Remember that time when CBS was going to release their all new Star Trek Discovery series in January 2017? Yeah, that didn’t happen. You remember, it was going to feature that really hideous ship. The one that left almost all of us wondering: What are they thinking? If you don’t remember, here was the “First Look” from July of last year:
This trailer put the whole fandom into a panic. I remember being on a panel at Salt Lake Comic Con last September, and we discussed this trailer and the upcoming series. One of the things we mentioned was that this ship was not a finished product. There was still a lot of time between July and January for them to fix this.
Then, everything got delayed and pushed back and then delayed some more. There was a point just a few months ago when I wondered if it was ever going to happen. It was probably about the time that CBS said it was delayed indefinitely. But, to my pleasant surprise, here we are, with a full on trailer with characters and dialogue and what looks like a story.
So, we have a new trailer, and everything looks great, right? Well, maybe. In this post I am sharing with you my thoughts on the new trailer. Some good, some bad, some simply intrigued. Before I get to that, here is the new trailer, in case you haven’t seen it:
What do I think about the new Star Trek Discovery trailer?
Let’s start with the good. There is a lot to be excited about, in my opinion, with this new trailer. One thing is the story, meaning, it looks like we have one. All we had before was a ship and some idea about this happening before Kirk and Spock, but no indication about what this new Trek was really going to be.
In this new trailer, we get more of a sense that this show has an identity, and it doesn’t look half bad. It looks like a very Star Trek kind of story, with exploration of space intertwined with exploration of humanity, mixed in with lots of diversity. That is Star Trek, and we see that in this trailer. Plus it will have Klingons, which is always good. More on the Klingons later, though.
The ship looks a lot better, assuming that the ship we see very briefly in the trailer is the Discovery, it has come a long way from that teaser we saw back in July of last year. It may not be the discovery, and we did only see it briefly, like they were trying to not show us the ship very much. I think the reaction from the first teaser scared them off. I mean, they went from a trailer that was nothing but ship to a trailer where the ship only appears very briefly, just enough to remind us there is a ship. Behold the power of fandom!
Visually, it is amazing. It looks and feels like they spared no expense with this series. Which is not surprising, since they are building their whole streaming service around this show being successful. No pressure! That being said, money does not fix everything. John Hammond also famously spared no expense in building Jurassic Park, and we all know how that turned out for him, so…
Where was Jason Isaacs? My guess is that most of the footage we saw is more a trailer for the first episode of the series than for the whole series itself. Something may happen to the captain we see that sets up Jason Isaacs’ character to take over the big chair. So, let’s wait and see what happens, but if you have a big name like Isaacs in your cast, wouldn’t you want to push that? I don’t know, I’m not a Hollywood marketing rep.
Does it look too good? It might sound like I am turning into nitpicky fanboy with that question, but hear me out. One of the big issues with making a prequel years after the original content has been released, is that the prequels look better because visual effects get better, film gets better, everything improves year after year technologically speaking. I felt this way with The Hobbit. Visually, a lot of it looked better than Lord of the Rings. Not a big deal with a film like The Hobbit, where it is easy to chalk it up to simply better filmmaking technology available. Most of the in film tech was the same.
Films based in futuristic settings, like Star Wars, for example, struggle with this more. Everything that happened and all the technology that was available in the Star Wars prequels looked better and more advanced than in the original trilogy. Star Wars tried to mend this in two ways. One was George Lucas releasing special edition after special edition of the original trilogy to try to bridge some of those gaps. The second was making it a part of the story. Things, technologically speaking, got worse under the Empire. The Rebels didn’t have advanced weapons like the Republic had because they were the Rebels, and not the governing body, things like that, and it works ok.
Everything in the Discovery looks better than anything we have seen in Star Trek to date. It looks sleeker, more advanced, just all around better. All of this takes place ten years before Spock and Kirk. I understand we would not buy into the push button bridge of the original series being advanced technology today. I get it.
Enterprise faced this same issue, and they managed to pull it off, somewhat. In their uniforms and in their technological limitations, and it kind of worked. I don’t see it in this one. The uniforms, as an example, look sweet, but why would they go from this sleek, dapper look to basically long sleeved t-shirts and black pants. Not to mention what the female officers are wearing. How will they address things like that in the series? This is the issue of writing a new series where 50 plus years of canon already exists.
There’s just one thing here: the Klingons. The poor, poor, Klingons. Every time they show up in a new era or a new re-boot of Star Trek, they change. What is going on with these guys, though? I don’t know, but I am intrigued to find out more, and if they even address. Hopefully, they don’t just say: These are the Klingons now. I wonder if this will help to explain the difference between the Klingons in Kirk’s era and the ones we saw later on. The difference has been acknowledged in the show, maybe this version of the Klingons is the link between the classic Kirk era and the later era Klingons. I don’t know, but they look cool, and weird at the same time, and i am at least curious to find out more.
I had more thoughts on this than I thought I would, so I apologize if I started rambling at points. Overall, I am excited to see where this series goes. I am excited to have Star Trek back in some form on a semi-regular basis. I want this series to be so good so much. i want it to succeed and maybe usher in a new golden era of Trek. That would be incredible.
What did you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on the new trailer. Share them with me on our Facebook page, or via Twitter, or on Instagram, or simply in the comments below. You can also email your feedback to me directly at email@example.com.
Want to learn more?
Check out this article from Polygon that discusses possible reasons for the new Klingon look. click here to read the article.
A couple of years ago, I ranked each of the existing Star Trek series. Click here to read that post.