Fans of the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises have a playful rivalry that dates back decades, with each franchise having their own strengths and weaknesses. Star Trek exec Alex Kurtzman recently confirmed that he hopes to deliver more kid-friendly stories within the franchise that will appeal to younger audiences in the ways Star Wars has similarly done.
"I go back to my childhood and Luke Skywalker, the farm boy who looks out at the twin suns of Tatooine and imagines his future. Trek never gave me that. Trek was always fully formed adults, already in Starfleet and people who have decided who they are. And it never was aspirational that way," Kurtzman shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "It's important to me to find a way to go back and reach younger kids in a way that Trek should and never really has."
Interestingly, the age demographic has been one of the biggest splits between the two franchises. Star Trek has typically leaned more heavily into scientific and philosophical themes throughout its many movies and TV series, while Star Wars has embraced more fantastical elements to tell stories of heroes and villains.
While some fans are likely to appreciate the franchise's plans to appeal to a younger demographic, it's possible that other fans will feel frustrated to see the series' complex themes depicted in a more rudimentary fashion to entice young audiences.
In the 40 years since the debut of Star Wars, fans have seen movies, TV shows, books, comics, and video games, some of which have delivered audiences mature themes while others have been more whimsical. At Star Wars Celebration Orlando in 2017, series creator George Lucas pointed out one of his major motivations was to deliver young viewers stories of the differences between right and wrong.
"It's a film for 12-year olds. This is what we stand for. You're about to enter the real world," Lucas shared during a 40th-anniversary panel. "You're moving away from your parents. You're probably scared, you don't know what's going to happen. Here's what you should pay attention to: Friendships, honesty, trust, doing the right thing. Living on the light side, avoiding the dark side."
Stay tuned for details on Kurtzman's plans to make Star Trek appeal to younger audiences. CBS All Access is preparing for the release of Star Trek: Discovery season two and its upcoming Jean-Luc Picard spinoff.
Are you glad to see the franchise aiming to appeal to young viewers? Let us know in the comments below!