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And Now For Something Completely Different

Paul talks about The Walking Dead from time to time here on JTA, so I thought, heck, why can’t I go off topic too, at least once… Also, it’s Friday night, things are usually slow now, not much going on, why not talk about something completely different? Let’s talk about Star Trek! That other franchise, right! However, I will also touch on Star Wars in my, let’s call it “rant”, so it’s not as off-topic as Paul’s TWD articles. Click through for my rant!

"Spock" kisses his foster sister Michael

“Spock” (or is it Ash Tyler???)  kisses Michael passionately

Last night saw the return of Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access in the USA and Netflix for the rest of the world. And at the very end of the episode there was a preview of season 2. And one scene shows “Spock” embracing and finally kissing his foster sister Michael.

To give you a brief primer: Michael Burnham is the central character of the new Star Trek show, the showrunners decided to insert her into Spock’s past and make her his foster sister no one ever knew about, because Spock never ever mentioned her to anyone ever.

While previous Star Trek shows always featured an ensemble cast with each crewmember getting the spotlight (i.e. not everything revolved around Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway or Archer), for some reason the showrunners decided that in Star Trek Discovery everything needs to revolve around Michael Burnham.

However, by doing so they created a character that many believe to be a self insertion, a fan fic character and, even though I hate the term, a Mary Sue. That infamous fan fic character that is usually a self insertion, who everyone falls in love with, who saves the day, has improbable skills and knowledge and never does anything wrong. For Star Trek to have a Mary Sue would be, in some ways, only fitting, because the very term “Mary Sue” originated in Star Trek fan fic. Now, I didn’t really consider Michael Burnham to be a Mary Sue for season 1, only very annoying, but last night changed that.

Not only can Michael “Mutineer” Burnham (who also started a war that cost millions or maybe even billions of lives) cut off her captain and patronize him without being reprimanded (I wonder how that scene would have played out with Janeway, Picard, Kirk, Sisko or Archer) not only is she the most scientifically talented person on the ship, and repeatedly said to be Starfleet’s most talented officer, not only did she happen to be the test pilot of the escape pods they used in that episode last night (what a coincidence!), not only does she boast about withstanding 9gs during test flights for 11 minutes to her fellow officer, who makes the grave error of not listening to Michael Burnham’s advice and gets promptly killed for it by an asteroid, not only is she the never before mentioned foster sister of “Spock”, not only was she supposed to teach young “Spock” empathy (really, “Spock’s” father Sarek wanted her to teach “Spock” empathy, what about his human mother? Is she made of wood? And why bother with empathy at all, being an all logical Vulcan?), no, apparently, judging from the season 2 preview reel at the end, “Spock” and Michael Burnham are somehow romantically involved or she will, out of the kindness of her heart, help him through Pon’Farr.

[Edit: It could very well be season 1 love interest Ash Tyler who only happens to look like Spock because of the hairstyle and beard]

That really does it, in my opinion. In previous shows Starfleet officers were usually portrayed as very competent, but not all-knowing, also each and every crewmember was the best at something, neither Kirk nor Picard or any of the other main characters were central to the solution of a problem all the time, many times other crewmembers saved the day or proved to be the most important person on the ship.

Not so Michael Burnham, who can withstand 9gs for 11 minutes (yeah, sure) and on top of being super competent at anything is also a pod test pilot now and maybe even romantically involved with Spock or at least the one person responsible to mold him into the Spock we know from the original series. What on Earth are they thinking?
They retroactively insert her into Trek history, make her an integral part of Spock’s past, one of the, if not THE most beloved Star Trek character, and being his foster sister is not enough, now she has to be the one who makes Spock the Spock we know.

[Edit: once more, it may very well be that the guy in the promo is Ash Tyler and not Spock, which would dial down the annoyance level from 11 to 10]

That made me think about Rey. And even though she’s accused of being a Mary Sue, she’s only badly written here and there (in my opinion), but if any Star Wars fan wants to know what an actual Mary Sue is, then please watch Star Trek Discovery and behold Michael Burnham. No, I take that back, please don’t watch Star Trek Discovery. This show needs to crash and burn.

Discovery will absolutely ruin Spock in season 2. And this is unforgiveable. Star Wars ruined Luke (for many, not for all) and Star Trek now does the same with Spock. It seems some people don’t learn from the mistakes of others.

Incidentally, both reimagined franchises are the brainchild of people working for or with Bad Robot. Coincidence? Or is there some secret plan behind all that?

Rant over! Good night! 😀

Edit: as was pointed out in the comments the man I assumed was Spock could actually be Ash Tyler (the Klingon infiltrator from season 1) who sports a very similar haircut and hipster beard, apparently. Maybe I need stronger glasses! I hope it’s Ash. It would make sense. But whether or not Spock and Michael are somehow romantically involved or not, the overall critique of her and the show still stands. And of course it’s my opinion only! Not fact!

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