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Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Let’s Talk Sybok

First, let me catch you all up on what happening in Star Trek’s latest series, Strange New Worlds (SNW). RED ALERT, SPOILERS AHEAD! The title is a reference to the classic opening monologue which was featured in The Original Series (TOS) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and has just now made its triumphant return in SNW.

The series picks up with Captain Pike, Number One, and Spock after their experience with the crew of the USS Discovery in season two of Star Trek: Discovery (Disco). With only three episodes left of its inaugural season, SNW has become the crown jewel in a golden age of Star Trek. We’ve seen new characters, legacy characters with fresh faces, relevant commentary on politics, and lots of phaser fire! 

The pilot episode of Strange New Worlds deals with First-Contact of an alien race at roughly the same technological advancement as modern-day Earth. It ends with a warning in the form of a monologue. Captain Pike delivers a powerful message to a species similar to our own. He recalls  “Our last day, the day the Earth we knew ceased to exist.” Apparently at some point in human history according to the Star Trek canon, 30% of the human population was wiped out, over “Competing ideas of liberty.” He directly references the January 6th, 2021 riots in Washington D.C. Let’s all hope that’s where the direct parallel ends.

The following five episodes were not too shabby either. We’ve met Sam Kirk, had the pleasure of Celia Rose Gooding reprising the role of Uhura. We’ve seen a much more developed Nurse Chapel, met new aliens and seen a new form of prejudice develop affecting a classic crew member. None of that prepared me for episode 7.

Strange New Worlds episode 7 ( The Serene Squall) is everything a true Trekkie wants in an episode plus a little more. The Enterprise crew is lured into a trap of course. They’ve been lead to believe there are colonists at the edge of Federation space. They are in desperate need of supplies and protection from pirates and raiders. It was all a rouse however, there are no colonists and the Enterprise is taken over by pirates while Captain Pike and an away team are held captive on an abandoned colonial ship. Eventually their nemesis, Captain Angel reveals herself and her plan. To Spock’s surprise, it is not the Enterprise that Angel is after, it’s him.

Why you ask? Spock is not even the first officer at this point, he’s merely a science officer. Why go to all this trouble for him? In a word, Sybok. While Star Trek V: The Final Frontier may have been the worst ST film ever, it did provide us with a potentially interesting character. Spock’s illegitimate half-brother Sybok. Although fully Vulcan, he rejects the Vulcan philosophy of logic above all. He is part of a group introduced in Star Trek Enterprise (Enterprise) known as the V’Tosh Ka ‘Tur. 

In Final Frontier when Spock first sees his brother he is surprised that he is alive. Perhaps some foreshadowing for our new villain. He was depicted as a religious zealot who believed he could take the Enterprise to find God out in space at the edge of the galaxy. Again, the fifth movie was the worst one. However, with said Golden Age of Star Trek in mind, and the recent success Paramount has had with this franchise, I’m expecting great things.

Sybok looks to be an ongoing problem for Spock and the Enterprise crew, and I can only imagine what he’s going to put them through. That being said, SNW has returned to the episodic style of storytelling that made Star Trek great in the first place. With shows like Disco and Picard telling one story arc per season, it’s nice to have a throwback to the OG. And SNW leaves Easter eggs and fan appreciation all over the place. I’m hoping to see a tribble or two before it’s all said and done. 

Any Star Trek fan that hasn’t already seen this series needs to beam themselves directly to the couch and engage. If you have seen it, what did you think? Is the storytelling a good throwback to the original series?
Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter! That’s all for now true believers, until next time I’m Craig “Wex” Wexler signing off. 

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Craig Wexler

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