Carrying on with its anniversary celebrations, Star Trek is making a move that no one really expected as it announced that the lead for the new Star Trek: Discovery TV series is going to be a subordinate.
For really the first time in its 50-year span, Star Trek will be seen from the perspective of somebody who doesn’t have the responsibility of the entire starship in their hands – a regular Joe – or rather Jan in this case, considering the subordinate is also going to be a female.
All of this corresponds with showrunner Bryan Fuller’s talks about wanting to cast with diversity in mind, with plans to have an openly gay actor playing a male lead, a male Klingon captain, and even plans to expand that idea of diversity to having more aliens as members of the United Federation of Planets serving aboard the USS Discovery than on any other Star Trek ship in movies or TV shows in the past.
In the 50 years since Star Trek began, it has been a franchise based on equality and diversity. In the television series we’ve had a variety of different people all portray Captains of Starfleet with vastly different management styles, and with the continued diversification of Starfleet going forward, chances are high that we won’t be getting another Caucasian male sitting in the Captain’s chair – rumors were actually even afloat that Bryan Fuller was petitioning Angela Bassett to play the part of Captain for the new Star Trek: Discovery, which would have been a pretty exciting choice.
Casting a female lead as a subordinate and thinking about having a personality like Angela Bassett’s as Captain both very much touch on some interesting ground, and will allow the series to move into realms of the Star Trek universe left previously unexplored by others in the series.
In reference to having more aliens in the show, Bryan Fuller stated that, “We wanted to paint a picture of Starfleet that is indicative of a universe where we’re encountering people much different than we are.”
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This new and diverse take on Starfleet seems to be a better representation of what a future that contains a galactic federation would look like, with its menagerie of different genders, races, and species, than other Star Trek series have done in the past.
Indeed, Star Trek is also taking a more serious approach toward how it delivers its overall storyline. Instead of having 22 mostly standalone episodes per season that all eventually build a narrative, the Star Trek: Discovery series will feature only 13 episodes, “It’s really telling it as though it’s a novel with each episode being a chapter of that novel,” Fuller said. “Within that chapter is a beginning, middle and end to that section of the story. We will have episodes that exist by themselves but are a piece of a much bigger story.”
With all of this promising information surfacing for Star Trek: Discovery, it would seem that exciting times are abound for Star Trek fans.
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