What stories can you tell with Captain Huge Douchebag and the U.S.S. Fanboy (NCC-2,000,000 with 15 type-MLCVII pulse phaser cannons) that you can't tell with Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise?
What stories can you tell with Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise that you can't tell with Captain Douchebag and the U.S.S. Fanboy
Well, speaking only for myself, the triumvirate of Spock (the logic), McCoy (the passion), and Kirk (the wisdom) provides the perfect vehicle for exploring the human condition.
Star Trek is a universe, whether you get it or not.
No, Star Trek is a TV show and a movie series.
It's bigger than just Kirk and company. Exploring universes we like by meeting other people and other situations is what makes a universe worthwhile beyond its original premise, in my opinion. DS9 is the finest example of what you can do with a universe when you break from the original boundaries. And it was awesome.
It seems to me there are two types of fans these days. Fans who simply want escapist fantasy, and those who want, what Isaac Asimov called, "escape into reality." I'm not interested in working out continuity of a fake universe, or keeping track of timelines or anything like that. I'm interested in good stories that examine our own human potential.
Take DS9. The pilot was, IMO, fantastic. It examined what it means to live in the field of time by having Ben Sisko meet aliens who transcend the field of time. Living in time means what God told Adam and Even it means in Genesis after the fall -- pain, loss, and death. Sisko is fallen man, who has exiled himself from paradise. There are two ways to live n this world with that knowledge -- by either rejecting life and going off away from society (as Sisko wants to do by running off and leaving Starfleet) or by affirming life, and joyfully participating in all its sorrows.
It doesn't mean you don't feel sorrow. The Buddha's first noble truth is that "all life is sorrowful." It just means you affirm life by joyfully participating. Life is not something to be corrected. It is just the way it should be.
You see, that's
Star Trek's potential. Not "what a cool ship!" or "okay, here's another episode for me to keep track of events in my timeline!" Not that there's anything wrong with escapist fantasy. It's just that that's not what I'm personally interested in. And yes, it could
be done without Kirk and Spock (as DS9 did in the pilot episode), but the Kirk, Spock, McCoy triumvirate is still a great externalization of the inner conflict within the individual and, as I said, a great vehicle for exploration of the human condition and human potential. It doesn't even have to be as deep as the DS9 pilot, just give me a fun adventure story that taps into the human potential. Update all the tech so that it's a relevant future for us today (not a 1960s view of the future).
Even B&B wanted to recreate that formula by virtually copying it for ENT.
Star Trek has been too debased with endless spinoffs that I don't think there's an audience outside a few hardcore fans for yet another
ship, yet another