Hello, First Time Trek here! When Star Trek: Discovery was first announced I had a lot of people asking me if I was planning on live-tweeting it. Which is a valid question considering I Kool-Aid-manned into the Star Trek fandom by live-tweeting my first watch through Star Trek. However, I have decided against a live-tweet for ST: DSC and will instead be doing recaps! They will be posted the Monday morning after the Sunday airing of new episodes, here on the Women at Warp blog.
If you’ve followed my live-tweeting in the past, the recaps should seem similar but will give me a bit more space for analysis and be more in-depth than just first reactions. If you haven’t followed along with my First Time Trekking you can check out my extremely shoddy and unfinished archive of old tweets on Tumblr to get a taste of my style, which I would describe as unnecessarily referential, snarky, and occasionally filled with sincere FEELS™.
To gear up for recapping, I thought I’d give a rundown of the things I am looking forward to as well as some aspects of the show I am a bit more wary of.
THINGS I AM EXCITED FOR:
CAPTAIN MICHELLE FUCKING YEOH
When I first heard that Michelle Yeoh had been cast in Star Trek I ascended to a higher plane and my disembodied spirit made the screeching noises of a dying pterodactyl. Not only has it been far past time to put a woman of color in the Captain’s chair, but it’s MICHELLE FUCKING YEOH! The legend! The sword wielding goddess of my heart! Michelle Yeoh could calmly sit on the bridge of the U.S.S. Shenzhou and do nothing and I would watch in abject fascination because it’s MICHELLE FUCKING YEOH!
That being said, I am really, really hoping they will give this renowned badass some weighty storylines to dig her teeth into. Please do not waste the gift that Michelle Yeoh has bestowed upon us and relegate her to the background. I want Captain Georgiou to have the strong character arc both she and the audience deserve!
First Officer Michael Burnham
Black women have played an important role in the foundation of Star Trek from the very beginning. Nichelle Nichols turned Uhura from a part that could’ve been “hailing frequencies open” into a very real statement about civil rights in an ideal future, that black women would not only be present, but vital in the final frontier of human achievement.
Yet for all of that history, Star Trek hasn’t centered a story around a black woman until now. Casting an established genre actress like Sonequa Martin-Green was an awesome first step, and Discovery has been steadily releasing fascinating tidbits about the background of Burnham that have me mad pumped to see where they take this character! I am more than ready to see Burnham kick ass in space while sporting a perfect Vulcan salute.
Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber aka The gayest gays who ever did gay. Please be super gay.
Although Star Trek has built a reputation as progressive and egalitarian, one area the franchise has always fallen depressingly short has been in LGBTQIAP+ representation. Most of Trek’s attempts to depict the queer community have been stereotypical, subtextual, or just simply non-existent.
From the very beginning, Discovery has been primed to overturn Trek’s disappointing queer legacy, first by (briefly) hiring the hella gay Bryan Fuller to be a writer, executive producer, and showrunner, then by announcing Anthony Rapp as Trek’s first regular gay character Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Wilson Cruz as his partner Dr. Hugh Culber.
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s not one, but two dudes from Rent, the guy who played legendary queer icon Rickie Vasquez, and the writer/showrunner of Hannibal, which is gayer than brunch with Bashir and Garak. It’s hard to overstate the queer cachet that these three guys bring to the table.
I’m hoping that they can build on these steps forward by pushing further and incorporating more stories for the queer community as a whole, especially those that are marginalized even within that community. I want meaningful trans, nonbinary, asexual, bi/pansexual, QPOC representation, damnit!
THINGS I AM WARY OF:
My reaction to the fact that Harry Mudd was going to be a significant part of Discovery ping-ponged wildly between WHY and NO and has never progressed much beyond that.
I came to Star Trek in 2013, which meant that for a long time I was insulated from generally accepted fandom opinions. That was part of the appeal for many people who followed my live-tweeting, the fresh perspective. And my fresh perspective on Harry Mudd was that he sucked. I have since learned that he occupies an odd and divisive place in the fandom, where older fans especially have a nostalgic fondness for him.
The biggest hurdle to making Harry Mudd work is that all of his storylines revolved around his misogyny. His supposedly hilarious episodes are chock full of sex trafficking, rape drugs, and identical twin sex robots. In the context of the 60s, the misogyny was far more acceptable. In a 2017 context, how do you tell humorous stories about this guy?
I am completely unsure how Discovery will make Mudd both palatable to modern audiences and recognizably the Mudd we know from TOS canon. Here’s hoping they can pull it off.
Let’s Fucking Trek! Discovery Style
Overall, I am so excited! Discovery will be the first Star Trek series that I will be watching live as a Trek fan with the whole fandom and I could not be more pumped about it! Catch me here every Monday morning as I break down each Discovery episode and let me know what you think! 🖖😎
Screencaps from Trekcore