Is Star Trek about to have its very own Last Jedi moment?
With Star Trek: Picard set to arrive later this year, expectations for the series are growing by the day, which as we’ve all seen isn’t always the best thing.
With the release of the first trailer for Star Trek: Picard, the buildup and hype have begun in earnest. Fans anxiously await word of an official debut date and are already getting excited for the likely release of a full trailer at some point during the summer convention season.
Expectations for the return of Jean-Luc Picard are incredibly high, more so than for almost any Star Trek event since the debut of The Next Generation in 1987.
Of course, as they say, be careful what you wish for.
Last year I wrote how Star Trek fandom may be approaching a crossroads. The second season of Star Trek: Discovery was set to premiere and I tried to warn Trek Nation that they needed to think before they went online to go after the show. The shadow of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was still very prevalent and no one wanted to see Star Trek fandom go down a similar, disturbing road.
Thankfully, the second season of Discovery was a huge hit with both fans and critics and for the most part, the negativity was relegated to a few, small minded idiots that no one paid attention to anyway.
But with Picard, things could be a bit different.
Discovery was a new show, with new characters and situations. If it wasn’t any good, fans could collectively ignore it and go on with their lives, attacking it online as they pleased. Instead the show improved greatly with Season 2 and most of the gatekeepers were just ignored.
However, that won’t happen a second time if Picard doesn’t meet the high expectations of a portion of the fanbase.
Part of what made The Last Jedi so polarizing was the weight of expectations. Fans wanted certain things from the movie and when they didn’t get them, they went online to attack. While most just went on with their lives others started petitions, harassed the stars of the film to the point where they left social media and generally embarrassed and tarnished the good name of Star Wars fans everywhere.
It isn’t exactly a stretch to think that if Picard doesn’t follow through on what fans expect, something similar could happen.
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With Star Trek: Picard, there is 20 years of pent up anticipation that fans didn’t even know they had. No one even remotely expected to ever see Patrick Stewart reprise the role again, much less in a brand new television series. But once that became a reality, the expectations started about what fans wanted to see.
Fans want to see what’s going on with the rest of the Next Generation cast. Fans want to know how it ties into the events seen in 2009’s Star Trek film. Fans want to know what happened between Picard and Beverly Crusher. Fans want to know what happened to the Enterprise.
The truth is, fans might not get the answers to any of those questions.
And if they don’t, we will all have to live with that.
Star Wars fandom learned a hard lesson after the whole Last Jedi fiasco. They learned that the actions of a few reflect on the whole, no matter how much they tried to distance themselves or how much they applauded a wonderful woman who got hounded off social media. They learned that actions have consequences.
Depending on what we get with the first season of Star Trek: Picard, Trek Nation could be getting ready for a Last Jedi moment of their very own.
So keep your expectations in check. Keep your mind open to what the show is and isn’t. If you don’t enjoy it, use your indoor voice when you go online to vent. Remember, actions have consequences. The last thing geek culture needs is another Last Jedi.