For the past three weeks, I’ve been sketching out the main characters for my hypothetical Star Trek series to relaunch the franchise on TV, namely Starfleet Academy. As I said before, this is just for my own fun and to get these ideas out of my head. While this would be a lot of fun to develop for real (hint hint, Paramount), I’m just mostly sharing this because I want to.
So far, I’ve created three very driven individuals, folks who are attending the Academy because they want to prove themselves. But after I finished up their profiles, I realized that there would really be no reason for these three to become friends. Oh, sure, a common enemy might unite them. They could get assigned to work on a project together. But for Kamlyn Sulu, Jessa Atin, and Herschel Williamson to bond, they need someone to draw them together and then hold them there.
Not only that, but I finally did the math for real and realized that there’s one person we’ve encountered in previous Star Trek shows who would be old enough to be a cadet, someone who has grown up seeing Starfleet not as distant heroes, but members of her extended family. This is someone who would maybe feel more comfortable on a starship than a planet’s surface. She wants to be a Starfleet officer. I mean, she’s even got a rank already, for cryin’ out loud.
That’s right, folks. Naomi Wildman has finally enrolled at Starfleet Academy.
I mean, it makes a certain amount of sense. She was born during Voyager‘s adventures in the Delta Quadrant. From an early age, she’s believed that she would have to be a Starfleet officer. How else would they make it home? But when Voyager made it home a lot earlier than anyone anticipated, Naomi would find her future wide open with lots of options. She could potentially be anything. And maybe she even tried to be lots of different things.
But growing up on a Starfleet vessel has a way of shaping a person. She’s come to see Starfleet as her family and her home. So for her, going to the Academy is a homecoming of sorts, returning to her roots. She goes into the Academy expecting it to be a huge love-fest.
Small problem: she’s not ready for the rivalry, the latent or blatant hostility from other cadets, and even the resentment some people will show her for her history.
But Naomi is a peacemaker at heart. That’s why she’s the glue that holds Kam, Jessa, and Herschel together. She’s the heart of their group, and it’s that ability that marks her for potential greatness one day. After all, a true captain has to be able to unite and inspire a crew, and that’s something that Naomi learned while being Janeway’s captain’s assistant.
The Special Guest Star
I would think that in Naomi’s early days at the Academy, there would be times when she would feel very disillusioned. Did she make a mistake going to the Academy? She was expecting to find a family and instead, she’s finding nothing but strife and conflict. During one of her darker moments, she considers quitting.
That’s when she’s visited by a familiar face, one that would shake things up at the Academy by her mere presence. I mean, honestly, how many cadets would expect to see a Borg drone walking their turf?
Seven of Nine comes to see how Naomi is doing. When she learns of what Naomi has experienced, Seven reminds her of what the Borg do when they encounter differences. They assimilate them into the Collective.
Naomi scoffs at this advice, pointing out that she doesn’t have any nanoprobes at her disposal. Seven says that’s not what she meant. She points out that Naomi was always able to form her own little collectives on Voyager. She can do the same thing at the Academy with her heart.
That might be a little touchy-feely, but whatever.
So there we go, folks, the main characters of my little version of Star Trek. But there’s more to come! Next week, we’ll talk about some of the minor characters.
But here’s the thing: I know we might need a few more main characters, but I’m kind of out of ideas. Do you guys have anyone to add? Is there something obvious that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to invite your friends to join the conversation!
I like the idea of a character who was formerly a child returning as a near-adult, and Naomi was always kinda cool.
Hmm. All your main characters so far are students – which is totally logical – but should there be a main cast-member who is a teacher?
Or perhaps a more senior student like you have in your American universities – like an older mentor who keeps an eye on the first-year students. As the show goes on, and the characters progress in their studies this character would likely reach the end of his/her studies and maybe go on to become a tutor at the academy (with the rank of ensign having graduated).
I’m a little bit ahead of you, Adam. I’ve got a post queued for next week about some of the “minor characters,” including upperclassmen and so on. But good thoughts about having a mentor-type character. That wasn’t something I had considered, but it would be something that the Academy would have, I would think.
I’ll admit, this character is largely inspired by the treecats in the Honor Harrington stories, and how I hope they develop as those stories go along.
For the moment, I’ll call him Fee. He’s a member of a small cat-like species that communicate with each other telepathically. He’s about the size of a golden retriever. He has a knack for all things mechanical, his forepaws are hand-like so that he can use most tools without much problem, and his size makes it so that he can easily navigate those pesky tunnels that clumsy largely folk have to awkwardly crawl along.
As a recently discovered species, Fee is perhaps the first of his kind in Starfleet, and so a lot rides on him, and he knows it. On the other hand, he’s a cat (or cat-like), so he already knows he’s far superior to anyone else around him. He realized his need for training, but he still wonders why he hasn’t yet been made captain. But humans and other large big folk seem to have a hard time recognizing their superiors, so he may just have to purr and bear it for a while.
Communication could be a problem. He simply doesn’t have the kind of mouth to form anything more than vaguely English-ish sounds (or whatever that standard language in ST is called, sorry, I’ve forgotten the name). Plus, a lot of the others are uncomfortable with him “talking” into their heads.
And he isn’t immune to using his cat-like cuteness to endear himself to others. There is, after all, nothing like a nice head scratch after a long day in class.
Audie, that sounds awesome! I’d be worried about being too close to an established species, but I could see Fee fitting in as the Other (which I talked about a little in this week’s post about the supporting players), someone who would be a complete different sort of being.
Great idea, though. Love it!
It’s only an idea, and as Fee is in my description, he would likely be too close to Weber’s characters. There is certainly room for changes. Mostly, I thought treecats were a good example of non-humanoid characters who had their own strengths and weaknesses to add to a story, which is something missing from a lot of sci-fi TV shows. Like you said in one place, most alien species do seem more like humans with strange heads.
Maybe Fee could be more insectile. Some interesting ideas could come up if he or she is part of a hive, and how loyalties to Starfleet and the hive might be tested and strained. Or maybe Fee is a kind of hive, the collective conscious of millions of small gnat-like creatures. Or to really add in an ick factor, maybe he’d be a member of a spider-like species.
I don’t know, I kind of like the picture of someone scratching Fee behind the ears and having him/her react a little like a dog or cat, that’d be an interesting moment. 🙂
Here’s another idea to run by you, and see what you think.
I could see him thinking it might be amusing to do the whole Federation thing from the ground up, starting as a wet-behind-the-ears plebe. Of course, there would be much mischief.
He would be in disguise, with all the right paperwork of course, though he might leave a few tell-tale holes in it just to tweak the pencil pushers.
No one would know who he really is, not even the viewers. But every now and again, he’d let something drop that makes other characters and viewers with the hint that he knows a lot more than he should, knows people he shouldn’t know, and can do things he shouldn’t be able to do.
Now that would be interesting. It could even just be “a” Q rather than “the” Q. I could see his/her true identity being revealed in one of two ways:
1) Save it until like the second-to-last episode and have the unmasking at the end of the episode. Simple and straight-forward.
Or, the option I kind of like better:
2) Kill the character at some point, only to have him/her return two seasons later as a sort of deus ex machina, thus revealing who s/he always was.
The idea of another Q maybe opens up a few interesting possibilities. Maybe the original Q gets a little snippy about another one messing around in Star Fleet. He can play with and break his own toys if he wants, but gets upset when someone else plays with them and breaks them.
I remember that he was the one who introduced them to the Borg. Perhaps he’s aware of another enemy that Star Fleet might soon meet, and he’s trying, in his own infuriating way, to prepare them for it.
Or maybe he just wants to see the world burn.