On Saturday at Comic-Con, Bryan Fuller, writer and creator of the next Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery, led a tent revival in Hall H. The text of Gene Roddenberry was his scripture. “I didn’t want to be a writer," he began. "I wanted to be a Star Trek writer. And so being here today is really a dream come true.” He then walked his congregation through the gospel that will save them all with the help of his apostles Jeri Ryan, Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, and William Shatner. Basically, if you had been left feeling spiritless after the Republican National Convention this past week, the Star Trek 50th anniversary panel was your baptism.
Fuller went on about how we can better ourselves through the teachings of Roddenberry, saying, “Fifty years, 50 years of a promise of planet Earth uniting its citizens under one flag as a species going out into the galaxy. Just take a moment and think about that. Two hundred and fifty years into the future, think about where we are today. Think about what’s happening in America, and think about the promise of Star Trek and what we can all do to get there.”
Here is Fuller on the importance of identity and representation:
“Individuality is very important for all of us and it should be celebrated whenever it can be."
Fuller on the great rainbow of humanity:
“Star Trek is about celebrating diversity. It is infinite diversity in infinite combinations.”
Fuller on the importance of science:
“Starships are not built with cynicism. They’re not built with fear-based hate. They’re built with science. And one of the most beautiful things about science is that scientists know that they have to collaborate … And only working together can they find a better future.”
Fuller on who will save the world:
“The freaks have to unite, and the freaks are who are going save the planet. And we’re all freaks here.”
And here's Fuller on, well, Star Trek:
“One of the most beautiful things about Star Trek is that you have people who see this show and they want to be scientists. They want to get into space. They want to make to make it to the future in one piece, and I think that is incredibly beautiful, because we do have to celebrate a progression of our species because right now it feels as though we need a little help, and there’s nothing like the guiding light that Gene Rodenberry hung in the sky.”
Fuller even advocated for adopt don’t shop, reminding his audience that, “They need love and you need love, too.”
It was a full on love-in. Spiner talked about how the human race needs to have more respect for one another, and said if he could make one Trek device real it would be the replicator so we could solve the world’s food crisis. Bakula talked about how science fiction can help guide us past our prejudices into a better future. Ryan talked about the need for inclusiveness and the right of self-determination, while Shatner drew parallels between human extinction and dwindling salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest, because of course he did.
The guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi believes that if you get enough people in one place all meditating at the same time, it would bring about world peace; and the Guru Bryan Fuller tried his best to manifest Roddenberry’s vision when he closed the panel by asking everyone to join hands with their neighbors and said, “As we chart a path to the 23rd century, let’s make a promise to everybody in this room. Look at each other and make a promise to leave this room with love. Leave this room with hope. Leave this room taking responsibility to craft a path to the future that Gene Roddenberry imagined."
It was all very earnest. And it was all very inspiring. But it was also ... devoid of any concrete information about Star Trek: Discovery, beyond the fact that it will premiere in 2017 on CBS’s online portal called "All Access." Fuller did say, “We’re going to be telling stories like a novel,” instead of in a conventional episodic stricture, but when asked what the new series will bring to viewers, Fuller deferred by asking the panelists what they wanted to see before saying, “What the new series has to do is remind the audience about the message of Star Trek … Really, if anything, what I feel like the new series has to do is continue to be progressive, continue to push boundaries, to continue telling stories in the legacy that Gene Roddenberry promised, which is giving us hope for a future.”
So, even if we didn’t get anything close to what we hoped for by way of details about the new series, we recommend reading Fuller’s affirmations daily. And, um, maybe email him some script ideas, because it’s possible he’s still looking for them.
Here's the tiny new teaser for a look at the U.S.S. Discovery, with music that sounds suspiciously like the theme to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.