Lower Decks explores the power of individuals in Starfleet head on
The history of Star Trek is filled with the names of heroic, charismatic individuals — Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Sisko, Burnham. Throughout the seasons and films within the pantheon of Trek tales, we've seen these people defy the odds, stare into the faces of countless enemies, and save their ships, the federation, and sometimes the entire history of humanity itself. These figures become icons not just among real-world Trekkies, but in the history books of the Federation itself. They become admirals, have maneuvers named after them, and in one case even become a spiritual envoy to godlike aliens who live in a wormhole. (Like you do.)
What Star Trek is also filled with is the iconography of Starfleet, the Federation's space exploration and defense service. Serving as a blend of NASA and a more diplomatic space navy, Starfleet is meant to represent the shining beacon of hope in the Alpha Quadrant. It's a symbol of show creator Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of the future. It also has a lot of rules.
For the most part, each of the aforementioned heroes has overwhelmingly positive feelings about the Federation and its regulations. Janeway insisted that the USS Voyager and its new crew members, refugees from the renegade Maquis ship, maintain Starfleet protocol despite being on their own on the other side of the galaxy. And even though he resigned from the service over his feelings that Starfleet had lost their way, Picard still finds himself admiring the way Captain Rios sticks to Starfleet regulations in ...
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