So, we all know by this point that there is going to be a third Star Trek movie and there’s even recent news that the cast has signed on for a fourth. I’m super excited about this because I actually kind of like the new Star Trek movies. Granted, I didn’t enjoy Into Darkness all that much, but I did enjoy the first of the new reboots. There are, however, several issues I have with the new movies. I don’t think the writers understand how alternate timelines work, and so the movies have suffered, but I’m mostly annoyed by the lack of progressive themes and messages that were so inherent to the Star Trek Original Series (TOS).
There are several things that I could talk about here, but today I am going to strictly focus on the cast. When TOS first aired, it was considered revolutionary in terms of representation. There was a Black woman who was in a leadership position and a Japanese man who was also in a leadership position and was in charge of piloting the ship. Neither were stereotyped or portrayed unfavorably, nor were they looked down on by any other crew members. While there were still issues over how people of color in the cast were paid and treated, as well as how much actual air time they got on the show, there is no denying that for its time, Star Trek was revolutionary. Nowadays, not so much. Originally, the TOS cast was supposed to represent the world in microcosm to show how Earth had united. In the 60s having some white people with accents, two people of color, and two to three women was considered enough to show that unity. Now I look at the cast of the rebooted movies and think: “Damn, that’s a lot of white heterosexual cisgender able-bodied men.” It doesn’t really have the same effect anymore. And if the new reboot movies really want to up their game, I think it is time to add to the cast. So what do the new Star Trek movies need in order to have them same impact that the original series had? Well, several things.