Rachel Garrett

I wouldn’t mind seeing more stories of Rachel Garrett, the captain of the Enterprise-C established in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” I think there’s certainly potential to explore the change from the Starfleet of Kirk and Sulu’s era to the Starfleet of Picard and Sisko’s era. And Garrett, falling as she does in that time, could be a conduit towards telling those types of stories.

That said, I don’t ever expect to see Pocket Books commission a Garrett novel.

First, with Star Trek: Stargazer we’ll be getting the “interregnum” exploration that Garrett could provide, but with a character that’s already popular (Jean-Luc Picard) instead. Patrick Stewart’s mug on the cover will sell books. Tricia O’Neill’s mug on the cover will confuse people. Hence, Stargazer novels will likely sell better than an Enterprise-C novel would.

Second, what stories require Garrett’s presence? It’s the same point John Ordover made about Sulu time and again: there aren’t any stories that intrinsically require the character, and the two “hooks” that John cited with Sulu (his daughter, his first command) were both told. Garrett’s one “hook” is her final mission, and now we’ve seen that from two perspectives–“Yesterday’s Enterprise” and Vulcan’s Heart. This isn’t to say that stories with Garrett can’t be told, but that the story could perhaps be told just as easily with a different crew that already has a built-in audience.

As an exercise I’ll leave for the audience, take any posting John Ordover made on the problem of Sulu novels, and do a global search-and-replace–Sulu into Garrett, Excelsior in Enterprise-C. The logic holds.

From a creative standpoint, I can’t see quite how to make the story anything other than generic space opera; a Garrett novel would probably have all of the trappings of Star Trek but not be definably Star Trek except by name. From a marketing standpoint, it’s likely than any potential Garrett novel wouldn’t sell as well as a novel set in another series.

Of course, now that you’ve all thrown tomatoes in my direction, as I said before I like the idea of telling stories about Garrett. I think there’s potential that can be mined in a novel. I’m just not expecting to read it.

Perhaps Garrett can guest-star in a future Stargazer team-up novel if the first two do well…. 🙂

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