Wheaton Blog: On Abrams ‘Reinventing’ Trek | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

Wheaton Blog: On Abrams ‘Reinventing’ Trek May 8, 2008

by Wil Wheaton , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

Last week there was a lot of talk about Star Trek director JJ Abrams latest comments about his film. One Trekkie who took notice was Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher on TNG and author of “Just a Geek.” In the following guest blog (originally posted on Wil’s blog) Wheaton gives his thoughts on Abrams latest comments.


[EDITORS NOTE: Wil's Blog contains some 'colorful metaphors']

“reinventing?” uh-oh. i’m not sure how i feel about this

Wired says that JJ Abrams promises to “reinvent” Star Trek:

“Effects for Star Trek have never, ever been done like this,” says Abrams, who credits George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic for the visual fireworks.

Abrams was fanatical about Star Wars as a kid. But Star Trek? Not so much. Directing the new movie, he tells the Associated Press, “was an opportunity to take the characters, the thoughtfulness, the personalities, the sense of adventure, the idea of humanity working together, the sense of social commentary and innovation, all that stuff and apply it in a way that felt genuinely thrilling.”

Without a lot of context, it’s tough to puzzle out exactly what this means for guys like us who’ve loved Trek forever and ever. If he’s just talking about bringing modern special effects to Star Trek, which totally would make it more thrilling to watch, this is great news.

However, if this “reinventing” — which is such a loaded term in this post-Episode One world (5-19-99 never forget!) — extends to some of the fundamentals of the Star Trek mythos, and if he wants to make Star Trek more like Star Wars, we could be looking at the biggest geekriot in history.

On one hand, this could be Abrams saying, “I’m going to take Star Trek and make it relevant to an audience that hasn’t loved it and watched it for 40 years.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand, it could be him saying, “Look, Trekkies, I know you’ve been watching this show for 40 years, but I’m JJ Fucking Abrams and if I want to ‘reinvent’ this thing that means so much to you, I’m going to do it. So don’t get your spacesuits in a knot when I put turbines on the Enterprise, okay? They look cool!” That would be a very bad thing.

Speaking as a lifelong geek, my knee-jerk reaction when I hear someone talking about “reinventing” something like Trek is that it will be a tower of suck, built out of an endless supply of Jar-Jars and midichlorians.

However! Ron Moore reinvented BSG, and it’s the greatest thing ever, so reinventing things isn’t automatically horrible. In fact, if the article had been titled “JJ Abrams promises thrilling effects for Star Trek movie” I’d be celebrating right now. Language is important, as they say.

I guess it comes down to who is doing the reinventing, and if their vision builds upon the existing foundation in an interesting way, instead of pulling a massive, insulting retcon on us all. In his favor, JJ Abrams is really, really good at starting things (not so much with the keeping them awesome after one season, sadly,) but absolutely awesome at starting things. Since this is the beginning of Star Trek, I’m hopeful. Apprehensive, but hopeful.

So, yeah, not entirely sure how I feel about the “reinventing.” At least the people who totally fucked Star Trek up aren’t involved, but why does anyone need to “reinvent” Star Trek at all? There’s a good reason it managed to endure through four decades and several generations of Trekkies and casual viewers alike. I hope JJ Abrams groks that, because I really want to like this movie.

Oh, how about an almost-instant update:

JJ Abrams also says:

“It was an opportunity to take what I think has been a maligned world _ to sound crass, a franchise _ and treat it in a way that made it something that I wanted to see”

[...]

“The whole point was to try to make this movie for fans of movies, not fans of `Star Trek,’ necessarily,'” Abrams said. “If you’re a fan, we’ve got one of the writers who’s a devout Trekker, so we were able to make sure we were serving the people who are completely enamored with `Star Trek.’ But we are not making the movie for that contingent alone.

“You can’t really make a movie for them. As soon as you start to guess what you think they are going to want to see, you’re in trouble. You have to make the movie in many ways for what you want to see yourself, make a movie you believe in. Then you’re not second-guessing an audience you don’t really have an understanding of.”

That makes a lot of sense, but, uh, JJ? You should probably understand Trekkies if you’re making a Star Trek movie. Seriously, have one of your minions make you a quickstart guide or something; it’s not that tough.

Anyway, making it for fans of movies instead of exclusively for Trekkies is something I can completely agree with, and shows that he understands the massive challenge that making a movie like this brings. That’s real good news, as long as he doesn’t go turning Star Trek into Attack of The Four Toed Statues or something.

He also says:

“I feel like this is so unlike what you expect, so unlike the `Star Trek’ you’ve seen. At the same time, it’s being true to what’s come before, honoring it,” Abrams said.

I’m going to commit heresy right now and say what few people are willing to say out loud: most of the Star Trek movies are absolute garbage. There have been ten Trek movies, and I’d say that two of them are accessible to mainstream audiences, another two are great, and the remaining six are nearly unwatchable. If JJ Abrams wants to make his new Trek movie unlike the 80% of Trek movies that aren’t that good, that’s just fine with me. Not that my opinion means anything, you understand, but rambling on and on about things like this is the price of being a geek, and I regret nothing. NOTHING!

Wil Wheaton is an actor, author, gamer, geek and blogger, best known for his portrayal of Wesley Crusher in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”


Wil’s latest memoir, “The Happiest Days of our Lives” is available now from Monolith Press.

 


Above, re-posted (with permission) from Wil’s blog, WWdN: In Exile

 

Comments

1. Hat Rick - May 8, 2008

I would disagree that most of the Trek movies are garbage. Strongly disagree.

As for the rest of the commentary, I appreciate Wil Wheaton’s thoughts. I am more confident of JJ’s adherence to the spirit of Trek than perhaps they seem to convey.

2. steve-o - May 8, 2008

Wil wheaton… i couldnt stand wesley crusher, but you gotta love Wil.

3. brady - May 8, 2008

Go Will!!

4. ShawnP - May 8, 2008

Wheaton obviously doesn’t regularly peruse this site if he thinks Abrams still needs a Trekkie minion to fill him in on Trekkies. He has Orci et al. doing his Trekkie bidding, so on that front, I think Abrams is safe.

5. Kobayashi_Maru - May 8, 2008

I’m with ONE.. the Trek movies are what got me into the genre alltogether. There’s maybe THREE bad movies, but only two UNWATCHABLE…that is the only thing I disagree with.

6. Denise de Arman - May 8, 2008

Quite an opinionated guy. I wonder why he thinks so little of the Trek movies overall – his remarks do not fall in line with the opinions of most Trek fans, I am sure.

7. Jovan Gauthier - May 8, 2008

And everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

He’s overreacting a little, probably. Every Trekkie is going to see this movie anyways, so… let’s see what happens then.

8. Jordan - May 8, 2008

To say that “most of the Trek movies are garbage” is not accurate. “The Final Frontier,” “Insurrection,” and “Nemesis” are the weakest and most disappointing Trek films by far, my personal least-favorites. But even those films have positive qualities that appeal to Trek fans.

9. KirkPicard Forever - May 8, 2008

I am going to STRONGLY disagree. I liked all the Trek movies growing up, even the so-called bad ones. Personally, I love First Contact, Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country, Generations, Voyage Home, and Search for Spock (I could go into detail on why on each but thats not point of my comment). Even the films I don’t like that much, including Motion Picture, Insurrection, Nemesis, and Final Fronter, had some great moments. For example, I think the scenes involving Sybock and Kirk, McCoy’s, and Spock’s character revelations are some of the best in Trek. I found the wedding in Nemesis very moving as a life-long Next Generation fan and enjoyed some of the battle sequences.
While the movies are not cinematic genius generally, they are meant for Trek fans like us. The thing about Star Trek XI that I love is that Paramount has sunk so much money and production values behind the project for a Trek film that normally do not make much money. Also, the cast seems enthusiastic, and I love Nimoy being back. Personally, I would have just filmed Shatner’s book The Return, but Paramount did not ask me. In short, I think J.J. Abram’s Trek might break the mold and finally appeal to non-Trekkers while retaining those hardcore fans like myself who know the history, technobabble, and character bios. However, this is all pure speculation.
Anyways, I learn more intellectually from a Trek movie than I do from the average film…that has got to mean something!

10. Melonpool - May 8, 2008

I wonder which Trek movies he’s talking about specifically…

Two Accessible to Mainstream: Star Treks IV and First Contact?
Two Great: Star Trek II and VI?

Any other guesses?

11. I Love My Moogie - May 8, 2008

Will Wheaton speaks for all of us who fear our future’s end of TOS. He has the guts to say Abrams’ resume is not that perfect & has concerns with his wordings, the very fears I’ve been expressing in this forum!

Reinvent the beginning of TOS & everything we’ve watched that followed is wiped from existence. Our DVDs fearfully become transformed fantasies of what was once canon reality.

As for Will’s critique of the prior Trek movies, I would say TWOK, TVH & TUC were perfection, TMP, TSFS, TFF & FC were good, GEN is watchable only when Kirk, Scotty & Chekov are onscreen and INS & NEM are painfully unwatchable.

Will, keep on blogging—you’re my hero!

12. I Love My Moogie - May 8, 2008

Oops, typos: I meant ‘Wil’ not ‘Will’

13. Hat Rick - May 8, 2008

I’m with you, 5. If anything, I’m even more positive. I don’t think of any of them as unwatchable.

Star Trek: TMP: While slow, still unmistakably grand, majestic, and cosmic in a way befitting the entire enterprise. I mean, franchise. Hat Rick’s Rating: Four and one-half stars out of five. With tighter pacing, suggested in the Director’s Edition, easily five stars in my book.

II: TWOK: Makes the top ten list of many a SF — and mainstream — movie buff. Need I say more? Five stars.

III: TSFS: A worthy adventure for a gallant crew. Three stars.

IV: TVH: See TWOK. Four stars.

V: TFF: A nice effort. Two stars.

VI: TUC: Politically relevant and engaged, this marked the return of the rollicking style and good times we saw in TWOK. Four stars.

[VII:] Generations: A masterful and substantially successful attempt to blend two separate generations in the Trek universe, this movie made a powerful statement about the importance of heroism and what it means to live life to the fullest. Four stars.

[VIII:] First Contact: Not since TWOK has a movie had so much appeal to mainstream and Trekfan audiences alike. The cinematic centerpiece of the TNG universe, STFC made Trek moviewatching an experience to treasure again and again. Five stars.

[IX:] Insurrection: Marking the denouement of the TNG era, Insurrection asked the question: “When does the good of the many outweigh the good of the few?” The answer it gave brought Trekfans along for a fulfilling fight against an elusive enemy: A moustache-twirling villain allied with a rogue admiral within the Federation itself. Three stars.

[X:] Nemesis: While the pacing was off and dramatic elements seemingly out of order, this movie left Trekfans wondering why it couldn’t be better. Two stars.

[XI:] Star Trek: Trekfans anticipate this movie with the highest of expectations. If wishes were horses, this movie would top Star Wars, and — knock wood — it may!

As always, your mileage may vary!

14. US Taxpayer Dude - May 8, 2008

Wil Wheaton is a percpetiv,e, fine, upstanding fellow. Wesley the Wonder Boy we could have done without.

Having said that, I agree with his assessment and his concerns. I even like his take on the crassness of “franchise” which is a business licensing agreement with roots in monarchic Europe.

But on reflection, that’s what Paramount think of itself, isn’t it?!

Quality of Trek movies to date? Give me VI and V (yes, I rather enjoy V!); II does not wear well; III sucked then and sucks today; IV is also dated but is humourous in a nostalgic kind of way; Generations never happened – it was merely Kirk’s nightmare coming off a weekend bender!; Frist Contact? I will never forgive them for turning Cochran into a drunk and I dislike the man who played the part intensely; the rest? Never bothered to see them!

15. AdamTrek - May 8, 2008

#10

I’m guessing the same movies as you.

16. CmdrR - May 8, 2008

I’m going garbage: X, IX and V. But, even these each have enough good moments that I’ll watch and scream at the TV when they come on.

What’s wrong with turbines? The pinwheels have to be powered by something, why not collosal turbine? I have no idea how pinwheel or turbines work with anti-matter, so why does it matter which we see? I certainly prefer turbines to friggin’ nuclear cooling rods. Sheesh! Does anyone like THAT movie? (Oh, I guess some people do, including me.)

Anyway — I’ve long accepted that this movie will bring many simultaneous moments of WOW/OH CRAP! The only thing that hurts is that we have to sit at the top of the captain’s log flume ride for a full year. I want to do the plunge now!

17. Cyberghost - May 8, 2008

I meant Wesley Crusher, not Will Wheaton. On ST TNG the two things that I disliked the most were the ferangi and Wesley Crusher. WC was put into TNG for the young audience and well I think we could of done w/o the ferangi, stupid character. But like they say, opinions are like aholes, everyone has one.

18. sir num nums - May 8, 2008

I guess everyone has their right to an opinion.

But Wil seems a little jealous to me. Maybe because J.J. did not invite him to the set like he did other actors from Trek.

My thought is this… Since he did not talk with J.J. or visit the set, then Wil is just like the rest of us, he has no idea what to expect.

19. Hat Rick - May 8, 2008

16, on the anticipation thing: Think of it as one year’s worth of having something cool to anticipate in Trek. Despite all our fondest hopes and the three-movie deal previously written about, there is no guarantee that there will be the two further sequels we all hope for — particularly if this next movie tanks.

Having a movie in postproduction is as close we can get to having a sure thing to see in the near future. Unlike the days of Star Trek: Enterprise, we can be reasonably certain there will be no cancellation talk for Trek in the next 365 days.

Finally, it helps if we break down the next year into manageable chunks. Promotional merchandise, product tie-ins and other ancillaries are sure to fill the void, exactly as the article has stated.

20. don_sturdy - May 8, 2008

Leave, just leave please, Pestley Crusher.

21. J_schinderlin56 - May 8, 2008

I’ve got to give Will Props for being willing to stand up and say that. It takes guts.

For the most part I like the Trek Movies. Except Insurrection!

Did the writers even bother to check what was going on with DS9 at the time?

The Dominion had captured Beta-Zed, and was preparing for an assault on Vulcan. At that point in the war hundreds of Federation ships had been destroyed.

And the most powerful ship in Starfleet is on the Opposite side of Federation space from the front lines? Ok.

Oh, and Deana Troi really looked upset that her home world had been captured.
(It’s not like her Mother and new Baby Brother were there is it?)

Oh and don’t forget the part about the Son’a selling supplies to the Dominion. And the Federation is doing business with them?

Here’s what would have really happened:

Admiral Dufus has a meeting with the Son’a, goes back to his ship.
He is delivered a report by a “Commander Sloan”. Five minutes later his
Staff finds him dead of a heart attack. And on their way home the Son’a ship has an “accidental” Warp Core Breach!

Section 31 would never have let things happen the way the did in Insurrection.

Mr. Frakes did a great job directing. But the story was Ridiculous.

22. hitch1969© - May 8, 2008

He dropped the F bomb which personally I find completely unneccessary and totally offensive.

I always thought he was a punk. Now I am sure of it. Why dont we ask him about how gracious and ass kissy he was when Berman invited him back for a scene in Nemesis. ONLY to have cut the scene out.

ha!

=h=

23. THX-1138 - May 8, 2008

#11

I didn’t get the “Harbinger of Doom” message that you did out of Wheaton’s blog. At worst, the impression I was left with was that it could go either way. Your comments have been showing a pervading air of doom and gloom and I am starting to be genuinely worried for the health of your psyche. It’s only a movie. If it’s no good, it doesn’t spell the end of the world. We will always have TOS in it’s original form. This movie will not brainwash the masses into forgetting it. If it’s great, it may just infuse new life, freshness and vitality that the franchise has been missing for awhile. Just keep things in perspective. Good or bad, the world will continue to orbit the sun.

24. CmdrR - May 8, 2008

J_schinderlin56

Agreed that Insurrection failed to handle continuity well. The whole “Hey look. Worf is AWOL again. C’mon aboard” thing wore thin. Mostly, Insurrection fails because it’s a contrived plot. Gathering faerie dust from this planet seems silly when we’ve seen Federation science copy so many medical miracles and duplicate them. Plus — I just never believed that a fountain of youth existed in this story. It never felt plausible. It felt like the movie was built around a big fake-out: 18 actors who own 7 small buildings and a bridge brought home from Home Depot in a pick-up, living off of what they can farm from 1/16 of an acre of tilled soil. Oh, and they live forever but never marry… and the hot MILF has been waiting centuries for Picard to arrive and stop being gay. COME ON!

Nemesis is a crime against Trek. Some great moments, but mostly manufactured fakeness. And zero respect for Data’s personal history. Plus stock dune buggy footage from Delta Force (anyone?!?)

Again, both movies have some good points. But, overall, they’re both a blueprint on how to kill off a franchise, which they double damn near did. (Pardon my colorful metaphor.)

25. Relentless - May 8, 2008

#22. I agree. I started reading his blog when it first came out, but then it got worse and worse. I presume he thinks he can get more attention that way, but he won’t get anymore from me.

26. Jack - May 8, 2008

Isn’t Will like 14 years behind on reacting to all this? Just because you’re a Trek actor, or a Trek fan, doesn’t automatically mean you’re a decent movie critic, or a decent writer, or a decent producer, or a decent director. Just because you’ve read the lines someone else has written and put on the costumes someone else has made and done exactly what you were told, well, it doesn’t mean you actually get what makes it all work better than anyone else, or even at all (look at the indulge-the-cast efforts of Spiner, Shatner and Stewart).

But a decent director/writer/what-have-you who can make a decent flick, period, can therefore possibly make a good Trek flick, whether that person is a fanatic or not.

Slavish devotion to everything that has come before = Superman Returns. It got everything right on continuity-minutia checklist, but missed the whole bloody point.

Will was cute in Toy Soldiers.

27. Bart - May 8, 2008

While I will disagree with Wil on the Star Trek movies, I do see his overall point with the term “reinvention”. That’s the only time I get nervous hearing JJ talk about the film. I really DO think he means updating special effects and maybe making certain technology something we can relate more to in our 21st century world. Little things like the seatbelts on the shuttlecrafts; he’s probably going to make it a bit more REAL feeling to us. Am I making sense? I think it’ll do what ENTERPRISE was supposed to do, but never seemed to actually do it and that is make the universe something we can actually envision happening in a coouple hundred years.

But I can see where the “reinvention” word causes stress.

28. Universal Translator Malfunctioning - May 8, 2008

I think the bottom line here is that most if not all long term franchises other than star trek have reinvented themselves… with new casts and directions… I can’t think of any off hand which haven’t worked. James Bond has been mentioned a lot since the start of this star trek turnabout.
It’s nice that we can all have our two pence worth here but ulitmately we need to give the guy(s) a break and see what’s out there in a year.
I have a funny feeling we’ll be extremely entertained by the new movie. For me though the only thing I hate about sci-fi is when it goes back and ‘re-tells’ stories we’ve heard of… what’s wrong with keep going forward into the 24th and eventually 25th centuries? why go to the past? Enterprise was an outrage until Manny Coto got his teeth into it but it was too late… look to the futre boys and girls… I’m sure that’s what Gene was on about!
I’ll be quiet now :)

29. KennyB - May 8, 2008

re22: this was reposted from his BLOG…….a place you have to go to to read. He did not know YOU were going to read it. Wil is a cool guy and I have been impressed by his thoughts and insights into the Trek world……..Loved a story about Shatner and Starbucks at a Vegas Con a few years ago. He is not a punk he is a thirty-something man now that never had a real childhood so cut him some slack…………..I did not like Wes because of the way he was written not because of Wil…….Wil I like. Plus you gotta respect an actor that had a leach on his balls……..Stand By Me was one of my favorite movies of that time period.

30. Anthony Pascale - May 8, 2008

hitch
warning for flaming

31. I Love My Moogie - May 8, 2008

#23: “Just keep things in perspective. Good or bad, the world will continue to orbit the sun”

From which direction? The ‘new-improved for the masses’ TOS Remastered has now canonized Earth in a reverse rotation.

Sigh..

32. Hat Rick - May 8, 2008

I like Wil Wheaton and I’ve seen him perform in person at a local venue.

Wanted to say that my disagreement with a part of his opinion has nothing to do with whether I like him as a person. We can disagree about things without being disagreeable. I don’t know that much about him personally, anyway.

Just my two cents’ worth.

33. WTL - May 8, 2008

I tend to agree with Wil. I really enjoyed Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country, and thought that The Motion Picture (catchy name), Search for Spock and The Voyage Home were.. okay. The rest were just not terribly good , unfortunately.

I’ll admit that I’m quite curious to see what Abrams does with the film, although I’m somewhat disappointed that I’ll have to wait another year to see it.

34. Mr. Bob Dobolina - May 8, 2008

Funny how Gene Roddenberry himself was the first person to “re-invent” Star Trek when he conjured up TNG. Which was, in it’s own right, very successful and yet bore absolutely no resemblence to Star Trek. That, in turn led to another 20 years of re-invented “Trek” cut from that same cloth

During that time I longed for a Star Trek that, you know, was made like Star Trek. Not the new age Trek that Roddenberry cooked up in his ailing years but THE Star Trek that started it all. I look at JJ’s “reinvention” as possibly being the return to Trek that I’ve been waiting for since 1991. Maybe..just maybe…JJ isn’t so much “re-inventing” Trek…but bringing it back to it’s original formula, which would seem new and unusual to anyone who has only been exposed to Berman-Trek. Maybe..just maybe…he is bringing Star Trek (no colons involved here) back to where it belongs.

35. WRATH - May 8, 2008

WW makes some good points. But the problem with the trek movies is not that a lot of them being “unwatchable” but rather that often the charm of the characters and the universe makes them all too watchable, meaning that the film doesn’t get the right work donw in other areas.

Even the worst Trek films are easy to watch.

36. RaveOnEd - May 8, 2008

I think he’s jumping the gun a bit on his opinions of the new movie, especially for a movie that’s not even finished the post-production phase, won’t be seen for a year, and not even the leads had a full script to work from, just their scenes.

Why is it that almost all the TNG cast seems jealous or critical as all heck about this movie?

37. zzbluesman - May 8, 2008

i disagree about some of the comments.i dont think any of the star trek films were bad,some were better than others,even star trek 5 did have some enjoyable moments.and i think the wrath of kahn,and first contact are the greatest incarnations of trek,above any of the series or episodes.i also dont agree about the new battle star galactica,it may have good plots,and special effects,but severely lacks the imagination of the original.like the costumes and egyptian influence,the people dressed in suits and ties,is just lame.i do enjoy the sexy women,but give me a chrome cylon any day.

38. websbestcomics - May 8, 2008

My wife, who is not a trekkie at all, and a good representative of the ‘mainstream’ movie audience, seemed to enjoy Star Trek II and IV when she first saw them with me (yes, I forced her to watch them, as any respectible trekkie should do for their spouse), the other ones were an incomprehensible bore to her. So I’m going to guess that those are the two that managed to get outside the trek geek bubble and have some appeal to mainstream.

39. KennyB - May 8, 2008

32–wish everyone could have your outlook on things!

40. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 8, 2008

I’ve never been a fan of Wil Wheaton, and his opinions on his blog do not help.

As for “reinventing Trek”, he was part of the cast on the television series that did that very thing back in the 80’s. I guess that never occurred to him.

And on his opinions about ST movies, hey, different strokes for different folks. I enjoy all of the original films except TFF (The Great Trek Turd) to this day. Most of the rest of it IS, IMO, unwatchable…Even the best of the TNG-era films (FC) is a mediocre one to me.

Wil Wheaton…LOL…He is entitled to his opinion, but I am entitled to refrain from taking it seriously as well. I think I’ll excercise that option…

And I’ll continue to be optimistic about Abrams’ STXI.

41. Commodore Lurker - May 8, 2008

Decloaking . . .
Actually, I’ve been bummed ever since I read JJ’s thoughts referenced above. I’m more convinced than ever that they are going to “Dumbdown” our beloved Trek to the 4th grader Star Wars, Indy, and Transformers level of mentality.

JJ has to in order to draw the mass general audience necessary to pay off the $150 million price tag.

Already we’ve seen hot cars (the red corvette) ala Transformers, Sulu swordfighting (gee is it a “phasersword”), and yes I’ve known since 1966 that Sulu is into fencing. He is also a Theoretical Mathematician. But, that does’nt compute in a dumbed-down action flick. Instead, he is a “Badass,” (like Han Solo???).

And the big E has big fat powerful muther Hemmie V-96 warp nacelles.

Need I go further, and no wonder the info leaks are so throughly plugged.

If the rumor that Nimoy appears in “Spirit form” ala Obi Wan is true, I’m getting up and walking out and screw my $10.

Yes, I have all six Star Wars eps on DVD and I like them all, along with Transformers (at least until Magan Fox becomes submissive and Shia becomes ‘the man.’ Then I switch to watch some old Trek with an intelligent plot line.)

Have you noticed that the word: “Intelligent” is about the only adjective NOT uswed to describe this film. It was Trek’s trought provoking storylines, dialog, and BIG WORDS that attracted almost all of us to Trek to begin with.

But, that’s something that someone who says that we are: “an audience you don’t really have an understanding of,” wouldn’t understand, now would he?

Yes, I’m going to go see Star Trek 0/XI, at least once and IF Nimoy doesn’t show up in “Spirit Form”, then I’ll buy the DVD as well. If only to support Trek as I have done since 1972.

Hell, why not? I was stupid enough to buy Nemesis.

To: my friend and fellow writer CmdrR in #24. If you can gag down the special features in Nemesis you’ll actually see them shooting the dune buggy scenes. They would have been better if the had been “Stock footage”.

To: Wil Wheaton, I more or less agree with you “Wes,” and I certainly understand your apprehension. I’m feeling it as well. And, congrats on getting away with the “F bomb”. Free speech lives.

See ya’ll next year, maybe.

Recloaking and still bummed.

42. ScottG.1 - May 8, 2008

Rock on Wil! Your right on as far as I’m concerned and your also right I think, some of the films seemed like grand episode knock offs in some way, not mainstream theatrical productions. Just new films to fill the shelves. Others had wonderful thinking into the story lines, but the treatment fell far short due to production issues. I wish other people who’ve been involved with Trek would speak out like you have been, but then again, perhaps they aren’t geeks.

Keep on!

43. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 8, 2008

Another thing…I have yet to find where it is JJ Abrams said he was “reinventing” Star Trek. From what I can tell from the article on “Wired”, that is the author’s word, not JJ’s.

Even if he has said it that way in the past, who the Hell knows what he meant?

“Re-inventing” could mean turning Star Trek into something that attracts more moviegoers, while still maintaining the basic principles of Star Trek. What’s wrong with that approach, given the fact that you cannot make a $150 million movie just for established Trek fans (unless you plan to lose a ton of money)?

44. CmdrR - May 8, 2008

34 Mr. Bob — I’m with you. Good point. I never liked TNG’s preachy first season. Eventually, it learned to walk, then run. But, the touchy-feely parts really hurt, including Wesley’s character — sorry, Wil.

45. Steve T. NY - May 8, 2008

I think what Will is saying is mostly correct. As a lifelong fan of Trek, I don’t really think it needs too much “reinventing”, but I also know that in this world of really, really short attention spans and opening weekend boxoffice so important, that something has to give in order to make the film more commercially acceptable. Reimagining isn’t always bad (BSG) but as long as Abrams takes the fans into consideration, tweaks the action and effects up a few notches, and makes a great story.. I’ll look forward to it.

Will is right when he speaks of Abrams chice of language when he refers to the movie, but we have a year till it comes out, so i’m sure they can’t keep it so hidden from us for all that time that we won’t get answers to at least some of the more pressing questions..

46. RaveOnEd - May 8, 2008

41 – Please decloak and tell us how you’ve seen the new movie.

Why are people judging this movie, when its not out yet?

47. tarasis - May 8, 2008

I am nervous of XI, I really am, the last 4 have been poor. (Story wise, direction wise they have generally been fine)

I like the first 6, even 5 though I wish bits of the book (like how the Klingons followed the Enterprise into the Center) had made it into the movie.

Anyways thanks Wil for sharing your thoughts.

48. Boborci - May 8, 2008

Commodore Lurker – May 8, 2008

We did not dumb this movie down.

49. Chompa - May 8, 2008

Wheaton hit the mark on this one. I hope they do the “reinventing” correctly, but this one holds no hope.

50. Troyce - May 8, 2008

I’ve always been a Classic Trekkie, remembering when the original series was on the air. I’ll agree with Wil that some of the movies stank, though I seem to like more of them than he does. I also worry about JJ Abrams, since I’ve not been impressed with his portfolio of works, and gave up on LOST after season 3 when I realized the producers had no clue what it was all about, but were making it up as they went along.

As for Wil Wheaten, yeah, i was a Weasley Dumper with the best of them, but have always separated the character from the actor. I loved his guest hosting on the old Screen Savers and love reading his twitter notes. Lay off the guy, he’s cool and kudos to him for having the guts to publicly air his misgivings on the new Trek movie.

51. Commodore Lurker - May 8, 2008

To: Bob Orci, thank you for Resurrecting my faith oh great one. As critical as I’ve been, I actually enjoy all your work. I still don’t like the reversal on the Megan Fox-Shia roles though, but then again I’m into the smart-hot-brunette-dominant thing.

Thank for the gift of your valuable time in responding to me, and for the heavy sigh of relief.

52. Zac Bentz - May 8, 2008

Just for the record, I loved the Wesley Crusher character on TNG as a kid. Probably because whenever I saw him, I saw myself. OK, so he was vastly smarter than I was/am, but in a lot of other ways I felt like he reacted in ways many other kids would have. Sure, from a hopelessly jaded hindsight view from the future it’s easy to see just how poorly the character was treated, but damned if it wasn’t occasionally something special at the time.

The main problem with the Wesley haters, in my opinion and observation, is that most people who hate the character also hate themselves. Wesley is US. Wesley is the awkward geek that we all wish we could beat the crap out of in response to everyone who beat the crap out of us. Sure, the writing was bad, but the character was still well formed, and obviously a huge nerd, just like everyone who has ever willing watched more than three Trek shows in a row. People don’t always like to see themselves reflected so clearly on screen. Wesley is an easy target. Sound familiar?

Next time you feel your knee start to jerk and your finger tips twitch in anticipation of invoking the dark name of the young Crusher, try and remember how it feels to be on the other end of the wrath.

Maybe if you Wesley haters could take a step back and see Wheaton for the brilliant lover of all things Trek and geek that he is, you’d hear what he is saying and tremble at the screaming horror that is the JJ Abrams machine.

Or maybe it’ll be the best thing ever for Trek and start a new golden age. Who knows?

All I know?

Don’t be a dick.

53. CmdrR - May 8, 2008

Bob Orci,
Thank you for assuring us that ST will not be dumbed down.
I will be there on opening night. No threats, cause that’s silly. I will be very entertained if Spock throws out a ten cent word, even if it blows by some members of the audience. I recently helped my kiddo with a vocab test. It included the word “alactrity.” I laughed out loud (to a dull reaction on her face) because I realized I had NEVER heard that word outside of its use by Spock in “Catspaw.” 40 years, but it paid off! She did well on that test, by the way.

54. WOWTREKWARSNUT - May 8, 2008

The best ones In my opinion where Star Trek the motion picture , wrath of kahn, and the undiscovered country, first contact…

55. non-belligerency confirmed - May 8, 2008

#34 (bob dobolina)
well said and my sentiments exactly. the fact that jj is making the film at all is pretty amazing given the treatment that the franchise has received over the last couple of decades. to “reimagine” the spirit of TOS is the only viable way to approach it now anyway, as dead or aging actors and emerging technologies sort of demand it. (not to mention a postmodern breed of writers who can lend a fresh eye to otherwise stale limitations – i have great faith in kurtzman and orci…)

p.s., i’ve heard jj has even found a way to erase all of the previous star trek films and episodes from existing VHS and DVD forever and replace them with thousands of hours of slowly spinning turbine shots, just to piss wheaton and “moogie” off. now that’s VISION!

56. J C - May 8, 2008

Star Trek is TOS characters.Not the aging actors or watered down spin-offs.

57. Commodore Lurker - May 8, 2008

Decloaking . . .
52. Zac Bentz – May 8, 2008

I’d never thought of “Wes” as a reflection of “US’ Trek geeks on the screen.
That is an interesting revelation, particularly in terms of the fan reaction against “Wes”. All deeply psychological and I see your point.

It’s stuff like that — that keeps me “Lurking” here. Thanks.

I know Gene Roddenberry thought of “Wes” as his own sense of wonder and astonishment at the universe projected on the screen.

Recloaking.

58. Commodore Lurker - May 8, 2008

Decloaking . . .
55. non-belligerency confirmed – May 8, 2008
“”p.s., i’ve heard jj has even found a way to erase all of the previous star trek films and episodes from existing VHS and DVD forever and replace them with thousands of hours of slowly spinning turbine shots, just to piss wheaton and “moogie” off. now that’s VISION!””
ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Recloaking.

59. Anthony Pascale - May 8, 2008

i just want to say thanks to Wil (who is a pretty cool guy I must say) to allow us to repost here. And of course thanks to Bob to showing up on the ‘one year to go’ day.

60. Bill Cox - May 8, 2008

Wil seems kind of bitter in his post. Man, times must be tough out there in has-been land.

61. Commodore Lurker - May 8, 2008

Decloaking . . .

#59 Anthony Pascale

Here-here, and might I add right-on! Being the greatly relieved one that I am now.

Recloaking.

62. DJT - May 8, 2008

While I wouldn’t say most of the movies suck, there are a couple that do.

My Dos Centavos are as follows:

2,3,4 = trilogy to end trilogies. with a little competition from that other franchise of course

6, pepto excluded, is good stuff
8 is well balanced, looks good and is entertaining.
1 boring
5 cartoon
7 cartoon
9 junk – cartoon of cartoon
10 junk – cartoon of cartoon

I wonder where 11 will place? Will it be the start of a new trilogy.
i hope so.
i hope 12 include carol marcus.

63. angelle - May 8, 2008

I didn’t really feel like he wrote this as a former trek actor so much as a fan, as he puts it. “guys like us who’ve loved Trek forever and ever,” which could be written by any geek who really digs it. And I suppose he’s entitled to as strong and opinionated a post as he wants, since it was posted in his own space. We can all get our own spaces to rant about things too!

64. Kev-1 - May 8, 2008

He can say what he wants like anybody else, and I never understood why so many strongly dislike his character. But I don’t agree the movies were “garbage” — certainly not compared to most of what’s getting released into theaters right now. I know some people rave over BSG, but that show has a low rating compared to most cable shows. I mean SpongeBob and Monk blow it away, but nobody’s saying we need an OCD Captain Sponge in the next Trek.

65. Will Doe 68 - May 8, 2008

365 days left till we all find out about this movie,and now Wil weighs in with his “opinion”. Give me a break,if Nichelle Nicholas,Leonard Nimoy and other original cast members(except Bill S.) have sang praises of J.J.s’ treatment.
Then the ramblings of a character\actor I never cared for,are pointless.
You were never that good an actor,and your character was weak.
Please just wait and see and stop trying to speculate. You might end up looking very foolish in 364 days.

66. Gabriel Bell - May 8, 2008

I’ve always looked at the movies this way: they are the least engaging part of the Star Trek lexicon. If you were to rank every incarnation of Trek (and something tells me some of you out there may have done just that), clearly the movies as a group would rank dead last … by a long shot.

(And, yes, “Enterprise bashers,” even if you only count the final season of Enterprise, those 22 hours of episodes are miles ahead of the 20 hours of Trek movies.)

My preference: DS9, TNG, TOS, ENT, VGR, Movies. In that order. (And, no, I don’t count TAS as part of the official lexicon.)

(Oh, and I love Trek in all its forms. From Best of Both Worlds to Threshold. 700-plus hours and counting! Let’s keep it rolling.)

67. Will Doe 68 - May 8, 2008

DJT said:

” While I wouldn’t say most of the movies suck, there are a couple that do.

My Dos Centavos are as follows:

2,3,4 = trilogy to end trilogies. with a little competition from that other franchise of course

6, pepto excluded, is good stuff
8 is well balanced, looks good and is entertaining.
1 boring
5 cartoon
7 cartoon
9 junk – cartoon of cartoon
10 junk – cartoon of cartoon

I wonder where 11 will place? Will it be the start of a new trilogy.
i hope so.
i hope 12 include Carol Marcus.”

Fairly good appraisal,I agree.

68. Paul B. - May 8, 2008

I respect Wheaton’s opinion, but he seems a bit too negative for no good reason. He gets credit for using the word “grok” but that’s about all.

My overall reaction is, “Shut up, Wesley!”

69. Spock Boy - May 8, 2008

Trek fans that are critical or skeptical of Abrams’ apparent reinvention of the franchise is unhistorical and a bit paranoid. Look at the history of the franchise. Meyers reinvented the bridge to appear submarine-like, and the ships themselves has been reinvented over the course of Trek to an “astronomically correct: lighting that results in darkened, rather than brightly white, ships. Harve Bennett reinvented the franchise as a producer. And let’s not forget good ol’ Stan Wise, whose reintroduction of fans with the lovely refitted Enterprise, while catatonically plodding, again completely reset the Star Trek universe.
There are many other little things that have changed: the bridge in Star Trek V seemed too futuristic compared to STVI, uniform inconsistencies galore, and many, many other changes–what, people weren’t pissed off that a bald guy was going to replace Kirk in the late 80’s with TNG? Change is part of the equation. I want my old Trek to be the same just as much as you, but small changes have always been happening with each feature film. Get used to it!

70. Trek Nerd Central - May 8, 2008

What an entertaining nerd. And I must thank him for using the phrase “tower of suck.”

71. SuperSexyPan!c - May 8, 2008

I wonder if the real Wil Wheaton is as extreme as he is pretending to be. Anyway….I think he is WAY overreacting here. What JJ means (at least, what I think he means) is that he is trying to make a movie that trekkies will appreciate but will still be user-friendly and entertaining for those not familiar with the trek universe.

As far as his thoughts on the movies, I have mixed feelings about that. I agree that there are definitely ups and downs with the movies. Even the Trek movies that I absolutely love have plot holes here and there (particularly STVI, which I enjoy but has so many “uh…wha?” moments) But only 4 good movies out of the lot? I could say why he would say that, but I disagree.

My thoughts would be…

Excellent ST Movies: First Contact, II, IV
Good ST Movies: III, VI
Pretty Good Movies: Generations, Insurrection
Poor Movies: TMP, V, Nemesis

Personally, I’m looking forward to the new Trek. I love what Abrahms does and I think he and the writers will be able to turn out something that makes ST relevant again.

72. Trek Nerd Central - May 8, 2008

#71. So sue me, I always liked V. Unfairly maligned.

73. BaronByng - May 8, 2008

I think Abrams’ pedigree of producing movies and shows that have both eye-candy mass appeal, and extensive, complex backstory and intertwining plot lines based in a naturalistic science-fiction setting, proves that he and his team are the right people for the job.

Based on some of the comments in this thread, however, I wonder if some people have seen ANY other films than the ST canon. When I hear JJ say he’s making a movie for people who love movies, he’s not necessarily just talking about the broad summer blockbuster crowd.

I think he’s talking about people who love movies, period — classic movies — like Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, Sergio Leone westerns, Bullitt, Hitchcock flicks — things that have art and thoughtfulness to them as well as mass appeal.

When I went to see Casino Royale I was blown away because not only was it a great “Bond movie,” it was a great MOVIE. If you’d taken the Bond name off it and called it Agent X’s First Mission it’d STILL be great, because of things like…oh, i dunno…vision…great direction…great cinematography…a great script…fantastic dialogue…and acting.

I’ll second Wil’s opinion that a good majority of the Trek films, while sentimental favorites, aren’t great movies. They’re really like big-budget TV episodes. As a moviegoer, you have to bring your own knowledge of Trek to enjoy them – the characters, the settings, the history, the continuity and plot points – so if you don’t know all this, you’re not really going to get much out of them. For the most part, they really were designed for a niche audience of core Trekkers and not for the casual moviegoer who hasn’t seen all 12,000+ episodes of all the series.

That means that without having to do things like set up the characters properly, the movies, taken as standalone entities, are very flat and two-dimensional.

To a great degree, TWOK was a ‘reintroduction’ of the characters and grounded them in the issues of encroaching middle age — Kirk feeling irrelevant, Khan feeling his vengeful midlife crisis — and the rest of it was really a great WWII submarine chase / battle in space.

And TVH, the most popular of the films, decided not to make a lot of hay with backstory and played it with a light touch. All you had to know was that these were people with the future trying to get around 20th century San Fran and save the whales — the cast seemed to be having fun and so did the audience.

Wil touches on a great point when he mentions how the SW prequel trilogy was not really a great extension of the franchise. The first trilogy was fun, engaging, had great writing and direction (yes, especially Empire), and seemingly never forgot that it was paying tribute to old sci-fi serials.

The prequel trilogy had terrible writing — horrendously clunky dialogue.it sounds like what a five year old playing with his action figures would imagine grown-ups talking sounds like — and incredibly convoluted plot points intended to appeal only to people who were core SW geeks and not a general audience. There was so much CGI laden upon them it completely obscured any sense of fun, or story, or character.

If JJ can make his “Star Trek” as good as The Empire Strikes Back…then THAT is something I think movie fans and Trekkers alike can celebrate.

74. JB - May 8, 2008

I tend to agree with Wheaton. As much as I’ve loved Trek these past 40 years, I found most of the films hugely disappointing. They let the lunatics run the asylum.

75. steve623 - May 8, 2008

“However! Ron Moore reinvented BSG, and it’s the greatest thing ever, so reinventing things isn’t automatically horrible.”

Very true, but the original BSG was horrible to start with. The original Star Trek was not.

76. Jeff Bond - May 8, 2008

I’m with the last two posts…I really think we grade the Trek movies on a big curve. You cannot rank them against actual “great” movies, even The Wrath of Khan–which certainly has moments of greatness and enormous amounts of charm–pales when you put it up against a host of actual classic American movies. And I do think that much of Trek’s episodic content is often more sophisticated and better done than the films.
I have no idea how Abrams’ movie will fare in achieving this goal, but the goal SHOULD be to make a great movie irrespective of it being a Star Trek movie–and that’s going to be difficult to do and please most Trek fans at the same time, because there actually are Trek fans who believe that Nemesis is a good movie. :)

77. Greg2600 - May 8, 2008

The films are fine, except Nemesis. The only possibility of returning to Star Trek is some kind of reinvention. Either that or take a decade or so off and do the same thing again. My interest is more about seeing a space adventure again. I mean, seriously, has Hollywood just given up on them? I would be much more excited if Shatner was there with Nimoy. For me, I will go in as if this is not Star Trek, but a new series in a sense. If you start trying to tie everything back, that will not work, at least to me. You’re always going to second guess. I’m still interested in the film, but probably 10 years removed from my height of Trek fandom and I’m just not as into it anymore. Maybe the film will change that.

78. A Quinn Martin Production - May 8, 2008

#60: “Wil seems kind of bitter in his post. Man, times must be tough out there in has-been land.”

..hmm…so, Bill Cox, how are times in the land of “never was”?

79. CmdrR - May 8, 2008

Does “A Quinn Martin Production” respect “Cannon?”

80. sean - May 8, 2008

Haha, oh Will Wheaton. At some point you became a mixture of the old man down the street that wants those ‘damn kids’ off his lawn, and the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. Don’t get me wrong – I’m always enertained. It’s a bit like when good old Harlan goes on one of his rants.

That being said, I think people do get nervous because of George Lucas’ poorly conceived prequels. But this is a different animal, and there’s always been more to work with – characterwise and storywise – in Trek.

I’d disagree we have 6 ‘unwatchable’ films. I’d say we have 1 unwatchable film (Nemesis), 3 incredibly mediocre films (Generations, The Final Frontier & Insurrection) and 6 pretty great films (TMP, TWOK, TSFS, TVH, TUC, FC). TNG has the worst ratio, unfortunately, when it comes to good Trek films, but I forgive them because the series had so many strong stories.

And again, JJ never said ‘reinvent’. That always seems to be the word choice of the interviewer, but I’ve yet to hear any of the principal players use it.

81. Valar1 - May 8, 2008

Wheaton seems like a typical geek- paranoid, uncouth, obsessive, but having a bright center full of childlike hope. I recognize myself in his post and appreciate his forthrightness, like him I am apprehensive but I’m hoping to get my socks knocked off in 1 yrs time.

82. Dif - May 8, 2008

I agree with Wheaton – if you take away the beloved Trek characters and replaced them with, well, anyone else, would the movies still be as enjoyable? I think not. Most of the movies are slow-paced and character-driven…good for Trekkies, bad for those who haven’t had the joy of watching the characters grow and change over the years.

I also don’t get the gripes about Wil Wheaton…I get that Wesley was apparently an annoying character (I disagree, but understand)….however, Denise Crosby left before the first season was out because she didn’t want to end up being ‘typecast’. Then realized “Oh, wait, no parts for me! Trek, take me back!”…and from then on she’s forced her way back into Trek…I would have really enjoyed Trekkies if she hadn’t hosted it as if she was some integral part of ST. I have more room for sympathy with Wheaton leaving…he was young and wanted to do other things…but I always got the impression she bailed because she didn’t want to be associated with Trek….and now its about the only thing going for her.

Can someone explain the difference to me? I’m seriously confused on that one. Is it because she’s female?

83. Transparent - May 8, 2008

I didn’t dislike Insurrection as much as everyone here apparently.

I’m not so much nervous because Lucas’ company did the effects, I’m nervous because a head strong director was supposed to make Nemesis good, and we see how well that worked out. Big names didn’t make a better movie. That and Enterprise soured me to the whole prequel thing.

84. Transparent - May 8, 2008

Now that I think about it, prequel scares me as much or more than reinvent.

85. A Quinn Martin Production - May 8, 2008

#79 “Does “A Quinn Martin Production” respect “Cannon?”

..only during “ACT 1″.

.Just kidding, I love Frank…it’s that damn Barnaby that I have trouble with…he’s just not the same since he came into oil.

86. Jenny, Bloggess - May 8, 2008

Wesley Crusher was hot. Wil Wheaton is hot. Ninjas are hot.

I can’t really speak to Star Trek movies because I haven’t seen all of them but I did see the one where that bug went in that guy’s ear and then he could read minds and his head exploded. I think it was called “Scanners”? Or possibly I just dreamt all of that. Except for the part about Wil Wheaton being hot. That’s totally documented in the encyclopedia.

87. YUBinit - May 8, 2008

Without reading the posts I can pretty well guess what is being said by many. So having stood back a little while watching the posts I would like to just say this…

YAY WIL!

I recall watching the original airing of TOS when I was two. Later I too loved Star Wars when I was a young teen and puberty took hold. Then I grew and put away childish things… but never Trek. Let’s face it… only the first two SW (Ch. 4 &5) had any real merit. Everything else was infantile in concept, and nothing more than eye candy.

Lordy I hope that didn’t carry through with JJ in this incarnation.

88. That One Guy - May 8, 2008

I was talking with one of my friend’s earlier today, and it was agreed that this movie can do one of two things to the franchise:

1. Obliterate like we all want to obliterate Jar Jar
2. Revive it and keep it running for 40 more years.

Fortunately for us, the odds of JJ Abrams succesfully navigating an asteroid field of angry “purists” are much higher than 3,640-to-1.

As for Wil Wheaton being hot, I wouldn’t say so. Maybe when he was Wesley 20 years ago, but not so much now. I liked the boyish charm that he had. As for nowadays, I prefer Keanu Reeves (Circa: Matrix era). Black leather and trenchcoats can make anyone hot.

I don’t know why people hate Insurrection so much. I personally enjoy it, but that’s just me. My guess is that there is some nutjob out there who also enjoys Nemesis. To each his own, I guess.

Kirk
Spock ’08!

89. Jay - May 8, 2008

I completely agree with Will on the movies. I’ve said that before on other posts on this site.

Most of them are horrible. Number 2 is obviously the best in terms of story, acting and visuals. As a sci-fi fan and as a Trek fan, there are about 3 or 4 others that i enjoy, but at the same time i understand why they aren’t that great of sci-fi movies in general. Nobody is going to rate them among the top 100 sci-fi films of all time.

However, even as a trek fan, i’d say 5 or 6 could be described as “unwatchable”, or just plan bad. Hardcore Trekkies will watch anything with the Enterprise in it, no matter how horrible, so they of course will disagree. As a sci-fi fan that loves Trek, but not anymore than Star Wars, or The Matrix, or Terminator, or many other sci-fi movies in gerneral, i can be somewhat more un-biased and see the flaws in the bad movies.

It shouldn’t be an insult to Star Trek fans to say that those movies were bad. It’s an insult to the people that made them. The people that cut the budgets, that re-used stock footage, that just smashed together a Trek movie as fast as possible off of an assembly line in order to make a quick buck off of die hard Trek fans. Those are the people i’m mad at for making me waste my money on those films just because they put Star Trek in the title.

That’s why i’m also excited about the Abrams project because I’ve been saying for years, “Can you imagine what Trek could be like if they gave it the budget and effects of Star Wars with some real actors and agreat script?” And i’ve been wishing that day would someday come when someone would finally do that, and it looks like someone finally is.

So please, love Trek, but don’t be blind to the fact that from an unbiased, purely artistic sci-fi point of view, most of those movies were not good at all. It’s ok to admit it.

90. TrekkyStar - May 8, 2008

I like ALL trek (so far):
*TOS: Great character development! – 4.8
*TNG: Actors where perfect! – 4.5 stars
*VOY: Great! Captain trying to hold on to Starfleet Principles. – 4 stars
*ENT and DS9: Naked person and woman kissing woman not needed BUT the rest of the episodes are good. – 3.5 stars
*MOV 1-10: All are good, Data truely acted human!
*Star Trek XI: We’re just getting bits of information, so I’m not judgeing.

91. Hat Rick - May 8, 2008

I’m with you that we’ve always wanted a big-budget Trek movie, but let’s remember that we HAD one already: TMP. For its day, it was a pretty big movie and the best of the best in SFX was working on it. I’m referring, of course, to Douglas Trumbull.

Also, I think it’s quite a thing to say that we never had “real actors” on Trek. That’s unfair to the TOS and TNG cast (and other Trek cast) that did, in my view, a creditable job. It’s also unfair to noted actors such as Christopher Plummer (“General Chang” in VI) and F. Murray Abraham, an Academy Award Best Actor laureate. You can’t do better than receiving an Academy Award in Hollywood.

92. Hat Rick - May 8, 2008

(Clarification: My Message No. 91 was directed at Message No. 89.)

93. Chris Roberts - May 8, 2008

If people think Galactica Is brillent and say it wouldn’t be bad for a similar reimaging than they are not a real Star Trek fan.I hate what was done with galactica and I question why didn’t they just do an original property with
different names rather than pissing over It like they have done.

94. Chris Clow - May 8, 2008

I’m looking forward to meeting Wil at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend!

95. S. John Ross - May 8, 2008

Wheaton rocketh, verily.

Never did warm to his character. But the more I learn of Wil Wheaton, the bigger a Wil Wheaton fan I become.

96. demon barber of starfleet - May 8, 2008

I agree with his views of Abrams’ approach. I’m hopeful it will be good. But if you do TOO much re-inventing, to the point of removing what has made it endure for the past 40 years, you’re killing it.

Let’s just hope he’s upgrading in the right places and ONLY the right places, and leaving alone things that just shouldn’t be messed with. Crazy-awesome visual effects? Bring it on!! But if they try to Star Wars-ify it, I won’t waste the ticket money.

97. Denise de Arman - May 8, 2008

Jay#89- Honestly, Jay, I do not think the majority of ST fans are in denial about their supposed unhappiness with the ST movies. I will be the first to say that I do not love and adore everything about every ST movie ever made; however, why should any ST fan admit to something they do not feel? Yes, of course it is okay to “admit” if one does not like a certain movie, but just because you and Will Wheaton do not like the ST movies does not automatically mean there is something wrong with them. Maybe there is, instead, something wrong with your, and Wheaton’s, perspective. I do not need anyone, you included, to give me permission to dislike a movie, especially ST, and I am sure other fans agree.

98. Katie G. - May 8, 2008

#6. Denise de Arman

“Quite an opinionated guy. I wonder why he thinks so little of the Trek movies overall – his remarks do not fall in line with the opinions of most Trek fans, I am sure.”

OMG I totally agree. Haven’t read all the comments so I’m probably gonna get flack for this but, I’m beginning to think that Wil Wheaton is becoming a legend in his own mind.

Don’t get me wrong – – I defended him when many were bashing him in a “let’s hate Wesley Crusher” (previous) thread, but honestly – – he is starting to sound very pompous, almost like he thinks he’s an expert on Trek. Get over yourself, Wil, or you’ll lose the few fans you have left.

He’s just another human being who has an opinion that he is indeed entitled to so I hope no one takes his word as gospel.

And my fabulous friend Denise makes another excellent comment at #97 as well. Go Denise!!! Well said.

He was a kid when all this was going on. What could he possibly have know? Sounds like he is just repeating what he has heard others say. I WAS defending him but the more I hear, the less I am impressed with this young man. Also, the language he uses is totally unnecessary –

“…but I’m JJ F-ing Abrams and if I want to ‘reinvent’ this thing that means so much to you, I’m going to do it….”

Who are you trying to impress, Wil? Give it up. IT’S NOT WORKING.

Better stop before I say something I’ll regret later.

kg

99. Katie G. - May 8, 2008

Sorry –

“He was a kid when all this was going on. What could he possibly have KNOWN?”

kg

100. Katie G. - May 8, 2008

Don’t know if I can take a whole year of speculating.

NO ONE has all the facts and SO MANY are talking like they know what’s going to happen.

It is VERY DIFFICULT not to type this ENTIRE post in CAPS but Anthony has warned us about this.

Must……………….not…………………press……………….CAPS……………..LOCK………….. Aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

kg

101. Transparent - May 8, 2008

Seriously Katie? Seriously.

Wil knows his blog’s audience. You’re not it.

102. Katie G. - May 8, 2008

Guess it was mistakenly posted here.

:-D

kg

103. capt mike - May 8, 2008

Wil weatin is a cry baby. He quit star trek for what ever reason and now he is blogging about how bad the movies were. Well the movies were all good to great. Wil only had a small bit part in insurrection and i bet thats the only movie he liked.

104. DJT - May 8, 2008

Random thought. RE: MI3.
When the SUV got blitzed on the bridge, TC was launched *sideways*, or at least at a diagonal in relation to the explosion.

My big question is, will the Big E also fly sideways in the new movie?

And where the heck is KIRK? I want to see the new cast already.

;)

105. Papa Jim - May 8, 2008

Why is everybody tripping on the turbines? They have always been on the original Enterprise. Look at the old show. With the original effects. What do you think might be causing the “flutter” on the front of the warp nacelles?
Turbines seem a plausible answer to me.

106. Biodredd - May 8, 2008

WOW! For the longest time I used to be really in sync with Trek fanodom likes and dislikes.

Now I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. I certainly enjoyed movies 2, 3 and 4. I also enjoyed 6. But man it seems the trek fans absolutely hate Insurrection, which for is the TNG film I enjoyed the most out of the TNG movies committed to film.

I’d be interested in reading some well thoughout criticism on Insurrection to find out what I’m not seeing in this film that makes it a fandom dog. And I’m hoping for something more substantial than “it just really sucked.”

107. Adrick - May 8, 2008

“However, if this “reinventing” — which is such a loaded term in this post-Episode One world (5-19-99 never forget!) ”
“Speaking as a lifelong geek, my knee-jerk reaction when I hear someone talking about “reinventing” something like Trek is that it will be a tower of suck, built out of an endless supply of Jar-Jars and midichlorians.”

This coming from someone who played Wesley Crusher in the first season of Next Generation? A reinvention of a popular sci-fi franchise set in a different era than the original? One whose initial installment was less than promising at first? The irony is killing me… ;)

108. AJ - May 9, 2008

ST as a film franchise sure had its share of clunkers, but we watch them all the same. I have come to despise Insurrection even more than TFF, and that is after having re-watched it 2 times (long flight + iPod).

Fact is, it’s difficult to judge these as films when we’re complaining about how Worf keeps showing up on Enterprise or whether or not Admiral Dougherty is in Section 31. Many have said TFF “has some great moments.” It does, but they are bookended by crap. I wince when I watch it, but I have done so perhaps 30 times. I love my Trek.

Funny that WW mentioned the SW prequels. Whereas the Trek films always had some freshness, with different writers and directors popping in and out, Wars 1-3 had the same guys all the way. Lucas and friends cannot write politics or love scenes, and managed to make Samuel Jackson boring and wooden- 3 flicks in a row. It’s 1999 Lucas vs. 1976 Lucas, who made a kickass trilogy of high adventure, (well written) romance, and great characters.

109. Jaz - May 9, 2008

You know, for all the ripping that’s done on the Wesley character, people are quick to forget that it was actually pretty effective in bringing younger viewers into TNG. I remember being 4 or 5 and watching the first couple seasons. Most of it was way over my head, but the Wesley stuff clicked with me at a young age.

When I watch those episodes again, I recognize how silly much of it was. However, I think it was a necessary part of trek. I realized this when I noticed that my younger sisters were watching season 6 of Voyager so they could see the *cringe* borg kids.

110. Rowedogg - May 9, 2008

Wil makes sense. And Wesley Crusher rules!

111. James Heaney - Wowbagger - May 9, 2008

Wil is smart. He’s wrong about 80% of Trek movies being garbage (how can you hate Insurrection? Everyone loves Insurrection!), but he’s a very smart guy and I like reading his stuff.

Apropos of nothing, of course.

112. Anthony Pascale - May 9, 2008

I just want to say that I am disappointed in some of you who got personal and very disrespectful and rude. Getting guest bloggers here isn’t easy and some of you people make it all the harder to get the next one. You can disagree with someone without getting personal and petty. I am glad the majority understand this, but some people are on my list.

113. Lope de Aguirre - May 9, 2008

Two for mainstream audiences accessible Trek movies and another two which are good?

For me it could be true but which of the ten movies did he take in which category?

In my book there are II, IV, VI and VIII which are sort of compatible with the mainstream audience.

I would say VI + VIII are looked from today the most mainstream compatioble AND good Trek films.

Another two good ones?
I + II? II + VII?
I would go for I + VII but that’s my taste and both movies have some serious troubles.

114. fakesteve - May 9, 2008

This is a very thoughtful analysis by Mr. Wheaton, and nice addition to trekmovie.com. And, being a hardcore fan for almost 40 years now, I completely agree with him on the Trek movies.

115. AJ - May 9, 2008

I think many people have trouble separating Mr. Wheaton from the Wesley character he played 20 years ago. That character, a super-smart teenage boy, saved the ship just a few too many times, blah blah, etc.

But those episodes wrapped a long time ago, and it’s Trek history. Wil Wheaton is not guilty of playing this part. It was his job. Peter Cushing did not destroy Alderaan. He was hired to play a character that did so in a film.

And his comments on the blog with regard to JJ and TrekXI are not dissimilar to what a lot of us already fear about the film. He’s a true fan, and an insider to boot. I appreciate his opinion.

116. hitch1969© - May 9, 2008

re: 112. Anthony Pascale – May 9, 2008

Oh come on. Seriously? Hey, as editorNchief of FanMade by hitch1969 at trekmovies dot net smacksplash org, I have to take issue with you here. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT.

You cannot expect to post something as controversial as this and not expect the full speculum of orafice widenings.

You deleted one of my posts, and probably will delete this one too…

AP, give me hope in this site again. Young Wesley Crusher is not going to cut you off simply for negative remarks on his blog. In fact, I BILLieve that he invites this. If you want proof, see hitchworld.

LOVEYABABE!!

=h=

117. Anthony Pascale - May 9, 2008

read what I said

I will say it again “You can disagree with someone without getting personal and petty.”

This site has always tried to keep the discussion at a higher level. It is easy to use the anonymity of the Internet to play tough guy. But there is such a thing as politeness and respect. debate issues and ideas…dont get personal…its quite simple.

118. HamburgCaptain - May 9, 2008

111: Hey, finally another guy who likes Insurrection! I think it´s a great movie, much more in touch with TNG than First Contact. OK it is not very epic, but the franchise needed a “lighter” movie after FC. And Michael Piller was a fantastic story writer! I would have loved to see him creating more Trek incarnations.

119. AJ - May 9, 2008

118:

Insurrection actually had a race of people, the Ba’ku, who were despicable in their laziness, and unrepentant in their self-righteousness about the benefits of a life with no ambition, exploration or conflict. Their “highly ordered” minds were reduced to baking bread, playing hackysack, and 40 year apprenticeships to make basic crafts.

Also, Starfleet was retconned into a criminal organization, and Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham was reduced to a screaming effeminate scab of a villain.

The “message” of the film is that we can benefit by simplifying our lives, but it comes off as a wishy-washy California hippie fantasy which, in latter-day Trek fashion, has had all passion drained from it.

120. Hat Rick - May 9, 2008

119, let me take a more contrarian view, if I may.

The film wasn’t about laziness or lack of ambition at all. May I submit that, rather, it was more about the idea of chivalry — the defense of the weak by the powerful against the even more powerful.

You see, the film’s motivating plot element is stated in its title: Insurrection. Whose insurrection, exactly? Ah, but that’s the rub. Was it insurrection against the Federation? By whom?

You could argue that iDougherty’s forces, including the Federation officials who supported him, were the ones guilty of it; it was they, after all, who defied the Federation’s highest ideals.

You could equally argue that it was Picard and crew who committed insurrection. It was they, after all, who took off their Starfleet badges in defense of the Bak’u.

The question, then, is unsettled, in my view.

The point is that there IS conflict — conflict on a very big level. It is conflict that asks you: If everything you believed in were on the line, would you commit yourself to defending the defenseless against your own government? Would you follow your own conscience over that of your official duty?

The Bak’u meant no harm. They were peaceful, pacifist people. They saw an eternity in a moment, and loved life for what it was. They were — far from the futuristic hippies of “Return to Eden” — more like cosmic Buddhists, seeking to go in the mind where few of us have gone before.

Picard saw his duty as protecting the weak and in following the Federation’s ideals even when the Federation did not.

This, I believe, was the core virtue of Insurrection: Piety and faith in what is good, what is decent, and what should move us all.

121. Hat Rick - May 9, 2008

Correction: I meant “The Way to Eden.”

122. I Love My Moogie - May 9, 2008

Wil sure opened up a can of worms..or should I say Ceti Alpha eels!

123. Ripped Shirt Kirk - May 9, 2008

“However! Ron Moore reinvented BSG, and it’s the greatest thing ever, so reinventing things isn’t automatically horrible.”

Wow, I disagree with that on so many levels that i don’t know where to begin, THE GREATEST THING EVER? yeah sure : ( why not turn Kirk Spock and McCoy into womans full of angst, I’m certain that that would make startrek THE GREATEST THING EVER wouldn’t?

124. AJ - May 9, 2008

Hat:

Point taken. The Ba’ku were weak, but they were also soft and without character. Anij and the blonde kid were the only ones with any personality.

I prefer the LOTR view of mortality: that it’s a gift that gives one’s life purpose. This race had no purpose but to exist and eschew any kind of societal evolution. No more history.

Star Trek has had its share of annoying admirals and bureaucrats, but turning Starfleet into the bad boy never works (unless they are possessed by big crab-like bugs).

125. RAMA - May 9, 2008

I basically agree with what Wheaton has to say, though like some others here, I do think the majority of Trek movies are good for Trekkers or non-fans. Specifically STII, STFC, STIV, are great movies for anyone. ST NEM is a good movie accessible to non-fans (as I have turned many non-trekkers on to it)in a big way, and underrated. STVI is a decent movie that has not withstood the test of time well production wise. STIII is a very good movie BUT less accessible to non-fans. STTMP could have been a near masterpiece, but even with a director’s edition its just above average. STINS is not a bad movie but rather uneventful. STGEN is just badly conceived, badly executed and should not have included Kirk at all. And last but not least, the dregs of the barrel, and a movie that fulfills every negative stereotype of ST and ST movies, STV.

126. Phil123 - May 9, 2008

as far as being “a movie” is concerned, a lot of Star Trek does suck. they may have good character moments etc. that us trekies like, and therfor we enjoy some of the less good movies, but Will’s right.

127. AJ - May 9, 2008

123:

Star Trek XI: THE GREATEST THING EVER: WOMEN FILLED WITH ANGST

Opening scene. We see Jane T. Kirk walking quickly down a New York City street. She is overladen with branded shopping bags: Manolo Blahnik, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Calvin Klein. She turns into a trendy bar.

She moves towards a table, where we find her best friends Glenda McCoy and T’Spock sipping cosmopolitans.

Kirk: “I can’t believe it! $280 for shoes! And they’re a size too small. But I just HAD to have them!”

T’Spock: “Jane: To buy shoes which are too small is illogical. Tell me…have you ‘maxed out’ your credit card again as well?”

Kirk: “You betcha, girlfriend! I’m going out with Captain Big tonight, and I just needed to look great!”

McCoy: “Jane, will you two stop banterin’ and order yourself a drink already? (she starts to cry)

Jane: “Bones, what is it?…”

McCoy: “Will you stop calling me that?! I kicked my bulimia 5 years ago! (Sobs uncontrollably). Jack broke up with me! AaaaaHaahhh!”

T’Spock: “Glenda, you have suspected that Jack was fornicating with other women for years. Surely, it is illogical to assume that he would change. I suggest an increased intake of alcohol, a shopping spree at Bergdorf’s, and a pint of ice cream for this evening’s inevitable weeping session in front of the Desperate Housewives.”

McCoy: “He left me for a man! Aaaaahaaaa!”

Kirk orders another round of drinks

T’Spock: “Ladies, if you will excuse me, it is hour 7.”

Kirk: “Pon Farr again, T’Spock?”

T’Spock: “Yes. Every seven hours I must copulate with a humanoid male or else I will go insane. That busboy seems adequate.”

T’Spock gets up and mindmelds with the Mexican busboy, and they head towards the ladies room together.

McCoy (Laughing through her tears): “Jane. Do you remember the time T’Spock didn’t have sex on time?”

Kirk (laughs hysterically) “Boy, do I! The things friends will do for friends!”

Hysterical laughter. Commercial

128. Dif - May 9, 2008

I just have to say: HAHAHA to all those who are nitpicking at Wil Wheaton for ‘thinking himself an expert’ on Trek all of a sudden.

HAHAHA. What does everyone posting here think they are then?

I guess the majority of the people posting are members of that “I HATE WESLEY WHEATON…they’re the same person, right?” faction.

I’d still like to know why Wil Wheaton is considered to be such a pompous tool (apparently), while Denise Crosby is a-okay!

Wheaton started out a Trek fan…both basically bailed (for different reasons)…but Crosby is okay when Wheaton isn’t? WHY?!

The posting fanbase here is turning me off from ST more than the TNG movies and Enterprise and Rick Berman combined!

129. Jason - May 9, 2008

When the early films in the franchise were made the crew took an approach similar to Abrams. Look at quotes from Nick Meyer for example – trying to please fans is silly. You make an interesting and engaging tale and let people become fans. If they don’t like it they vote with dollars or come up with something else entirely. The beginning of the end for trek was when it got choked by continuity. TOS and early TNG constantly contradicted itself but was good because of the stories told. Now “fans” care more about making sure a fictional timeline or starship and uniform designs are kept canon and forget about the spirit of the show. Roddenberry was against making trek like star wars so the heightened emphasis on action may be a problem for the film but I really hope the production crew focuses on meaningful story and puts fan service on the back burner.

130. DrTaylor - May 9, 2008

Whoa. Definitely not first.

I gotta speak up in favor of Wil here. He’s just like us – and he’s a huuuuge geek. Seriously. If you want proof, read his books. People have a hard time realizing that in these situations because Wesley was a huge dork (totally different), but it’s true. And you can’t hold a role he held when he was fifteen against him. What’s good about listening to Wil is that he’s at the conventions on the other side. He plays both roles, and he’s had to endure a lot of crap for a role he had when he was a kid. I feel bad for the guy.

That said, he really is one of us in this instance, maybe more so, because he’s a Star Wars fan (Do they have a name? Warsie?) and not a Trekkie. At least not as his top priority.

Wanna know his feelings about Nemesis? Read his books. He writes about it in detail, including some not-very-flattering stuff about Stuart Baird. As far as we are concerned, he’s just another guy with an opinion – one that many of you might share. I know I’ve been there.

131. Gabriel Bell - May 9, 2008

#117 – Once again, thanks for monitoring so closely, and trying to keep people away from the negative bleating and braying. It really helps make the site stand out.

132. Trek Nerd Central - May 9, 2008

#117 I think what we’re seeing is the vulgarization of civic debate — the downside of the Internet’s open forum. People “say” things they never would in person.

On the other hand, Wheaton’s blog offers very robust opinion in very vulgar language. I myself find it entertaining — and I don’t excuse personal attacks — but if anything’s going to spark inappropriate comebacks, it’s just this sort of blogging. People in glass houses, etc., etc.

133. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 9, 2008

I don’t think Wil actually read the article he was blogging about. Just where exactly does JJ use the word, “re-inventing”? From what I can tell, that was the author’s term and choice of wording. Wheaton should read it again, minus the author’s title.

That term is, in fact, somewhat contradictory to what Abrams actually DID say in the interview.

134. Jack - May 9, 2008

127, the trek in the city = awesome.

135. AJ - May 9, 2008

132: TNC:

What I have found is that a small percentage of us really have the need to shoot down insider contributors. Bob Orci was seemingly insulted off the site a few weeks ago, and is only now showing himself again.

Wheaton made a sweeping generalization about the Trek movies, and used colorful language to express trepidation about potential issues with the new film. We all have our opinions.

I am not sure if Wil will read the posts here, as it seems like this was cut and pasted from his blog. But he didn’t insult anyone, but was insulted personally by some of us here in early posts. Completely unnecessary.

136. Trek Nerd Central - May 9, 2008

#135. I agree, I agree. Personal insults are always off-base, in my book. I’m always dismayed when I see them here, because I had thought this forum was above them.

I merely point out that the blogosphere itself (and the bloggers’ own choice of words in expressing opinion) fans the flames.

137. Chris Pike - May 9, 2008

Even though Nemisis was the worst, I still wouldn’t define it as unwatchable, but certainly missable. There are some of Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise which I can find unwatchable, but only a few (all of them are missable however!). Whatever my personal doubts may be about the new film, I am quite sure it will be unmissable, as was Cloverfield.

138. sean - May 9, 2008

#133

Thank you! I think people get themselves most worked up over things that never happened. Will said reinvent, not JJ or Bob. In fact, I can almost guarantee that JJ will never use that particular term, as I’m sure he’s aware of the negative connotation.

139. J M Enterprise - May 9, 2008

I just want to make a few comments on what’s been mentioned before.

1. Will’s comments that ‘JJ Abrams is only good at starting things’ I totally disagree with. ‘LOST’ is fantastic and still continues to be in season 4 and I know many fans that think season 2 is the best so far.

2. Although I love Star Trek movies they are no where near as good as the various series’s.

3. For me the most irritating movie was ‘ Generations ‘. It came almost immediately after the fantastic ‘All good things…’ finalle and yet somehow lost the entire feel of what made TNG such a success, plus so many mistakes in character development.

4. I Love ‘Insurrection’. A classic TNG story which captures again the sense of family amongst the crew and poses the real question of interferance and the Prime Directive.

5. I feel JJ Abrams will do a great job, bring on a full trailer to put all our fears at rest!

140. JSanders - May 9, 2008

ST Film Awards:

Finest Artistic Achievement: Undiscovered Country

Geek Favorite: Khan

Biggest Mainstream Smash: Tie – Voyage Home & First Contact

Most Underappreciated: Search for Spock

Most Plot Lines: Generations

Worst: Nemesis (a slight edge over Final Frontier)

Longest Acid Trip by an Editor: TMP

The “Oh, that film” Award: Insurrection (Seriously, a joy stick? That could replace “jumping the shark” in ST rhetoric)

141. JSanders - May 9, 2008

Oh, and another one (thanks #139)

Episode That Should Could Have Replaced At Least 80% Of The Films:

All Good Things…

:)

142. Hat Rick - May 9, 2008

39 (KennyB) and AJ, thanks for your comments!

Hope this thread doesn’t discourage Wil from participating here (personally or through his blog). Trek fans are passionate because there’s a lot of good stuff to be passionate about. We all just have to make sure we keep things civil, and many (though not all) of us are.

There’s a reason that there aren’t that many debates about, say, “Battle Beyond the Stars,” for instance. ;-)

143. Spock's Brain - May 9, 2008

GOTTA LOVE WIL WHEATON!!!

Wil, you said what NEEDED TO BE SAID.

Reading his stuff the last few years has given me a new appreciation for the person behind “Wesley”. So much so that now I actually like Wesley as a character.

Agree with you 110%, Wil, about the movies. This is my list (My definition of unwatchable is that I saw them once and I won’t go out of my way to see them again). And they are therefore “garbage”, because you use them once and discard them.

Top Two (tie for most accessible): TWOK & FC
Two Good Ones (tie): TVH & TUC
The rest (from okay to totally unwatchable):
STG
TSFS
STN
TMP
STI & TFF (Tie)

144. TK - May 9, 2008

#127 – Love it! more please!!!

Is really Will wheaton most famous for his role in TNG? I thought he was famous for being in Stand by me. I really liked him in it.

145. Jordan - May 9, 2008

I would say that there is only two unwatchable Trek movies. III and Insurrection are two that I simply cannot sit through all the way.

146. Crossmage - May 9, 2008

Hey Wil, thanks for twittering about this and getting me here – what an interesting read.

Thank God that nobody sits around discussing what I was like at 15!

I read Wil’s post to say the same thing I hear in so many replies. “I hope this will be great, but have some nervousness.” It’s how i feel too.

I also thought it funny to hear how much negative press that Insurrection has. i watched it with my 14 year old son last night and remember how it got us talking about how much courage it takes to stand up against what you know is wrong – especially when people you trust and respect are the ones you must stand up against.

This kind of discussion reminds me of the chats my dad and i had after TOS episodes about ideas like equality and courage to believe and stand up for what is right.

From that standpoint, the mythology of TREK is alive and well as fathers talk to sons….

147. Katie G. - May 9, 2008

#135. AJ

“…But he didn’t insult anyone, but was insulted personally by some of us here in early posts. Completely unnecessary.”

Whoa, AJ – – what do you call this quote:

“… I’m JJ F-ing Abrams and if I want to ‘reinvent’ this thing that means so much to you, I’m going to do it…” etc.

That really sounds like he’s insulting J. J. to me. Sorry, AJ. Love ya but have to disagree. I may have been a tad harsh, but he is coming off in a negative way. Maybe he doesn’t realize how he sounds.

I could be wrong but I consider this comment to be very disrespectful of J. J. Maybe some think it was funny. Maybe J. J. thought it was funny. He probably doesn’t need us jumping to his defence but I gotta admit it got to me. We are being accused of attacking Wil but what do you call what he did in the above quote? He attacks J. J., it’s okay; we call him on it and we’re accused of attacking him and are thus attacked. (Dizzying isn’t it?)

Statements like the above and other very “strong” statements he’s made have caused me to respond like this. It’s just my opinion that he could be more careful about how he says things. However, from what I’ve read, this seems to be his style. All I have to do is stop reading and listening. Glad to. He won’t miss me.

kg

148. Katie G. - May 9, 2008

#128. Dif

“I just have to say: HAHAHA to all those who are nitpicking at Wil Wheaton for ‘thinking himself an expert’ on Trek all of a sudden. HAHAHA. What does everyone posting here think they are then?”

No one here is claiming to be an expert. Funny thing is – – they are being just as bold and opinionated as Wil is, but are being called on it and he isn’t. We are all expressing our opinions (some a little more nasty than others, granted) but you seem to be forgetting something. You are now expressing your opinion just as we are. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

BTW, who said Crosby is okay while Wheaton isn’t? From the sounds of it, all she did was panic and make a poor business decision. Sounds like her gut told her she would be typecast so she panicked and quit. Some of the guest actors come to Conventions. They had a much smaller part than she did and they attend and talk like they’re bigshots so why is she being criticized? My goodness.

kg

149. Katie G. - May 9, 2008

#112. Anthony

“You can disagree with someone without getting personal and petty. I am glad the majority understand this, but some people are on my list.”

Well. I hope I am not on said list. Guess I’m surprised that you were so tolerant of Mr. Wheaton’s insulting J. J. That really got my goat and is what evoked my comment. Sorry if it was too much.

I certainly wouldn’t want to make him not want to post here. I just think he went too far by insulting J.J.

kg

150. Katie G. - May 9, 2008

To Wil Wheaton:

First of all if I offended you Wil (or anyone else), I apologize. I can be a bit of a smart-ass at times. However, some of your statements do come across rather harshly and they do evoke strong emotions. But you’re a big boy and I think your skin is a lot tougher than some think. I LOVED you as Wesley. You did your job excellently. Guess we just don’t see things the same way. May we agree to disagree agreeably?

Best wishes with your career.

kg

151. Jack - May 9, 2008

Wil is not totally off base, just paranoid like most of the people on this site. I would agree that if you objectively watch all of the movies it is clear that while each of them had great MOMENTS, only a few were really good films overall.
By the way, some one mentioned that they would have loved to see Shatner’s RETURN filmed. I have always said that the initial few shat books were the BEST Trek books hands down! Just fantastic. I think they would have made an amazing series of films.

152. Spock's Brain - May 9, 2008

Am I one of the few who gets what Wil wrote? Taken as a whole, his blog is very supportive of J.J. and hopeful for the future of Trek in his hands. He’s only breaking down J.J.’s comments and speculating on various possibilities from them. He puts the “I’m JJ-f**ng” in quotes because he’s creating a caricature of an ego-maniacal Hollywood producer to illustrate that that would be the wrong approach.

Wil is aware that Abrams is taking Trek to another level: “Making it for fans of movies instead of exclusively for Trekkies is something I can completely agree with, and shows that he understands…” Wil closes with: “If JJ Abrams wants to make his new Trek movie unlike the 80% of Trek movies that aren’t that good, that’s just fine with me.”

Wil, I’m confident you realize that most of these posters still live with their parents, or with roommates, can’t get a boyfriend (in the case of Katie G.), and are probably posting with one hand while the other is running the espresso machine at Starbucks.

To The Angry Posters: Before you all post your rants, try working on your reading comprehension by perusing something more complex than the latest Trek novel.

Seacrest out!

153. snake - May 10, 2008

out of the films as a whole i’d put them in this order (best to worst):

II = Classic (5 stars – we’re talking in the same league as Star Wars/Empire, Alien/s, Blade Runner, Terminator/T2, Apes 68 etc)

III, FC, IV and VI = great (4 stars)

TMP, GEN = ok (3 stars)

NEM, V, INS = bad (2 stars)

but then i am a big trek fan (of the movies series most of all)

regarding III – it always baffels me as to how its considered a lame one not just by movie goers in general but trek fans too…IMO its the 2nd best trek film after Khan..its a nice companion piece to Khan..and so many great scenes..the scene of them on the mountain watching the enterprise go down in flames is probably the best scene in the ENTIRE film series..

and the ‘Genesis trilogy’ itself is pretty much on a par with the original SW trilogy quality wise

34 & 73 & 105 – agree 100%!

Hey A Quinn Martin Production – you waiting for a big screen Invaders? I am…

154. snake - May 10, 2008

whoops – what happened there…?

155. AJ - May 10, 2008

147: Katie G:

I understand your point with regard to the “JJ F-ing Abrams” reference. But WW is not insulting him for something he’s done to Star Trek. I think he gives Abrams the chance to show that he is up to the challenge to transcend his current body of work and make Trek XI into a transcendent film.

JJ has his name in lights at the moment, and WW is challenging him to keep it there for all the right reasons. With colorful metaphors attached.

I, for one, do not like reading insults on a Trek forum. This format is wonderful for passive-aggressive posters who wish to remain anonymous while insulting fans and celebrity guests in the comfort of their home. It is also wonderful for fans and celebrity guests to come together and discuss this ridiculous thing called Star Trek to the nth degree, and not have to be insulted.

156. colonyearth - May 10, 2008

# 41 Commodore Lurker said:”If the rumor that Nimoy appears in “Spirit form” ala Obi Wan is true, I’m getting up and walking out and screw my $10.”

No one else that I noticed asked this, so I will. Just where in the universe’s name did you come up with this so called rumor? Anything you “hear” on the internet at this point is subject to serious dubiousness. Come ON! That sounds like something someone in a forum like this would come up with that’s somehow gotten ground as being in some way true! DO NOT believe the tripe you read on the internet, people. Especially this far off!

I have enough respect for Nimoy and everyone else involved to know that he wouldn’t have come out of retirement for some gimmick like that. He always said he would never play Spock again unless it was relevant. Well…that should tell you all something.

And Wil of all people should understand how the biz works when it comes to marketing. It’s been said on this site a million times that films are marketed differently depending upon the audience you’re trying to reach at the time. In larger more mainstream interviews JJ will most certainly continue to push the idea that this is a “new” Trek and a great film for all. It’s how he will bring in new audiences. This is something that from concept to completion and through release that Berman never understood.

All of you seem to have 10 second cat memories and have forgotten the effort and reassurance that JJ, Orci, et al have made to all of you on this very site in regards to their utter respect for all things Trek in this film and how they worked diligently to achieve something that will amaze Trek fans as well as new movie goers at the same time. Many of you can’t understand, can’t grasp that what JJ says in these mainstream interviews is not negating what he’s said to you! He’s marketing! Don’t take it as if he’s lied to you somehow and now the truth is coming out! My gods, people, use some modicum of common sense.

And as for the “reinventing” terminology…again with the 10 second memories, folks; JJ himself stated that the terms “reinvention” and “reimagining” did not really fit what they were doing with this film. So he…JJ Abrams…has denounced that term.

#11 I Love My Moogie said:
“Reinvent the beginning of TOS & everything we’ve watched that followed is wiped from existence. Our DVDs fearfully become transformed fantasies of what was once canon reality.”

This is a silly statement. I mean….really.

And if this film does in some way change the timeline slightly in order to allow for some wiggle-room in canon for future outtings, then I’m perfectly fine with that! It DOES NOT destroy what’s been done so far. Dr Who fans know how alternate timelines don’t destroy what’s come before. Let’s get real here, people and stop being children.

Attacking Wil personally is ridiculous and I’m with Anthony on that. If you disagree with him…fine, state your argument like an adult with some intelligence. Don’t go on a rant against the man. But then again, Anthony and those who agree with him, what can we expect from folks who are most likely from the U.S. (and before you think it so am I) who have learned from U.S. politics that that’s the way to win something. Don’t debate the issues, find something personal and exploit it. ENOUGH!

No matter what happens in this film, we will always have all that’s come before. It is diminished only in so far as you allow it to be. That is personal. For me, nothing that has come before will be diminished by this new film no matter what happens in it.

And lastly for me I would like to second what BaronByng said on May 8th in post #73… all of it! Here! Here! That is an intelligently written and well thought out post!

Come on, people, let’s not be the kind of people who believe every bad thing that’s said about something, or associate something bad to one thing that’s been linked in some oblique way (that’s U.S. politics again!).

It’s not all black and white and we Trek fans should be the first to know that.

As for the Trek films…everyone has their favs and goodness knows I’ve stated mine here many times. Suffice it to say I pretty much agree with snake in post #153 (who is also agreeing with many others):

“II = Classic (5 stars – we’re talking in the same league as Star Wars/Empire, Alien/s, Blade Runner, Terminator/T2, Apes 68 etc)

III, FC, IV and VI = great (4 stars)

TMP, GEN = ok (3 stars)

NEM, V, INS = bad (2 stars)”

Although I might actually be forced to give “Insurrection” only 1 star. It was…really bad. That and I would actually flip FC and TMP in the rankings, placing TMP with 4 stars (I’m sorry, it’s a brilliant, if a bit slow, film that is the most epic feeling of any of the films) and placing FC with 3 stars (although that’s still being generous for me as I would mostly give it 2 or maybe 2 1/2 stars since it’s filled with plot holes and just bad storytelling in general, not to mention horrific story structure).

Sadly none of the TNG films ever reached the level of most of the OC films…and I really wanted them to. I do hope that the TNG cast will get one more shot at it, perhaps in a send-off like UDC. I know there’s a great story yet to be told there.

And as for the “f-bomb”…

#22 hitch1969© said:

“He dropped the F bomb which personally I find completely unneccessary and totally offensive.

I always thought he was a punk. Now I am sure of it. Why dont we ask him about how gracious and ass kissy he was when Berman invited him back for a scene in Nemesis. ONLY to have cut the scene out.”

You are entitled to NOT read what is written. But Anthony did warn everyone that there were “colorful metaphors” in Wil’s blog. I’m sorry you don’t like the “f” word, but you are perfectly within your rights to NOT read that word at any time. I personally love the “f” word! It’s a perfect word that can be used in any form from verb to noun to adjective and so on. Not many words can say that. It has power and impact and any word can be made to be “bad” depending on your connotation of that word. So, please, if you don’t like it, that’s fine, but don’t deny the rest of us from using it. It is a free country and that pedestal you’re on could crumble at any moment.

CE

157. The Underpants Monster - May 10, 2008

I loved all the Star Trek movies save three, and one of the three I didn’t love, I liked. BUT, I really can’t say if that would have been the case if I hadn’t already been a fan of the TV shows when I saw them.

Of course, I don;t see anything at all wrong with making a movie primarily for the fans (or at least people who’ve heard of and appreciate) the TV show it’s based on. And goodness, gracious – with something like Star Trek, that’s millions of people. And if it’s a good enough movie, it’ll being in general sci-fi fans in as well.

My hope is that JJ is overstating things in the hope of distancing himself from the last couple of ST movies that flopped at the box office.

158. The Underpants Monster - May 10, 2008

P.S. I love WIl, and I loved Wesley, too.

159. Commodore Lurker - May 10, 2008

Decloaking . . .
I find it amusing rereading this thread that everyone seems to forget that all we have in regards to this film is rumor. And nothing else, except a few spy photos. We know about a red corvette, Sulu swordfighting, Star Fleet Academy, a cool looking shuttle craft at a “refueling station”, and the big E being built on Earth. We know about the cast, Nimoy, and allegedly time travel — but even that hasn’t been absolutely confirmed. Now we know that the film begins post-Nemesis, but does it really? We won’t know for sure for another year.

Everything we write on these threads and the purpose of this site itself is to feed conjecture, rumor, interest, and opinion.

They only people who actually know anything are Bob Orci, Kurtzman, and the rest of JJ’s Supreme Court. The actors themselves don’t know what is really in the film until the final cut and post-production is complete. Usually, actors see a film for the first time at the Premiere.

The point is if we aren’t voicing our conjecture and opinions why do we even bother touching the keyboard?

Until Paramount/CBS gives us anything concrete to talk about, why get so pissed off over opinion and rumor? Revel in the debate — that’s all we have for the next 362 days 10 hours 19 minutes and 42 seconds.

Wow, we are PADANTIC!

Recloaking.

160. Commodore Lurker - May 10, 2008

Decloaking . . .
Oh, and # 152 Spock’s Lack of Brain, just to keep Katie G. from ripping you a new one, she has been happily married for longer than you have apprently been on this earth.
Recloaking.

161. Katie G. - May 10, 2008

#155. AJ

Okay, I can see your point. Thanks, AJ. I’d better go back and re-read his blog. (Wish me luck.)

#152. Spock’s Brain

Good thing I read AJ’s comment before yours. You know, you nearly won me over. Then you started insulting people (including me). You should have quit while you were ahead. Wil “offended” me and I attacked. I “offended” you, and you attacked. How does that make you better than me? AJ was able to keep it friendly. Why don’t you give it a try?

As far as I know, everyone here would enjoy reading an intelligent, well-formulated comment instead of one that attacks and demeans those who don’t agree with them. So instead of insulting people who disagree with you why don’t you politely state the facts as you see them (like you did in your first two paragraphs), and admit that we’re all going to have different opinions? You would be keeping this website a place that people enjoy visiting.

I can totally admit that all I saw was the quote “J.J. F-ing Abrams” and immediately jumped to conclusions. My post was a little sarcastic and I admit that I pounced on Wil when I thought he was mocking J.J. It set me off. However, you apparently have a lot to learn as well:

“Wil, I’m confident you realize that most of these posters still live with their parents, or with roommates, can’t get a boyfriend (in the case of Katie G.), and are probably posting with one hand while the other is running the espresso machine at Starbucks.

To The Angry Posters: Before you all post your rants, try working on your reading comprehension by perusing something more complex than the latest Trek novel.”

Maybe you should add: “Oh, and by the way, it’s okay to attack someone who posts a comment you don’t agree with.”

We all make mistakes. Including you. Can you find it within yourself to apologize to everyone that you just insulted?

By the way, I have been a raving Trek fan since I was 11 (do the math) when Star Trek first appeared on the air waves and for good or bad, am very protective of Star Trek. I do not believe calling most of the Star Trek movies “garbage” is a very kind thing to do, even if that’s how one truly feels, REGARDLESS OF YOU ARE (or even who you THINK you are). We are entitled to our opinion and are free to say that we didn’t like this or that but to be so adamant and insulting doesn’t seem very wise to me.

I used to talk just like Wil until I grew up a bit. My husband (oh, yeah, FYI forgot to tell you that I’ve been happily married for 29.5 years) loved me, even in that state, and now appreciates me even more as I have grown up and become a kinder, gentler person. I am still friends with previous boyfriends who moved on and married someone else. I slip once-in-a-while, but on the whole I’m easier to live with.

Maybe that’s why I take exception to people who are like that. It’s an uncomfortable reminder of what once was. So why don’t you cut us some slack instead of looking down your nose at anyone whose opinion is different than yours whether they’re correct or not?

Oh btw anyone who can type with one hand while they’re running the Espresso Machine at Starbucks is pretty talented in my book. Are you insulting people who work at Coffee Shops like you insulted single people and those who happen to still live at home or share an apartment with a friend? My goodness that’s a LOT of people.

kg

162. Katie G. - May 10, 2008

#160. Commodore

R O T F L M B O! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Too late!!!!

:-)

kg

163. AJ - May 10, 2008

156 colonyearth:

One published press report recently said Nimoy’s Spock would appear as a “ghost” to his younger self. I read it in print. Cannot remember where. May have been the NY Times.

I actually trust Bob Orci in his assessment that XI will be great Star Trek and a great movie. But JJ himself still has much to prove.

I hope he avoids the confusing glop of LOST, and gives us a solid linear stand-alone story with good characters who can evolve.

164. snake - May 10, 2008

10. Melonpool – May 8, 2008
I wonder which Trek movies he’s talking about specifically

Two Accessible to Mainstream: Star Treks IV and First Contact?
Two Great: Star Trek II and VI?

Any other guesses?

*i’d say yeah thats what he meant..although maybe its II and IV as Mainstream and VI and FC as great…

IV was the most mainstream ‘the one about the whales’ ..and so was FC…but then II was pretty mainstream too..and its got even more mainstream as times gone on i think ‘KHHHHHHHAAAAAN!!’

I guess in the Average Moviegoer and movie critics opinions those 4 are pretty good (hence the even = good, odd = bad rule..bar Nemesis) and the rest well..suck

but as i’ve said before i think Search For Spock should be in amongst those 4 too…

165. Commodore Lurker - May 10, 2008

Decloaking . .
#160/161/162 Katie G.

Well, I tried to save you some typing and venting.

Alas, my lass, you fell into his cravass.

I hope your warp plasma is depleated for awhile.

}:-D>

Recloaking.

166. Commodore Lurker - May 10, 2008

Decloaking . . .
I really like Search for Spock, except the flakey-Vulcan-mystical-hippie-transcendental-telepathic-ritualistic stuff at the end
Recloaking.

167. Captain Robert April - May 10, 2008

I’ve already commented on Wil’s blog AT his blog. If you’re interested, go over and check it out.

As for which film is great and which is crap on a stick, I offer up my thoughts on each of ‘em (compiled some time back for my webpage, with some revisions):

TMP: When you take out all the side issues associated with this film (the constant rewrites, the last-minute changes in effects houses, the “it’s a tv show, now it’s a movie” waffling, the fact that this was the first new live-action Star Trek in ten years, etc..), and just look at the film itself, especially the Director’s Edition (aka “Wise Finally Gets To Finish The Damn Thing”) what you’re left with is a movie that is probably closer to the feel of the original Star Trek than almost any of the following films. Considering that the plotline is derivative of more than a few original series episodes, most noticably “The Changelling”, “The Corbomite Maneuver”, and “The Doomsday Machine”, this really shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Still, the plotline, and its resolution, are classic Star Trek. The problems lie mainly in the area of execution, especially with regards to pacing, the amount of time devoted to special effects, and the overly somber mood throughout this film (I don’t count characterization since Kirk and Spock not quite being themselves is integral to the plot). After screening the first pilot, William Shatner mentioned to Gene Roddenberry that the characters were taking themselves far too seriously, instead of just doing their jobs like people normally do their jobs, with a bit of a sense of humor. In this film, that piece of advice is, for the most part, ignored. With Gene Roddenberry trying to show just how much in control he was, Star Trek was returned back to the mood of “The Cage” (“We’re in space, and this is serious, serious stuff, kids! Ooooooh, aren’t we so important that we’re in space doing this important work! Can’t you just feel the tension?”).

The bottom line: It’s definitely Star Trek. In fact, it’s pretty good Star Trek (not great, but pretty good, especially the final director’s cut with all those crucial character development scenes put back in!), but as a movie, it’s a little slow in places, puts too much emphasis on special effects over plot and character development, and really needed a bit more color in those sets and costumes.

TWOK: After the budgetary and scriptwriting debacle of the first film, this one had one primary edict: Make it cheap, make it fast, and don’t feel compelled to listen to everything Roddenberry says. And in that respect, it succeeded, and surpassed all expectations. Despite a myriad of techinical blunders (what the heck is an energizer, anyway?), occasionally hackneyed dialogue, and characterization that occasionally missed the mark (the Spock-McCoy arguments struck me as a bit too vicous), ST II continues to be an entertaining romp with characters we know better than our own families. Granted, the uniforms were a bit jarrring at first, but after a while, they kind of grow on you.

Bottom line: As a movie, it’s a great action-adventrure romp, with great characters, from the familiar Enterprise crew and the now revenge-driven Khan to everyone’s favorite Vulcan-Romulan junior officer, Lt. Saavik (Kirstie Alley had just enough of that Romulan passion to show everyone “I’m not a Spock clone in drag!” Now if only the skinflints at Paramount had ponied up with more cash for the next movie…). As Star Trek, it hits more than it misses, and the misses aren’t crucial to the plot anyway, so it still works.

TSFS: In a Phil Foglio comic strip in Starlog, he shows two characters debating how Spock will be brought back, with one of the characters declaring that since Leonard Nimoy directing the next film, then Spock’s resurrection will assuredly be done in a tasteful, thoughful manner. The last frame shows Nimoy flipping the script for ST III, saying to the offscreen producer, “I particulary like the part where I rise again on the third day.”

Thankfully, the final result actually did come in more dignified than that.

In this one, Nimoy gets to show just how much he knows Star Trek, and flex his directorial muscles. In short, Leonard Nimoy knows Star Trek, probably better than Gene Roddenberry ever did. The characterizations are dead-on perfect, the right amount of humor is present, and the plot never, ever drags. The only problem with this movie is the fact that it’s only 90 minutes long, and with a movie as tightly paced as this one, that’s short. However, anything else would be seen as padding, so, in the end, it’s better to have a really good 90 minute film than a two hour film that’s been padded out.

Bottom line: It’s Star Trek, it’s a great movie, and it definitely leaves you wanting more (kind of like having a big meal, then having dessert cancelled).

TVH: This is the dessert. ST IV is a Star Trek story in the classic tradition. Earth, and therefore the Federation, are in dire peril, only the Enterprise crew can save the day (and this time, it’s not because they’re the only ship in the quadrant; actually, because they’re the only ship that wasn’t in the area and didn’t get itself whacked!), and we have a nice social commentary thrown in for good measure (as a result of the high profile of ST IV, especially internationally, whale hunting has finally been revealed as the butchery that it is, and whaling as an industry is finally on its way out).

The story is well-paced, characterizations are letter perfect, and there’s just enough special effects to get the point across, but the story doesn’t depend on them. As Star Trek, it’s a resounding success. As a movie, well, the big box office take speaks for itself.

TFF: Okay, so this wasn’t one of Star Trek’s proudest moments, but there are some good points to this one (not many, but a few).

First off, William Shatner’s directorial style is well showcased in this film. It’s quick paced, never drags, is suspenseful when it’s supposed to be, and, like the director himself, never stops moving..

The characterization is uneven, especially with regard to the supporting characters, but the portrayal of the “big three” of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are as enjoyable as ever, even if they’re not served very well by the storyline (all this craziness and introspection, and the big payoff is that Spock can now play “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with a clear conscience? Puhleeeaze!!).

And this is the biggest problem with the movie, the plot, and is where most of the problems with characterization and continuity are most prevalent. While the earlier drafts were far worse (for instance, originally, the Enterprise really did find God!), the final product is still far from showing our crew in a very favorable light (experienced Starfleet officers, all legends in their own right, being taken in by a charlatan who better belongs in an airport concourse handing out personality tests? I don’t think so…).

The best aspects of this movie are 1) at the end, the crew is all ready for the next event, the ship is intact, and all is right with the universe, and 2) this movie was quickly invalidated by the TNG episode “Sarek” in Picard’s opening log entry in the episode’s teaser, so it doesn’t count anyway.

The best way to watch this film is in the form of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 parody, where we get to see it with Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo (“It’s Super Spock to the rescue!”).

TUC: The Star Trek movie franchise got back into high gear with this one. Basically a commentary on the breakup of the Soviet Union, continuing the long Star Trek tradition of commenting on current events, we get what we’ve become accusomed to getting from Leonard Nimoy, an excellent story that works as both Star Trek and as a movie.

Gene Roddenberry is said to have alternately liked this movie, hated this movie, felt indifferent about this movie, had problems with this movie, and never heard of this movie.

Frankly, the only problem I had with this movie was the use of the term “right standard rudder” when starships don’t have rudders, and this term has never been used, before or since, in the entire history of the Star Trek franchise (just a sniggling problem, since it has nothing to do with the plot). That, and the pinkish Klingon blood (done to avoid an “R” rating for excessive gore; apparently the MPAA doesn’t consider it gory if the buckets of blood are colored like Pepto Bismal…).

All in all, this was the perfect send-off for the original series characters.

GEN: Then we have this one. Suffice it to say, I was not happy.

For example:

The Death of Captain Kirk – With Kirk out of the way, no more adventures with the original crew. Even if the other characters were assembled, Kirk’s absence would be painfully obvious. (Needless to say, I’ve become a big fan of Shatner’s Star Trek novels.)

The Destruction of the Enterprise-D – This was the most visible symbol of Star Trek: The Next Generation, proof that Gene could catch lightning in a bottle twice. With its destruction, the biggest example of his influence also goes up in flames. What makes it worse is that it doesn’t advance the plot one iota. It was done simply because the art department was bored with the E-D and wanted to design a new ship.

The Destruction of Data – And let’s be honest here, with that cockamamie emotion chip, the Data we all knew died. Data was Gene’s window on humanity, his way to view it from outside and comment on it. That window has now been shattered.

The Death of Rene Picard – This is a bit more subtle, but remember the last shot in the episode “Family”, with Rene sitting under the tree looking up at the stars? Once upon a time, that little boy was Gene Roddenberry, dreaming of sailing the stars in some sort of spaceship like an interstellar Horatio Hornblower. Killing Rene (by fire, no less!) seems to be saying “The dream is dead, and we’re now using the corpse to stoke our own fire.”

Couple this with the numerous, and oftentimes blatant, violations in the established continuity throughout the film, which I’ll get into later, and you have the distinct impression that the powers that be, which in this case are frequently identified as Rick Berman and Michael Piller, with Ron Moore and Brannon Braga being identified as coconspirators (I don’t know why Jeri Taylor is generally left off the hook; maybe she’s given fans a better impression than the others) really don’t give a flip about what the fans feel or what their opinions are. They just expect us to be good little Trekkies and accept whatever product they put out, regardless of quality, just because it has the Star Trek name on it. For instance,

1) The Continuity Breaches: Scotty’s presence on the Enterprise-B (dialogue from “Relics”, Act I, when Jimmy Doohan looks at Riker and says,”The Enterprise? I should’a known! I bet Jim Kirk pulled her out of mothballs himself and came lookin’ for me!” pretty clearly established that Scotty knew nothing about what happened to Kirk, or anything about the Enterprise-B; all of this was known to Berman, who hoped that “no one would notice” Shyeah! Right!),

The appearance of the Enterprise-B (remember that sculpture in the observation lounge? That showed the Enterprise-B as a straight Excelsior class vessel)

The appearance of Data’s emotion chip (in the two episodes in which we saw it, “Brothers” and “Descent pt II”, it was depicted as a small c-clip, and was not functional when Data, who was about to destroy it until talked out of it by Geordi, puts it away in what looks like a watch case. When we see it in Generations, it’s grown to a two-inch square contraption suspended in what appears to be some sort of magnetic field, which is generally a bad idea for computer components. Plus, instead of installing it in Data’s neck, as Dr. Soong originally intended to do, Geordi installs it in his head! By the way, shouldn’t one of them have notified the captain before they undertook what amounts to reprogramming the ship’s operations officer?)

The performance of the Enterprise when attacked by the Duras sisters (whatever happened to backup systems? the aft torpedo tubes? rotating the shield frequencies? ejecting the core?)

In my calmer moments, I’ve acknowledged that if you took away the Star Trek elements from Generations, then it was an okay movie.

Unfortunately, we can’t do that. It has all those Star Trek elements, and that includes thirty years of baggage to lug along behind, and several million volunteer sherpas more than happy to point out where you screwed up in Scene 23.

Combine these, and more (I only touched on the highlights) with the credibility gaps (whoever heard of commissioning a ship that only had half her systems installed? And about that bit about how you couldn’t get into the Nexus with a ship. How did Soran first get in there? In a ship. How did Kirk get in there? In a ship. It didn’t matter that the ship was blasted around them, they were in the Nexus, which itself came across as the ultimate desperation device; just throw it up on the screen, and the only explanation of why it does what it does is that it’s a temporal anomaly (an explanation that has been sliced, diced, and turned into fifty-seven different types of pretzel by various posters on AOL and BBS’s across the wonderful land of ours). Even spatial rifts have to follow rules, and the Nexus violated just about every one, with the exception that it was strange. It’s impossible to be a self-respecting viewer and just accept some of this stuff.) and you have thirty years of pretty consistent continuity tied up into a very ugly knot, and a very touching series finale overshadowed by a very confusing, muddled, and sometimes insulting, film. It’s very telling that in the DVD commentary track, Moore and Braga seem to be constantly asking themselves, “Why did we do this scene?”

FC: Okay, I’ll admit I was very doubtful of this one (I got a copy of the synopsis early on, and sent my blow-by-blow dissection to Ron Moore; he never has responded directly to my comments….), but thankfully, the finished product came out much better than that synopsis (a few key changes, namely leaving out the horribly contradictory backstory for the Borg Queen, and scaling back on a few of the “really spectacular” moments that we had in store for us, like the Borg dodecahedron ship, or Data becoming fully human, then being reduced to a “Terminator-ish” metal skeleton in the final fight with the Borg Queen).

A large portion of the credit for this film goes to director Jonathan Frakes, TNG’s version of Leonard Nimoy when it comes to having a basic understanding of the material and a respect for the viewship. I’m convinced that if Paramount had stuck with the promotion of this film a little longer, it would have surpassed ST IV’s box office totals.

We have some excellent character development, at least with regard to Picard, Data, Zefrem Cochrane, and Lily Sloane, no major contradictions in continuity (what does get contradicted is either acknowledged and done is such a way that it leaves open the possibility for an explanation to reconcile it with the established continuity, like the Borg Queen, or the point was conjectural anyway, like the date of Cochrane’s first warp flight, and is close enough in this case; as for why Cochrane looks like James Cromwell instead of more closely resembling Glenn Corbett takes a bit of a stretch, but what can ya do…).

Bottom line: Good Star Trek, good action-adventure movie, and an excellent recovery from Generations.

INS: I’ve stated elsewhere that Insurrection ranks as one of the best of the series. I would like to restate this stance a bit.

Frankly, this is the kind of story Star Trek has always been best at, which is one of the reasons I think this one is possibly the best of the series when you look at it as a Star Trek story.

As a movie, well, it’s okay. Not exactly monumental, but then again, how many of us have been clamoring for them to get back to the lower key stories and lay off the attempted megasuperbombastic blockbusters because they just didn’t measure up?

As a Star Trek story, it hits the mark quite well. This is precisely the type of story that Star Trek was meant to tell, an analogy to events right here on Earth.

Where it falls short is as a movie, a stand-alone film, and too much of the success of the storyline depends on the audience knowing something about the Star Trek mythos, specifically the TNG end of things. The TOS movies had an advantage in that category in that enough of the general public knows about Kirk, Spock, etc., whereas Data, Riker, Troi, etc., are not as well known to the average mundane movie goer.

Bottom line: As another installment of the TNG storyline, it succeeds. It fails in that the story itself isn’t exactly an event (it could very well have been told during the regular run of the series, possibly within a single hour), and with that constantly in the background (in a movie theatre, it’s tough to ignore), it’s just hard to get excited about this one, hence the feeling of being let down.

Eventually, this film will most likely take its place among the best of the movies, and certainly the best of the TNG movies, but so long as the spectre of the poor box office return looms over this film, it will continue to be counted among the turkeys.

(Now some new stuff, since I haven’t updated the site in a while. Oops).

NEM: Oh, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways….

TFF at least had its heart in the right place, GEN was more of a case of the writers being in waaaaaaaaaay over their heads, and INS just wasn’t a big enough story to justify a big budget movie.

Nemesis was just plain dumb, and the director didn’t care. That’s what makes this one particularly noxious.

I’m not going to go into detail on this turkey, aside from pointing out the egregious violation of the Prime Directive committed by none other than Jean-Luc Picard simply because Patrick Stewart wanted to do some off road racing. Snip that whole sequence out, and a lot of the stench clears. There’s still the matter of the hackneyed plotline, but at least the intelligence level of the movie increases by around fifty points.

I’ve also got issues with putting that hideous rubber forehead on a babe like Dina Meyer. Whoever okayed that move should be shot. Twice. Where it really, really hurts. Then pistol whipped for good measure.

And of course, the whole contrivance of a clone of Picard. Putting aside the issue of where the frack they got the genetic material to produce a clone in the first place, wouldn’t you think a clone would at least LOOK a bit more like the donor? If they didn’t want to have Patrick Stewart do a double role, how about Ben Kingsley? He’s an overgrown fanboy, he’d probably have loved to do this one, even with the idiotic script (he did Thunderbirds and Bloodrayne, so why not?). Oh, and it’s a well established fact that Picard had hair when he was a youngster, right up through the time he was commanding the Stargazer. Did anyone bother to point this out to Stuart Baird, the editor who thought he could direct?

Bottom line: While it’s good to make a Star Trek movie where you, the viewer, don’t have to have memorized the Concordance to understand it, it doesn’t do anyone any good if the guy making the movie doesn’t know squat about Star Trek and clearly doesn’t care. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Here’s hoping JJ and Co. have learned well from the previous examples.

168. Harry Ballz - May 10, 2008

Nice review, Captain April!

169. Katie G. - May 10, 2008

#167. Captain Robert April

Wow.

kg

170. Spock's Brain - May 11, 2008

#161. Katie G.:

I was spoofing the stereotypes of geeks. Remember the SNL skit where Shat told a roomful of Trekkies to ‘Get A Life”? Of course, there’s nothing wrong living with roommates, parents, working at Starbucks, or spending endless hours debating fictional characters (which I share with you all).

And I would’ve bet $$ that Katie G. is attached (I joked about it because who gives a hoot either way?) I DON’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. OMG!

I threw every stereotype, but the kitchen sink, into that long sentence as a humorous apology to Wil.

Try to develop a less literal sense of humor. So I do still recommend some of you read more. And I am not as good a writer as think I am.

Seacrest out!

171. Captain Robert April - May 11, 2008

Might as well drag over what I posted on Wil’s blog (edited for content, of course…):

* * * * * * *

One problem we’re having with all the happy talk from JJ is that he’s talking mainly to the mundane press, not us, so his comments are aimed primarily at convincing them to come see this thing, not to keep us on the reservation. It’d probably help a bunch if he’d stop in somewhere and talk directly to us (trekmovie.com, trekbbs.com, wherever).

Another troubling bit is the g*ddamned secrecy. This isn’t Lost or Cloverfield, this is Star Trek, and we like our spoilers fresh and hot off the spies’ cameras and fax machines and we like a lot of ‘em. So far, all we’ve got is a teaser trailer with a bloated monstrosity posing as the Enterprise, that may or may not actually be from a more violent alternate timeline.

Y’see, some of us need certain assurances that this “reinvention” doesn’t result in about forty years’ worth of continuity getting flushed down the crapper just because someone thought the Enterprise needed a pair of big ginormous engines with the tailfins from a ’58 Cadillac.

We already know who the cast is, so a group photo of them in uniform wouldn’t spoil anything, right?

And this is supposed to respect canon, so by all rights, the ship should look pretty much the same as she did during the run of the series, right?

SO WHY IN THE FLYING F&%K ARE WE NOT GETTING EVEN A TENTH OF THE KIND OF PUBLICITY THAT IRON MAN GOT!?!?!

I don’t need a copy of the script, or even a TV Guide synopsis of the plot.

Just show me the f#%king ship, the way she looks at the end of the movie. If she looks right, I’m there.

* * * * * * *

As a follow up, I’d like to point out that we were getting early concept pictures of the Iron Man suit before Robert Downey, Jr. was even cast. About a year before the movie came out.

SO WHERE THE HELL ARE THOSE PICTURES OF THE ENTERPRISE!?!

172. Xai - May 11, 2008

171. Captain Robert April – May 11, 2008
“SO WHY IN THE FLYING F&%K ARE WE NOT GETTING EVEN A TENTH OF THE KIND OF PUBLICITY THAT IRON MAN GOT!?!?!

I don’t need a copy of the script, or even a TV Guide synopsis of the plot.

Just show me the f#%king ship, the way she looks at the end of the movie. If she looks right, I’m there.”

Iron Man just came out. Trek’s a year away. They have different production teams, directors and media plan. As for IronMan getting more press before it’s release… I disagree. Trek has far more mentions and notice two years before it’s debut.
I don’t see where you think a rant like this does you, or any of us, any good. We are all frustrated and want to see more, but this insulting piece just makes fans look bad. You and I have no idea if this shows drastic change to Enterprise and in what context, but perhaps some patience is in order. Calm a little.. it’ll happen eventually.

IMO

173. Katie G. - May 11, 2008

#170. Spock’s Brain

Tell you what: I’ll learn to read between the lines if you’ll learn to write more carefully. Deal? If not, you’ll have to work on your apologies.

Btw, love the moniker (Spock’s Brain). It is one of my favourite eps. It’s so bad it’s good.

Thanks for the note.

kg

174. Hicks - May 14, 2008

Wil is an awesome guy, a great actor, and a wonderful writer. #22 and those like him/her couldn’t be more wrong. While I disagree with his views on the movies, I can at least agree that there are many Trek films that are inaccessible to outside audiences, and at least a few that were downright bad.

175. BV - June 8, 2008

Recently I re-watched all the Trek movies. This time as a 30 something not a kid or t-ween. Sadly my childhood memories somewhat embellished these movies as better than they really were.

STMP I disliked as a child, but watching as an adult I see how ambitious it was. The production values and attention to detail are a degree above all trek films since. The story is if anything a bit too advanced, showing a future where brains trump phasers. This is the one film I rate higher as an adult than I did as a kid.

TWOK was my childhood favorite,but as an adult it feels like a cheap unpolished production. The editing was horrible, and the actors didn’t seem challenged. Its like the director only took one take of every scene and shot the whole thing in a week. While the overall story is epic, the dialog was more cliche than a Schwartzenhager film.

As for the other original cast shows: 3 was 2 without a good story. 4 was humorous in the 80s but not so much in 08. Five, a train wreck in every category. Six was a decent run but its cold war plot makes less sense a generation after the Berlin wall.

The TNG movies except nemisis are more contemporary and adult friendly however never quite epic. Of them only First Contact had a worthy script, the others had weak scripts. Nemisis is the only film with fewer redeeming qualities than Star Trek 5.

It just seems that at a tender age we sometimes remember things a little better than they were. It still speaks volumes that the stories were so endearing. But its clear when judged critically as films, not stories, these movies are not even close to Oscar material.

So in the end I’ll back up Mr. Wheaton’s statement that not all of the Trek Movies were all of that.

176. Will H - July 9, 2008

Im just glad that someone’s finally stepping up and saying “hey, its possible that JJ could fuck this up and this movie could blow” Wil made a good point about bringing up the whole episode 1 thing, this could be the same thing, or it could be the next BSG, who knows. If this does work I hope JJ doesnt stick with the TOS crew forever cause come on, even in the Star Trek universe time tends to move forwards, not backwards.

177. private loan consolidation - September 16, 2010

A friend and myself have been reasoning all-around a subject much like this a single! Now I encounter that I used to be proper. lol!

178. April bishop - December 16, 2010

Hello,
Nice article for anyone who need plan for wedding. I like it very much. Thank you for writing such type article. I will arrange a wedding ceremony very soon and this site helped me.
Thanks

179. Raphael Lichtenstein - July 31, 2011

Oh my gosh many advantages! a huge article man. Many thanks However I’m encountering subject with third rss . Don’t know exactly why Struggling to sign up to that. Can there be anyone acquiring comparable rss or atom downside? Anybody who knows i implore you to reply. Thnkx

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.