Star Trek: Picard producer Akiva Goldsman, who will also be show running the newly announced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, indicated that current events will play a major role in shaping Star Trek: Picard Season 2.
Goldsman recently spoke with Backstage about Picard, hinting at what was in store for the second season of the CBS All Access show.
The long time producer of sci-fi shows such as Fringe and Star Trek: Discovery was very open about how he and other masterminds of the current iteration of Trek are going to tackle current cultural issues dividing much of the western world.
Echoing Season 1 showrunner Michael Chabon, Goldsman also indicated that he believes it is impossible to create a show like Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Goldsman stated, “The truth is there is no opportunity to do more ‘The Next Generation.’ Time has passed, not just in real life but in the ‘Star Trek’ universe.”
He added, “We wanted to honor that because there’s something interesting about telling stories for folks that have maybe lived their biggest adventures or at least think they’ve lived their biggest adventures already.”
Chabon had previously stated back in March, “Even the most sincere, especially the most sincere, committed, genuine attempt to recreate ‘Next Generation’ would fail miserably.”
Backstage would also report that Goldsman and the Picard team were “inspired by the film ‘Logan.'” In fact, Backstage explains that “Goldsman’s team considered what a post-modern view of the Star Trek universe and Picard himself would feel like.”
As the interview progressed forward, Goldsman detailed that Star Trek: Picard is “not value neutral.”
He explained, “We aspire. We create the future. We fabricate the future we aspire to. It’s multicultural, diverse, empathetic, democratic, and all the things that we who make ‘Star Trek’ want it to be, which it could be.”
He then added, “Certainly, what’s happening culturally right now is resonant for us and we’re trying to be very thoughtful and aware of how that speaks to storytelling.”
One thing that they most likely won’t touch on is coronavirus.
Patrick Stewart spoke with CBC’s The Current back in April saying, “I would not encourage that. This is a disturbing and frightening and sad time for many thousands of people.”
He added, “I would feel uncomfortable if we were to make this a theme of the second season of [Star Trek: Picard]. It is too sensitive, too upsetting, too frightening, then some of the other issues that we have dealt with, which are much more of a political nature.”
As for the idea of CBS All Access being influenced by current events in their decision-making processes, that’s nothing new.
Current Star Trek architect Alex Kurtzman revealed in December that the election of Donald Trump in 2016 influenced their casting decision for Star Trek: Discovery.
He stated, “And one thing I remember very clearly was that we were still casting the morning Trump was elected and somehow in the casting conversation this question came up like, okay, do we have to reconsider this?”
Kurtzman then stated, “And we doubled down and said, this is exactly why we have to do this right now.”
Goldsman’s sentiments about Star Trek aren’t new to Trek Fans, though the current approach currently being used by the heads of the franchise is arguably new.
In The Next Generation, episodes like “Matter of Perspective” would provide multiple viewpoints on an issue and allow viewers to make their own conclusion.
With today’s iteration of Star Trek, it’s very much in your face, there’s no nuance. They beat you over the head with what they believe are their superior morals. For example, Star Trek: Discovery made a very clear and unsubtle comparison between the Klingons and supporters of President Trump.
Discovery co-executive producer, Aaron Harberts stated how current political matters were on their mind in an interview with Rolling Stone back in December 2019.
He seemingly implied in the interview that the Klingons were stand-ins for Trump supporters, “We felt like it would be interesting to really look at what’s going on in the United States.”
Rolling Stone’s Chris Chaffin elaborated, “He mentions that among the show’s antagonists are an ultra-religious and violent Klingon faction whose rallying cry – “Remain Klingon” – is intentionally reminiscent of “Make America Great Again.”
Harberts would go on to explain the parallels of Trump’s MAGA slogan and the Remain Klingon slogan, “It’s a call to isolationism. It’s about racial purity, and it’s about wanting to take care of yourself. And if anybody is reaching a hand out to help you, it’s about smacking it away…”
He added, “That was pretty provocative for us, and it wasn’t necessarily something that we wanted to completely lean into. But it was happening. We were hearing the stories.”
A more recent example would be the male-bashing Short Trek starring Rosa Salazar titled “Trouble With Edward.”
The Short Trek took the trope of an incompetent officer and instead of attempting to raise him up and have him learn from his mistakes, he was constantly beaten down and berated.
While Goldsman attempts to claim the historical mantle of Star Trek, the fruits of his labor actually portray a very different picture.
Maybe the most interesting part of Goldsman’s interview is when he states, “We try to be a good drama and if you’re a ‘Star Trek’ fan, we hope you’ll take a special pleasure in a bunch of the things that we put in there just for you and us.”
He continued, “But if you’re not, then you should enjoy it differently but equally because we want the storytelling to be available to folks who like a good story.”
Goldsman then added, “That’s kind of a fun challenge we give ourselves. Will our husbands and wives who don’t like ‘Star Trek’ like the show? Because if they will and do, then we’re doing a good job as long as we like it too, as ‘Star Trek’ fans.”
What is your take on Goldman stating that Picard Season 2 will reflect current cultural happenings?