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10 Things That Star Trek Got Right (That Have Never Been Copied Elsewhere)


(Image: CBS)

I grew up watching Star Trek from about the age of 6 or 7. It's existed in some form throughout my life and is the most prominent narrative lens for me. So I found myself nodding often as I read Charlie Jane Anders's arguments for the greatness of the Star Trek story.

Although Star Trek doesn't get a lot of respect from some science fiction purists, Anders argues that it is superior to many other major science fiction franchises. For example, the Star Trek universe is enormous. It's filled with countless worlds, species, and characters that have been fleshed out in detail:

Everybody’s doing shared universes nowadays, and to a large extent this is an attempt to imitate what Marvel and DC accomplished in their comics, decades ago. But on television and in the movies, Star Trek was one of the first series to create a universe in which different ships, and different crews, felt like they all belonged to the same basic setting without being just “spin-offs.” Add in the book-only series like New Frontier, Corps of Engineers, Vanguard, Seekers and so on, and you’ve got a capacious galaxy. Star Wars always comes back to being about the Skywalkers and their friends, in the main media series, but Star Trek is just about Starfleet, and any Starfleet officer could star in a Star Trek show or movie.

Only a few Star Trek episodes are truly brilliant. But there are 727 episodes of the various series and 12 feature films. With Star Trek, you can enjoy a steady diet of good storytelling for a very long time.


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I like a bit of pessimism. Not a lot, but a bit. In real life, things break and you can't just reverse them. The Xindi massacre millions in Florida and Cuba and the victims stay dead.

But I also like escapist fiction. So a balance is ideal.
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I enjoyed the classic optimism that things could be fixed, or a solution could be found. When they started breaking with that tradition, it lost a piece of its vision.

Time travel episodes where the past is altered and then not fixed. The Xindi destroying a large chunk of Florida with a weapon given to them by time travellers was pessimistic.

Romulan time travellers destroying the planet Vulcan, just so the movie could break with the past - painfully pessimistic, especially considering Into Darkness was a mediocre parallel of Wrath of Khan.

They need their optimism back.
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"10 Things That Star Trek Got Right (That Have Never Been Copied)"
Yet number 3, 6-9 all ignore another large successful sci-fi series. Just the interaction between G'Kar and Londo shows a huge depth in two alien cultures, easily does more to show the dehumanizing nature of war and because it has a linear story it shows characters who age realistically far more than Trek.

If this is a list of things that have never been "copied" then all I can assume is that the writer hasn't seen enough series or just ignores ones that don't fit the story idea. Trek has done a lot of great things but many other series have done things better.
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