed for one long pretentious lesson on war and the moral and philosophical challenges as well as ethical repercussions of such endeavors. Hope I’m wrong…and we get some fantastic adventures, charting the unknown, where this war merely plays in the background. But I ‘m doubtful.

You are not a Goofball. And I agree with your assessment.

You agree that a show neither of you have seen yet is heavy-handed in its use of allegory? Can either of you give me a tip on the ponies?

I’ll keep that info to myself.

Like ‘Mickey Mouse hands’ subtle? :-)

Trek has NEVER been subtle in its approach. You have watched the previous shows, right?

It never proliferated every episode either. You’re about to get it in very large 15 hour doses. That’s certainly not subtle, I’ll give you that!

Star Trek : Social Justice Warriors…No thanks.

Social allegory is what Star Trek is all about. Maybe watch and episode or two? I mean, really, have you ever watched the show? Picard and the Enterprise were social justice warriors in space saving the day and doing the right thing. Love it!

There is a world of difference between social allegory and social justice. Under social justice, the populace it divided into groups and then set against each other for crimes committed by a small number of people in each group. The innocent are made to pay for the crimes of the guilty and the payment never goes to the victims.

Only one response to your comment:

Have you ever seen Star Trek before?

LOL. It never ceases to amuse me when the alt righties get butthurt over Star Trek.

Star Trek has advocated social justice for 50 years. What the hell have you been watching all this time that it all went over your head?

UUUMMM…how has Star Trek every supported Social Justice? My understanding of social justice is to divide a populace into groups then to punish the entire group for the sins of a handful of members. Nobody gets a say as to what group they belong to, that is all arbitrary to the whims of politicians and hate groups.

Then your “understanding” is woefully lacking.

Really, then tell me how social justice works.

Then you simply don’t understand the ter at all.

Wow then you have no clue what social justice mean. Educate yourself.

With due respect, this and the above are ridiculous comments. It’s not as if Tiger2 and company (or El Chip, for that matter) get a patent over what the term “social justice warrior” means.

I agree that Star Trek has always provided allegorical social commentary — and that’s a feature, not a bug. That having been said, I would disagree that it Star Trek has embraced exclusionary identity politics of the type seen on university campuses today (which is roughly what I’d call “social justice warrior” politics).

Star Trek is about infinite diversity in infinite combination. The SJW movement hates the “infinite combination” part. SJWs call infinite combination “cultural appropriation.”

Gene Roddenberry would never, ever have dismissed the slogan “all lives matter”; he’d have embraced it, and never let racists co-opt it. He’d probably have explained that it’s precisely because all lives matter that black lives matter. Vulcan logic, and all that.

Hillary Clinton, who is a Star Trek fan, and whom I strongly supported, would have done well to remember this last year.

Star Trek is very much John Stuart Mill. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. SJWs are very individualistic; if one is viewed as discriminated against, it harms all. The individual is at the center: the moderated majority does not exist, or must be silenced.

For SJWs, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

Wow, that definitely wins the internets for the day as the loopiest thing I’ve read. So you’re saying that a society that practiced horrific discrimination would be perfectly okay, so long as that discrimination only affected a few people, or even one person? Are you serious? I can’t think of a more anti-American notion, or anti-Trek notion, than that.

This isn’t what I personally think. No I don’t think ‘horrific’ discrimination against anybody would be OK. But in any society, a choice (to discriminate means to choose according to criteria) can be made against a certain person that has transgressed a rule, most times in terms of depriving one of one’s freedom.

‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the one’ is a direct quote from TWOK.

Let me give you an example of what SJWs propose: work equality access mesures. People who are hired not only on their competences, but to fill certain quotas. In other words, at equal comptence, hire somebody from a specific social group rather than one coming for a group viewed as priviledged.

There is the rub…the only groups which is “privileged” are the ones running this nation – the politicians, the judges, etc. They control the laws, the money which means they hold the power. The rest of us are just worker bees they feed off of. Each race of people will tell you why they are not privileged. You will never reach a consensus on who is “privileged”.

Amazing how you were able to twist what I said into a form of racism. Are you really that blind that you don’t see how social justice promotes hate and racism by pitting one group against another? I am saying social justice isn’t justice at all but provides a psychological reason to continue to hate. Slavery ended in the US about 150 years ago, Jim Crow ended roughly 50 years ago, yet people still use these horrors to split this nation along race lines and demand that one race pay for the sins of other members of their race – even if their ancestors were never American slave owners. 600,000 white men died fighting to free the slaves but that isn’t enough under the social justice philosophy. Social Justice is giving certain groups the right to feel angry over sins that ended long ago and were paid for in blood.

“SJWs are very individualistic; if one is viewed as discriminated against, it harms all.”

Quite the opposite. SJWs/critical legal theorists view everything in terms of group membership and group grievance. Individual liberty is a mechanism by which the privileged perpetuate their privilege.

You still have individual activists who ‘act’ according to their personal rules/beliefs. SJWs try to impose their values to larger groups. Extreme left and extreme right are both sides of the same coin.

Even SJWs have a side of ‘My values are more important than yours’.

Just about everyone considers their values to be the most valuable and important by definition; it’s just part of being human. That includes liberals, conservatives, libertarians, fascists, communists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. So your ascribing that trait to so-called “SJWs”–who don’t even recognize themselves under that name as a group; it’s just a way for you to pigeonhole people whose opinions you don’t like–brings nothing useful to this discussion.

Not really (pidgeonholing people whose opinions I don’t agree with), because I’m mostly what you would call a social liberal myself (not the Adam Smith type). For lack of a better word, I’m OK with the policies, not the politcs.

Social Justice Warrior as a designation for a type of polictal actor is very much entering the vernacular, if not the academics (i.e. Professor Jordan Peterson, University of Toronto). In the 1960s, they would have been called ‘radicals’. In fact, if you read Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’, it’s almost a template for what some identity activists are doing in terms of how they’re participating in the polity.

The issue I have is not the ‘what’; it’s the ‘how’.

Uuummm…read the comments, there are people on here who claim to be SJWS.

Thanks for the laugh. SJW teach hate to the mob because in mob rule there is power. They strip people of their freedoms, their liberties, and their rights in order to appease the mob. They foster a false narrative about how one group is more privileged than another group in order to use the laws to punish the group a SJW has decided is “privileged”. I have met SJW who never considered how much a person may have sacrificed in order to achieve a nice home and financial security. All they see is wealth and they use the mob to attack.

That is not entirely true. “The needs of the many…” is the Vulcan philosophy.

That philosophy stood in direct contrast to Kirk’s rather individualistic philosophy. In ST the logical Vulcans rather look at the needs of the collective while the emotional humans look at the uniqueness of every individuum.

In the Search for Spock you can see these two philosophies getting into conflict. Spock doesn’t understand why Kirk risks his life and his ship to rescue him. While Kirk makes it clear that the life of his friend Spock as individuum matters more than his ship and the dangers they risked to rescue him.

There is no such damned thing as an ‘SJW Movement’–I’ve been a progressive and politically active my whole life and never heard the term until I read an article about that group of right-wing lunatics who worked tirelessly to wreck the Hugo awards for everyone. They were positively obsessed with the idea.

That said, I agree that the notion of cultural appropriation is pretty stupid. Any attempts to shut down free speech on the part of the Left are stupid, too. But many on the Right profess stupid things, and have been engaged in speech-suppression tactics as long as I’ve been alive. Politics are only as good as the people, and our politics is pretty debased right now.

“There is no such damned thing as an ‘SJW Movement'”

Critical race theory (which is basically how academics would refer to “SJWs”) has been around since the 1980s or so, and it is very much a discernable branch of social science scholarship.

“Basically” is a pretty imprecise term, Political Scientist. With all due respect, because you strike me as thoughtful and reasonable, “SJW” is tailor-made to inflame passions, not provoke useful debate, the equivalent of Sixties-era Leftists yelling “Fascist!” at everything they didn’t like. I never held with that either, though at least fascism is a real thing.

“SJW” is tailor-made to inflame passions, not provoke useful debate”

Assuming for the sake of argument that is true, the reality is that the 2016 electorate responded to it. We will have a different outcome in the midterms and 2018 only if we address the underlying concerns. Political ideologies that irreductably boil everything down to race and culture may have some appeal in the academy; among the electorate at large, much less so.

Furthermore: where does this path lead us? White ethno-nationalist types were inevitably going to try co-opt critical legal studies (CLS) ideology as it went mainstream. If the CLS contingent said everything was about race and culture, ethno-nationalists will eventually retort, “fine, so make it about *my* culture.” And to paraphrase Niebuhr, if everyone from the rationalist school of thought was too afraid to speak against the CLS movement for fear of offending someone (“special snowflakes”), there will be no-one left to speak against ethnonationalists.

Lest you think this is hyperbole, some CLS types at Oxford are currently bashing Louise Richardson, Oxford’s Vice Chancellor and a leading European politics scholar, because she said that students need to be exposed to debate at university.

Thank you for expressing more clearly what I was trying to convey. I think we agree more than we disagree.

Seems like you have no clue since you can’t explain social justice to me.

So when did Star Trek ever divided the many different races and species into groups and demand that an entire group pay for the crimes of a few members within the group. Please provide the name of the Star Trek series as well as the episode. I will wait for your reply.

You don’t seem to much understand Trek or the concept of social justice.

Social Justice divides people along race and class lines and then pits different people against each other. It allows for discrimination based on skin color and ethnic background. It allows colleges to discriminate against whites and Asians with better GPAs and ACT/SAT scores in favor of minorities. Quotas force employers to reject better applicants because they have the wrong skin color.

Cry baby bro-flakes are upset that a woman of color is the lead, that it features gay people and that Star Trek – GASP! – will continue to deal with social issues like it has for half a century. Did you think it was all spaceships and phasers??? Star Trek is Social Justice Warriors in space saving the day and fighting for what’s right while sticking up for the oppressed. Enough with the wussy Trump supporters who deny climate change and science… this show is not for you racist backwards people. Never was. that why it was successful with its inspiring message of diversity and learning. Deal with it. :)

You love diversity? Did I miss the part where you just insulted someone for supporting a presidential candidate you don’t like? Or where you insulted someone for being skeptical of a scientific proposition? Sounds like you’re not much interested in infinite diversity in infinite combinations — more like superficial diversity in limited combinations.

Ah, the “if you’re criticizing my prejudice then that just means you’re prejudiced yourself, hypocrite!” argument, and right on schedule. It never gets old. :-)

So support for a candidate you don’t like makes you prejudiced? Asking questions of scientists makes you prejudiced? How is that embracing a diversity of thought? Sounds like you’re just saying those who disagree with you are “prejudiced”. So that you don’t have to wrestle with ideas you don’t like.

Diversity does not including supporting racism, sexism and scientific evidence denial. Diversity does not mean supporting a candidate who has admitted on video to sexually assaulting women by grabbing their genitals without asking. That’s called sexism and sexual assault. Diversity does not mean supporting a candidate that calls Mexicans “rapists” and says a federal judge is incapable of doing his job because his parents were from Mexico. That’s called racism. Diversity does not mean supporting a president who equates people protesting racism and nazis, with nazis themselves and who describes a white supremacist demonstration with people holding torches talking about killing jews as “fine people.” Diversity does not mean listening to a tacky casino reality star’s opinions on climate change… that’s the job of scientists who are actually educated. Go away. Star Trek has always been liberals in space and that’s why it has resonated for 5 decades as depicting a hopeful future as opposed to being conservative and conserving backwards, ignorant and oppressive ideas. :)

I agree, Star Trek has always been liberals in space. And liberals don’t accuse all Trump supporters of being racist, sexist, science deniers who support rape, sexual assault and the KKK. Liberals talk to people who have a perspective different than them. They don’t resort to the verbal diarrhea you just put on display. They employ tolerance and restraint when encountered with ideas they don’t understand. And they engage in a substantive debate on the issues.

As soon as you yell “racist” you just shut down debate and reveal that you’re not interested whatsoever in dialogue with people you disagree with.

I’d say that supporting a candidate whose nativism is central to his appeal, who started his campaign by referring to an entire class of people as “rapists and murderers,” and who just made life miserable for thousands of transgendered soldiers serving in the military for no reason that even most of his generals could fathom is prejudiced, yes. And while there’s nothing wrong or unreasonable with questioning working scientists (or anyone else), impugning their motives and substituting your expertise for theirs definitely is.

As for wrestling with ideas I don’t like–well, aren’t I doing that very thing right now? Or are you saying that your ideas are exempt from criticism?

Yes, you are debating. And I appreciate that. But it doesn’t sound like that’s what this Trek is interested in doing. The reality is that you and I probably agree on a huge majority of things that can unite us together.

If you’re not a Trump supporter, I don’t think you can honestly claim that Trump’s “nativism” was central to his appeal. There are *a lot* of reasons that people voted for Trump, and painting them all with the same broad brush would make you as guilty as what you claim to object to about Trump.

And if Trek is going to go out there and pretend to understand Trump voter’s perspectives and paint them all broadly as being “nativist” and “protectionist” or whatever, they’re making a big fat mistake. There’s *a lot* more nuance to the current political environment than that.

Well, I suspect that DSC will treat this whole subject of division with a lot more nuance than you’re willing to acknowledge. We’ll see. But I don’t see any of the nuance you’re referring to at a typical Trump rally, sorry. Just a lot of scared, confused, and frankly stupid people.

@Michael Hall, bBelieve it or not, there are more shades of political philosophy than “politically correct social justice warrior” and “nativist Trump supporter.”

You can provide a reasoned critique of identity-based politics from the left — see my point about how the “SJW movement,” for lack of a better term, likes infinite diversity, but not infinite combination — or from the right, from the perspective of free-market conservatism.

Thoughtful Democrats have been asking themselves whether an excessive focus on identity politics cost the party the 2016 election. While there are many reasons for Hillary’s loss, I would argue they have a point. The identity politics/critical studies movement, which reduces everything to racism and culture, ignores the broader social contract and community ties. Remember Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah moment? That’s what Hillary needed to recreate.

Again, I say all this as a vociferous opponent of Donald Trump and as someone who was on Hillary’s regional finance committee (not the national one, alas!)

Oh, we’re agreed there, definitely. We should leave identity politics behind and seek solutions that work best for everyone. But that being said, I’m white, and have gotten to swim in the waters of white privilege my entire life. So when a Black executive gets shot by the police in Ohio–an open-carry state, mind you–for doing nothing more than picking up a toy gun in a Wal-Mart, and no one goes to jail or even loses their job over it, I can’t in all conscience fault those who assert that Black Lives Matter, identity politics or not. Not when these incidents seem to keep happening, over and over again. We have a serious problem with police violence against people of color in this country, and in the face of that to blithely say that “All lives matter” is just a fatuity.

@Michael, the minute you begin lecturing voters about how “privileged” they are is the moment you’re in severe danger of losing those electoral votes in the Midwest.

You may be right. Fortunately, I’m not much in a position to lecuture anyone about anything. Let Michael Moore and Bernie Sanders continue to reach out to those people, who continue to hold us back as a nation and species by voting against their own interests again and again and again, convinced as they are by the likes of Limbaugh and Fox and Breitbart and Trump that their ultimate salvation lies in punching downward, the oldest con there is. I bless those engaged in such (probably fruitless) outreach, but I certainly don’t have the stomach for it.

A black executive got shot for buying a toy gun at Walmart? Can you link to this story? Cause I haven’t heard of this.

Good God, it was front page news just a few years ago. Try Google; I hear it’s useful for looking up such things.

Ok, so put the idiot who shot the guy in jail and and if they don’t i’ll join you in protesting that. If it were a white guy who was shot it wouldn’t be in the news. Bad stuff happens. That’s life. But that’s no reason to pit entire races of people against each other. That’s not how you solve racism. Racism is cured when we unite around our shared values and we judge each other by the content of our character and not the color of our skin (Martin Luther King)

Trump is a bigot, as are most of his supporters. It’s a very non-Trek philosophy. The two outlooks are incompatible.

Science doesn’t care what you believe. Don’t mask healthy skepticism with putting blinders on and sticking your head in the sand when it comes to man-made climate change.

Al Gore’s inconvenient Truth said the oceans were supposed to rise 20 feet “in the near future”. So far it’s gone up 1.5 inches in the last 15 years. And current projections have been dialed back to 6 inches to 2 feet over the next *100* years.

So forgive me if I’m skeptical of your beloved climate change dogma that relies on modeling that’s proven to be grossly inaccurate.

Al Gore isn’t a scientist, and I don’t care what he says. Science isn’t dogma. Facts are facts are facts. Made-made climate change is real. Get over yourself. This isn’t political. Science doesn’t care what side of the political divide you sit on.

The fact that you call it a “fact” reveals that you’re talking about dogma and not science. Saying it’s a “fact” is like saying we can predict with 100% accuracy where Hurricane Irma is going to go 10 days in advance.

The *fact* is, there is a lot of uncertainty around any modeling projections into the future. To deny any and all debate on an issue is very revealing about it’s ability to stand up to scrutiny.

Nonetheless, setting Al Gore’s rhetoric aside, the facts do seem to bear out predictions made by most climate change models. You yourself admit that sea levels have risen 15 inches. That’s huge in low-lying places like the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and the Gulf Coast.

I did not say 15 inches. Go back and look. I said one and a half inches. Look it up on Wikipedia.

Look it up on Wikipedia. THIS explains your level of research, you might as well write an article on filmmaking by using IMDB. That used to have John Dykstra listed as an uncredited VFX worked on 2001, even though he was in the wrong country (and still in high school) when that film was in production. Geezus!

Fine. Look it up on Wikipedia and then look at the cited source: NASA


I’d somehow thought that Dykstrs worked on 2001 myself. Thanks for the (mental) correction.

Gene Roddenberry was a socialist, and Earth at the very least represents something of a socialist paradise within the Federation. It’s not like they were pushing a liberal agenda in every episode obviously, but you could certainly see the influence of Gene’s own political leanings in the series that he had control over.

I don’t know that Roddeberry was anything like a socialist. (If he was, he sure worked tirelessly to safeguard his Trek profits.) At base, I think he was skeptical of all political and economic dogma (with the exception of the Sexual Revolution, which he was notoriously a bag fan of), and good for him. But he was most certainly a liberal, and his liberalism infused every aspect of Trek, much as some might desperately try to deny it.

You know, every time I read the phrase “Social Justice Warriors” I feel like my I.Q. has dropped ten points. I can only imagine what it does to the people who write it.

The insults and intolerance to the views of others displayed here is exactly why Trump was elected. YOU are causing the division and hatred.

Thanks for letting me know why Trump got elected. I’d been wondering.

Trump lost the election by 3 million votes. He is president because of a silly primitive outdated thing called the electoral college designed by people 200-plus years ago who didn’t have dentistry or antibiotics. The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Don’t get too cocky :)

Luke Montgomery,

Re: 200-plus years ago who didn’t have dentistry…

Tell that to Dr. Jean Le Mayeur, George Washington’s dentist.

Luke Montgomery,

I don’t know about hanging all that on the EC. For most of those two hundred years the parties and the state legislatures never allowed the popular vote to be taken for the purposes of determining a presidential race. And when they slowly started introducing it the standards were set by each individual state. It took a while for a national standard of popular presidential election voting to emerge.

Being intolerant of intolerance and belligerent ignorance is not the paradox you seem to think it is.

It’s like Zeno’s Paradox, only dumber. :-)


There is no such thing as being intolerant of fascism and hatred, null-unit; you just don’t like that people are questioning said nastiness, or Trump (most likely because you’re a bigoted racist fascist Trumpian yourself, and won’t admit it.) Why not admit that Star Trek‘s no longer for you as a franchise, and stick to waiting for somebody right-wing and bigoted as you to make a show that you and the other right-wing bigots can watch in peace away from the rest of us?

It’s one of those terms like “snowflake,” which only people with the IQ of a teenager use.

@Michael, there has clearly been a political philosophy, born in the 1980s but that really gained coherence this century, that emphasizes race and culture as the key political cleavage, much in the way Marx thought that class was. “Social justice warrior” isn’t an outrageous shorthand for identifying this philosophy, although its adherents would probably prefer something like “critical race theory.”

I agree that nuance is important in scholarly works, but this is a blog about Star Trek. Are you really going to be so pedantic as to argue that “social justice warrior” makes your IQ drop, but self-proclaimed critical race theorists are hunky-dory?

“Critical Race Theory” is, if nothing else, a series of propositions that can be tested and argued. I don’t care for it myself, finding the ideas divisive and the writing pedantic and tedious, but at least it engages with intellectual ideas and a complex set of historical facts. Calling someone an “SJW,” by contrast, is just a very efficient way of announcing to the world that you have no desire to think for yourself.

This is essentially a semantic argument. Legal academics may call themselves critical race theorists. That’s filtered down to the popular consciousness as “social justice warrior,” and not only among Trump supporters. (The term is popular on the Stanford campus, for what’s it’s worth, which is hardly a bastion of Trumpism.)

Same here. And the people accusing the producers and writers of Discovery for fostering social justice in the comments of this article are the prime examples of said low IQ’s at work.

Star Trek has always been, let’s say, left-of-centre on the political spectrum. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m politically conservative (large and small ‘c’), and I’ve always liked how Trek has challenged me to think about my position on issues great and small.

Good for you. We may disagree on much, but we can productively disagree. That seems to be all the producer is saying in this interview, and it’s has people throwing fits for some strange reason.

In other words, roballett (a) is a brain-dead Trump supporter and (b) has never watched Star Trek before.

LOL “brain-dead” …you really are a bigot, exactly what you are calling other people. The hypocrisy is strong.

Does anyone remember when we Trekkies used to argue about nitpicks in continuity and which captain was best? P’tak Farms remembers.

You’ve never seen Star Trek then, I take it?

The more I read about this show, the less interested I am in watching it. Zero enthusiasm. No thanks, I’ll watch reruns of TOS, Voyager, DS9, and TNG.

Alright. Watch it on Netflix and keep supporting New Trek! :-)

Right. A person who posts comments on an obscure Star Trek fan news blog is NOT going to watch the new Star Trek show. Yeah. We all believe that. Ha. So many negative cry babies here.

Uh huh.

You are not the only feeling this way. I belong to a Star Trek fan club and I mingle regularly with members from other Star Trek fan clubs and I have not encountered any fan who wants to watch this TV series.

And yet, all of them will. There’s a lot of bluster in fandom.

It’s definitely no longer the golden era of the franchise.

In the golden era of the franchise we did at least know how to spell Sybok’s name correctly. Good times. . .

Are you always in a bad mood?

LOL. I like your spelling better. It’s more consistent with Spock’s name. Spock – Sybock

Nah. Human foolishness is all part of the fun, as Sybok understood.

…says someone who doesn’t even know how to spell “Sybok.”

Yeah, you’re clearly not qualified to judge what it or isn’t “the golden age of the franchise.”

You might wanna check that pronoun before you carry on abusing posters.

I’ve been around a long time Argggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I know how my username is spelled. And instead of harassing you or belittling you, I bless you. Hope you have a great day and good things happen to you.

I completely agree. It’s a far cry from the optimistic view of the future Star Trek has always been about. And it seems like it’s going to be extremely lacking on simple fun science fiction adventures in space.

“It seems like it’s going to be extremely lacking on simple fun science fiction adventures in space.”

I think “Far Out Space Nuts” may be available on video, if you’re into that.

How about some Tribbles or humorously greedy Ferengi? You think that’ll be there? Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but there’s been no indication that anything like that is part of this dystopian view of the future.

There’s also no indication that this will be any sort of dystopian view of the future; in fact, the producers have gone out of their way to state otherwise. But it’s pretty foolish to argue about it at this point, when we’ll all get to see for ourselves in just a few weeks.

Harry Mudd in more than one ep indicates that they are showing various colors to this. Now I think MUDD’S WOMEN is probably in my worst five of TOS, but I very much enjoy I, MUDD in spite of ludicrous aspects. I think this Mudd is probably going to be more of a manipulator/player in the MUDD’S WOMEN mode, but that still suggests a different texture, possibly with some fun involved. BTW Michael, I think SPACE RANGERS is the analogy you were looking for when citing FAR OUT SPACE NUTS. (and if you go by the BANSHEES episode, it actually does deliver in something approaching TOS fashion, though that is only one winner out of six eps.)

“Now I think MUDD’S WOMEN is probably in my worst five of TOS, but I very much enjoy I, MUDD in spite of ludicrous aspects.”

Wow. I really respect you as a writer, but man, we sure have different tastes!

The Ferengi were stand-ins for Greedy Capitalists (Roddenberry’s liberalism again). You’re telling me you’re nostalgic for that

Of course. I have no problem laughing at greedy capitalists. Laughing at capitalists wouldn’t be funny. But greedy ones are hillarious.

Heh. I can just imagine Quark, sitting atop a mountain of gold-pressed latinum, telling the Grand Nagus that he needs a tax cut or he’ll have to send Chase Masterson and the rest of the staff packing. What would you call that?

Sounds good.

So don’t watch it, then. :::shrug:::

Besides, every single person here will watch it, no matter how much people might pretend otherwise. You can drop the pretense.


If it were free, I’d agree with you, but this time fans are going to have to make an effort to sign on to purchase the series AND pay for it. It’s not a slam dunk as with past TREK series. I’m a huge TREK fan, but have decided not to purchase the series, not because I think it will suck, or because the aliens don’t look like Klingons, or for a host of other reasons many fans have given, but because I am just not interested. It’s just a personal thing with me. I’m just tired of starships and exploration. DS9 proved you can have TREK without this base format. Rick Berman had the good sense to realize after two starship series (TOS & TNG), it made good sense to go in a new direction. After VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE, CBS should have done the same thing. The producers may still pull it off with another shipboard series, and I wish them all the best. I just won’t be joining in on the initial run. Will definitely catch it down the road though.

Just out of curiosity, then: why are you here? I can certainly understand the concept of Trek burnout, and the main reason I have hopes for this show is the same some here affect to despise it: because it promises to be different. But if you don’t feel that way, why not hang out on an Expanse thread somewhere? Excellent hard SF, and there’s not a Klingon, Trimble, or dilithium crystal to be seen.

I watched a season of THE EXPANSE, and I found it an enormous grind. Not that it wasn’t intelligent, but the look was just very obnoxious and much of the cast not engaging. I’m a huge fan of the Allan Steele near-Earth stuff, so I figured this would be right up my ally, but instead it seemed to be an inept version of THE WIRE — alternately boring or off-putting instead of utterly engaging, with disparate storylines all coming together slowly, but not in a way that kept this viewer. Then again I’ve tried watching Mann’s HEAT a few times and never gotten more than an hour in, so maybe there are just some supposedly good things that just don’t work for me.

See my post above about our different tastes. IDIC, right? 😊

Heh heh… Trimble

Bloody autocorrect. No doubt John and Bjo would be amused, though.

@Wallace — really now? That’s why they added the Defiant in short order and began taking stories exploring through the wormhole, and then eventual ship-based space battles — because DS9 didn’t work as Star Trek. They might as well have renamed it Star Trek: Defiant.

Nobody needs to know this from you or any other neocon that happens to be a fan of this franchise who can’t seem to see that it was always liberal leaning.

“[The U.S. is] actually right at the place where Starfleet finds itself in episode one ”

In the age of Trump I find it hard equating Starfleet and The Federation, with an overtly aggressive, disingenuous and incompetent government.

Been a big Star Trek fan for over 40 years. Love the original show, movies, and spin-offs. That said, everything I read about the Discovery tv series is turning me off. The people creating it have screwed up royally when they changed things. The Klingons killed off their gods long ago yet the writers of this series have the Klingons clinging to their old gods. The Klingons were NEVER telepathic but the creators of Discovery have given them telepathic abilities. Now this crap where they stereotype Trump supporters and are making them look ridiculous with the stereotyping. The creators of Discovery are alienating the Star Trek fans.

” The creators of Discovery are alienating the Star Trek fans.”

LOL. Ridiculous. Most fans are ecstatic about this show. It’s only a vocal few who are complaining. As for Trump supporters, they’re not really fans anyway–if they were, they wouldn’t embrace Trump’s racist, misogynistic, isolationist, xenophobic, bigoted policies. Star Trek’s message has always been the opposite of the crap that ignorant, bloated orangutan exposes.

So in other words….Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

I doubt very much that stereotyping Trump supporters are what the producers are up to. (There certainly isn’t any evidence for that based on this article.) That said, I doubt most Trek fans support Trump any more than he supports them.

Love it, this is the entire point of Star Trek. Thank you! The more they complain the more they will be unsatisfactied with their own morals. Isolationist thinking and how to end it peacefully needs to be everywhere and constant. If you cannot take it, stop imagining and stop dreaming of a better future. Over the head for a whole season is what I want.

Since when has Trump or his supporters ever supported isolationism? CBS has created a stereotype of about half the US population and it is a bad one.

By definition,”America First,” and being unsupportive of international organizations (NATO, the UN, the EU) and international treaties, is isolationism. When supporting a politician, it is helpful to be knowledgeable of that politician’s positions.

Trump is an isolationist and so are most of his supporters. It’s not stereotyping. It’s the truth. And Trump’s supporters aren’t half the U.S. population. Only a third of those polled currently support him, and the number keeps dropping.

Right, an isolationist that is stepping up our presence in Afghanistan and considering military action in North Korea. I don’t think you understand what isolationism is.

But he campaigned as an isolationist. Like many politicians before, Trump is discovering that it’s hard to turn the ship of state once it’s committed to intervention in places like Afghanistan.

But he *has* pulled out of TPP, which was an amazing accomplishment of the Obama administration. That alone has basically handed the economic future of the Asia-Pacific region to the People’s Republic of China, unless some future Democratic administration can miraculously resuscitate it. He *has* threatened to pull out of NAFTA and (inexplicably, given the Korean crisis) the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. Those are absolutely the actions of an isolationist, someone who takes the 18th century Ferengi view of free trade as a zero-sum game.


I belong to a Star Trek fan club and I mingle with people from other Star Trek fan clubs. I have yet to meet one fan who has felt anything bust total disgust with how CBS is developing Discovery. It would have been better if CBS had created a brand new science fiction show for their crap instead of hijacking Star Trek.

CBS owns Trek fair and square, they didn’t hijack it. What are you, some kind of Communist?

Star Trek Discovery is actually *not* made under the original CBS Star Trek license. It’s made under the Paramount/Bad Robot license — which is why it looks more like the new movies than it does the Trek we’re familiar with.

CBS owns all the star trek up to the point of the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. Paramount bought an “alternate” star trek license to use for the JJ production that had to visually and tonally differ from the original star trek owned by CBS. So that’s why everything looks completely different in Kelvin timeline movies. When they had a regular looking Tribble in Into Darkness, they had to license that separately.

So you could technically argue that this *is* a hijacked version of Star Trek.

Why do some people keep perpetuating this wrong story that Discovery is somehow made by Paramount/Bad Robot? It is not. Going by IMDB, Discovery is produced by CBS Television Studios, Living Dead Guy Productions, Roddenberry Entertainment and Secret Hideout. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the JJ Abrams reboot.

Ok, you might be right. I can’t confirm the sourcing I used for that. However, the reason I think it resonates with people is because it clearly *feels* true — even if it’s not substantiated in fact. It just feels like the powers that be are not remotely interested in preserving the legacy of Star Trek and have no respect for the franchise at all.

Nicholas Meyer might not be the epitome of the Star Trek Legacy, but it’s safe to say that he saved the entire franchise with TWOK. And there’s a hope that maybe he “gets it” where Paramount and JJ clearly don’t.

Just take for instance that ST Discovery is rated Mature and lives behind a paywall… and the Klingons have been completely reinvented. I’m sorry, this is simply *not* the Star Trek we all know. And it’s not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m all for pursuing new creative avenues. But you have to understand where we’ve been to know how to chart the course for the future.

This might not be a legal hijack of the franchise, but it’s certainly a creative hijack of it.

I don’t want Star Trek: Game of Thrones, thank you very much. Actually, that’s being too generous: This is sci-fi dystopian future game of thrones with the Star Trek brand thrown on for publicity purposes.

No thank you.

That’s very Rick Berman of you (not a compliment in my book), as I remember him going on about BLADE RUNNER and how he’d never want to see an ongoing series in that dystopia.

The whole point (which ENT and especially FC missed) is that you have to show the ashes — really show them — to get the payoff of the Phoenix. Or as Verhoeven said about Murphy’s death in ROBOCOP, you have to show crucifixion before you get the resurrection. TREK has been utterly gunshy about about showing and dwelling on the ‘bad’ part … FC makes it seem like postWWIII is just a lukewarm PG version of THE ROAD WARRIOR at most, instead of showing the real and lasting horrors. Since the first night I saw it, I’ve said that FC really needed a shuttlecraft overflight showing the devastation, and it is still something that rankles me.

If this series is Starfleet in a critical juncture before it turns in the right direction (not to the right, mind you), there is similar potential here — not for showing physical devastation, but for showing human corruption that mirrors where we’re at now. That ties in with the idea that this is showing stuff from multiple perspectives instad of just a shipboard one, which plays into the GoT angle … but if you’re trying to depict a rounded world/universe view, then I think you have to go this route, or tread while wearing the proper footwear (TOS managed the latter an awful lot of the time, but then again, they had Gene L. Coon, and Trek has never come close to having that kind of mind running things since.)

Damn, now I”m defending a show I’m not even going to watch. Gahh!

But there are ways to do what you say without changing the entire mood of the series. Deep space nine (my favorite series) pulled this off with a master stroke

“Since the first night I saw it, I’ve said that FC really needed a shuttlecraft overflight showing the devastation, and it is still something that rankles me.”

Boy, do I agree with this, but then I’ve always found FC to be overrated. DS9 actually did a better job contrasting 21st century chaos with the optimism of what could be possible if mankind got its act together.

“But you have to understand where we’ve been to know how to chart the course for the future.”

No disrespect but I’ll bet that Kirsten Beyer could whip your ass at Trek trivia any day of the week. Does that necessarily mean she can write great Trek for TV? No, but she definitely knows where the franchise has been.

You can have the best writers in the world, but when the entire creative concept is a turd, you can’t polish it into something beautiful.

Yes, but that wasn’t your argument. Stop deflecting.

I’m not deflecting. Is there any evidence that the creators of the show are respecting what has come previously? Completely reinventing the klingons seems to be evidence that they are not. Who cares about individual writers. The premise seems misguided. But… we’ll wait and see. Maybe I’ll be wrong. Although it might be a while before I see it. I have no plans to sign up for cbs all access.

Your implication was that the producers didn’t know where the franchise had been, not that they didn’t respect it. Whatever. As you say, those who care to–not you apparently–will know in just a couple of weeks.

It was on a YouTube video, so it has to be true. Never mind that this “theory” accounts for DSC’s production designs by stating that the Bad Robot license meant that nothing on this show could look anything like Prime Trek, which is why I never would have recognized that phaser in a million years.

Good. Star trek has always been allegorical and left leaning.

But what do you do when the Left goes so far left that they’ve come full circle and are now the extreme right? Is that still what Star Trek represents?

Heavens! Am I now on the extreme right? Who knew?

The far left today doesn’t believe in free speech. And promotes violence. Does that sound liberal to you?

Those things, which I’m very critical of, have always existed on the political extremes. For my money (and I wouldn’t have said this fifty years ago), at the present moment they’re far more prevalent on the Right, and have far greater institutional support.

The far left has been creating violence and havoc all through the election, protesting at Berkeley, shutting down highways, telling a liberal progressive he’s not allowed on campus because he’s white. The only peep I’ve heard out of white nationalists the past two years was their stupid tiki torch march in Charlottesville.

Then you don’t get out very much.

I just hope they remember that not all Trek fans are liberals. As long as it’s done with a balanced approach that takes concerns of both sides into account, I’m okay with that. But not if they turn it into we’re right and you’re wrong. This “us against them” thinking is the main part of why we can’t get along right now.

Star Trek is a clearly super liberal show with a secular humanist point of view. That’s why it’s a positive view of the future and not conservative, as in, conserving the backwards racist, homophobic and greedy capitalist primitive ways of annoying generations before us. Just watch some of Picard’s first comments in Encounter at Farpoint when Q is dressed as a US soldier or his comments on “wealth” in the episode the Natural Zone. Picard takes down silly patriotism and capitalism with some great comments. Hell, Star Trek is even animal rights with Riker saying “we no longer enslave animals for food purposes” or Spock being a vegetarian and finding eating dead flesh primitive and barbaric. Maybe you need to find a new show or watch that goofball on InfoWars? Star Trek is made by liberal Hollywood elites. Love it!

Thank you for proving my point. I can understand your opinion even if I don’t agree with it. If you can’t do the same, which of us is the problem?

And yet… Star Trek is liberal in its DNA. That’s just a fact. Who cares what yours or my politics are. Star Trek is liberal.

Whether or not you agree, it’s true. Trek has ALWAYS been liberal. That’s why it offers a positive view of the future.

It’s not a liberal position to paint all conservatives you disagree with as racist, homophobic, greedy capitalists. You’re correct that Trek has always had a secular humanist worldview that grounded in liberalism. But the “liberalism” that’s in vogue today is very intolerant of people and ideas they don’t like.

I don’t paint all conservatives that way, just Trump supporters. Which should be fine, since he isn’t a conservative. (Just ask George Will if you don’t believe me.

I grew up in Orange County, CA, one of the most rock-ribbed Republican bastions on earth, and had no problem getting along with real conservatives, who wanted low taxes, a strong military, and government kept out of their lives, but otherwise just wanted to be left alone and knew how to treat their neighbors with respect. Trump and his followers are something else entirely.

Yes, Trump isn’t a conservative by any means. And neither is George will by any stretch of the imagination. But most conservatives support Trump. If by your definition of conservatives you want low taxes, a strong military, and government kept out of your life, there was only one option for you last election between Trump and Hillary.

But also consider that conservatives are largely fed up with the identity politics of the Left and voted *against* that as well.

“If by your definition of conservatives you want low taxes, a strong military, and government kept out of your life, there was only one option for you last election between Trump and Hillary.”

While I agree that “most conservatives” ended up voting Trump, there was certainly a significant minority in the “never Trump” movement — among them people like Dan Drezner, Ian Bremmer, George Will, etc. — who openly said they decline to back Trump. This is before we get to politicians like Mitt Romney and the Bushes who may not acknowledge sitting the election out, but have hinted at doing so. And thought leaders still matter in politics.

Trump is not a good bet for re-election in 2020 outside of the Harvey-like perfect storm of 2016, what with Comey, Russian influence, the electoral college, and some poor strategy on Hillary’s part all came together.

But republicans like the bushes and the romneys, the McCains, the George wills, etc. have been unpopular for a VERY long time. I see no indication they represent any kind of substantial group of people in the conservative movement. There were plenty of never trump “thought leaders” but the polls don’t reveal that there were many never trump voters.

“I don’t paint all conservatives that way, just Trump supporters.”

Except all of your posts above do just that, particularly when you seem reluctant to examine any of the reasons for Hillary’s loss critically. You’ll see plenty of pundits (cf. 538) arguing that “reluctant Trump voters” are the key to a different result in 2020; well, your arguments are going to convince them to stay firmly in the Trump camp.

What makes you think I’m not willing to examine HRC’s loss critically? I’m not, and never have been, a fan, so as the saying goes I have no dog in that hunt. Theorize away, but this I know: voting for Trump as a solution to what ails us politically is like treating your stomachache by drinking rat poison. That’s just the truth, and if stating it is enough to send his resentment-soaked followers back for a second dose in spite of everything that’s happened over the last eight months–well, then so be it. The country is probably screwed, anyway.

This is only true on Fox News and the radio programs of the Rush Limbaugh persuasion. Fun fact: Rush told his listeners that Hurricane Irma was a liberal hoax, and then he evacuated Florida. That is just shameful because some of his listeners might believe him, and end up getting hurt or worse. Facts matter.

Rush never told his listeners that Irma was a hoax. He said that climate change zealots would try to latch onto Irma as absolute evidence of climate change, even though we’ve gone 12 years without a single hurricane making landfall. Do your research.

Yes, Limbaugh claimed (natch) that this disaster would be used to hype claims of global warming, but he also claimed that the hurricane threat was being overblown in the media and that the only beneficiaries were climate scientists, Home Depot, and sellers of bottled water. Then, on Thursday, he elected to evacuate anyway, more’s the pity. Do some research yourself.

I agree with your assessment. But that’s a far cry from saying he said it was a “fake news hoax”. I listen to rush limbaugh, I know what he said because I listened to it live.

How ignorant and/or gullible can someone be? Rush never said that at all. I guarantee that you didn’t listen to him — you’ve picked up the garbage from HuffPo or some other biased source. Rush insinuated that the storm may be tracking west toward the Gulf, but NOAA wouldn’t stop showing tracking over land until they were 1000% sure. That’s all he intimated (and frankly, appears to be right according to tracking over the past 16 hours). And he evacuated because he was in a MANDATORY EVACUATION ZONE. It was the law (not his choice). It’s kind of unhinged to hate someone you know absolutely nothing about so much that you repeat complete falsehoods.

I read his direct quotes, and not at Huff Post either. (You’re entirely correct that I wouldn’t debase myself by listening to him.)

Yeah–“conservatives” who slobberingly adore a thrice-married junkie who sent his maid into the streets to do his drug deals for him, then broke his plea deal by returning from the Dominican Republic, a notorious haven for child prostitution, with a bottle of Viagra he had no scrip for. What do you suppose he was doing down there with that, anyway? Playing pinochle?

You people slay me, you really do.

Rush is funny and interesting to listen to. You don’t have to agree with everything he says. Most people who hate him have never listened to a program a day in their life.

William Shatner interviewed him on his old interview show and has said it was one of the most interesting interviews he’s done. Rush isn’t the caricature people make him out to be.

Sorry, he’s an awful person who has done incalculable damage to this society. (Though I’ll admit he’s very good at what he does.) Shatner’s opinions on the topic don’t much interest me, frankly. I still idolize the character of Kirk–he was my childhood hero, fer Chrissake–but when it comes to the actor the only things I see to admire are his drive and energy, which he has in spades, God bless. I hope I’m half so productive at his age.

“Star Trek is a clearly super liberal show with a secular humanist point of view.”

This is more or less true from a social issue perspective. I think it’s less clear from an economic perspective. We don’t see much evidence that all economic activity in the Federation is centrally planned. At best, we see a post-scarcity economy, but I wouldn’t necessarily equate that to “liberal.” We also see clear evidence of the abolition of *currency*, but not necessarily of money, a la Bitcoin.

“At best, we see a post-scarcity economy, but I wouldn’t necessarily equate that to “liberal.”

I entirely agree, and have been trying to make that same point–including just yesterday!–on these forums for years. The replicator is technology, not politics or even economics. There’s no evidence of economic redistribution of any sort on TNG whatsoever. That conservative or libertarian posters decry TNG’s post-scarcity society as “socialism” nevertheless strongly suggests to me that a loss of class distinctions, as opposed to a supposed lack of economic freedom, is what really concerns them. I find that fascinating, and even refreshing.

Well stated, Mark.

Trump’s supporters ARE wrong. Period.

That was a well-reasoned argument. You certainly convinced me.

Hehe @ Dave :)

Basically one political party is in office and screws things up. They spend their term blaming the other party. Then the other party gets in office and continues to screw things up and blames it on the mess left by the other party. Now we have someone who can screw things up and blame both parties as they blame him.

TFW you’re neither left nor right and you just love Star Trek for being very pro-individual.

“[The U.S. is] actually right at the place where Starfleet finds itself in episode one” Oh really? Starfleet is divided in half just like the United States is? Have you considered why the US is divided? Maybe it’s because we stopped uniting around shared values and an optimistic and hopeful view of the future. And maybe it’s because we highlighted our differences and started pitting different groups and classes of people against each other. That’s not what Star Trek is supposed to be about. And that’s not what America is supposed to be about either.

In the words of Kirk… “Look at these three words, written larger than the rest, with a special pride never written before — or since. Tall words! Proudly saying, “We the People”.

Now Star Trek is going down the road of creating division and cutting us up into different groups at war with each other. It’s a sad state.

Good God, that’s really what you took from this article? That the producers want to divide us, rather than show us ways we can conceivably settle our differences and work together? I don’t know if that says more about your inherent biases or your lack of reading comprehension, but either way, it’s pretty sad.

America is ALREADY divided. One of Star Trek’s reasons for existing, for the last 51 years, has been to present drama that comments on the state of the world and show how we can evolve beyond it. If you just want a cuddly, non-political place to curl up and pretend reality doesn’t exist, you’ve got the wrong franchise.

The only way you bring people together who disagree with each other is by uniting around shared values. You don’t call the other side the enemy.

Dave, you really need to completely read articles before you comment on them. I quote:

“The Klingons are not the enemy, but they do have a different view on things. It raises big questions: Should we let people in? Do we want to change? There’s also the question of just because you reach your hand out to someone, do they have to take it? Sometimes, they don’t want to take it.”

Right. They’re not “the enemy”, they’re just a classic Star Trek villain/bad guy/adversary that “has a different view on things”.

Give me a break.

It used to be in Trek that the people who “had different views” were all on the same side and worked together in a spirit of unity. And they put their differences aside.

Which the Discovery showrunners have said, REPEATEDLY, is going to be their approach in storytelling.

Yes. Mr. Joyce is just seeing what he wishes to see–there’s no evidence, based on this interview, that the core message of this franchise is changing at all. If it does (as I think it somewhat did with the Abrams films), I’ll be the first one off the boat.

I’ll withhold final judgement till the show comes out. But I’m not hopeful based on what I’ve observed so far.

They’ll have a diversity of superficial characteristics like skin melanin and sexuality. But will they have a diversity of *thought*?

Or they were heroic types AND assholes who happened to wear the same uniform – re: Styles in BoT. There was no spirit of unity there, in fact it was more like outright insubordination.

Except for the ‘Romulan spies’ line, Styles had no legitimate POV, and really WAS fighting a century-old war again … just that he wasn’t a reenactor, he had the button that fired real phasers (well they sounded like phasers, even if they look like torps.)

“Calling the other side the enemy”? Like Trump threatened to prosecute Hillary during the third presidential debate a year ago?

Has he prosecuted her though? She’s not the enemy, but as a matter of principle I don’t want the clintons or any elected official to play by different rules than the rest of us. Nobody is above the law. That said, I don’t care that they’re not pursuing charges against her. But if you’re intellectualy honest, I think it’s pretty clear that trump is being held to a much higher standard than she would have been held to.

Also, Trump’s personal attacks are far less significant in my mind than people who would go around pitting entire segments of the population against each other for perceived grievances against the other that have a tenuous (at best) basis in reality. I don’t want to compete in the Oppression Olympics thank you very much. I don’t aspire to be victim.

Yes, the news media always goes easy on Democrats and the Clintons. Why, during the ’90s I never heard them speaks of Whitewater, Paula Jones or a stained dress on the Clinton News Network at all.

Holding Trump to the emotional behavior I would expect of an eight year-old would be an impossibly high standard.

“Have you considered why the US is divided? Maybe it’s because we stopped uniting around shared values and an optimistic and hopeful view of the future. And maybe it’s because we highlighted our differences and started pitting different groups and classes of people against each other.”

Seriously, have you looked in the mirror? Trump is guilty of this every bit as much — frankly, much more so — than the SJW (excuse me, “critical studies”) movement. And Trump is our president. We rightfully hold him to a higher standard than some professor like Ward Churchill. The president’s job is to bring the nation together after events like Charleston and Charlottesville. Pres. Obama did his job after Charleston. Pres.(*) Trump stoked the flames after Charlottesville.

Calling out the violence of antifa and rejecting bigotry and hatred on ALL SIDES is only stoking the flames of hatred of people who refuse to accept their intolerance towards people who disagree with them politically ( the left ). Identity politics is what incited these idiot buffoon white nationalists to come out of hiding in the first place.

Funny that they only chose to come out from under their rocks this year, and not while the KenyanMuslimSocialistCommunistAtheist pretender was in office. Wonder why? And who do you think all those proud torch-wielders in Charlottesville voted for in November anyhow? I’m guessing it wasn’t HRC.

The white nationalists have been around for a while: they’re only highlighted on the news now because they fit a narrative the media wants to propogate. You really think these idiots came together overnight? Remember the Blues Brothers when we would laugh at and mock the nazis for being stupid and irrelevant? Today they’d be lifted up as evidence of Trump’s breeding of racism. When your goal is to find evidence to fit a narrative you end up distorting reality. Tell me, how have white nationalists impacted your life today?

Yes, they’ve been around forever. When was the last time they marched by the hundreds, carrying torches, chanting racist and anti-Semetic slogans, through a major American city? (But some of them were good people!)

And I’ll ask again: who do you suppose they voted for?

Trump clearly said he condemned the nazis. His “some people” was directed at the people who were protesting the statue removal who were not carrying torches and weren’t even part of that march or event at all — he could have been clearer on that point. I’ll give you that. People only remember the tiki march.

But who cares who they voted for. The idiots on the far left who want to burn down Berkeley voted for Clinton. It says nothing about the vast majority of Clinton supporters. Was clinton ever asked to denounce the violent actions of the far left?

No, you’re entirely misrepresenting what Trump said (much as I appreciate your concession). What he claimed was that some people at the march were there only there to protest the removal of the statues and wanted nothing to do with the Nazis and KKK, in spite of there being no evidence whatsoever to support such a conclusion. (Just as he claimed to have witnessed thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering 09/11 with no evidence.) Your spin can’t erase that shame, sorry.

As for Clinton, while I’m sure you’d disagree from my perspective she always been a center-right corporate Democrat, and the goons at Berkeley have little more use for her than she does for them. (Just read what they have to say about her if you don’t believe me.). So it’s not an equivalent situation to Trunp and his alt-Right supporters at all.

Look, all Trump had to do, early on in his campaign, was to say this: “If you have hate in your heart, if you judge the worth of a person by their skin color or religion or sexual preference, then I don’t want your support,” and none of this would have happened. The “fake news” media has given him every opportunity to do this, and has on occasion even begged him to do it. Yet he has always demurred. Why do you suppose that is?

We’ll it’s sort of an insulting question to begin with. Anytime there’s violence or bad characters on the right republicans are asked to denounce them. But democrats are never asked to denounce violence or racism on the left. And I’ll tell you why. There’s an assumption that democrats have pure hearts and good intentions and they’re always given the benefit of the doubt. Why ask Barack Obama to denounce black lives matter chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon”? Because of course he denounces that. There’s no question. But if it’s a republican there’s the presumption that the entire party is teetering on the edge of violence and racism, so republican leaders have to go out of their way to make it clear that their violent and racist base doesn’t misbehave. They’ve been doing this for years. They did it with McCain and with Romney too. It’s just insulting.

Well, we definitely recall things differently. Just one example–when word got out about Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright saying that God should damn, not bless America, on account of its sins, he was given the opportunity to denounce the statement and promptly did. Trump, by contrast, couldn’t even bring himself to renounce the support of a couple of thugs when they beat the living crap out of a homeless man for the crime of being Hispanic, let alone distance himself from a piece of human offal like David Duke.

Individuals involved in the BLM movement can certainly be idiots, but their leaders have routinely denounced violence and anti-police rhetoric. (The ironic tragedy of Dallas was that the activists and police were actually marching together in a show of solidarity and reconciliation when that psychopath opened fire.) Trump rallies, which number in the tens of thousands, have routinely featured crowds cheering such charming and inspirational ideas as renewed calls to torture suspects, excluding a religious minority from entry into this country, and belittling or jailing Trump’s political rivals, including his fellow Republicans. Yes, there’s the optimism about the human condition you’re so concerned the Discovery producers have thrust aside, all right. You must be so proud.

Interesting that you bring up McCain, who had no problem calling out one of his own supporters at a campaign rally when she insisted that Obama was a secret Muslim, and terrorist, who wasn’t even born in this country. Such candor and decency, as opposed to pandering to the worst in people, seems to be entirely beyond the capabilities of Donald J. Trump.

@Michael Hall actually Trump did say exactly that numerous times during his campaign, he flat out said he doesn’t want the support of racists, bigots, etc and he denounced David Duke many years ago. I’ll be more than happy to post the videos but it doesn’t matter anyways cause people choose to not believe him and always have a problem with whatever he says or does. His haters are the ones with hate in their heart. You have a very delusional perception of reality, there is far more violence on the left than the right.

He denounced Duke many years ago, all right, when he ran against him as a Democratic-leaning independent–then recently claimed not to know who he was at all, rather than condemn his hatefulness and bigotry. (That incredible businessman’s memory and attention to detail you Trump supporters voted for, I suppose.)

I have no idea whether in his heart of hearts and innermost soul that Donald Trump is a racist. I have tended to think that even a faux-businessman, living and working in the world’s most cosmopolitan (and liberal) environments that necessitates interaction with many kinds of people, could ill-afford bigotry, let alone racism; it would be hurtful of the bottom line. But I’ve also read of his father’s KKK membership and discrimatory rental practices that had to be settled with the Federal government, as well as disturbing reports from people who have worked for him describing his antipathy at the thought of Black accountants handling his money–he purportedly prefers guys like me who wear yarmulkes in that role–describing them as “lazy,” while generously conceding “it’s not their fault.” So, I just don’t know. But this I do know: while Trump may not be a racist himself, he actively cultivates the support and admiration of those who are, and will move heaven and earth to avoid offending them. A million years ago, in 2015 just after announcing his run for President, two supporters in Boston beat a homeless Hispanic man to within an inch of his life, claiming upon their arrest that “Trump was right, they all have to go.” His response, when asked to comment? “My supporters are very passionate people.” Why do you suppose that is?

I’ll concede that Trump is a flawed human being who often puts his foot in his mouth. He wasn’t my first choice (Rand Paul was). But I would bet that most trump supporters are already conscious of his flaws, but voted for him anyway because he was on the right side of the issues — that’s certainly why I did. As well as the fact that the media willfully ignores (or downplays when they can’t ignore) the flaws of democrats. If you want to attack trump on policy, fine. But don’t just call him a racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic bigot and expect to win support. Republicans (and democrats) are sick of that nonsensical garbage, which is why Trump win. You can’t win an argument by calling the opposition names.

Actually he condemned David Duke during the campaign as well, but of course you keep making excuses as to why that’s not enough. Also plenty of people who have worked for him including minorities have spoken out in support of him and his support of minorities, but yet the accusations you state have no evidence to support them. And funny how you mention one single incident involving his supporters but I can name a whole bunch incidents of violence from the left, including when a lunatic Bernie supporter specifically targeted and shot at Republicans.


Re: …incidents of violence from the left…

Cut to the chase, cite the deaths.

Mainstream liberals and Democrats immediately denounced Churchill’s comments, and he promptly lost his tenured professorship IIRC.

The EW article also mentioned that they are currently shooting their 13th episode.

“The U.S. is actually right at the place where Starfleet finds itself in episode one…”

So Starfleet is pretty damned screwed up too at this time, is my impression of that. I agree with the other posters who are saying if the writing displays a balanced approach, I’ll be in. If they start beating us over the head to lean any certain way, I’m out. There’s too much of that in the news, on social media, almost everywhere today. I don’t need it in my sci-fi.

Which brings to mind, I hope smart, exciting sci-fi is the main goal here, not telling viewers how or which way to lean towards the certain hot-bed issues of today which I for one, am getting so tired of.

They never said that Starfleet is “pretty damned screwed up.” The organization is confronting an adversary that isn’t necessarily interested in accommodation or even peace, and yet a way must be found to deal with them anyway, as is the situation with North Korea. Not so sure why this is difficult for some posters here to understand as it was stated clearly in the article.

Honestly, the ‘Starfleet is pretty damned screwed up’ part was my interpretation of that quote, Michael, because that’s how I feel the U.S. is
right now, pretty damned screwed up.

Well, that’s certainly true. :-) But is there anywhere on earth right now you couldn’t say that about, really?

Sometimes, I swear someone must have put something in the water.

Someplace they mentioned THE FINAL REFLECTION as being an influence on the original DSC concept, and in that awesome novel, Starfleet, while clearly aspiring to be more, shows at its highest level it is willing to do all the Gulf-of-Tonkin falseflag stuff. Shoot, even the Starfleet guy who is actually above-board and saying stuff like ‘if Starfleet fixes the vote, it doesn’t deserve to exist’ winds up ‘fixing’ the situation by seeming to cause more death (a much-needed one, but even so.) There’s a lot of complexity there that made for compelling reading, and if DSC can actually tap into any of that, it would be terrific.

I find it uneasy how in this day and age the showrunners are equating the Federation to the US. Trek is a series founded upon the idea of us all coming together and working as one, and – more than that – embracing other cultures, ideals, and ways of doing things. If anything, the real world parallel would be the EU.

Beyond that is the basic fact Starfleet, and its mission, is based upon the Royal Navy and its missions in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Hornblower and all that (though for real-world comparisons you can’t go much further than James T Kirk=James Cook, and Benjamin Sisko=Lord Nelson, for example).

I just find this US-centric approach myopic. In the past, yes, there was the argument it was a US show. You don’t even really have that now.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of your post, but if you’re going by casting alone I think Discovery may well have a less “U.S.-centric” feel than any Trek series to date. And I agree that would be a good thing, if that’s what you’re saying.

Why? Embracing a world that stands up for liberty, freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all people isn’t worth celebrating anymore?

Lots of nations and communities support those things, and a few of them currently are doing an arguably better job of implementing them than the United States.

That in itself is a very US centric view ;-) If going by the nationalities and names of the *characters*, Discovery is a very inward-looking representation of America and its problems and does not reflect Earth. All these Anglo-Saxon names, Asian characters like Michelle Yeoh or Shazad Latif are not allowed to have Asian names or non-American heritages, let alone are we seeing any Russians (or even North Koreans) on the bridge. In the current climate, *that* would be truly progressive and risky, not the feel good feel safe “diversity” as per the American “moral majority”. In that light, TOS was more daring in the 1960s already!

Ha! Indeed. We’re back in a political climate where putting a Russian on the bridge would be daring! I never thought of that! LOL. Ha ha ha ha ha ha

FWIW, I suspect Tasha Yar’s background is Western Ukrainian or from the Russian-speaking community in Lithuania/Latvia.

I think Worf was actually more Slavic than Tasha Yar. At least, he grew up there. :-)

The Rozhenkos lived in Babrusk, which is a town in Belarus roughly halfway between Minsk and Gomel. The area was part of the Polish-Lithuanian state. I’ve often thought this regional connection explains the budding friendship between Yar and Worf in Season 1 had as much the security connection.

I’ll defer to your expertise on that one–my Jewish ancestors actually hail from the Ukraine (my brother visited a couple of years back before things heated up there), but I’m regrettably ignorant on the subject. Loved the actors who played Worf’s parents, though.

GR still had to distill down the Hornblower thing to being more like the US coast guard to get it to ‘float’ here, so the US-centric approach is valid historically in order to ‘reach.’

Doing what Trek does best. Great job Discovery team! I’m sure Nick Meyer is loving this

This article gives me the impression that the DSC producers scrapped the TMP-ENT Klingons, and re-invented them, in order to have them (or factions of them) represent the KKK and/or the American political right-wing, Alt-right, what-have-you.

Unfortunately, this article gives the impression that DSC is going to revolve around fairly obvious, heavy-handed PC messaging. But, maybe the actual show won’t really be as cut-and-dried as this article suggests. We’re living in a time when the American President is the most obvious, black-hatted villain that we’ve ever had in that role (with the possible exception of Andrew Johnson). With all of the nonsense that I have to read about and see in the news on a daily basis, do I really want to come home and sit through a show telling me: Xenophobia’s bad, mmkay? Because diversity’s good, mkay? But, again, maybe it won’t be like that. That is, however, the impression that I’ve been consistently getting since the beginning of DSC’s promotion. I can’t shake the feeling that the DSC producers view their audience as a bunch of Pavlovian PC dogs who will salivate at the mere mention of any and all PC buzzwords and tropes.

I won’t respond to this much, out of respect that I’ve held for your opinions over the years. But I will respectfully suggest that if there’s any buzzword phrase in the English language that’s virtually guaranteed to generate a Pavlovian response, it’s got to be “PC”.

Michael Hall

I just don’t like the Orwellian group-think. Never have. Or the Puritanical self-righteousness, actually. Or, quite frankly, the hypocrisy. And, apart from all of the aforesaid, when people start being Nazis about language, they lose me. But, I honestly don’t use the term “PC” out of spite; it’s just an abbreviation for “political correctness,” which is the movement and ideology that I’m referring to.

I’d say that Lyndon Johnson has to be close to Trump-level in his intentional black-hat villainy (if not more so — the guy probably left more bodies behind than Marlo on THE WIRE), but not quite ever reaching moron level like 45.

I won’t disagree about the villainy, but the difference is that LBJ actually accomplished some good as well (the Civil Rights Act, some parts of the Great Society). I can’t think of a single decent thing Trump has done or even said, outside of hurricane relief. He is truly an unmitigated disaster.

Interesting you praise LBJ considering he called black people the n-word and said he’ll havem the voting Democrat for the next 200 years, yeah such an accomplished man. Also if you need a list of accomplishments Trump has done, I’ll be more than happy to provide it for you.

I never claimed that LBJ was in any way a saint or even a good man; just that he managed to do some objective good while in office, for all his flaws. You really need to try reading for comprehension.

As for Trump’s “accomplishments,” do tell.

Michael Hall

Makes a good point about LBJ.

Whether it was out of atonement for conspiring, or knowing about, or just wishing death upon JFK, or for being such a bully, LBJ really did accomplish an enormous amount of good domestically: Medicaid, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act… No president since has done so much to raise the standard of living of the majority of Americans.

I don’t know if it was Harbert’s intent to further politicize the situation or if that’s just the spin given by some folks reporting the comments. But I’m pretty sure that Gene and Majel wouldn’t approve of that tactic. They bent over backwards to welcome everyone. Some of the political spin on Discovery has been WAY over the top and even obnoxious since day-1. Why can’t we all just enjoy the show and actually be tolerant and inclusive of ALL of the viewers?

How is saying that the show is about the present moment not welcome all viewers? I am sure all viewers are very welcome to join in the conversation about the complex story they are telling.

T in a C: I didn’t assert that that statement doesn’t welcome all viewers. I wrote that either the statements OR THE WAY THEY ARE BEING SPUN are overly political (and could alienate half the audience) and added that Gene (well known for his political views) was never divisive like that.

It’s the way they are being spun, thanks. And why is that his fault?

If you don’t think Gene Roddenberry had very specific ideas about politics then I’ll assume you never attended one of his college lectures. He wanted us to be able to disagree agreeably–IDIC, and all that–but he was also a confirmed liberal and humanist, believed in science, and didn’t suffer fools gladly. I can’t even begin to imagine what he would have to say about Donald Trump.

For f**** sake is nothing sacred these days? Yet again another example of Hollywood trying to lecture people with their BS. Can’t we just enjoy our entertainment without everything having to be politicized? They just shot themselves in the foot cause the minute they start taking shots at the President and half the country they’re gonna alienate a lot of viewers. Star Trek always tackled large scale issues allegorically but it never injected modern politics into it, and I know plenty of you are gonna try and say that it was always political but that’s completely false since Star Trek takes place in a time where our politics don’t even exist, so how can you say it was political? And also another thing the mob mentality, groupthink, and identity politics of the left makes me sick, especially those of you on this board who constantly attack Trump, his supporters, and conservatives/Republicans in general. Just to make things a bit more clear for you, no neither Trump nor his supporters are all the things you accuse them to be, you are completely wrong about them and if you keep thinking that and making false accusations you are completely lost and have no idea why people support him in the first place and you will keep losing at the polls as a result. This show has just been one disaster after another and this just really put the nail in the coffin, I hope they scrap this show and start from scratch. I would rather wait a few more years to get some actual good quality and real Star Trek instead of putting up with this garbage.

Pro tip from a liberal: if you’re truly trying to persuade, evidence, argumentation, and punctuation are your friends, and run-on sentences are not. Just trying to help. 😊

Looks like we identified the grammar Nazi, such a clear deflection tactic.

If writing the mods to ban you would help, hell, I’d do it. But I know better.

Ban me for what? Having a different opinion? There are plenty of posters on here that cross the line way too often and I haven’t once, so good luck with that.

Michael Hall you have constantly commented on just about every single post that criticizes this show especially when politics are brought into the mix. Your intolerance of people just for having a different opinion is noted. I’m all for having an open discussion but when you start attacking Trump and all his supporters you’re being a hypocrite.

Did I write the mods and ask them to ban you? Did I call the government and demand that they jail you? If not, then how am I being “intolerant” of your opinions? Because I don’t like them, as you claim not to like “the mob mentality, groupthink, and identity politics of the Left”? Because I call you out on your lies, as when you claim that Harberts compared Trump supporters to Klingons (he did no such thing, which would certainly be unfair as they’re clever, brave, and honorable)? Because I make fun of the fact that you’re too lazy or disrespectful of your fellow posters to frame your rant in such a way that it could pass muster in an eighth-grade English class?

Sorry, but I don’t think that freedom of expression and tolerance mean what you think they mean.

I’m not talking about my posts I’m talking mainly about everyone else’s that you comment on, I could care less how you respond to me but your responses to other posts litter the entire board. And tell me what have I lied about exactly? How am I being lazy and disrespectful? Also funny how you insult my English skills considering I’ve aced every single one of my English college courses and was even recommended by the professor to tutor other students, so I think it’s safe to say the way I frame my rants is quite alright.

Just to add to my original post I find it quite ironic that the producer of Discovery is trying to paint conservatives as Klingons when liberals are pretty much the borg with their hive-mind.

In dealing with your point of view, resistance is FEUDAL — but necessary.

What’s wrong with my point of view? Do you have a hard time dealing with other people’s points of view? It seems so.

Politics is still very much alive and well in Star Trek if you cared to watch it properly!

As I explained it really isn’t. I don’t recall Star Trek ever trying to pit the people of modern American politics against one another. Did they have an episode that tried to deal with Watergate? No. Are they going to make an episode where someone deletes 30,000 emails? Probably not. But yet they’re going to portray half the country as a bad alien race. Yeah cause that will totally help the division in this country lol.


This mornong’s headline at Breitbart: “STAR TREK DISCOVERY PRODUCER COMPARES TRUMP SUPPORTERS TO RACIST KLINGONS!” Because, of course, what else would you expect?

Let’s just wait and see…

I don’t need to see the show to know that Harberts did not, in fact, compare Trump supporters to racist Klingons.

Disappointing. In 2017, it’s no longer necessary to address sociopolitical issues as sci fi allegories in order to make a point. In fact, stories dealing with race, gender, sexual orientation are deeply ingrained in nearly every TV show are now the “new normal”. As are gay characters and non-white characters. There is no shortage of programming commenting on current political topics as well. Nothing here is ground breaking. They are simply joining the chorus of, what has become near constant political outrage, dressed up in costumes and makeup flying around in spaceships.

So you’re saying that SF-as-metaphor is now obsolete? Interesting argument, and one I’ve entertained myself on occasion, though I doubt it’s entirely true, since a funhouse mirror held up to reality can still be quite useful in revealing things we ordanarily wouldn’t see. But something tells me it’s the nature of the metaphors you expect on DSC, not the idea of metaphor itself, that has your panties in a bunch.

Why should Star Trek tackle serious real-world issues when it can be The Orville instead? lol

CBS just insulted over 40% of the American population. It has upset the Star Trek fandom because it didn’t stick to the Star Trek universe story line. This show is just going to bomb.

40% of the voters in 2016, you mean. And I can assure you with utmost confidence that the vast majority of those don’t give a damn one way or the other.

“as we finish the series.”

Hm. Interesting wording…especially in light of the rumors on the Meyers mystery Trek project.