Fans Want Seth MacFarlane To Take Over Star Trek, Here’s The Petition

By Vic Medina | Published

seth macfarlane

Feel free to put this in the “why hasn’t this happened already” category: Star Trek fans are petitioning to have actor/director Seth MacFarlane take over the franchise. In a petition posted on Change.org, fans of the iconic sci-fi franchise want the Family Guy creator to take the creative helm for the Star Trek universe, which they say has lost its way under the leadership of Alex Kurtzman. In the petition, fans argue that Kurtzman has “little respect” for the brand Gene Roddenberry created well over 50 years ago, and want MacFarlane, a devoted, life-long fan of Star Trek, to correct the franchise’s current course.

The current turmoil among Star Trek fandom is based mostly in the decision by CBS to use Star Trek as its signature brand to build up the Paramount+ streaming service. In addition to the classic Star Trek shows and films available on the platform, CBS has created four more series, Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, and Strange New Worlds, exclusively for the service. Those series are below the standards of Star Trek that Gene Roddenberry created, many fans say, who point to The Orville, the Seth McFarlane sci-fi series on Hulu, as a show that truly captures the spirit of what the current Star Trek should be.

“Alex Kurtzman has little respect for the wealth of information and progress that the Star Trek universe has built up over more than 50 years,” the petition argues. They take issue with the darker, grittier direction of the franchise, different from the brighter, optimistic direction Roddenberry created. The petition also states that, with Seth MacFarlane in charge, “Star Trek will be able to achieve its full potential, realize Gene Roddenberry’s vision, and add to its already robust fan base.” The petition was started months ago by John Johnson of Mesa, Arizona, who claims that he is “just a Trekker who wants the best for the franchise.” Like so many petitions on Change, however, it didn’t get much attention. That changed after this past weekend’s San Diego Comic Con, where fans felt underwhelmed by the announcements at the Star Trek panel, which included announcements for yet two more Star Trek shows for Paramount+. Kurtzman was vague about details on those shows, only suggesting that they will likely have female leads. The petition was noticed by some fans, and began to gain traction.

Therein lies the point of contention between Star Trek fans and Kurtzman himself, who fans say approaches creating new Trek content by filling multicultural checkboxes, with an eye on political correctness, rather than crafting a great premise and compelling stories, which are then brought to life with a cast reflective of our times. “Seth MacFarlane on the other hand is a lifelong Trekker who has shown that he can create a compelling story, that respectfully and meaningfully looks at some of the problems ailing our modern world,” the petition states. While the term “woke” is often overused and misapplied, it has been used by most disaffected Star Trek fans as the best description for the flawed approach Kurtzman and CBS seem to be taking with the franchise.

CBS, and Kurtzman himself, seem to realize things aren’t going well, as they have attempted to make come corrections by embracing the past. After two seasons of Picard that have been largely underwhelming (it scores a mere 40% from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes), Kurtzman announced that the third and final season would finally reunite the original crew of the Enterprise for a final adventure. There was also a heavy hint that the Lower Decks series would crossover to Deep Space Nine, providing the opportunity for that series’ actors to return to the franchise to voice their characters. Lower Decks, an animated comedy set on the starship Cerritos, has been criticized by fans as a Family Guy ripoff, and more proof that Seth MacFarlane would bring a more faithful and respectful approach to new Star Trek content. “His work on The Orville is a testament to his creative genius and respect for fans,” the petition states.

Bringing in a high-profile creator isn’t always the answer to reviving a wayward franchise. JJ Abrams is proof of that: his handling of the Star Trek franchise, beginning with the 2009 movie reboot, only angered fans who felt it abandoned the best aspects of Roddenberry Trek for a Star Wars-like approach. In all fairness, Abrams was handicapped by the limitations of not having the rights to classic Star Trek concepts and designs available to him. It’s a complicated matter, best described here if you are unfamiliar with what happened. Rumors of Quentin Tarantino taking over the Star Trek franchise never materialized, although the Oscar-winner admits he has developed an idea for an R-rated adventure. Seth MacFarlane may not be the answer Star Trek fans are hoping for, but based on his loving homage to Star Trek seen in The Orville, it is a risk fans are willing to boldly take.