Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top 5 Worries about the New Star Trek Film

I am, as I've mentioned before, a huge Trekkie, and have been all my life. I'm also a fan of J.J. Abrams, mostly through Lost, so I was excited when I first heard he was taking the helm of the franchise. And so far, I've been very happy with all the casting decisions, preview footage and with most of what's been revealed about the story. Unlike so many whiny babies on the internet, I was pleased with the Enterprise redesign, finding it to be a fair mix between the original TOS model and the refit from the first six films. However, I do have a few reservations about the film, which are, as always, listed below from 5 to 1.

5. Believability - The trailer has a 12-year-old Kirk driving a Corvette off a cliff and jumping out at the last second. There is no way nobody's going to laugh when this happens. And it's probably in the first half-hour of the movie. Walk-outs? A very real possibility.

4. Accessibility - Rumor has it, this movie is going to start on Post-Nemesis Romulus, with Next-Gen-era Spock (Leonard Nimoy) picking up the pieces from the Reman rebellion and following up on the events of "Unification" (TNG) before traveling through the Guardian of Forever (from "City on the Edge of Forever (TOS)) to the past. So, it's a spiritual sequel to a movie nobody saw and two TV episodes, one that aired 15 years ago and the other that aired 40 years ago. Are people who've never seen Trek before going to have any idea what's going on?

3. Reception - Speaking of accessibility, it's no secret that my generation has no respect and no interest in Star Trek. How many high school and college kids, the people who make blockbuster hits blockbuster hits, will actually show up to see this movie? How many of them are willing to give Star Trek a chance? This is going to be the most expensive Trek yet, by a lot. My fear is that this movie will lose so much money that it will bury the franchise forever. These fears already existed when the movie was scheduled to come out at Christmas. Now that it's a summer movie, that means that Paramount will be spending a lot more on promotion. I would love to see this movie be a hit, but I'm calling it right now - it's not going to happen.

2. Continuity - I wish they'd just call it a "re-boot". They keeps saying that it'll stay true to the established canon, but it can't possibly. All they're doing by calling it a "prequel" instead of a "re-boot" is opening themselves up to getting attacked by purists for "raping continuity".

1. Star Wars Influence - J.J. has repeatedly said that he wants to "inject more of a Star Wars feel into the new Trek. It's always been my position that Star Trek should be entirely separate from Star Wars, and remain the smart storytelling it's based in instead of feeling like it has to be effects-driven or action-oriented. Sure, I like when there's action and special effects, but I certainly have never felt that Trek has anything to learn from Star Wars, particularly based on the last 10 years of Star Wars. The fact that J.J. says he "was never a Star Trek fan", but that he loves Star Wars, makes me worry that he's going to try and make my favorite franchise more like his favorite franchise. The last thing we need is another Star Wars movie.

P.S. - If you read this blog, please respond to the poll on the right sidebar. I'm trying to do a little census-taking. (Please don't eat my liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.)


rrrrrreooow! said...

I'll comment.

So I think you are right, on all accounts. I'm especially not sure if people are going to go see this... if I hadn't met you, I probably wouldn't have even considered seeing it. I would have scoffed at the trailer. So, thanks?

Also, go J.J. for being a Star Wars fan. With him saying that, probably older and growing up when the original ones came out, I think we are in safer ground. Also, man up about Star Wars. We are going to watch them all soon.

WhyS0Serious said...

My biggest worry is that I will not be able to follow it very well. I don't know specifics as well as I know the Marvel Universe's. I have probably seen more of the movies than any of the television series. I will of course see it mainly because I am fascinated with Mr. Spock and the Enterprise itself.

Mike Pfeiffer said...

by the way, you've called this one wrong.

Mike Pfeiffer said...

(Which means everybody wins. It's like being wrong about nuclear war.)