I’ve been watching older Trek series because of this and noticed something I haven’t heard a lot of people talk about. TNG and especially Voyager have a really nice emphasis on science, critical thinking and discuss HOW to think a lot. I was watching an episode where the crew has to think their way out of a problem and the answer was of course “tachyon emissions” or some bullshit. But the WAY they got there was to listen to each other, work synergistically, challenge assumptions, make sure they had accurate metrics, all the stuff that you learn when becoming a scientist. They also have a lot of episodes and plots that involve respecting other cultures and traditions while still being proud of your own. This theme repeats again and again. It sets the tone of the series. Especially with children and families on TNG, I just love the tone and themes of the 90s shows. Its constantly promoting curiosity and critical thinking.
And that is what separates (or used to) Star Trek from every other sci fi series, including Star Wars. Its about science, not lab science but science as a way of life, a way of thinking.
The Abrahams movies were entertaining and looked really great, but they skipped right over this and made Star Trek into Star Wars. All bluster and explosions and conflict resolved with explosions. No diplomacy or critical thinking or controlling your anger and prejudices. To me, this (and TOS had some of this too, just not at much) was what defined Star Trek. Its what inspired two generations of nerds and geeks to become JPL scientists, chemists, mathmeticians, and especially computer scientists.
So is this new series more like entertainment Trek, or more like science trek? Cause what TV needs desperately right now is science trek.