Computing Forever’s Dave Cullen roasts the new Star Trek: Short Trek starring Rosa Salazar. The popular YouTuber reflected on the parallels between two socially inept characters from the Short Trek and The Next Generation.
Cullen looked at Edward from the recently released Short Trek “The Trouble with Edward” and Lt. Reginald Barclay from The Next Generation to highlight how far current Star Trek has drifted from its moral optimism.
Cullen states, “The TNG tried hard to help integrate the character of Reg Barclay despite his idiosyncrasies and social awkwardness. And it worked. They eventually brought out the best in Reg Barclay.”
He then compares this to one of the recent Short Trek episodes, “But in a recent Short Trek episode, this awkward, white male character named Edward gets berated endlessly by his smug, female superior officer. Gotta fight that patriarchy, am I right?”
Cullen continues, “This is insane. What am I watching here? What is this? I have no words. It isn’t funny and it plays like a scene from an Austin Powers movie. This feels more like a parody of Star Trek.”
He then asks, “Where is the enlightened 23rd Century Federation values and high-minded ideals in this conversation? Where is the understanding, empathy, and compassion for everyone’s unique personalities and differences.”
Cullen doesn’t hold back when he states, “This conversation sounds like someone getting fired by an angry, condescending, man-hating feminist HR manager. This is so insulting to the legacy of Star Trek.”
He then rips the Star Trek short on how they play off his death for laughs.
“‘He was an idiot,’ she says. No mourning the loss of a human life, a fellow Starfleet officer. His death is just played for laughs. No respect for his dignity. No value given to him as a person, as a sentient being that’s now been lost. Just, ‘He was an idiot.’ He’s basically disposable. Who cares?”
Cullen continues to hammer the Star Trek Short Trek:
“Everything about this episode flies in the face of Star Trek philosophy and it’s done in the name of a feminist agenda to make this female character seem superior and validated. How disgustingly cynical.”
He adds, “An episode like this would have never been written on any of the previous Star Trek shows.”
Cullen points out what Star Trek has become in recent years. It no longer asks difficult questions related to human nature and moral dilemmas. Instead, it has watered these questions down and turned them into jokes and been used to whack the audience on the head with wokeness.
While this is clearly seen in the comparison between this Short Trek and The Next Generation, it can also be seen when comparing Discovery to The Original Series and The Next Generation.
YouTuber Major Grin points out how Star Trek: Discovery treated an enemy in comparison to both Captain Kirk and Captain Picard attempting to save the lives of their enemies.
One striking comparison is with James T. Kirk attempting to save a Klingon. This happened after his only son Marcus was murdered by a group of Klingons wanting the Genesis Device after the events of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.
Kirk had expressed a cold hatred for the Klingons, but even despite this professed hatred, he still attempted to save a Klingon about to fall to his death.
You also see Picard negotiating with a nanite species, instead of attempting to kill them. The negotiations work out in the end with Picard and the Enterprise finding a new home for the nanites.
In contrast, Captain Georgiou asks a fellow Starfleet officer if they want to engage in torture. The officer is enthusiastic about it responding, “Yum Yum.”
This is made even sadder when you look back at the movie Starship Troopers and see that short line was basically a rip from the character Dizzie Flores, who relishes the thought of going to war with the bugs.
Of course, we know that this version of Georgiou is from the Mirror Universe, a sort of evil parallel universe compared to the regular one we know. But the point is she’s wearing a Starfleet uniform. Starfleet captains even if they are from the Mirror Universe should be questioning themselves, questioning what is right and wrong, and what they should do. To make matters worse another officer delighted in the death of another.
This shows that the Short Trek, much like Star Trek: Discovery reinforces Star Trek’s pivot away from its original ideals. Not only that, it seems this style of storytelling will be here to stay.
Now there are some who will say that this lack of moral code isn” new to Star Trek. Some could point to a few actions by one Captain Benjamin Sisko during the events of the Dominion War, and Maquis War against the Cardassian Union and his obsession of the Maquis traitor, Lieutenant Commander Michael Eddington. Allow me to break down why they are different.
First, let us look at Sisko bringing the Romulans into the Dominion War through the use of assassination.
Sisko knows what he did was wrong, and it’s clear that the character will suffer, and he did, internally for how he was able to save the Alpha Quadrant by bringing in another superpower into the war against the Dominion. But unlike in current Trek, he recognizes his wrongdoing and his falling from the standards of Starfleet.
Now let’s look at Sisko and his obsession with the Maquis leader and former Starfleet officer Michael Eddington.
Let’s look at the episode “For The Uniform”. Here Sisko responded to the use of biological weapons on planets the Maquis claimed as their own, weapons that would make planets uninhabitable for Cardassians, by launching quantum torpedos on Maquis claimed worlds.
It left residue in the atmosphere that would force the Maquis to leave those worlds. Throughout their cat and mouse, Eddington uses the comparison of him and Sisko to Jean Valjean and Javert (respectfully) from Les Miserables as a means to explain his actions to Sisko.
This again does something that Discovery and Nu-Trek fail to do, ask the important questions behind their characters.
While Sisko takes drastic action, he still questions the morality of his decisions. These moral questions or lines are not discussed when it comes to these Short Treks and Star Trek: Discovery. It’s a major departure from what Star Trek was.
What do you think of all of this? Has Star Trek lost its soul? Has it lost its moral compass? Let me know your thoughts!