Star Trek Shouldn't Be About the Military

War Is Boring


This is the legacy any new Trek T.V. show must live up to. One in which military actions are a last resort — not a first response. Where the universe tests humanity and a sense of wonder pervades all. A world where substance overrides spectacle, not the other way around.

Star Trek Shouldn't Be About the Military

I love Star Trek. Growing up, I looked forward to sitting next to my father on the couch and watching the continuing adventures of the USS Enterprise. Jean-Luc Picard and his crew explored the galaxy, wrestled with Q and proved humanity’s basic decency. They used force as a last resort.

I remember Benjamin Sisko’s diplomatic and moral battles aboard the former Cardassian space station in the Alpha Quadrant. In one of the best moments in Trek history, Sisko betrayed the values of the vaunted Federation so he could save the lives of thousands.

(This article originally appeared at War is Boring in 2015.)

It was a hard choice, but he made it and I will never forget how Sisko stared at the camera, confessed his sins and told us he could live with it. I was 15 years old and the good guy on T.V. acted like the bad guy … but for the right reasons. I’d never seen anything like it.

So it is with restrained excitement that I welcome the news of a brand new Star Trek T.V. show coming in 2017. Trek belongs on T.V. and it’s been gone for more than a decade. But I’m scared because, let’s be honest, Star Trek hasn’t been itself for a long time.

What was once a wonderful, rich universe filled with stories about humanity exploring the stars, overcoming its baser nature and avoiding force has become a vehicle for weird, military themed action-adventure stories.

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