totally lost the thread of what made it work - placing very relatable people (and very un-sci-fi types - the naive kid who saves the day, the slick gunslinger type who acts cools but is full of shit, the bossy bitch who really isn't such a bitch after all, the big lumbering sidekick who turns out to be the coolest of the bunch) into a fantastical context and giving the audience an easy entree into the story via those characters. Once the characters became chilly and unrelatable in the prequels, the audience was locked out emotionally. Star Wars
never really had much to do with sci fi anyway, it was all a funhouse ride with Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie as the rides.
Hopefully, Star Trek
will regain the thread of what makes it work, which is entirely different from Star Wars
. With Star Trek
, the characters are relatable, sure, but the premise is (and should be) also relatable in its own right. It's basically multicultural liberal democracy being tested for its survivability in an even more rigorous context than it faces on planet Earth - and the "optimism" of Star Trek
is that it survives the test. The strength of the premise, and the fact that the premise alone can serve as the "funhouse ride" for the audience, is why Star Trek
is not as heavily dependent on any given set of characters, or on characters being a certain way. They can be prickly or evasive and many of Star Trek's
greatest characters - Spock, McCoy, Data, Worf, Odo, Kira and Garak - have been far pricklier/stranger/less relatable than Luke et al as a result.