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STAR TREK Characters That Deserve a Solo Spotlight

Star Trek is everywhere right now. Not only are Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, and Prodigy currently airing on Paramount+, but soon, Strange New Worlds will join them. And Paramount+ has also officially announced that Starfleet Academy is on the way too. But in an interview with SFX Magazine (via Comic Book) current Trek producer Akiva Goldsman said he has yet another pitch in mind. One which would allow for characters from all of Star Trek history to appear, in an anthology format. Here’s what he had to say:

There’s something that I like, which I think Robert Kirkman is doing right now with The Walking Dead, which is a kind of… I’ll call it Tales of the Federation, where you would just do one-offs, right? So you could bring George Takei back for an hour, and do a show about Sulu as an older man. Or find Jonathan Archer having now retired from his Enterprise and being on Earth. Just do these certain really interesting ones. You could grab anybody, from all the shows, because it’s really hard to find enough for a series. But there are an endless amount of episodes, as anthology series are finding their way back.
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This is, of course, all just an idea Goldsman floated, and not a formal pitch. Yet. But it is one we heartily endorse. So many prominent characters in Star Treks‘ past deserve one more chance to take to the stars. If a Trek anthology like “Tales of the Federation” ever happens, here’s who we’d love to see get the spotlight. And we’ll start with someone Goldsman also mentioned as one of his choices: Hikaru Sulu.

George Takei as Hikaru Sulu
Paramount Pictures

Doing a one-off episode based around an original series character would be mighty difficult to pull off in 2022. Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and James Doohan have passed. William Shatner is around of course, but Captain Kirk died in Star Trek: Generations almost 30 years ago. Nichelle Nichols has retired from acting. But everyone’s favorite internet grandpa, George Takei, is still active at 84. And we’re sure he’d love to wear his Starfleet Uniform one more time. When last we saw Sulu, he was Captain of the U.S.S. Excelsior in Star Trek VI. We’d like to imagine he aged into the commandant of Starfleet. Or perhaps the Intendant of Starfleet Academy? Hikaru Sulu must have the most fascinating stories to tell about his life.

Michael Dorn as Worf
Paramount Pictures

Michael Dorn’s character of Lt. Worf was only supposed to be a relatively minor character on The Next Generation. He was the very last main actor cast, in fact. But he soon became as popular and important to the show as Captain Picard or Data. After appearing on seven seasons of TNG, four of Deep Space Nine, and five feature films (one as his own grandfather), Starfleet’s first Klingon inductee deserves the spotlight.

While we’re sure Star Trek: Picard won’t end without at least one Jean-Luc/Worf reunion, we still think the son of Mogh needs some kind of solo outing. Even if it’s just part of a Trek anthology series. When we last saw him, they appointed him Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. Is he still in that role? We imagine such a post would have led to a very interesting life. And we definitely want to see what the later years of the proud Klingon warrior were like.

Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Diana Muldaur as Kate Pulaski
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They were both the Chief Medical Officer aboard the Enterprise-D, and yet both doctors have never met on screen. Gates McFadden played Beverly Crusher on six seasons of The Next Generation, and Diana Muldaur played her temporary replacement, Katherine Pulaski, for season two. But after Pulaski left, they only ever mentioned her once more in the series. We’ve never seen these two ladies meet, much less share a medical mystery together. What a perfect setup for a one-off story. We’d love to see them join forces, at least once. Even if it’s just to talk about what a pain in the butt Captain Picard could be at times.

Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko
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Patrick Stewart is currently adventuring across the galaxy on Picard, and Kate Mulgrew is voicing Captain Janeway’s hologram on Prodigy. But what about the third part of the ’90s Trek captain trinity, Avery Brooks as Benjamin Sisko? In 1999’s series finale of Deep Space Nine, Sisko, who wasn’t just a Starfleet Commander, but also the Emissary of the Prophets (godlike noncorporeal aliens who lived inside the Bajoran wormhole) joined them inside their Celestial Temple. A very open ending, to be sure.

Benjamin Sisko left behind his adult son Jake, as well as his wife Kasidy Yates and their unborn child. Although he vanished from this plane of existence, he promised his wife he would return one day. Well, it’s been almost 25 years. What if the Emissary returned at last to an adult child and a vastly different galaxy? To the Bajorans, he’s like a messiah. Imagine how they’d feel about his return. There are a ton of story possibilities here. And we know Brooks would knock Sisko’s return out of the park.

Alexander Siddig as Dr. Julian Bashir and Colm Meaney as Miles O’Brien 
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Keeping things on the DS9 tip, we have a pair of characters on that series who formed the unlikeliest but one of the most endearing friendships in all Trek canon. We’re talking about Doctor Bashir and Chief O’Brien. When DS9 began, Dr. Julian Bashir was a brilliant, but arrogant, Starfleet medical doctor. Operations Officer Miles O’Brien was a humble, relatively simple family man. Although they couldn’t have less in common, they became best buds after many adventures together.

It was a very believable “office friendship” that evolved into something genuine. They had holodeck adventures together, and also experienced real life or death situations. The pair found out they had more in common than they originally thought. When they took separate assignments at the end of DS9 with Miles heading back to Earth to teach at the Academy, we wanted to see these two hang out again. Even if it’s just for a one-off adventure of two retired Starfleet officers in their senior years.

Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris and Roxann Dawson as B’Elanna Torres 
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Much like Bashir and O’Brien, another unlikely duo that formed over seven seasons of storytelling was Voyager‘s Lt. Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres. The once-disgraced Starfleet pilot and the ex-Maquis fighter bickered constantly at first. But that friction led to romantic feelings, as it so often does on TV. Paris and the half-Klingon B’Elanna eventually married and the series ended with their arrival back to Earth, as well as the birth of their first child.

It would be interesting to see what happened with this power couple and their daughter, who would now be 20 years old. Did she join Starfleet like her folks? Are her parents even still together? We’d love to catch up with the Paris family, at least one more time. Also, we should note that both of these actors went on to have very prolific TV directing careers, including many episodes of subsequent Star Trek shows. Why not have them co-direct a potential anthology revival of their characters? And if one or two of their old Voyager crewmates drop by? We really wouldn’t mind that either.

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