Star Trek: Prodigy Debuts And Drops Starfleet Into A Battle Against Star Wars

By Josh Tyler | 2 weeks ago

star trek prodigy

Geeks have spent decades debating which franchise is better: Star Trek or Star Wars. Star Trek: Prodigy aims to put that debate to rest by combining both franchises and turning them into a show for tweens. That sounds like a terrible idea, but in Star Trek: Prodigy’s first episode at least, it works.

Most of the action in the animated show’s first episode takes place on a prison planet, where slave labor is being used in intense mining efforts. Our hero is one of the oppressed and unwilling workers, a purple kid of indeterminate species named Dal. Around him swirls a nebulous subplot in which the prison planet’s overlord wants to use him to capture a rebel. Sent off hunting this threat, Dal and a new friend accidentally stumble upon a buried ship, a Starfleet ship.

It’s not until they find the ship that anything about Star Trek: Prodigy feels at all like Star Trek. Inside the Federation ship, the series actually begins to feel like Star Trek. The ship interior, though radically different in design from any Starfleet ship we’ve seen before, still has the right Star Trek feel and all the right bleeps and boops. Better still our characters, who outside the ship feel like random Rebel Alliance fighters, begin acting like creatures and personalities which might actually exist in the world of Star Trek.

Everything’s Star Trek in here

Everything outside the show’s hero ship, the USS Protostar, feels like you’re in the Star Wars universe. That’s especially true of the show’s villains, which are blatant and obvious knockoffs of various Star Wars baddies.

Our biggest bad is a shadowy figure who seems a lot like Palpatine. He comes complete with Star Wars knockoff henchmen. The most threatening of the pair is a droid so much like General Grievous, I’m just going to call him that. It’s obvious they stole everything about him; from his personality, to his look, to even his voice, straight from watching the Star Wars prequels. He is General Grievous dropped down in a Star Trek show.

Star Trek Palpatine’s other lackey is his daughter, a girl who might as well be Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. She even has some freaky sword powers and ends up being assisted by evil battle droids straight out of the Star Wars prequels, as she struggles to choose between good and evil.

Star Trek’s Rey

What Star Trek: Prodigy has either intentionally or unintentionally created is a show where the world of Star Trek must attempt to fight and defeat the world of Star Wars. On purpose or not, the world’s two biggest sci-fi franchises are facing off. Given that it’s a Star Trek show, I look forward to seeing the Federation’s ideals win.

If pointing out all these obvious Star Wars comparisons sounds like complaining, it isn’t. They’ve stolen a bunch of Star Wars ideas and used them in a way that totally works. Star Trek: Prodigy is a lot of fun. The plot is a little light on details, but the overall setup is strong and the characters are the sort you easily care about. Most of all, the part of the show that is Star Trek seems ready to go deep into what makes Star Trek great. It’ll never end up being Star Trek’s best show but whether you’re a kid or an adult, there’s enough fun here to make Prodigy’s ride worth taking. At least until Disney sues them for copyright infringement.