Star Trek: Picard

By Una McCormack
Image of the cover of Star Trek: Picard by Una McCormack. Wesley Donehue's book reviews and recommendations.

“A mindset so rigidly formed that it cannot be changed is a terrible thing,” Admiral Picard writes in his log almost as if he just viewed Facebook in 2020.

If there were any doubt that Star Trek has become a political commentary on today’s world, that doubt can be erased. Since its debut, Star Trek has always commented on today’s real-world political environment through stories in space with other species. The change is that this entire show, and especially this book, is one big political warning after Donald Trump was elected President and the UK left the EU.

This is the story of people who decide to shut themselves off from others and somewhat become isolationists. This is the story of a person who comes to power through populism when politicians ignore flyover states (I mean small worlds) and blue-collar workers (I mean farmers and shipbuilders) and topples the current belief system. And unfortunately, this is the story of a beloved legend whose ego gets so big that he runs away disillusioned instead of staying in the fight.

Maybe this is a good point in my review to throw out a disclaimer. I am a Republican political consultant. Star Trek has often been my escape from the stress of politics. Now it seems Star Trek is politics. I throw out this disclaimer to say to my conservative friends, do not worry. This book isn’t an attack on conservatives. It lays out the arguments for both sides.

Aside from the politics, numerous questions were answered and the backgrounds of new characters were given. We learn why Raffi is so enraged, of Elnor’s background and even what happened to Worf, Geordi, Beverly and Spock. We learn why Picard left the Enterprise, how the dynamics with the Romulans unfolded and what led up to Picard leaving Starfleet. Most important, we learn a lot about the synths, how and why they were built.

I loved this book and could not put it down for two days. It is required reading for anyone watching Star Trek: Picard. It fills in all the gaps beautifully and opens up a can of new theories. Star Trek fans, read this book now.

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