Star Trek has always been a franchise that wasn’t afraid to take a stand politically, and the newest entry in the series — Star Trek: Discovery — is set to continue that tradition in the Trump era.
The new series has found inspiration in the current political divide in the United States between Donald Trump’s diehard supporters and everyone else, a divide that is mirrored in one of the main storylines on Discovery. On the series, war breaks out between the Federation and the Klingons, and the antagonist aliens bear more than a passing resemblance to fans of Donald Trump.
“The allegory is that we really started working on the show in earnest around the time the election was happening,” showrunner Aaron Harberts told EW. “The Klingons are going to help us really look at certain sides of ourselves and our country. Isolationism is a big theme. Racial purity is a big theme. The Klingons are not the enemy, but they do have a different view on things. It raises big questions: Should we let people in? Do we want to change? There’s also the question of just because you reach your hand out to someone, do they have to take it? Sometimes, they don’t want to take it. It’s been interesting to see how the times have become more of a mirror than we even thought they were going to be.”
“The thing about the war is it takes Starfleet and the Federation and forces them to examine their ideas and ethical rules of conflict and conduct. It provides a backdrop to how we want to be as a society and that analysis and self-reflection is new for Trek,” Harberts goes on to say, adding that the series, “began as a commentary on our own divided nation — in terms of Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters.”
The Original Series famously pushed the envelope politically and socially, and it sure sounds like Discovery is looking to do the same in a modern setting, with Starfleet standing in for those who oppose Trump and the Klingons as his faithful. It will be interesting to see how their conflict plays out, but frankly we’re mostly just looking forward to seeing if the show’s Klingons wear red “Make the Klingon Empire Great Again” hats.