"Space, endless expanses. It is the year 2200. These are the adventures of the spaceship Enterprise, which with its 400-strong crew has been on the road for five years to explore new worlds, new lives and new civilizations. Many light years from Earth removed, the Enterprise penetrates into galaxies that no human has ever seen before. " Trekkers know and love these sentences because they started a worldwide phenomenon. It doesn't matter which Star Trek series is your personal number one and which captain wins the "Best Starfleet Officer" award for you – Kirk was there first and for that reason alone he deserves a place on the podium. But stop! Anyone who has seen the pilot episode "The Cage" from 1965 (initially rejected by NBC) knows that Kirk was not the first captain. This honor goes to Christopher Pike, who is to lead the franchise to old glory in the new series Strange New Worlds. At this point, we examine who Pike is and why he could be the right choice to steer Star Trek in a direction that is reminiscent of the optimistic space western of the seventies.

<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/06/Pike_im_wandel_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Whether at the beginning of his career or at the bitter end, Christopher Pike does everything for them Federation and its values, its moral center is iron.
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Whether at the beginning of his career or at the bitter end, Christopher Pike does everything for the Federation and its values. Its moral center is iron.

Source: Paramount / CBS

Every beginning is … too progressive

The world's first Star Trek episode was shown in 1965 at the "World Con" in Cleveland, Ohio. In "The Cage" the Enterprise returns from a difficult mission on the planet Rigel VII, only to get into the next mess on the planet Talos IV: Captain Pike is lured into a trap by the Talosians with the human slave Vina, around me to found her a new slave race. After escaping, which he undertakes together with female officers number one and Ensign Colt, the crew is placed on the surface of the planet destroyed by atomic bombs. However, through the heroic resistance of number one, the Talosians admit small and confess that the slave Vina was badly disfigured in an accident – her undamaged appearance is only an illusion of the Talosians. Pike makes the Talosians promise to leave Vina her intact appearance and also to create an illusionary Captain Pike as a companion.

Even though the plot now sounds like a classic Star Trek episode, it was far too progressive for NBC at the time. The main criticisms were a lack of action scenes and the slow narrative style. The plot surrounding enslavement, the justification for captivity and the choice between personal happiness and the acceptance of a harsh reality were "too intellectual" for those responsible. Small anecdote on the edge: The character Spock also caused raised eyebrows, since he gave the impression of a satanic elf on NBC.

<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/06/Setzen_sechs_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Bet, six: Pike was an absolute model cadet at the Starfleet Academy, covering every area with distinction – apart from his nemesis, astrophysics.
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Set, six: Pike was an absolute model cadet at the Starfleet Academy, who passed every area with distinction – except his nemesis, astrophysics.

Source: Paramount / CBS

Pike's early life and career
In order for us to get a decent picture of Christopher Pike, we need to track his career as one of the most decorated Starfleet captains of all time. Gathering the information is not easy, because the relevant information about Pike's life story runs through all possible Star Trek series. The young Pike spent his childhood at a stud farm in the city of Mojave – a retrospectively very important choice for the writers, since the spaceport "Mojave Air & Spaceport" is located here today, which is used by civilian space companies as a test site. Pike loved his two horses, Tango and MaryLou, on which he regularly rode through the surrounding parks. However, the atmosphere at the Pikes was rather tense because Christopher's father, unlike Kirk's father, was not a career officer.

As a scientist who taught comparative religion in his spare time, Pike's father was an extremely demanding role model. Christopher's childhood was dominated by contradicting worldviews, which forged him into a very reflective personality in his later life. Even if he can react emotionally to a crisis situation, his past is character-wise far removed from the emotional outbursts of a James T. Kirk. After he was persuaded by his friend Alexander Marcus to join the Starfleet Academy, he proved to be an exemplary (and hard-drinking) cadet, who received top marks in all areas – except in the field of astrophysics, in which he failed with a straight six. However, this faux pas did not prevent Pike from becoming a test pilot after graduating from the academy. Operations followed on ships on three different Starfleet ships before Pike landed as the first officer on the Enterprise. Interesting for fans: In Star Trek Discovery it was confirmed that Pike served under Captain Robert April during his time on the Enterprise, who had already been introduced in the animation series "The Enterprise".

<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/06/Verletzer_Pike_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Captain Pike knew what fate awaited him through a vision – and he took it despite everything, because he knew that it would save lives.
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Captain Pike knew what fate awaited him through a vision – and he accepted it anyway, knowing that it would save lives.

Source: Paramount / CBS

In "The Cage" Pike has served as Captain of the Enterprise for four years and begins to doubt himself: His orders cost crewmembers' lives and under his command no further "red shirts" should die. The situation becomes even more complicated for Pike, as the war with the Klingon Empire breaks out – and the Enterprise does not take part in it. Still entrusted with its five-year mission, it will serve as the last reserve. In the "Star Trek Discovery" episode "Brother", Pike finally takes command of the Discovery two years later and explains to Michael Burnham that he and his crew struggle with the decision of the Starfleet command. None of them are happy about the fact that they avoided the war. What follows now is the hunt for the "Red Angel" covered in Star Trek Discovery and the examination of Section 31 and its murderous artificial intelligence "Control". Pike finds himself back during his adventures, is reunited with his friend and colleague Spock. Shortly thereafter, Captain Pike takes command of the Enterprise again and serves on the ship for another four years before finally handing over the baton to James T. Kirk. Pike was subsequently promoted to fleet captain and at that point spent almost twelve years with his friend Spock in search of strange new worlds and new civilizations … until a fateful accident occurred.

Fleet Captain Pike inspected a cadet ship when the propulsion of the old J-Class ship suffered a catastrophic malfunction. The warp core insulation panels collapsed – and Pike, as an exemplary Starfleet officer, rescued all the cadets from the engine room. However, he was caught in the automatic emergency lock and bombarded by a massive load of delta radiation. From this point on, Pike took on the look that can be seen in the spaceship Enterprise episode "Talos IV – Tabu, Part 1": Bound to a special wheelchair, Pike can only communicate by actuating signal lights. Spock is serving under Captain Kirk at this time, but is faking wrong orders to take his old friend to planet Talos IV, where Pike is eventually handed over to the Talosians. In a touching ending, Pike meets the slave Vina again – but now as a healthy, youthful Starfleet officer. Even if the two lovers remain severely disfigured, they spend the rest of their lives together in the illusion created by the Talosians, free of physical limitations.

<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/06/Vina_und-Pikes_Schicksal_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "A perfect start, a perfect end: The severely injured Pike spends one harmonious, if illusory evening of life with the injured slave Vina.
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A perfect start, a perfect end: the severely injured Pike spends a harmonious, if illusory, retirement with the injured slave Vina.

Source: Paramount / CBS

New hope for the franchise
Scriptwriter and director Akiva Goldsman stated right from the start that "Strange New Worlds" will be based on classic Star Trek virtues: the series will be far more optimistic than the sometimes extremely dark stories of Discovery and Picard, without the social criticism of the original Star Trek to leave outside. In addition, the episodes should remain largely self-contained and in this way remind of old Star Trek television evenings. Christopher Pike is perfect for this concept, because if you look at his career and his deeds, an exemplary Starfleet captain emerges. Pike has a strong moral center and spends his life devoted to the ideals of the Federation, such as self-actualization, defense and community service. Even when faced with overwhelming evidence that his actions save lives, but leave him crippled ("Brother", "New Eden", "Valley of Shadows"), Pike decides to save his fellow human beings. In doing so, he perfectly embodies the famous sentence of his long-time friend Spock: "The good of many, it weighs heavier than the good of few or an individual." We are very excited about Strange New Worlds – and on top of that we are cautiously optimistic that the series could satisfy fans of the "Old Trek" in particular.

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