Larchive Friday – Lar Trek: TNG
Fridays, we open the Larchives, Lar’s extensive archive of art work oddities, and share a few pieces.
I’ve talked up what I like about Lower Decks, as a series, but my appreciate doesn’t end there.
Lar offering custom avatars inspired by Star Trek: Lower Decks also lets me talk about something else about the series I appreciate: the era.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture released the year before I was born. Like Kirk on vacation, original Star Trek already came, went, and came again before I was born. I knew of it, having stumbled across reruns while channel surfing. I also knew of curling for the same reason, and I cared about Star Trek growing up about as much.
Then, I discovered Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The Next Generation
I’m not sure why my preteen mind latched onto Star Trek: The Next Generation. Probably because the sets, costumes, and performances worked together to trick my young mind into believing this could be real. Unlike TOS, which probably had that affect on viewers in the 60s, but seemed dated to me. I still watch TNG full immersed and willing to go along for the ride.
When TNG went off the air, the era continues.
Unlike TOS fans, I didn’t have to wait twenty years for my Star Trek to arrive in theatres. I didn’t even wait a year! For better or worse, Star Trek: Generations came out a few months after the TNG series finale.
Deep Space 9
Deep Space 9 came out when I was a teenager, coinciding with when the comics I read decided to get grittier and tell more mature stories. DS9 went in the direction the media that held my attention most at the time. Serialized story telling with an eye for continuity. More subtle character relationships. Grey morality. Colm Meaney.
Seriously, odds I watched something increased to 100% if Colm Meaney was involved. I saw Mystery, Alaska in theatres. I wrote a letter to Marvel, telling them they should make am X-Men movie and cast Colm Meaney as Banshee.
I didn’t care much for Voyager, except for one thing:
I, the only kid out of all my friends without cable, had access to one channel with my antenna that my cable friends didn’t get, a UPN affiliate out of New York. That UPN affiliate played Voyager on Wednesdays. The local station everyone else watched Voyager on aired it a few days later, on Saturday. Thursday mornings, I got to be the centre of attention among my Star Trek friends, giving my early impressions of the new episodes.
A Lost Era
Like I said, I wasn’t a Voyager fan. It felt like more noise than signal to me. The TNG movies suffered for a similar lack of heart. I remember reading Roger Ebert’s review of the last TNG movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, and relating too much to his opening point.
“…gradually it occurs to me that “Star Trek” is over for me.”
I barely watched Enterprise. I watched the reboot films as popcorn movies. Most new Star Trek content focused on the TOS crew, either the original or the reboot, or elsewhere in Star Trek’s past. I went without a Star Trek.
The Orville. Seth MacFarlane snuck out a TNG satire that tried as hard as possible to not be a satire. It scratched my Star Trek itch in ways actual Star Trek hadn’t since Deep Space 9.
Even though Lower Decks leans heavily into the comedy that The Orville avoids, it also lives up to what I liked about the Star Trek of the TNG era, and what I’m looking for in entertainment these days.
I enjoyed Picard, but not for the Star Trekness of the series. Somehow, Star Trek: Lower Decks is more the Star Trek I want right now than Patrick Stewart in a series all about Jean-Luc Picard.
Even if you’re not a Lower Decks fan, now’s your chance to get a cartoony Star Trek avatar based on The Next Generation era.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to https://tinyurl.com/mscure2021
- Donate $40 or more for an avatar, plus $40 for every extra face.
- Email your donation confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a current selfie and any requests.
Include instructions, like uniform color or alien species.
- Lar will email you a high res JPEG to print and a low res jpeg for social media.
Expect to receive your custom avatar on or before April 5th, 2021.