From the beginning of humanity we have needed heroes. Heroes are necessary. People need heroes to look up to. They need ideals to strive towards. They need something better than themselves to aspire to be. That is how we grow as a species.
That is why we need characters like those in older Star Trek. From the original series even all the way to Enterprise, the characters of Star Trek were the better aspects of humanity. At times flawed, they were not only what we wished we could be but what we needed to be.
We all wish to be a strong and decisive leader that is moral and makes the right decision. We all wish that those that protected or cared for us were the best of the best. We want our heroes to be truer than true and not only rise to the occasion but come out victorious. We also want our heroes to like each other. That while they may disagree, in the end, they get along. No matter how different they are that they can overcome their differences and unite to do what must be done.
We dream of a future where humanity has gone on to do many great things. We have gotten past our petty differences and even our big problems to create a bright and hopeful future where we thrive together. Our limitless potential is finally unleashed, and we have made our world a better place and are helping to do the same in the final frontier.
We have journeyed out into the great unknown where we are attempting to journey beyond the farthest star in pursuit of knowledge and betterment. We are going into the great unknown and seeking out new life and new civilizations and learning things and making discoveries unlike anything before.
In the Trek future we no longer need money, and the driving force is not the accumulation of material goods but rather the improvement of the individual. You don’t become a teacher or a doctor or a lawyer because you feel that is the best way to make money. You do that because that is the best way to reach your full potential.
Now though those lofty ideals and aspirations have been put aside. Star Trek is no longer about the best of humanity living in a better future but the pettiest of humanity living in a world whose only real difference from our own is the level of technology. It is a dirty place filled with backstabbing and immature squabbles. We are unable to get past our differences.
And the heroes? They are not the kind of people you should strive to be. They are not made to embody higher ideals or larger aspirations. They are petty and damaged characters that are probably worse than the individual watching the story. They do not do right because it is right but rather do right because that is their job.
The idea in Star Trek now is to deconstruct the heroes or this better future. Tear down the mythology in favor of faux “realism” for the characters/situation (whatever that is in this fictional future). Star Trek is now written by small people that would rather bring others down to their sad level rather than try to lift them up. They are too weak to try to be better so they feel others should not or could not be either.
We have always needed examples to look up to and strive to be like. We need the characters and the ideals in that better tomorrow to reach that very better tomorrow. We have those goals, but modern mythology with those ideals and characters helps reaching them seem a little more tangible. We can visualize what we should be.
And Star Trek is modern mythology. We have always had stories about the best of the best achieving great things. Be them real or perhaps exaggerated stories or just general mythology we have always had them as examples of what we should strive to be or strive to do. We have always had them for when we are faced with great adversity and struggle to show us how we should respond.
Star Trek did that for many decades and did that very well but not anymore. Now Trek speaks to the lowest common denominator. The hard path was what Star Trek originally told us we needed to walk to achieve a better world but now it is no longer about reaching the stars but about staying where we are and perhaps even going a little bit lower.
We need the higher ideals that Star Trek once embraced. It is how we reach that Star Trek future. Until Star Trek gets back on that path it will not be what we need.