With the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, the first televised outing for the world of Star Trek since Enterprise left airwaves in 2005, just months away, fans are experiencing a mix of cautious optimism and nervousness. The franchise’s latest outings in the J.J. Abrams rebooted “Kelvin Universe” -- including this year's Star Trek Beyond -- haven't been universally well-received by Trekkies, and the ongoing battle between Paramount and fan films has left a bad taste in the mouths of many. Still, for some, the prospect of returning to the Prime Universe established by Star Trek and its spinoffs fifty years ago is intriguing at the very least.
Producer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) has been teasing fans with details about the new series over the last several months, offering a few insights into what to expect when the series premieres on CBS’ new streaming platform, All Access, early next year. The series is set to take place ten years before the original Star Trek, effectively serving as a gap-filler between that series and Enterprise. While the regression of the storyline’s time frame has caused some fans to scoff at the direction of the series, Fuller has promised that the setting will allow the series to explore new corners of the Trek universe, including a tantalizing new detail he released today.
Today, Fuller tweeted that a popular original series episode, “Balance of Terror,” will serve as a touchstone for the new series. As fans of the series will tell you, that episode introduced Romulans into the Star Trek universe, and Fuller’s tweet reveals quite a bit about the story Discovery might be telling.
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) September 9, 2016
In “Balance of Terror,” it’s explained that Earth and the Romulan Empire have been locked into an uneasy peace for nearly a century following a devastating war. While that war has been referenced numerous times in Star Trek canon, fans have never gotten to see it for themselves, though after its cancellation it was revealed that Enterprise would’ve explored this storyline.
Given that Discovery is set prior to the events of the Original Series, it’s unlikely that we’ll get to see the war for ourselves this time around, except perhaps through flashbacks. Most likely, we’ll be seeing Starfleet as they become whole again following the war and their galactic influence begins to take hold. We also might not actually see much of the Romulans, given that canonically Starfleet and the Romulan Empire don’t interact much until the events of “Balance of Terror.”
Still, if the war is truly as devastating as it’s been made out to be, the geopolitical ramifications could very well ripple into the next century. Starfleet was in its relative infancy during the events of the war, and the battle between humans and Romulans had a great effect on the collective psyche of Starfleet. Even if Romulans don’t play a large direct role on the events of Discovery, the war will no doubt play into the decisions made by Starfleet Command and the captains of their fleet.
If nothing else, it’s nice to see reverence being paid to the history of the franchise. As far as universes go, you’d be hard pressed to find one more rich in detail than the one created by Gene Roddenberry fifty years ago. Diving deeper into that history is a great way to bring Star Trek back to television, and for fans of the series, the Romulan war provides a great place to mine. We’ll keep you posted on all things Star Trek: Discovery as news develops.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres in 2017 on CBS All Access
Source: Bryan Fuller