Instead of a character, though, the “Discovery” handoff seems to be lens flares. (O.K., fine, and Sarek, Spock’s father.) That’s the visual style that J.J. Abrams introduced to the universe with his 2009 “Star Trek” reboot. There are the tilted and shaky camera shots zoomed in on character’s faces in tense scenes. That movie was divisive among “Star Trek” fans, many of whom yelled at each other over whether it was actually “Trek” or not.
The newest iteration of TV “Star Trek” will engender those same discussions. But it has enough fan service to keep fans tuned in. Did I mention Sarek, Spock’s father, is here? A first officer is referred to as “Number one!” References to Kahless!
1. The opening theme
“Discovery” has the best opening credit sequence of any of the series. True, it doesn’t have anyone narrating that space is the final frontier. However, the theme song has the familiar pings from the original series opener before it seamlessly transitions into faster paced strings that evoke the score from the Bourne franchise, eventually crescendoing into a familiar “Trek” riff that has become ingrained in pop culture. Its overlaid with gorgeous animations like those of “Westworld” or “Game of Thrones.”
2. The look
Given the budget and advances in CGI, this is clearly the most visually stunning “Star Trek” pilot. It’s almost to the franchise’s detriment that the show is confined to being set before the original series, which, for obvious reasons, looks clunky in comparison. “Discovery” is going to have to get creative in showing off its cinematography while staying true to the timeline.
(On that note: What’s with the hologram technology? When Sarek is talking to his adopted daughter, Michael, remotely, is he walking around where he is and sitting on a desk at his location that happens to line up with Michael’s desk? Similarly, when Admiral Anderson (Terry Serpico) is dialed in remotely talking to Philippa, he turns his head to make a biting remark to Michael standing behind him. Did he turn his head where he was transmitting from? Is he sitting in his office randomly turning his head to no one in particular? And are you telling me that this technology would not have been used by characters from the “Trek” series that are set after this one? See what I mean?)