Simon Pegg Praises Star Trek Fans As “Inclusive”; Says Franchise Has Always Been Progressive

We are still waiting on word for the next steps for the planned fourth Kelvin Universe Star Trek film, but one of the stars is talking up the franchise and its fans.

Pegg contrasts Star Wars and Star Trek fans

In addition to playing Scotty in three Star Trek films, Simon Pegg has been involved in a number of other major franchises including Star Wars and Doctor Who. In an interview on SiriusXM’s Jim Norton & Sam Roberts Show Pegg was asked about which fans were the hardest to please, and he pointed to Star Wars fans, calling them “the most toxic at the moment.”

Pegg went on to praise Star Trek and its fans, saying:

I find the Star Trek fans have always been very very inclusive. Star Trek is about diversity, it has been since 1966 It always was. There’s no sort of like “oh, you’re suddenly being woke now.” Star Trek was woke from the beginning. You had a Japanese navigate just after the Second World War. There was a black woman on the deck in a position of authority. It is massively progressive. Star Wars, suddenly there’s a little bit more diversity and everyone’s kicking off about it and it’s really sad.

Pegg’s comment about “toxic” Star Wars fans refers to racist attacks on Kenobi actress Moses Ingram. The actress was actually warned by Disney in advance about potential online harassment and later series star Ewan McGregor condemned those who attacked the actress saying they were not true Star Wars fans. Of course Star Trek has had its own issues with some fans, as just reported yesterday regarding actress Melissa Navia defending the character Ortegas.

You can watch Pegg’s comments below.


Keep up with all the news on Star Trek 4 and upcoming Trek films at TrekMovie.com.

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Simon is being overly gracious, as just a cursory glance at multiple Facebook groups dedicated to Star Trek shows a regular number of “Star Trek has gone woke, and I’m not going to watch anymore!” posts, particularly in regards to Discovery.

The difference is that those kinds of posters get called out for their ignorance, and are often humorously shamed for making those comments. By contrast, a greater percentage of Star Wars fans just pile on in agreement. So, in that regard, he’s correct that Trek fans are much more enlightened about their own franchise’s history and won’t abide any nonsense.

There are vastly more posts (not just on Facebook but here on TrekMovie as well) that criticize Discovery for being poorly written and acted, than criticize it for being “woke.”

But there are people who dismiss all criticisms of Discovery as if it’s bigotry to find the series lacking in any way.

“But there are people who dismiss all criticisms of Discovery as if it’s bigotry to find the series lacking in any way.”

Yup.

Discovery isn’t perfect by any means and I don’t think anybody would argue otherwise- but the majority of the criticisms of the writers room and the characters are rooted in deep and unassauging homophobia, transphobia and racism. The constant criticism of Burnham’s “whispering” is essentially policing how a black woman should talk, comments about the acting abilities of Blu Del Barrio and Ian Alexander are blatantly transphobic (literally nobody else get these criticisms besides the only non binary and trans performers in the cast) and even Michelle Paradise is told repeatedly that she is awful at her job and should quit. She happens to be queer and has pushed for greater diversity. Any time I have seen “the writing is crap” it is usually a smokescreen for people to engage in bigoted behaviour.

These are comments you see not just on Facebook, but on this site as well. They often go unchallenged and unmoderated. Any disagreement is shut down and the dissenting voices are piled on to by the majority. Anybody who disagrees with the bigoted opinions are called “trolls”. It happens again and again and again. I myself will probably be attacked for my stance in this post. The temptation is to respond in kind. Sometimes I do. It all depends on the day.

But make no mistake: there are bigots in this fandom who don’t want to see stories about black women, queer people and trans individuals. A lot of these people gravitate to this website because the lack of moderation allows these people to air these heinous opinions

It’s disappointing to see you are still projecting these gross assumptions about people and don’t see the irony of making sweeping generalizations to rebut sweeping generalizations. You’re constantly waiting to pounce on people and scream, “Bigot!” indiscriminately without giving a thought to civility, context, artistry or people’s backgrounds. I vividly recall your trying to tell me I shouldn’t criticize any of the LGBT+ characters, telling me it was “not a good look.” I was very grateful to the moderators for shutting that down, you made a broadside that was going to get very ugly. I explained to you I am part of the LGBT community and that I did not appreciate your insinuations. And yet you’re still saying only transphobic people criticize Ian Alexander’s acting? Where do you get off by saying that? If Star Trek is all about IDIC, it’s also about having civilized and articulate dialogue with people instead of leaping to conclusions just so you can virtue signal.

It’s also a big reach to cry “racist!” whenever someone points out that maybe Sonequa Martin-Green shouldn’t be whispering all the time. Like maybe in “Unification III” where she’s supposed to be holding court with a large assembly of people, the furthest of whom legitimately would not be able to hear half the things she is whispering at them.

I think that while a discussion about artistic merit is subjective and may just lead to agreeing to disagree, it is far more rewarding than trying to find bigotry behind every criticism in order to take hollow comfort in your findings. You are only going to alienate natural allies and make pointing out actual racism and bigotry that much harder.

Also, “unassuaging” is not a word.

I enjoy how you assume that I am simply “virtue signalling” and use that as a basis to attack me. You show your true colours for all and sundry to see while also spectacularly proving my point. You are quite simply the kind of problem in this fandom that I am talking about. So thank you for being such a glaring example of the hate festering in this fanbase.

And considering “unassauging” was used in Star Trek: Picard- it IS a word.

It’s textbook virtue signaling what you do, you attack people with your still baseless assumptions and pretend you are being virtuous and defending what is politically correct and progressive. I am flat out telling you you were offensively out of line in our first disagreement and it was obvious that you just wanted to pick a fight, and you learned nothing from the experience. It’s incredibly disingenuous how you feel justified in making these sweeping statements policing how and what can be criticized with an argument that boils down to nothing more than “Losersayswhat?” playground tactics. Do you not see how absurd your position is? And now you are actually trying to gaslight me because you can’t make a reasoned argument. How many clichés are you going to stoop to on here?

And “pericombobulation” is in “Blackadder,” that doesn’t mean it’s ever getting in the Oxford dictionary.

Star Trek from the beginning has always postulated that diversity is and should be the normal state of affairs in the future (IDIC), but some fans today feel that it’s not being presented as normal but rather being paraded as a circus attraction would be, as ‘proof of wokeness’. Which is ultimately perceived by many as pandering and not inclusive.

Very good way of putting it, and I agree. The idea Gene had is this stuff would just ‘be’ because there would be no need to draw attention to it.

There’s a difference between the shows and the marketing. Roddenberry always drew attention to it.

I wasn’t talking about the marketing at all. The show itself.

To which some will reply “It’s not IDIC if you won’t respect us bigots!” Which is, of course, an abominably stupid notion, even when Vulcans are expressing it.

There are also plenty of very vocal “fans” who are simply uncomfortable with certain individuals or groups of individuals as being presented as anything other than a metaphor or a plot device. I personally waited 40 years to see myself in Trek – pandering to me is better than pretending that I either don’t exist or I have to be an alien to avoid ruffling feathers.

“I personally waited 40 years to see myself in Trek”. So you see yourself as a member of an interest group first rather than as an individual; as a human being? That’s rather sad. And, frankly, part of the problem of today’s Trek in which every niche is consciously catered to rather than simply being focused on telling great stories.

I would not presume to know your background but I am compelled to point out that there is a far greater number of people who feel shutout by media representation than feel included by it, and personally, I don’t see why it’s sad to read or hear about people being happy with visual representation.

The “quality” of that representation is sort of a separate issue at this point because western media is still straddling a line between tokenism and actual POV when it comes to non-white and non-cis characters. In terms of Star Trek, I mean, look, the people who are devotees of it now are not the same as those who were devotees when it debuted (with, obviously, some exceptions) and even when TNG hit in pop culture. Those two shows (DS9, too) were, for their time, literally the best writing television had to offer. And for those of us who remember that the writing quality of Trek being better in the past than it is now (and, yes, I know that puts me dangerously into “get off my lawn” territory) is definitely a thing, but I’m not sure that is relevant here, because, look, representation is a legitimate issue. I would ask you to reconsider the notion that it’s worth dismissing or labeling as “rather sad” someone’s joy in seeing themselves represented on screen. I don’t see what anyone gains from the exchange, and it’s clear your issue isn’t with the commenter but the people writing the shows, so, why take that out on the commenter?

An interest group? That’s an odd, though telling, way to describe a minority. Some folks are gay. Some Trek characters are now too (finally). You’ll be ok.

Ugh. This is a really troubling comment.

And easy to say from someone whose niche, presumably, has always been catered to. You’re used to seeing people on screen who look like you — what’s wrong with some of us finally seeing people who look like us? How does that hurt storytelling?

As more than 50 years of Star Trek has shown, diversity and storytelling aren’t mutually exclusive. Discovery’s story issues aren’t caused by a diverse cast.

Black, White and Asian humans, gay and lesbian humans, transgender humans (the list goes on and on) — we are all humans. That’s the point of diversity, Why can’t we all be in stories?

To follow your argument, Roddenberry shouldn’t have cast Nichols or Takei because, hey, it’s all about the human stories. Why not let the WASP guys stand in for all of us.

It’s a big world full of a lot of people — Trek has worked to reflect this from the beginning.

Think of kids who don’t think they belong in the world because they never see themselves on screen – what’s wrong with letting them see someone who looks like them? I was one of those kids — it would have helped.

My niche *isn’t* being catered to! I want to see more 60-somethings amongst the crew of the Enterprise! Otherwise I’ll feel excluded and marginalized. haha.

Uh, nearly every Admiral ever? And nearly every other character for the last 60 years.

This is not a joke. Representation matters to people. Why belittle someone for saying he was finally happy to see a gay (I’m assuming) character? Why does it bug you?

This also really confuses me because of your previous comment about diversity being baked into Star Trek. Its also often been part of the marketing – to various degrees.

There’s an entire series named after and featuring an octogenarian

I’d say it’s an incredibly human reaction to notice that every single relationship in 50 years of Star Trek was heterosexual apart from some dalliances with bisexual and lesbian representation on DS9 which one could surmise Rick Berman tolerated because he thought it was hot. And even with Star Trek Beyond, George Takei himself was incensed that Sulu was gay as it contravened his own artistic decisions and traded on his personal fame as an out celebrity. So when Discovery came along and we got a simple scene of domestic routine as Stamets and Culber brushed their teeth, I was absolutely delighted. I think their characters were handled poorly later on, but I can’t emphasize enough what that one shining moment meant to me.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that Discovery has approached diversity with heart but not brains, and its problem lies in how too many of its diverse characters are symbols, ciphers or caricatures rather than dimensional people. That’s where the diversity for diversity’s sake argument has some traction, but it’s a writing problem, not a representation problem. But to try to shut down the argument that something as personal and important as one’s cultural identity is not relevant is an obtuse reaction. Trek has always tried hard to be representative, look at all the casts, look at the missives to cast Nichols, Takei, Burton, Brooks, Mulgrew, Wang, Dawson, Beltran et al, and they were proudly advertised for representing Starship Earth. It’s still okay to point out that women weren’t always well-served during this time and that by time of Enterprise, it was feeling practically Victorian to not feature any LGBT characters. One has to address that for all its prescience, real world issues did affect the shows and that led to some glaring omissions for IDIC onscreen. LGBT viewers are a big minority to exclude for so long, and I resent being labeled an interest group.

When I was a teenager there was a lot of rage in the media against gay people. I would turn on a talk show and people in the audience would be shouting at gay and lesbian guests with all kinds of venom and accusations. There were very few people willing to stick up for us. I was a huge Star Trek fan, and I never expected to see a character like myself represented on Star Trek. I haven’t watched any of the new Star Trek shows yet, because I live with someone who hates Star Trek. But if I could watch Star Trek and enjoy it for so many years without seeing a single LGBTQ character, I don’t understand why some straight people can’t enjoy it if there are a few LGBTQ characters on the show.

Yes, I consider myself human, and I know there are millions of people who are sad and angry that I exist – and many of them probably don’t consider me human or worthy of living. I’m made painfully aware of that fact just about every time I turn on the news lately.

If the Star Trek producers decided to add a new show that went back to the 60’s culture and pretended LGBTQ people don’t exist in order to pander to homophobic Star Trek fans, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

I don’t think it’s appropriate to ever go back to those standards, it’s not in keeping with Star Trek ideals. Pandering has its positive and negative consequences, but homophobes or transphobes are not a population segment who need to be appeased. You should never have to feel like you need to.

Again, that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for the quality of the representation we get in the shows to be better, but I would only argue for less of it if it meant we’d get more characters like Reno or Dr Aspen, rather than ones like Gray.

Nothing new, Kelly Marie Tran was the target of some racist bile as well.

But before we get all kumbayah-ish, there’s been plenty of comments here decrying the plight of white males in the Trek franchise, as well. I’m afraid we have a long way to go.

There’s also a reasonable criticism of the franchise that now exists — including in the Discovery writers room (I’m basing this on a recent WGA diversity group panel where this was discussed) — about how Trek’s future has always sort of flattened out Earth into a monoculture that’s primarily through a cis, white lens. That’s sort of the flaw in western science fiction (particularly in film and TV), too: a future imagined (mostly) by white people that, in too many cases, says we’re post-racial, post-sexism, post-religion, etc. or that culture is merely an affectation rather than a legit POV.

Definitely a long way to go and in so many ways.

Another thing is that by 1000 years in the future, genetically, we will be more homogenized and less distinctive as individual races. It would be a challenge to accurately depict that in a TV show or movie, but that’s reality. Not sure how much time that will really take, but notably discernible “races” will start to disappear.

Yeah, in critiquing the premise of Trek for skipping over “the hard stuff,” I did not detect a commensurate self-awareness in their own show being set 1,300 years from our present day, but the concept that there would be no discernible “races” speaks to the present concern I mentioned all the same.

Well, it’s not exactly news that Trek is a franchise with a Western (albeit progressive and inclusive POV), which is why Starfleet is based in San Francisco rather than, say, New Delhi. But it has certainly taken steps towards being more genuinely multicultural (including much more stress on Uhura’s African heritage in SNW), for fwiw.

I’ve been reading a lot of Chinese science fiction the last few years and it’s basically the same thing, but with Chinese people being much more a part of the main characters. And most of their science-fiction has the same sort of post racial, post sexism, post religion views as well.

This is just a case of whoever writes a sf story tends to put main characters in their stories that represent their own experience — and also the represents the consumer market who they are selling their story to. It has little to do with a culture difference between Western and Eastern values/practices in sf.

Agreed, and that’s what a lot of non-white WGA writers have a problem with: the experiences being funded are largely cis, white male. Even their notion of what a multicultural future might look like (Blade Runner being an example of white people’s paranoia about Japan which has more recently morphed into a fear of China). Star Trek and Star Wars are largely the vision of white men and white thinking.

I’d much rather these new shows take a crack at re-culturizing/re-mixing Roddenberry than breaking canon because a remix of a 1960s ideology feels a lot more relevant to present day than simply saying “Here are characters everybody knows zombie walking through episodes you’ve already seen, but spiced up with modern camera techniques, sex, language, and violence.”

But that’s also a lot harder to do and it presupposes that the network executive process would allow someone or many someones with a strong vision and ethos through their system (which lol they absolutely would not).

Yeah, that makes sense…good points!

If you think science, rationality, and egalitarianism are “white” endeavors, there are many millions of nonwhite people around the globe who would laugh in your face. Or maybe you read some bad “post-structuralist” books and actually took them seriously.

Also, I can’t imagine someone watching TNG/DS9-era Trek and missing all the countless times it presented culture as a “legit POV.”

If the value proposition to audiences for suspending their disbelief to sit down and watch and even engage with a modern sci fi property is “science fiction uses the future to comment on our present” (or something similar to that), then for a lot of audiences, they’re not getting that value because most cultures and races — in science fiction — are usually only presented through allegory or mystical or inscrutable or even outright scary to a story’s (usually, but not always) white protagonist.

In this particular WGA panel, they did finally mention Deep Space Nine’s “Far Beyond The Stars” as a great example of portraying actual recognizable racism in a science fiction story, but also that the episode itself is 24 years old! So, to that point, it’s rare that non-white people see their lived experiences directly reflected in science fiction even insofar as presenting possible reasons / events for how we overcome our present struggles.

And to the point about “science, rationality, and egalitarianism,” those are three pillars of monoculture, which speaks to the present concern I mentioned all the same.

That’s assuming that the “supposed Star Trek fans” making those types of comments are really Star Trek fans and not just Trumpers who go from site to site to attack any and all things progressive. There are a ton of people like that on social media and the internet who just go from site to site and hate on people.

“Woke” as a criticism-level term is just the new way of saying “politically correct” and is usually uttered with the same intense disdain that people used to reserve for slurs, but since it’s not “politically correct” for those people to use slurs, they get to pack all that hate into a monosyllabic burp. (Again, this is when it’s used as a label to criticize as opposed to the the intentionality behind its activist roots)

Exactly!

Not being part of Stars Wars fandom myself, I cannot comment on Simon Pegg’s observations about them. But I do want to commend the Trek Movie staff for noting that Trek fandom is not immune from such maliciousness either. I guess we all have to recognize that there are forces both foreign and domestic who deliberately use social media to take advantage of long-term issues in our society to stoke divisiveness for their own self-serving purposes. This pattern spreads like a cancer even into entertainment fandoms, as Pegg’s comments suggest.

Pegg is a doughnut.

You “know nothing…nothing” ;-)

Unfortunately this can also be used to deflect legitimate criticism, such as toward the writing. If I say I don’t like Michael Burnam (or for a SW context, Riva), it’s easy to dismiss my opinion because I’m talking about a black woman. Protests that I’m really talking about how the character is handled are often met with skepticism.

I know people will use racist terminology to express displeasure (if for no other reason that many people have no idea how to form a coherent argument). I’m not trying to pretend it’s not happening. But it’s also not a shield to hide behind.

That’s the struggle I’ve had with criticizing Discovery and Doctor Who as of late, and also Picard, to a lesser extent. I have to caveat so many criticisms with how much I appreciate the virtue of what the shows are doing, but the fundamental problems with their execution undermines it all.

Compounding it is the impression one can get that the creative team uses diversity itself as a form of quality content. I.e. our character is great because they’re not [white/straight/whatever]. The value of diversity (in, say, casting) usually has no connection to story or even character quality. If a character is being written poorly, like a kind of Mary Sue, you can’t say “but at least she’s not white!” as a defense. Except it often feels like that’s what’s going on.

So fans detect this kind of quality-by-diversity trick and rail against it, and it becomes hard to differentiate it from a more general race- or sex-based attack.

Good point.

This is absolutely true. Often there’s a pattern of hiding behind virtue and diversity, patting oneself on the back for what often amounts to flat-out tokenism, the kind of which should not fly on a show in 2022. I see it in how the creatives talk about the shows and in how fandom at times circles the wagons to defend the wrong thing whenever there’s real criticism of the actual writing.

In any drama, cast whomever you want, but absolutely celebrate and embrace diversity. Then you must do the work to make them real characters, and make your social commentary statements artfully, not lazily. Otherwise it’s a disservice to representation and the POVs being expressed.

Who has dismissed your opinion of the character because she’s a black woman? Point to a single incident, please.

The character has always been terribly written. It has nothing to do with her being black or a woman.

Are you asking me to cite times my posts and online statements have been misinterpreted? Do you have a spare decade? Actually it’s not so often for me these days as I put effort into contextualizing and qualifying my opinions. I do that specifically to avoid misinterpretation, but I see a lot of online arguments fueled by just that.

The point I’m trying to make is that producers can make good efforts toward diversity but believe those efforts impart a kind of defense against poor craftsmanship. If a new character is black and/or female and/or nonbinary, they can get away with less actual character development. Being an icon of diversity is seen as character itself. We’re not supposed to criticize too much, because we don’t want to be seen as anti-black/female/nonbinary/etc. We’re supposed to let things slide, and since there are also plenty of white/male/straight examples of poor characterization, there’s always that game of whataboutism.

This has always been an issue. But back in the past, movie/show producers weren’t nearly as vocal about diversity. They employed it (as much as they could) and the quality-vs-diversity stuff got mostly lost in the noise. We could believe we were getting their best efforts and they weren’t sacrificing themselves on the throne of representation. If we got mediocrity, it was just a byproduct of the realities of entertainment production. We could chafe at the instances, but it didn’t seem like a systemic issue.

Nowadays, they’re very vocal about it. Fans are very vocal about it. I see it here, on TrekMovie. Someone will praise an episode of, say, The Orville, and people will chime in with “Yeah, but it’s not diverse enough!” This overt emphasis on diversity becomes a lens. If someone is going to deprecate a show because of lack of diversity, it becomes reasonable to deprecate a show because it uses diversity as a shortcut. To say, in essence, that the producer’s insistence on casting an unconventional actor (or hire writers that prioritize representation over everything else) is a contributing factor to why the show is bad.

So, “Michael Burnam sucks because she’s played by a black woman.” Which may not mean what it seems.

I have absolutely been called out on these boards as being anti-LGBT+ for criticizing the writing of Gray, Adira and the use of latter-day Stamets and Culber. I was so offended that anyone would feel comfortable leaping to that conclusion first, basically spoiling for a fight.

The argument that the development of the recurring tier of Rhys, Brice, Owo, Nillson and Detmer is good enough, partly because they were cast diversely, has been made here as well.

At the end of the day it’s subjective what good writing and character development is, and someone would not be out of line thinking I’m arrogant for thinking I know better about these things, but diversity should never be used as a crutch to prevent real discussion of what makes for compelling drama.

Actually, you just have to scroll up and see how M1701 is making blanket statements right here about what only bigots criticize when it comes to several of the Discovery actors’ performances.

Gene Roddenberry always said that the Enterprise is supposed to be like “starship Earth” with the crew on board to reflect the diversity of humanity. How was Star Trek ever not woke?

Origonal Trek was very sexist. That’s how.

I suspect that due to the Network more than anything else.

Between casting couch and sexual harrasment Star Trek producers were pretty woke for their time.

“Bobby, if those Trek fans could read they’d be very angry.”

Agreed. I am proud to be woke.

Its troubling that words for good things –, like diversity, inclusion, tolerance and even political correctness (in other words, being kind, respectful and working to include everyone) – have been turned into pejoratives.

Simon is apparently on a different planet from the rest of us.

Depends on your definition.
If you mean respectful of diversity, rights, freedom for all, etc than yes. Anti racist for sure
If you mean stagnant statist all power to the state than no.
TOS was pro-capitalism, pro-free markets, pro-America, that democracy and free markets were the future with a high quality of life for all. You had mining colonies, credits, etc. You had Kirk quoting the US Constitution. You had the Enterprise named after an American aircraft carrier. You had Kirk fighting the Kohms on this planet for locals to fight the Klingon USSR on Viet *cough* Neural.
The UFP council in Journey to Babel was shown to be a NATO type structure governed by consensuses where debate was the norm.
It was only TNG that all that was thrown out

roddenberry did both for OS and TNG, each era a reflection of the times they were made in.

TOS was pro-capitalism, pro-free markets, pro-America, that democracy and free markets were the future with a high quality of life for all.’

not sure that is so.

FWIW, the first reference (I can find) of them having no money is in STIV, which is just pre-TNG. At the same time, the future described by Roddenberry in the TMP novelization would certainly fit with that notion.

Interestingly, STVI had a line about Scotty “buying” a boat, which a lot of fans have interpreted as an archaic turn of phrase (“got a boat”) and not evidence that he used money. Meyer was known for that kind of thing, though, with “no smoking” signs in the background of that and STII.

I feel, people don’t get the difference between critiquing something as “woke” as opposed to it being progressive or inclusive. Saying you don’t like something because it’s “too woke” is – at least usually – not a critique of the message itself but of the way it is presented.

Yes Star Trek allways tackeld social issues. You could argue it’s the reason the Franchise exists in the first place (well that and as a vehicle for Gene Roddenberry to exploit other peoples creativity for is own financial gains of course). But up until the 2017 Reboot with Discovery it always managed to do so in an inclusive way. The issue was presented and you were given the tools to make up your own arguements for it. Yes the episodes usually had a solution but as they were presented as a discussion you didn’t have to agree with it. It was about starting a dialogue. And it was – for the most part – written as an allegory, so that the didn’t have a direct real world counterpart, with took alot of the hate and stubbornness out, that discussing the actual issue would bring with it. For example: it is a lot easier to have an abstract dsicussion on what costitutes sentient life and and it’s potential to grow or what life and death actually are than outright have a discussion about abortion with a pro life and a pro choice side, that won’t be swayed by arguments anyways. It was just more abstract. Now there are exceptions to all of this of course but with 700 hours of stories over 4 decades that’s to expect.

New Trek just doesn’t work like that way anymore. There’s allways only one right thing to do and there’s never any doubt about what it is. Also it’s never very subtle, what they’re trying to tell you because theres not allegory; they straight up use 21st century problems and have them be still a thing 300 years down the line (or use time travel). And they make damn sure you know what they’re talking about, goung so far as bringing actual politicians thay want you to support into the show (as opposed to the scientists and astronauts they used to have on). And if anyone dares, to not agree with any of this, he’s othered by the commnity and the actors/producers/writers with plenty of unpleasent categories. Then you have extremism on one side, of course the other one will get more extrme too and find their own unpleasant names to call their accusers. That’s not a complicated mechanism. There’s even plenty of SciFi stories about it.

I think, the reason, SNW is so popular with both groups is, that they cleverly got rid of the messages all together and did straight up adventure episdoes with a Star Trek coat of paint. Compared to good Star Trek episodes that’s nothing special but compared to anthing done since 2017 it feels like a breath of fresh air.

In short: a lot of the negative comments would simply fade away, if they just hired some competent writers and maybe one (instead of 25) producer with an actual vision. People are a lot more forgiving, if the medium you’re using as a plaform is actually good regardles of the message. A good example ist Amazons “The Boys”. You’d have to be blind not to see, that they’re making fun of right wing america. But the show is a huge success with exactly those people. Or look at all the youtube accounts that critizsied Discoverys hamfisted handling of trans issues and you’ll see them praise the way The Orville handeld a very similar topic. It’s about good Storytelling. It has allways been about good Storytelling. It was never about the Message itself.

“Woke” refers to a particular brand of leftism in the current year, whose adherents believe in certain things that Gene Roddenberry would have laughed aloud at in 1966. Heck, George Takei would have. Ergo, Star Trek couldn’t have been “Woke from the start,” as we’re constantly told, because Wokeism didn’t exist in 1966. It didn’t even exist in 2010, all Orwellian efforts to rewrite history notwithstanding.

What really grates about being hit over the head with this untrue cliche over and over again is how fundamentally dishonest it is. Every time we hear, “Trek is soooo inclusive,” the obvious meaning actually is, “And we’re gatekeeping any fan who doesn’t toe the line of Current Year worldview, so get lost!” “Inclusivity* my ***.

Cue people lecturing me about not being tolerant of the intolerant in 3…2…1…

(Oh, and on that: Every time we’re told how great Star Trek was for having a “diverse” cast [five Americans and two Canadians] in 1966, the obvious meaning is, “And you knuckle-draggers are opposed to such things. Which is of course a simple libel, but people like to dismiss those they disagree with as bigots so they don’t have to actually engage with their points.)

On this very board over the years, I have seen comments saying Martin Green needs to lose her Black accent, comments saying that gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed because the majority doesn’t want it and dozens of comments decrying the addition of gay characters in Trek because it wouldn’t be family friendly (and comments that it was disgusting etc). Not to mention loads of women-hating comments. That’s barely the tip of the iceberg.

So we’ve got a long way to go.