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Fighting for the FutureEssays on Star Trek: Discovery$
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Sabrina Mittermeier and Mareike Spychala

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621761

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Not Your Daddy’s Star Trek

Not Your Daddy’s Star Trek

Exploring Female Characters in Star Trek: Discovery

(p.287) Not Your Daddy’s Star Trek
Fighting for the Future

Mareike Spychala


This chapter argues that in contrast to older iterations of the franchise, Star Trek: Discovery is not only centred on Michael Burnham, First Officer and later mutineer/science specialist, and thus departs from the usual focus on a starship Captain as lead character, it also introduces a wider variety of female characters – human and Klingon – who are instrumental in resolving the first and second season’s central conflicts. Thus, Discovery, through including of so many different and fully-fledged female characters not only continues in the franchise’s liberal tradition, it also explores new ways in which female characters can be represented in televised (American) science fiction series. This paper will argue that the show’s female characters push against and sometimes transcend generic tropes that have limited characters like TNG’s Deanna Troi and Dr. Beverly Crusher, picking up on and contributing to contemporary debates about gender and gender identity.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, female characters, gender identity, representation, tropes, Michael Burnham, L’Rell

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