Mike McMahan is likely best known for his work as the lead writer on Adult Swim’s ‘Rick and Morty’ so you know that any future project he works on will be compared to the hit series. Next on McMahan’s plate is ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ for CBS All Access which of course means the comparison has already come up. We still don’t know much about the series, but it is described as an animated series that will “focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships.”
It is hard to imagine that the two would at all be similar, but anything could be possible.
However, McMahan is quick to shut it down right off the bat:
“It is very dissimilar to Rick and Morty. I’d say that the only thing that it has a similarity to of Rick and Morty’s writing style is that the characters we’re allowed to be funny people. I love how many jokes are in Rick and Morty per minute. Some people on the Internet try to count them. We’re trying to fit a whole Star Trek episode into a 20-to-23-minute format that involves a whole macro sci-fi story and two emotional stories that we’re tracking with our leads all throughout. So we do have the accelerated pace of a Rick and Morty. I’d say that Star Trek: Lower Decks is going to feel like the one act of another Star Trek show where everything is happening, and stuff is really moving. That’s like us from the first scene until the last scene.”
So McMahan’s writing style of not wasting screen time will remain, but beyond that, don’t expect this to feel like ‘Rick and Morty.’ There is another huge difference between the tone of the two shows that will stand out:
“We’re kind of going to be a little bit more of like an accelerated kind of chaotic, fun version of a Star Trek show. When it comes to the existential kind of, the universe is chaotic and dark, sort of nihilistic vibe of Rick and Morty, that is not in the DNA of Lower Decks at all. A big reason for that is that Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty’s really their voice. The characters of Rick and Morty are so specific to that show. There is no Rick, and there’s no Morty in ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks.’ Not only would they not work in Starfleet, but I just wouldn’t, you know, I wouldn’t be able to, nor would I be interested in writing those characters without Dan and Justin. My whole job on that show was trying to fulfill their voice as close as possible so that they could then write the characters even better than I ever could.
On Lower Decks, it’s more about that optimistic Starfleet kind of emotional intelligence. Where Rick and Morty is fun and dark and nihilistic, and it’s about the multiverse, Star Trek is really about exploring our galaxy and where does humanity aspire to be, both, you know, technologically, which is the easy thing, but also socially and with our politics and how we’re treating the other out in space. We’re not really dealing with any of the same themes, and our characters are totally different. You’re not really getting the same type of Rick and Morty jokes because we’re really writing towards our characters and our characters are Starfleet. There aren’t any Starfleet characters in Rick and Morty. It’s kind of hard to describe. I think once people see it, the tone will immediately so clearly be a loving part of Starfleet, and not making fun of Star Trek, but being about characters who are funny, who happen to also be in Starfleet. It’s sort of a needle thread, but it’s a really exciting thing to write. It’s really fun.”
I wasn’t sure what we could expect from ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ but the fact that he is describing it as having “that optimistic Starfleet kind of emotional intelligence” makes me really look forward to what we’re going to be seeing.
Are you looking forward to ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’? Has Mike McMahan’s description as to the tone of the show have you excited for it or were you hoping for something different? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: Comic Book