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Star Trek: Federation

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Star Trek Federation logo

Star Trek: Federation logo by Michael Okuda

Star Trek: Federation was an undeveloped Star Trek spin-off to be produced by Bryan Singer. Set in the year 3000, the show was to chronicle a period of decline and rebirth for the United Federation of Planets, spearheaded by a crew on a new USS Enterprise.

Premise

"Utopia as a goal is like the fire in a nuclear engine. Utopia in practice is stagnation; it's dry rot; eventually it's death. Which is precisely where we find the United Federation of Planets a few centuries after the last Age of Discovery."

Humanity has become complacent, and many worlds have left the Federation because of its human-centric nature. Starfleet is stretched thin and many of its ships are outdated. A new enemy called the Scourge attack and destroy the USS Sojourner and two colony worlds. The only survivor is Lieutenant Commander Alexander Kirk. The authorities refuse to believe his story, which cause Vulcan, Bajor and Betazed to leave in disgust at the corruption of the UFP, leaving it with only twenty systems under its control.

The Ferengi become the dominant power in the galaxy, and make money by spreading the Bajoran religion and making Bajor into a major place of pilgrimage. The Vulcans reunify with the Romulans. The Cardassians and Klingons' societies have evolved into more mystical and less warlike cultures, though the Klingon Empire is expanding once more (but they are still on good terms with the Federation).

Admiral Nelscott commissions a new USS Enterprise to return the Federation to its goal of going boldly, but with the ulterior objective of finding the Scourge. After its captain and first officer are killed, Commander Kirk (third-in-command) is promoted to captain of a crew of 400.

Development

After the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, Singer, writer Christopher McQuarrie and producer Robert Meyer Burnett met in December of that year and discussed what their version of Star Trek would be. The premise was inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire and the contemporary strain of the "American Empire".

Burnett and Geoffrey Thorne wrote a 25-page series proposal. It detailed the era of the show, the eight primary characters, and outlines of the first four episodes (which resolve the Scourge crisis but lead into another one with the Klingons). Appendices are included, discussing the Enterprise's new technology (including a singularity engine and cloaking device) and using CG environments for parts of the ship.

McQuarrie and Singer were to write and direct the pilot, with Burnett to produce alongside Singer's Bad Hat Harry Productions, similar to Singer's arrangement on House. The proposal was completed in 2006 and sent to Singer (who was in post-production on Superman Returns). While refining it for a pitch later in the year, in April Paramount announced development of Star Trek with J.J. Abrams, and the proposal was never given to the studio.

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