Even though the Star Trek franchise has gone through a bit of franchise fatigue, Star Trek: The Next Generation has left the fans hungry for more, according to LeVar Burton.
Burton credits more than just the storytelling for the reason why The Next Generation and its original series predecessor were so popular and remain so today. “[On the other shows] you didn’t tune in for the people,” he said. “You tuned in for the stories and the storytelling. But on the original series and Next Generation, you tuned in for the storytelling and you tuned in because you really cared about the characters.”
When The Next Generation ended, there were more stories to be told. Fans had not tired of the series, according to Burton. “There was a lot left on the table with the Next Generation cast when we stopped doing movies and that’s become more and more prevalent in the communication from the fans,” he said.
After five series though, Star Trek had run into franchise fatigue. “Paramount had run the Star Trek universe into the ground and caused Star Trek to not be special anymore and that was a real dangerous time for the franchise,” said Burton. “So it’s been good that there hasn’t been any Trek.”
But Burton is a fan of the J.J. Abrams Trek-verse, although he has a complaint about it. “Like everybody else I was a fan of the reboot that J.J. Abrams did,” he said. “The only thing wrong with it is that it sort of ignores our timeline. I think that we added a lot to the Star Trek canon. The fans really want to see us do something. For our cast, because we came after the revered, beloved iconic original series and earned our way into people’s hearts and we did our own part in terms of expanding the fan base of Star Trek, we feel very good about our contribution. I don’t know how the other casts feel. But I know that we’re really, really proud of what we were able to accomplish.”