One of the things the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek likes to do is engage in peaceful relations with new species of lifeforms, and to avoid conflict. It seems there’s nothing the UFP likes to do more than hold peace conferences and similar gatherings – just look at the original series episode ‘Journey To Babel’, or the meeting on Khitomer in Star Trek VI. It’s not like the lyric in ‘Star Trekkin” of “We come in peace, shoot to kill”.
This latest issue of IDW’s mini-series Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath opens with a meeting on a neutral planet between the Federation and Klingon Chancellor L’Rell, in the hopes of finding a lasting peace and avoiding any future conflict between the two sides. Anyone who knows anything about Star Trek – and they certainly don’t have to be a die-hard fan, by any means – is that the Klingons are the bad guys, so you just know that things here aren’t going to turn out the way that the Federation hopes, as we’re still several years from the original series with Captain Kirk.
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However, what’s tantalising in this tale by writers Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson is how close they actually are to achieving it – as we’ve seen in episodes of Discovery, relations between both parties have never been stronger since the Klingon War, and they probably aren’t again until Khitomer decades years later. So, what we’re now waiting to see is what happens to throw a hyperspanner in the works. Thankfully, it seems Beyer and Johnson have set about crafting this story with care, making it all the more tragic when things inevitably go awry, setting things back for a generation.
It’s fascinating to see how they’ve come to tie together the gap between Discovery and the original Star Trek, as there’s still plenty of room in which to play, and lots that’s relatively unknown – for example, we’ve still not properly seen in full effect the relationship between Captain Pike and Mr Spock; besides what we saw in original pilot episode ‘The Cage’, Season 2 of Discovery mostly kept the duo apart, and when they did finally reunite, Spock was only really himself at the very end, having spent much of the time in a fugue state.
So, even though he’s still on a sabbatical from Starfleet here, any opportunity to see Spock interact with Pike is welcome; his involvement in the events depicted here is also crucial, given his connection to adoptive sister Michael Burnham, and this gives him an opportunity to become a key part of the process – much like his Captain – thanks to L’Rell. It’s interesting to see the difference in how Pike tackles things here, compared to how Kirk may have gone about handling things, as you couldn’t imagine the latter chugging down a big bowl of Gagh all in the name of good relations.
Given that the first issue took the time and trouble to introduce John Colicos’ character Kor – even down to making sure his likeness was spot-on, thanks to the art by Tony Shasteen – it does seem an awful pity that he isn’t given more to do in this latest instalment. Hopefully, it means that he’ll be brought back to the fore again, as it really would be a shame if he was only brought in by Beyer and Johnson as a piece of fan service, no matter how lovely it is to see him again. Given how well they have managed things so far, however, all signs point to the story having a satisfying conclusion, so they’ll hopefully do us all proud. After all, honour is very important when it comes to the Klingons.
Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath #2 is available digitally and from comic shops.