It’s amazing how recent years have seen geek culture explode into the mainstream. Superheroes, sci-fi, and fantasy are now all among the most popular stories permeating both film and television. But even so, few fandoms are as passionate about their franchise as those who hold Star Trek in high esteem. Last summer’s latest entry in the film series, Star Trek Beyond, was a modest success at the worldwide box office and garnered solid critical notices (despite its problems), and the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery will bring the beloved franchise back to its television roots.
However, as much as Star Trek fans hate to admit it, there are some elements about the series — and, yes, the same can be said of other franchises (looking at you, Star Wars!) — that can become frustrating over time or just plain don’t make any sense. For a multimedia franchise with 50 years of storytelling under its belt, perhaps that kind of thing is bound to happen sometimes. In any case, here are our thoughts about some parts of the series that confound us.
1. Episodic storytelling that lacks direction
The premise of the original television series was that the crew of the USS Enterprise was setting out on a five-year mission to explore new lands. While such a structure allows for Kirk, Spock, and company to confront a different adventure each week, this format also confines the possibilities of exploring the expansive, imaginative world that Star Trek exists within. Despite the fact that some stories in the franchise veer away from this directive, many of them still remain trapped within this original concept. In fact, Star Trek Beyond was praised by longtime fans because it hewed closely to this style of storytelling. We can’t help but think that Gene Roddenberry’s creation has more to offer.
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