Dr. Parham in Star Trek Article, "The Humbling of Admiral Picard."

Star Trek has always dealt in stories about interspecies and cross-cultural interactions, and the way each franchise tells these stories is a commentary on the era that produced them. Star Trek: Picard is no exception.

In 2020, representation and inclusion have just as much, if not more, importance than diversity. Claiming to be an ally to marginalized people without acknowledging your own privilege feels hollow. Picard’s ensemble of writers and actors lean into all of this — even Number One the dog represents a marginalized community — serving up a multi-layered narrative that explores how power and privilege play out in relationships with people who are different.

“One of the reasons why they chose the synthetics storyline is because it’s about othering,” theorizes Dr. Thomas Parham III, an African-American communications professor and author of Hailing Frequencies Open: Communication in Star Trek: The Next Generation. “It’s all about othering.”

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