Star Trek Picard: 5 Big Questions

We’re now five episodes into Star Trek: Picard. I’ll admit the show is darker and more murdery than I would like, but we’re now deep enough into the new show’s mythology that some big questions have been raised.

In my mind, here are the five biggest questions that may (or may not) be answered by the end of the season.

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Star Trek Picard: O Captain! My Captain!

Star Trek Picard, episode 1, is free to watch on YouTube (for US customers) for a limited time. If this image is broken, it’s probably already gone.

The first two episodes of Star Trek: Picard are now out (on CBS All Access for US viewers, elsewhere for the rest of the world).

And from the first moment of the first episode, we loyal, long-time fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation are treated to the warm amber glow of nostalgia… yet also a strange new world.

Warning: Indiscriminate spoilers for Episode 1 “Remembrance”.

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Top 5 Star Trek TNG Episodes

(That miss most top 10 lists.)

Lately I’ve been nostalgic for the Star Trek series of my childhood, that is, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Maybe it’s the recent announcement of the new Star Trek: Picard series. Or perhaps because of The Orville, a TV series that is a spiritual successor, loving homage, or blatant ripoff of TNG. (Opinions vary.)

Whatever the reason, I’ve been rewatching some old favorites of mine, and noticed a few that fail to make the top lists. So here (confusingly) is my list of top Star Trek TNG episodes that don’t make the top lists.

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Four Rules of Phaser Safety

Or, Are Star Trek Phasers Sentient?

Anyone who has handled firearms in the modern era is probably familiar with the four rules of gun safety. But as our technology gets smarter, will the rules change?

Star Trek: The Next Generation showed us a future with warp drives and transporters, androids, replicators, and all sorts of futuristic technologies. In the midst of these technological advancements, what does their weapons-handling tell us?

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4 Ways to Save the World from an Alien Invasion

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Martian war tripods have been spotted just outside of Surrey. In New York and Washington, enormous saucers 15 miles wide hover menacingly over the Independence Day holiday preparations. A Dalek fleet approaches from one direction; a Borg Cube from the other.

In short, we’re so screwed. The super-advanced civilization that could stomp us out like ants appears poised to do just that.

In last week’s episode of The Orville (spoilers follow)…

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A Year of VSS365

A little over a year ago, my New Year’s resolution was to write more. And in particular, I challenged myself to participate in VSS365 every day in 2018.

The outcome? I did it. 2018 is over (hooray), and I posted a VSS365-tagged tweet each day. Not all of them were good, and I may have cheated a couple times early-on by doubling-up after missing a day, but…

Assuming on average I filled up half a tweet (140 of 280 characters), then for an average word length of 5 characters, I wrote 10,000+ words. While that’s not terribly impressive (only a fraction of what a NaNoWriMo winner writes in a single month), it’s a good start.

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Baby It’s Cold Outside (So Can I Come Inside?)

Christmastime is here again, and what would the holidays be without a warm fire, snowfall, and controversy? As I sit next to my fireplace staring out at a fresh blanket of snow, this year’s controversy is “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.

Is this song an innocent holiday classic from a bygone era? Or is it a dark misogynistic song with undertones of date rape?

I rather see it as a window into the complex intertwining of context, consent, and flirtation. And from a writer’s perspective, I see it underscoring the importance of nonverbal cues in character motivations.

(Also, I happen to like the song.) Continue reading “Baby It’s Cold Outside (So Can I Come Inside?)”

Star Trek: Discovery

The premiere episode of Star Trek: Discovery just aired on CBS, and I just want to say that, for the first time in many years, there is a TV show that is true to the spirit of Star Trek, that is fun to watch, full of hopeful optimism, yet not afraid to tackle tough issues.

And that show is The Orville.

Screw Star Trek: Discovery. Screw it with one of those pentalobe screwdrivers that you have to buy to service an iPhone. (Possible spoilers.)

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