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Star Trek: Discovery is currently on hiatus, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about what I love about the show. Perhaps it's strongest selling point for me is that it has a great bunch of characters. The morally bankrupt Captain Lorca is the most multi-layered Federation officer we've ever seen. Michael (Spock's half-sister that we've never heard about) is an incredible character who is beyond damaged and has a fascinating relationship with Sarek. Literally through her interactions with Sarek, we've come to understand that iconic character in a different light, i.e., Sarek was a complete asshole. More than all of these things, however, is the root of good storytelling: conflict. "Conflict within Star Fleet" was something that The Next Generation made impossible.

Any sequel to The Next Generation would have to have the "no conflict within Starfleet" rule in play. Deep Space Nine and Voyager worked around this by having half their characters originate from outside of Starfleet. Some of the most colorful episodes of Enterprise were because they could do conflict, being a prequel just like Discovery.

I guess my point is this: to be able to do the things like they are doing in Star Trek: Discovery, I feel like CBS was forced to make it a prequel show instead of setting it anytime after Star Trek: The Next Generation. And because it is a prequel, I'm having issues with continuity. Why have we never heard of Michael? Sure, it was well established that Spock didn't talk about his family ever. However, something like Discovery should be well known (including its FTL spore drive) unless it's a Section 31 ship, which means that all records might have been purged and Star Fleet denies all knowledge of this ship. This also means that the fate of this crew is probably super dark...as in horrifying. That's a distinct possibility considering the stuff that's going on with the plot and the morally compromised characters. I mean, we've basically got a human captain that thinks it's entirely okay to torture one of his crew members if it gets him something he wants.

A little background on Section 31: It was introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and it is in effect the black-ops division of Starfleet and derives its name from article 14, section 31 of the Starfleet Charter, which permits extreme measures to be taken in times of extraordinary threats. Virtually autonomous, with no oversight or accountability, the clandestine group is tasked with confronting dangers to the United Federation of Planets and may employ assassination, torture, and brainwashing in pursuit of its goals.

And yes, everything about Star Trek: Discovery suggests that it is a section 31 ship.

I won't be blogging again until Monday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


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