While many Trekkies are loving a new action figure set based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wil Wheaton is not one of them. The famed super nerd recently took umbrage at a new figure based on his most famous role – the teen prodigy, Ensign Wesley Crusher.
The action figure in question was part of a set depicting the main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Released by MiniFigs.me – a web-based business that manufactures made to order LEGO figures as well as unofficial adaptations of popular pop-culture characters – the Wesley Crusher figure is depicted as a crying child, in stark contrast to the more stoic and determined adult figures around him. The MiniFigs.me site also features custom figures based on other popular science fiction franchises such as Rick and Morty, Red Dwarf and The X-Files.
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Wheaton responded to the set’s release via a lengthy post on his personal website. Wheaton called the depiction of his character “insulting and demeaning to everyone who loved that character when they were kids. ” He did, however, admit that “Wesley was a terribly-written character” during Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s first season.
The character of Wesley Crusher has long been a polarizing one among Star Trek fans. Some, like Wheaton, say that Wesley was an inspiring figure to many young people and that he offered an important point-of-view character for younger viewers who were being exposed to the Star Trek universe for the first time. Others hold that the character was little more than a cynical attempt at fan-service by the show’s producers to try and reach out to what they thought most of the show’s younger fans were like.
Wheaton, for his part, does not hold any grudge against those who find humor in the Minifigs set, though he says that he personally found the humor involved to be lazy. He does, however, caution against anything that might turn young prodigies – both boys and girls – away from careers in STEM fields because of the implication that there is no place for them among adults.
“…this isn’t about me. This is about thirty years of people kicking Wesley Crusher around because writers in the first season of Next Generation… didn’t write him as well as writers did in later seasons, and once the fandom narrative was fixed, no amount of ‘Final Mission’ or ‘Starfleet Academy’ -like episodes could change it.”
The irony that Wil Wheaton is defending his most famous role as not being a whiny little crybaby who irritated everyone in existence by complaining about it online does merit some consideration. Heaven help the next critic who dares say anything negative about The Big Bang Theory.
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