8. The Limited Universe
Discovery restricts itself by returning to a set time period, and also seemingly dredges up characters and ideas that previously have been exploited ad nauseam in Star Trek. Notably the central character Michael, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, is the previously non-existent adopted child of Ambassador Sarek, marking what feels like a shoe-horned return to something we know.
With this, the show exhibits dangerous signs of repeating similar narratives. From what we know about Michael, she largely sounds highly derivative of another character. As a human, Michael strives to fit in with her Vulcan peers, accepting their culture and ideology as her own, but is hindered and possibly disregarded because of her emotions and humanistic tendencies. Michael is essentially a “child of two worlds”. Sound familiar yet?
From a cynical viewpoint, the inclusion of Sarek, as well as some other returning characters (Harry Mudd, the Klingons), seems like a desperate attempt on CBS’s part to richen the show’s brand recognition. Rather than creating new things to broaden the universe, committee thinking, and lack of imagination has likely narrowed the show into a bland and stale corner.