Michael Chabon, Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman and Kirsten Beyer on Star Trek: Picard, what it means to treat Star Trek as a franchise, and more

star trek picard michael chabon interview alex kurtzman akiva goldsman kirsten beyer executive producers franchise

Between the four of them, Michael Chabon, Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman and Kirsten Beyer have written a lot of Star Trek: novels, comic books, films, and, of course, television. The series isn’t just that anymore – over fifty years after the original Star Trek was quietly moved to Friday nights and eventually cancelled, it’s now the jewel in the crown of CBS All Access, and a major international acquisition for Amazon Prime. That little television show has grown into an empire.

Or, put another way, it’s a franchise.

“It’s interesting this word ‘franchise’, right?” muses Kurtzman. “Because it feels like a very – Michael used an excellent word the other day – a very mercantile term, where everything is about ‘okay, we can sell this and we can sell that’. But I actually don’t think that’s what it’s about for any of us. I think that’s someone else’s job. Our job is to create great stories and figure out how to use all these different mediums to tell them in interesting ways.”

I’m really, really pleased with this one, actually – it is, I think, my favourite of the four Star Trek: Picard interviews I’ve done this week. Certainly, I think it’s the most insightful and most worthwhile as a piece of writing on its own terms – I’m particularly proud of what I was able to build out of the roundtable interview here.

Take a look!

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 8 Review – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

star trek discovery Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum saru doug jones michael burnham sonequa martin green ash tyler shazad latif John S. Scott Kirsten Beyer

In a way, that brings us back to a question posed in initial episodes that we’ve not really looked at since – what does it mean to be Star Trek today? Approaching the end of this half of the season – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum was originally set to be the midseason finale – it’s worth asking just what the answer has been.

Admittedly, I don’t entirely know quite what Discovery has concluded; in a very real sense, it’s still growing into itself, and doesn’t always know what it wants to be. In some ways, it struggles underneath the weight of the franchise, able to be bold and new within those confines but not necessarily within its own right. Perhaps the more important part of Si Vis Pacem is not in offering a definitive answer to the question, but in showing us that Discovery can offer more than one answer.

Here’s my review of the penultimate Star Trek: Discovery episode, which I really rather enjoyed. This review discusses Saru, Burnham and Ash Tyler, as well as the ongoing Klingon plotline, and what Discovery thinks Star Trek should be.

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