Star Trek’s Newest Incarnation Boldly Goes Back to Basics, But it Works

Exploding from his popular debut in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, Captain Christopher Pike of the Starship Enterptise is back along with Spock, Number One, and a crew of familiar names and new faces in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

The premiere episode, appropriately titled, “Strange New Worlds” finds Pike grappling with the knowledge of his disfigured future fate and contemplating leaving Starfleet to avoid it, however, when Number One goes missing on assignment on a pre-contact world, Pike one again leads the Enterprise to save the day.

Strange New Worlds can be seen as a return to basics for Star Trek or, in some cases, a return to simplicity which is not always a good thing. Personally, I find it science fiction comfort food for those of us who have grown weary of arch based storytelling. While I have nothing against the mystery box method of storytelling that dominates television these days, rarely do these series satisfactorily conclude their tales. Discovery’s first and second seasons did, the third and fourth seasons – and all of Picard – have not.

Self contained stories are satisfying – its instant gratification. It’s comfort food. It’s a throwback and, while it is not innovative and takes few risks, it’s still enjoyable.

I know there are probably toxic dude-bros out there getting ready to comment about how they love this show because it isn’t woke and nobody cries every episode, but those same dude bros are honestly too stupid to recognize that Pike was emotionally traumatized and in a damaged mental state during this entire episode. The opinions of emotionally stunted men who never got a big from their dads in their entire lifetime really hold no sway for me. Let’s face it, they’re mostly just happy that the captain is a white man again.

Indeed, “Strange New Worlds” is not the affirmation of toxic dude bro culture like many of the idiotic sheep claim it is, but rather it is a condemnation of it. Pike is emotionally wrecked, Spock is pulled between love and duty, we have security chief with obvious PTSD, a crew that is half female, and a blind guy – if this was Discovery, they would be crying about wokeness for that alone.

No, this show, in its closing moments, chooses to single out poisonous movements like MAGA, toxic masculinity, and blind fundamentalism and nationalism and tells them to their face that they are responsible for the eventual downfall of civilization and that, by embracing and celebrating diversity and the collective strength that it gives us, we will not only endure, we will thrive.

I can’t wait to laugh at the angry responses I’m sure to get.

Nevertheless, and although this show is not structurally innovative and doesn’t seek to break new ground, it is undeniably Star Trek both in its ideals and the way that it scrutinizes and allegorizes modern society, but also in the way that it gives us hope that a better world is possible of we leave childish prejudices behind.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds might be a throwback that is going to play it safe, but it’s a good throwback and I’m all here for it.

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