In this post I want to vent my thoughts about a new Star Trek series, which may be called “Transition”, so not “Star Trek: Transition”, because it won’t be about space travel in essence. However, there is a connection to it… This is just for fun and hints a bit towards the theme of InterRelections.
I suppose many are aware of what Star Trek is about. But let me share a few videos to arrive at a baseline understanding.
Gene Roddenberry about the philosophy behind Star Trek:
A scene where Mark Twain visits the future and reflects his cultural baggage on a more advanced culture:
So with that out of the way. Star Trek is about a positive outlook that humanity will find its course. It’s about a future where hunger, poverty and war are a thing of the past (on Earth). The episodes are often a reflection of the struggles we face here on Earth, and are solved with a more advanced mindset, which may act as an inspiration to do better today.
I won’t go into the full Star Trek timeline. Just a few highlights and then I’ll go on about my idea for a new series.
In the episode “Past Tense” a few crewmembers of the Defiant are thrown back in time, to 2024. It’s a time of police brutality and social inequality. How could they be so accurate with that prediction? Well, because the conditions that enforce and sustain this outcome haven’t changed that much with that of the writers in 1995… Those same problems were happening then as well.
A stroll through San Francisco in 2024:
Forward to 2063, it has been 10 years since the third world war. The writers are not very specific about it. But it was a war between eastern and western factions where “most of the major cities were destroyed, only a few governments left, 600.000.000 dead”.
A character from that time is named Zefram Cochrane, who in 2063 had repurposed a nuclear missile as a spacecraft to test his warp drive, the first warp spacecraft of humanity.
Zefram Cochrane is explained by crew members of the Enterprise why his warp flight is so important in humanities history:
So my idea about a new Star Trek series takes place between 2024 and 2050.
I’m no scriptwriter, and I haven’t put a lot of thought in it. This was actually thought out just now when I took a shower. I’m not sure if I should work out this idea more, I think better skilled people would do a better job then me. I’m just pitching an outline here in the (remote) hopes someone else might pick it up with more time, skills and money.
So the outline is as follows. A young black man in 2024 lives on the streets of New York City. He never knew his dad, but he does know he died in a war he had to join for the money, and his mother was recently murdered on the street for a jacket. Life seems quite hopeless and he obviously struggles to survive. However, after the Bell Riots in San Francisco things start to change. America acts on this “Black Lives Matter”-like event and our young (soon to be) hero is one of the lucky ones to be pulled out of poverty and gets into university where he learns about science, technology and psychology. This opens up his previously closed minded vision for the future. At university he starts debating with people with different nationalities about a better world where science and technology should be applied to social concern, in these discussions they exchange interesting comments (InterReflections-like style).
Forward to around 2030. Climate change has become more prevalent and any steps that have been taken forward to resolve social inequality has been undone due to structural water shortages, air pollution, food shortages, etc. Basically every basic life supporting need is in decline or in crisis. This created tensions between nations, which made scientific research even harder. Resources and knowledge was not shared anymore between e.g. China, Russia, EU, US, UK, South America, Canada, etc.
Our hero however kept in contact via the Internet with the now influential international scientists he met at university in NYC. He decided to start this scientific alliance (or federation ) between this diverse group of people. The nations accepted this initiative (after fighting hard for this) and offered them support in terms of information and resources. As a team they setup a research lab somewhere on Earth. Perhaps San Francisco is a good place, since that will be the headquarters of Starfleet in the future. And it also connects to the Bell Riots. There may even be a scene at some sort of memorial statue about those riots where our hero also reflects his experiences of his life on the streets of NYC and the police brutality and problems of social inequality.
Long story short, their goal was to come up with a plan to pull humanity out of their misery with a redesign for society. They used their diverse scientific and technical background and started Project Earth. This was of course a struggle to arrive at, and they faced a deadline. The nations they represented in their peaceful cooperation were moving closer towards a world war with each passing day. Each day came with more problems such as people that were taken away by their governments to work on weapon programs or resources pulled out to be allocated for patch-work solutions rather then the structural solutions they came up with in their group.
Eventually they didn’t succeed. Why? Because they were systemically held back by the backwards culture and socioeconomic systems of the world. This is the main theme of the whole series by the way. It showcases a post-scarcity future with a positive outlook. Which would only be possible if we shared our resources and utilized our diverse potential to the fullest. Without the boundaries of “race”, countries and e.g. bank accounts.
During this series a few flashbacks to 2024 would be nice. With perhaps also a bit of the backstory of his mom and dad which were also victims of this same backwards culture and socioeconomic system, but then on macro scale. A scale where we often struggle with as well such as paying rent, face the dangers of crime on the street, find all kinds of ways to get money to survive, even though they may be wrong (such as signing up for the military and join a war against a poor country).
There may even be a reference to Zefram Cochrane somewhere, but I don’t think he should be in the “scientific federation”. But he could be e.g. a liaison between a scientist and a government, trying to keep the peace as long as possible. Where he then also hints at his experimental research, that’s not yet ready (for another 20 years, which is his warp drive).