The golden heart of Star Trek: The galaxy needs new optimism – Gamesaktuell

There comes the point in any franchise's life where it is at a crossroads. The same thing has happened with Star Trek lately: Will the Trek universe fully adapt to the dramatic and often extremely gloomy nature of a modern television series? Or does it stick to the values ​​that many Star Trek fans grew up with? The answer to this lies in the way science fiction works at its core – and to Gene Roddenberry, who as a humanist and visionary brought his very own fragrance into the genre. Follow us on a little digression that should bring you closer to the "golden heart" of Star Trek and hopefully reflect what the last Star Trek series only conveyed us with difficulty: Hope for the future. For the franchise and the future of humanity alike.

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The dark side of the mirror

The fan base is not unreservedly enthusiastic about the new series Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery. Often it is not about the production or the acting. Instead, some believe Star Trek lost its heart. The optimism that made the series so special at the time is no longer the focus. In its place, however, pessimism; the notion of a modern society that is increasingly skeptical of science and humanism.

Some Star Trek fans remember a time when mankind was still looking to the future with hope and the series reflected that.

In the meantime, reality has changed in the eyes of many people: Instead of the positive spirit of optimism that has even brought mankind to the moon, a pessimism-driven bunker mentality can often be felt – people look at social injustice, an increasingly complex world, and leave that Missing post-war optimism. This zeitgeist inevitably influences the stories we tell each other. If we perceive the future as a dark place full of terrifying patterns, while we are more aware than ever that the prejudices and intolerance of the past are still there, then that is reflected in Star Trek.

To put it in the serial language, society currently seems to be slipping into the wrong leg of quantum mechanical trousers. She is afraid of not leaving the federation, that is, not the clean earth that we have always wanted, to the descendants. Star Trek is currently adapting to this pessimistic vision of the future with its flawed federation and dire consequences.

<img src = "" alt = "Star Trek: Picard gets so gloomy in places that you can only hear the old Star Trek still recognizes because well-known actors, spaceships and aliens appear in it.
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Star Trek: Picard becomes so gloomy in places that you can only recognize the old Star Trek because it features well-known actors, spaceships and aliens.

Source: CBS / Paramount

Generations meet
Anyone who looks at the science fiction of recent years will notice that it is the dystopian scenarios that are currently particularly reflected in the films and literature for young people and young adults – especially film series such as "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent / Allegiant". The scheme follows the principle that Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery also use: A young generation of Starfleet officers and outsiders confronts the old system and tries to create something new and better out of it.

Star Trek also currently favors dark visions of the future in which only a few principled characters exist and everyone is next to himself. It would be good if Star Trek were to revert to old values! The idealist Gene Roddenberry argued that his series could not only confront humanity with its mistakes, but also change it for the better.

To understand the "golden heart" of Star Trek, we must first take a look at Gene Roddenberry himself. The creator of the Star Trek universe was a humanist as he stands in the book: Instead of looking fearfully into the future and dragging the past behind him like a chain, Roddenberry had never given up hope for a reasonable, solidary humanity . In a now famous interview, Roddenberry said:

"I believe in humanity. We are an incredible species that is still in its infancy. We are still angry with one another, but all children go through this phase. We grow up and we are just fighting our way through puberty. If we can grown up – oh man. Then we'll be something great! "

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In Roddenberry's vision, Star Trek was not a mirror of that puberty. Instead, Gene saw adult humanity. He saw great potential dormant in her, just waiting to be unleashed. Star Trek under Roddenberry tried to show a vision of the future in which mankind has cast off what he sees as petty conflicts and selfishness, no longer knows bigotry and reacts to things like sexism with absolute incomprehension.

Often it succeeded. Even completely alien alien civilizations are usually welcomed with open arms and incorporated into a large federation united in science and decency. The Vulcan motto "Infinite variety in infinite combinations" (IDIC) perfectly describes the feeling behind Roddenberry's Star Trek. And the best part: Roddenberry didn't think this was an "if". It's about a "when."

<img src = "" alt = "Star Trek: Discovery starts with a pessimistic start and showed us in the first season mainly torture, treason and a lot of war.
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Star Trek: Discovery starts off with a pessimistic start and showed us mostly torture, betrayal and a lot of war in the first season.

Source: CBS / Paramount

The undiscovered land

The great thing about going back to old Star Trek values ​​would be what Roddenberry already understood: Stories are not a one-way street. The world doesn't just affect the stories we tell; the stories we make up also influence our view of the world. That is precisely why it is perhaps important that Star Trek returns to its old values: If we tell ourselves more stories again that do not focus on a romantically transfigured past, but on an optimistic future, our attitude towards the future can automatically correct – a little at least. We could use a Star Trek that shows us that our best time is still ahead and we need a federation that shows us that tomorrow's values ​​are not based on nationalism, power fantasies and financial greed. Of course, there are still dark fellows in Roddenberry's vision of the future, but they are individual perpetrators who have not yet seen the light, so to speak. This is a different message than that of Star Trek: Picard, for example, exposed the entire system as fundamentally flawed.

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Don't get us wrong: Star Trek has always pointed its finger at social grievances and saw itself as an alternative to the pure sci-fi action series. In the meantime, at least that is what the author of these lines thinks, the real "counterculture" is no longer the nihilistic type in the trench coat who only accounts for himself. The rebels of this time are those of us who do not lose faith in humanity and still fight for one another when the time comes. As the humanist Steven Pinker says in his book "Enlightenment now": "If we care more about our fellow human beings, we automatically see the rest of the world as worse. The world does not get worse – we ourselves get better". "Gene Roddenberry would give this statement a huge applause.

<img src = "" alt = "A mission of exploration and diplomacy, complete with iron principles: Strange New Worlds could Be a fresh start that gives the franchise its heart back.
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A mission of exploration and diplomacy, complete with iron principles: Strange New Worlds could be the new start that gives the franchise its heart back.

Source: CBS / Paramount

Alien new worlds
Soon, "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" takes the stage and maybe brings trekkers the Star Trek that Picard and Discovery didn't deliver: hope, a reflected humanity and a corresponding federation. The choice of Anson Mount as Captain Pike is a glimmer of hope. Ansons Pike is a fair captain with a family leadership style and a moral center forged from bare steel. We fondly remember a scene from the second season of Star Trek: Discovery in which Pike addressed the crew's concerns by making one thing clear: Pike is not Lorca. Pike is Starfleet. This statement was addressed to the Discovery crew. But loyal fans also saw this as a ray of hope that they urgently needed after the series' dark start.

It is particularly noteworthy (Warning: spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery) that Pike already saw his later fate in a vision. So in Strange New Worlds we are accompanying a Starfleet captain who knows that he will end up in a wheelchair after a terrible accident – and still gets up every morning full of vigor and a sense of duty. Not for himself, but for his crew and those who need his help. We are therefore looking forward to what Star Trek urgently needs again: Optimism! Because without optimism, Star Trek is just another sci-fi series with space battles and strange aliens. Should Star Trek actually find the said "golden heart" with "Strange New Worlds", then that might not only give the critical fans back hope for the franchise itself. But also for the kind of stories we will tell each other in the future. In this sense: Live long and in peace!

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