In the 23rd and 24th centuries, members of Starfleet usually don’t have big fights with each other, unless of course they’re bitching about using the transporter beam. But now, after decades of playing nice, members of Starfleet will start yelling at each other — a lot — on Star Trek: Discovery.
On Friday, one of Discovery’s executive producers, Aaron Harberts, revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the new Star Trek will break the “rule” laid out by creator Gene Roddenberry: the idea that members of Starfleet wouldn’t argue with each other. But that’s so over now. “People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We’re still going to argue in the future,” Harberts explained.
While the EW article correctly points out that the no-arguing “rule” was hardly universal across the entire franchise, it was a big enough narrative shackle to cause several of Trek’s writers to freak-out from time to time. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writer and producer Ira Behr has frequently spoken out about feeling “trapped” by the limitations of writing for The Next Generation. And, in some ways, the entire construct of Deep Space Nine was a clever work-around: many characters were allowed to argue, because half of theme weren’t in Starfleet. For example, Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) was a fucking champ when it came to yelling at people. Here’s the proof:
The first trailer for Star Trek: Discovery has actually already given fans a preview of Michael Burnham yelling at someone a little bit about cutting off people’s heads. This seems to put her more in the Captain Sisko and Captain Kirk tradition, than the more passive Captain Picard phylum.
So, Trekkies can look at this one of two ways: a huge “rule” is being changed, or Star Trek: Discovery is actually doing what Star Trek has done all along: show how human beings would really respond when they are faced with crazy stressful situations in the depths of outer space. And if we’re lucking, someone will finally bring back Captain Kirk’s famous badass flying-space-kick.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on September 24 on CBS.