It always seems like every time something major happens in a video game or media recently, there is always a complaint of “how did this become so political”. From the simplicity of just adding female and diverse cast members into something, because adding more women in a something is political for some reason, to the start of where this happened. Again. Now with newer Star Trek things where people walking into Star Trek: Picard are saying the series is too political. Now, I haven’t paid for CBS All Access because I have cast my line on how many streaming services I am going to pay for, but it happened with Star Trek Discovery when it appeared again.
I hate to break it to people, but Star Trek has always been political and progressive. For example, the concept of the Federation itself being where groups of aliens forming a super communist space nation where money doesn’t have any value and people can do whatever they want to live their lives is the heart and core of the original series. We could also talk about how each planet the Enterprise landed on had a massive political or philosophical message. Also, there is the fact that the Romulans and Federation had a border between them that was like the iron wall during the Cold War. Not to mention that the Klingons looked vaguely Russian in the TOS. There was clearly a vision here.
Every single piece of science fiction media that has existed is a commentary on something from the past or the present time period. We could look at H.G. Wells’ The War of Worlds which was an anti imperialistic look at what happens when the UK, the most powerful country in the early 1900’s, got invaded by higher level technological force called Martians to show the reader “this is what we are doing to people”. You know, until the cold hits and destroys them. The way the message has been told has changed, but the fact that science fiction examines human society hasn’t changed. It’s great.
We don’t have to talk about Star Trek to do this latest science fiction comparison. Let’s talk about Babylon 5 which was the home of the Space UN who gave us a voice and face to the war going on in the series between the Centauri and the Narn with the eventual Earth becoming hard right causing an Earth Civil War. What about the BSG reboot in Season 3 where the colonial citizens on New Caprica were kept in camps by the Cylons for control. Something that was directly mentioned to talk about the War in Iraq at that time. Holy crap, that was the later 2000’s.
There is even the Expanse, whose fourth season came out recently on Amazon Prime, which centered on the conflict between the Old Earth, the Newer Mars, and the people living in between the colonies inbetween who constantly get caught in the war inbetween when an alien element, the proto molecule, causes war to start again. The latest season, centered on the people in between settling a colony world trying to start a new and then crazy, gun happy people from the Earth came into stop them and make them come back. Holden and his crew are people trying to settle down the situation despite the fact that alien things are happening on the planet to wipe every new inhabitant out. What can I say besides it being complicated.
I could even bring in talk about Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Space Battleship Yamato and it’s reboots, Gundam, Crest/Banner of the Stars, and who knows how many other mecha and sci fi things out there, but I don’t think I have to. Watch those though. I don’t know who is walking into here and complaining about Star Trek Picard being political, newer people walking into sci fi for the first time or people just noticing that Star Trek has been political. Welcome to science fiction and I hope you enjoy your stay here. It’s a wonderful and interesting genre that I love with all my heart and soul. I’ve even written a thing about it here.
I hope you new people can find something in it to love it too or at least find it interesting. If it’s not for you, that’s fine. Please don’t step over all of us who do love it still. Older people who lost interest in the genre, same thing honestly. Let people who love it to love it. There is no reason to cause drama other then to get people upset and riled up. The internet already has enough of that. Politics happen, even if they are in the skin of the show you are watching and it’s not the point for watching it. Science Fiction just bringing it up in the front of it’s content might be different and oh well. It happens. We all love different things.