"Children of Mars" is an Enigmatic Prequel and a Heavily Emotional Short Trek

I would be lying if I didn’t say that Star Trek: Picard is one of the most eagerly anticipated Star Trek events of all time. The hype for this new series is incredibly high and, so, Short Treks have brought us this little story of two girls who hate each other as a prequel.

It’s a strange one and shouldn’t work, but it totally does.

In this prequel, we follow Lil, a human girl, and Kima, an alien girl, through their day in school. Through a series of events, the two girls are at each other’s throats, being petty and terrible to one another until the two final commonality in the most devastating way.

So, several things work in this Short Trek. The episode is mostly silent, the actions taking place as a cover of David Bowie’s Hero plays over them. On paper, I’m sure this seemed insane, but in practice… it’s beautiful and gives the episode some added emotional weight. If Lil and Kima had spoken during the episode, even if the dialogue was well written, it wouldn’t have carried the gravitas or looming tragedy as well as the wordless episode did.

In many ways, mostly intentional I would imagine, “Children of Mars” reminded me a lot of September 11th in the way that everyone collectively gasped and then came together for a few days, regardless of who they were or what they did.

The idea that enemies can find commonality in the midst of tragedy is such a Star Trek thing to present.

What’s more, the episode offered some tantalizing clues about the premise of Star Trek: Picard and they are painting the new series as something we’re not expecting and I am so amazingly excited about that.

I was a little surprised and confused that the Short Trek was reusing starships from Star Trek: Discovery which is very strange as those ships and shuttles are over 150 years old, but I’m hoping that this is only budgetary restrictions and those ships won’t show up in the series proper. Still, I don’t understand why this episode couldn’t find a more recent CGI ship to use or even just obscure the ships that appeared so that you couldn’t recognize them. Seemed a little sloppy.

Still, I am excited for Picard and I loved this episode. Very emotional, very raw… it’s building the hype train up and I am jumping on board.

Toot toot!

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