Star Trek: So Very Tired

Boldly going where everyone has already gone before, a new Star Trek movie has been announced for 2008. The film, the 11th and the first since 2002’s lackluster Star Trek: Nemesis will center on the early days of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer-space mission, according to Daily Variety.

This is the only idea that studio executives understand these days: series reinvention. It started with last year’s Batman Begins, which took the franchise back to the beginning. The venerable James Bond series is currently in the process of stripping down 007 to his origins for the upcoming Casino Royale and the next Superman, while not returning to it’s roots, is ignoring some of the sequels.

It worked for Batman and I hope it serves Bond well, but I have great trepidation about revisiting characters that are so familiar. Setting a series at Starfleet could be interesting, but it could also easily become Star Trek: 90210. I remember the episode where Wesley Crusher was at Starfleet, and not at all fondly. And this area has been mined before, maybe not exactly, but the last series, Enterprise, looked back at Star Trek’s past.

I was hoping they would let it lie for a few more years before reviving the Trek universe. There were 18 years between the original Star Trek and the Next Generation. The following series aired back to back and occasionally simultaneously, not giving any chance for a creative breather – something the series and films are in need of.

But if there is any good news in this announcement it is in the choice of J.J. Abrams as producer and possible director. As the creator and producer of Alias and Lost, I’m impressed with his creative abilities. He’s also directed the upcoming Mission: Impossible 3 so we’ll soon see how he handles the big screen too.

For the sake of both Trek and Abrams, I hope he finds some undiscovered country.


  1. Looks sort of like dumb and dumberER to me.

    --RC of

  2. I'm probably the only one who isn't excited about the possibility of J.J. Abrams directing this thing. To me he's the guy who keeps keeps ruining his shows with annoying relationshippy badness. Okay, Felicity was pretty much all romantic relationships all the time, but Alias and Lost. Those shows would be brilliant if it wasn't for the insanely stupid relationships between Alias' Syd and Vaughn and Lost's Kate and Jack. If you take away these from the shows they would be watchable but with them, it's just too much.

    With the possibility of JJ directing the new Star Trek movie, I'm afraid he's going to turn it into one big Insert-Upcoming-Female-and-Male-star-name-go-to-college but just substitute college with Starfleet. Of course being a trek fan I'm hoping to be wrong.

    As for M:I3, I'm not too crazy about the prospect of seeing Keri "Felicity" Russell in it, but I'll see anything with Philip Seymour Hoffman as the bad guy.

  3. [geek mode on]Do you think they're going to ignore the fact that Mr Spock served with Captain Christopher Pike before Kirk was given command of the Enterprise?[geek mode off]

  4. Couldn't agree more about the relationships. Vaughn was the most annoying part of Alias (and now it turns out he's still alive) and I could do without the Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle on Lost. Don't they have more important things to worry about? The Trek universe has never done well with relationships -- Worf & Troi, B'Elanna & Tom, all of DS9 -- that I hope they keep away from that.

    I think that continuity issues are worth considering, geeky or not. Fans are who have made these franchises a success and they shouldn't be ignored. Why not come up with a new concept and not have to worry about making the storyline fit?

  5. I agree. I'm never been a huge fan of the "let's revisit our past future" concept which they've used on Trek episodes plenty of times. In the golden days, Trek was known for it's edgyness and being forward thinking, not afraid to push the limits, but now it just seems that they're afraid to truly try something new, take a risk and go for it.

    I mean, I understand the need to play it safe especially if we're talking about a big budget movie, because there's a lot to loose, but we've seen plenty of big budget movies that flop so it seems that it can go either way and at this point the Trek franchise has nothing to lose, so I wish they'd just have the guts to try something different.

    Give Joss Wheadon the budget and see what he can come up with, because dude rocked Serenity and totally made me give Firefly another go on DVD. And you know what? I loved it!

    But, we'll see, we'll see what JJ's done with M:I3, but I'm really hesitant. I truly feel that unless the director knows the history and importance of Trek to the fans they won't be able to deliver the goods.

  6. Yeah... except that the movie's GREAT.

    - faye kane homeless brain

  7. In my defence, I did write that almost four years ago.