Star Trek

I honestly don’t remember how this above image came about. I’d had CELINA HERNANDEZ draw some cartoon-ish black and white images of me that I’d used as profile pics on social media, and on various blogs (see the header here). So at some point she drew me as Star Trek captain. I don’t know if I commissioned her to do it, or if it was just something she did for fun and sent to me.

Eventually I came up with a fake background for this version of myself, Captain LeMar of the Starship Reagan (ships tend to get named after former Presidents, I figured Ronald Reagan was someone likely to get a ship named after him in the future).

And then at some point I commissioned Celina to draw me an image of “my” crew:

I think I had names for each of these characters when I pitched it to her, but I don’t remember them now. I just knew I wanted the humans to be more ethnically diverse than even the Star Trek shows tend to be, and I wanted to introduce some new alien species to the franchise, so I came up with the “wolf” man and woman who is part of the mythical “grey alien” species.

I’ve been a fan of the Star Trek franchise for most of my life, but it’s not something I’ve ever thought about writing myself. However years, I don’t remember when exactly and I just searched but can’t find it, I read some article on some website that was about bringing Star Trek back to TV. This was after 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, but before 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, at a time where there were no new Star Trek TV series’ in development. The article asked several writers how they would craft a new Star Trek series for the modern audience. From what I recall, most agreed that the traditional done-in-one episodes of the original series wouldn’t work today, and that a new show would need to have story arcs that take place over several episodes. And, of course, there was debate as to whether a new series should take place in the “prime” universe or the JJ Abrams film reboot universe.

So I thought about it a bit and I managed to come up with premise that I think would work as a new Star Trek series. Mine would be set in the JJ Abramsverse, and I would build around James Kirk’s older brother George Kirk Jr.. This character was originally supposed to appear in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, but was written out. That’s probably because they felt that if James Kirk’s parent already had a child it would somewhat lesson the impact of the opening sequence where George Sr. sacrifices himself just as his son is being born. But he was still in the official novelization of the film. The character later appeared in issues five and six of the official licensed Star Trek comic, where he was shown living on distant planet with a wife and son, but my pitch would ignore those details.

The basic idea for my show is the George Kirk Jr. had entered Starfleet before his younger brother James, and has been slowly but steadily rising through the ranks. Attitude-wise, he’s the polar opposite of his younger brother, George Jr. is studious, respects authority, and always plays by the rules. He’s long been jealous of the fact his younger brother hadn’t even formally graduated Starfleet Academy when he was given command of the flagship of Starfleet.

George Jr. has just been promoted to Captain of the starship the USS Excelsior. A ship that’s closer to the Enterprise-D from The Next Generation, it’s larger, with a bigger crew, and it’s mission is to explore deep space.  The status quo is that George Jr. is a strict by-the-book Starfleet officer, and in this case he’s essentially the straight man on the ship, as the rest of his crew are a bit more freewheeling and reckless. The show wouldn’t be a comedy, but one comparison I can make now is to the cast of Brooklyn 99 (which didn’t yet exist at the time), in which he’s Captain Holt.  His First Officer would be like Jake Peralta, cocky and a bit crazy, and the two often clash because of their opposing styles of management.

Another member of the grew would be Christine Chapel, she was a nurse and recurring character on the original series, who had an unrequited crush on Spock. The character was referenced and was briefly heard speaking in the 2009 reboot but not seen on-camera, and was reference in the sequel as having left the ship, for reasons which were implied to be a failed romance with James Kirk. I’d introduced that character, now a doctor, as the Chief Medical Officer on the Excelsior, and she would be the love interest for George, although both would fight their feelings for each other for a long time.

That’s all I really came up with. From then on, the show would like classic Trek, with George and his crew exploring strange new worlds, seeking new life and new civilizations and boldly going where no one has gone before.