Dis­cov­ery is the Star Trek we de­serve

Go­ing darker than any Star Trek has gone be­fore

HWM (Singapore) - - THINK - By Alvin Soon

By the time I’m writ­ing this, only the rst three episodes of

Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery have aired. But it’s clear that this is a Trek with its own dis­tinc­tive per­son­al­ity, and boy, is it darker than any Trek that has come be­fore.

For one, our lead pro­ta­gan­ist Michael Burn­ham (Sonequa Mart­inGreen) has to grap­ple with PTSD over a rash mis­take that cost thou­sands of her fel­low of­fi­cers their lives.

And in stark con­trast with pre­vi­ous Star Treks, where eet cap­tains could be counted on to be moral ex­em­plars, the cap­tain of the USS Dis­cov­ery, Gabriel Lorca (Ja­son Isaacs), ap­pears to be slightly un­hinged. In one scene, he chill­ingly de­clares to Burn­ham that when it comes to rules, “Uni­ver­sal law is for lack­eys, con­text is for kings.”

This is clearly not Kirk’s

En­ter­prise, yet per­haps Dis­cov­ery is the Star Trek we de­serve, but not the one we need right now. The sheer op­ti­mism of a se­ries like The Next

Gen­er­a­tion feels too far away in 2017, amid wor­ry­ing ten­sions of cli­mate change, iso­la­tion­ism and ran­dom acts of ter­ror. And yet, hope has al­ways been Star

Trek’s gift to pop­u­lar cul­ture. The se­ries’ sig­na­ture is un­wa­ver­ingly op­ti­mistic; that no mat­ter how bleak the times be­come, hu­man­ity over­comes its worst in­stincts to cre­ate a fu­ture of in­clu­sion, ex­plo­ration, and dis­cov­ery.

Will Dis­cov­ery be the Trek that per­ma­nently plunges the se­ries into dark­ness, or will it nd a way back to pro­vide hope for the fu­ture again? Right now, your guess is as good as mine, but ei­ther way, it’s worth watch­ing to nd out.

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