UPDATE: Apologies to our reader, as we had misinterpreted the statements from the EW piece. In the original story, we wrote that they would be throwing out the Prime Directive. As it turns out, they are not throwing out the Prime Directive, but rather the rule that Star Trek writers had that prevented them from having Starfleet crew members engage in significant conflict with one another â€” or from being portrayed incredibly negatively.
The Prime Directive is an important part of Star Trek canon, even if Kirk ignored said rule in multiple episodes and as recently as the opening to Star Trek Into Darkness, actions that lost him his Captain’s chair on the U.S.S. Enterprise (for a time…). The Prime Directive is a guiding principal of the United Federation of Planets that prohibits ship Captains from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations. Though I’ve only see Star Trek: The Original Series and all the movies, the internet tells me that The Prime Directive has been used in five of the six Star Trek series to date.
Star Trek: Discovery, the latest series within the long running franchise, premiers on CBS on September 24, 2017 with more episodes to follow on CBS All Access immediately after that. Entertainment Weekly reports that one element of the franchise will not continue into Discovery: the Prime Directive [EDIT: again, not the case, see above update]. Showrunner Aaron Harberts had this to say about their decision not to include the long running rule:
â€œWeâ€™re trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions. People have to make mistakes â€” mistakes are still going to be made in the future. Weâ€™re still going to argue in the future.â€
Gretchen J. Berg, the other showrunner behind Discovery, added:
â€œThe rules of Starfleet remain the same. But while weâ€™re human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect.â€
Harberts also had this to say:
â€œThe thing weâ€™re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts. So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but itâ€™s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.â€
There you go. They’ve opened up the series for more conflicts, and less philosophy involving impacting civilizations without warp capabilities.
What do you think of the decision to dump the Prime Directive? Do you think it will make the show feel fresh and less restricted, or does this go against everything you love about Star Trek? Let us know in the comment section below!
Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24, 2017 on CBS.
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SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly