LAST GENERATION: Interview at TrekWeb

My friends over at TrekWeb were awesome enough to do an in-depth interview with me about my upcoming Star Trek: The Last Generation series. You can click over there to read the whole thing, but I’ll post a few excerpts here during the next few days just to hit the highlights.

Lots of cool and interesting background material that hasn’t been discussed before, so definitely check out the whole thing when you’ve got the chance. And thanks to Gustavo at TrekWeb for giving me the opportunity to talk about it!

* * *

Andrew, you’re currently writing the Star Trek: The Last Generation comic book, which goes on sale in November. What can you tell us about this alternate-reality miniseries?

A conspiracy to assassinate Eric Forman's father. Pull the trigger already, dumb-ass.

A conspiracy to assassinate Eric Forman's father. Pull the trigger already, dumb-ass.

Last Generation spirals out of the finale of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in which an assassination plot threatens the historic Khitomer peace conference between the Federation and the Klingons, their homeworld now dying after an ecological disaster.

In the movie, of course, Kirk derails the conspiracy just in time. In Last Generation, for reasons that become apparent later on, Kirk’s rescue comes a moment too late; the conspiracy succeeds, the peace talks collapse, and the Federation and Klingons slide inexorably toward war. But, because the Klingons now find themselves in a battle for their very survival, they fight even more ferociously than ever before, leading to their eventual conquest of Earth.

The series itself begins seven decades after the failure at Khitomer; the Klingons now rule the planet, while Jean-Luc Picard champions a rebellion against them, struggling to liberate Earth. But for the Resistance, the situation has grown increasingly desperate–Worf, the Terran warlord, begins tightening his grip, and it’s quickly becoming now-or-never, do-or-die. The rebellion’s final hope lies in the computer brain of an android named Data, invented for the sole purpose of scrutinizing the Empire for weaknesses.

Shatner's stunt-double tries to save the Federation President. What could possibly go wrong?

Shatner's stunt-double tries to outrace a beam of light. What could possibly go wrong?

Instead of potential weaknesses, however, Data discovers a single, fundamental flaw underlying the entire foundation of Empire: It was never meant to conquer Earth. History has fractured, and the Empire, as it is now, was never meant to exist. When Picard recognizes that the cracks in the timeline all converge on Khitomer, he realizes that their only chance for survival has become to travel back to the past and repair the damage.

But this isn’t as philosophically obvious as it sounds-the members of his Resistance have all lived inside the fist of the Empire’s brutality for years, losing countless friends and family to unrepentant Klingon bloodlust. To some, the idea of changing time–even correctly–to transform their occupiers into trusted allies remains unthinkable, virtual madness.

So, with the Resistance racing against what may be its final days, Picard must contend with the splintering dissent that infects all guerrilla movements, holding his insurrection together by sheer force of personality, all while struggling against an overwhelmingly superior enemy and searching for a way to rethread history itself. It is, shall we say, not exactly a stroll through the vineyards.

'Yesterday's Enterprise'. Hey, who's this?

"Yesterday's Enterprise". Hey, who's this?

About the specific story and character elements themselves: I’d rather not pull back the curtain too far, since for alternate universe stories one of the best aspects is the surprise of each new version of the characters and situations. I will say that in addition to alternate versions of Picard, Worf, and Data, you’ll see a character from the Original Series, a character from Voyager, and a few other nifty surprises along the way. (A fan of “Yesterday’s Enterprise”? You’ll be happy here.) There’s also a character who’s only ever appeared in a Pocket Books novel, so artist Gordon Purcell will get to enjoy his latest visual contribution to Memory Beta.

Most changed among the familiar characters will be Wesley Crusher, though again I’m reluctant to go into too many details; it’s no spoiler, though, that he features prominently into the series, since people have already seen him on covers for at least two of the five issues (so far–a third one is on the way). As you might imagine, a character of Wesley’s age, involved in a Resistance movement, opens up all sorts of storytelling possibilities.

As for other classic aspects of Trek in Last Generation, you’ll also discover quite a number of “Easter Eggs” throughout–stuff that doesn’t elbow you out of the story when you recognize them, or leave you scratching your head when you don’t, but which will hopefully give a nod of added appreciation if you’re sharp enough to catch them. Clues to some of the story elements are already tucked into the covers that have been released, but I think it’d be more fun to let the readers uncover those surprises for themselves.

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  5. This series sounds excellent! I can’t wait to see it! This was a very indepth interview and Gordon Purcel is one of the best Star trek artists out there.

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