Welcome to the fifth season of Trektember! We’ve now run longer than Enterprise, and boy has it been a long road…gettin’ from there to here.
When we first launched Trektember back in September of 2016, there was no Star Trek on TV. Star Trek Beyond had been released a few months prior, and Discovery had only just been announced. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the franchise, but due to the rift between CBS and Paramount, not much was being done. The first season of Trektember was an attempt to celebrate the show by going through every episode of The Original Series season 1 with an eye toward where Jesus could be found in the show. Then we went through The Next Generation in 2017, Discovery and The Orville in 2018, and Deep Space Nine last year.
In those four years and eleven months since we launched this series, the Trek landscape has changed dramatically.
To Boldly Go
Picard‘s first season, Lower Decks‘ first season, and Discovery‘s third season will all have aired by the end of this year. The untitled “Section 31” show is in development, along with another animated show called Prodigy and the Anson Mount-led Pike show Strange New Worlds. Rumors of a “Captain Proton” revival are flying around. Scuttlebutt about a fourth “Kelvinverse” film are still on the burner (and I’m still holding out hope for a Seven of Nine show about her time as a Fenris Ranger, with Kate Mulgrew as Admiral Janeway, who’s been charged with catching Seven but is secretly helping her…I might have thought this out a bit too much). The point is, we’re in a much different universe than we were in when Trektember got off the ground.
There’s a lot of Trek content out there this Trektember, and we’re contributing ourselves with the episodic reviews of Lower Decks that are already in progress. Add in the uncertainty created by COVID-19, and this year is quite a bit stranger than our last four seasons. So instead of our standard one-a-day format, we’re stepping back a bit to take a breath; we’re going to post fewer articles, but articles that go to a greater depth and breadth about the Star Trek universe. Instead of being about single episodes, these articles will be longer, examining characters, concepts, questions, and storylines that appear across episodes and even seasons. Plus, you’ll still get the weekly episodic reviews of Lower Decks (our take on S1E05 should show up on Monday morning).
But one of the best things about Star Trek is that it’s not just a free-for-all; each episode of each series tries to say something about the universe. I hope this season of Trektember, like each season of the show we’ve looked at in the past, does too. So this year’s Trektember won’t look at one series, but the franchise as a whole; with one guiding star.
“New Life, New Civilizations”
The theme for this year’s Trektember seeks out New Life, New Civilizations. It’s famously a part of the 37 eternal words which explained the premise of Star Trek in every episode of The Original Series, but it’s also filled with theological depth and meaning: our new life is what Christ purchased for us on the cross, and our new civilization is the coming kingdom of God. This month, we’re going to explore a character, a concept, a question, or a storyline in Star Trek through the lens of new life and new civilizations; to show how the topic illuminates the Christian doctrine of new life and new civilizations.
It’s going where no one has gone before, but we’re not going alone; your favorite Trektember writers are back to take this journey with us, and we’re excited to show you what we’ve had cooking up. The first piece is coming tomorrow, but if you can’t wait, go back through our archives at reelworldtheology.com/trektember.
We can’t wait for you to boldly go with us. Thanks for joining us again.