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Abrams & Orci: Star Trek Sequel To Be Modern-day Allegory September 15, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,Orci/Kurtzman,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

We have another update on the Star Trek sequel, this time JJ Abrams and Bob Orci talk about how they are looking to the roots of Star Trek and how it has been a way to tell modern-day allegories, possibly dealing with war and torture. Latest details come from a new LA Times, interview, excerpts below.

 
 

Abrams and Orci, looking for an allegory
Star Trek on TV and in the feature films has famously dealt with issues of the day. And apparently Bob Orci and JJ Abrams are looking to bring some of that allegorical element to the next Trek. Firstly JJ told the LA Times:

"The ambition for a sequel to ‘Star Trek’ is to make a movie that’s worthy of the audience and not just another movie, you know, just a second movie that feels tacked on. The first movie was so concerned with just setting up the characters — their meeting each and galvanizing that family — that in many ways a sequel will have a very different mission. it needs to do what [the late 'Trek' creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story. There needs to be relevance, yes, and that doesn’t mean it should be pretentious. If there are simple truths — truths connected to what we live — that elevates any story — that’s true with any story."    

And Bob Orci added:

We’ve literally had two meetings now. We haven’t decided anything but we’re starting to circle around some ideas. We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.’ We’re trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what’s going on today as possible. So that’s one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today.

So what modern day issues? Is War and Torture in our Trek future?, Here is another excerpt:

I asked Orci somewhat flippantly if that meant we might see Starfleet grappling with the ethics of torture or dealing with a rising terrorist threat or perhaps a painful, politicized war with the Klingons.

"Well yeah, those are the kind of issues we’re talking about. Wow, you’re good! But seriously that’s the way we’re thinking, that’s an approach. So if you have any ideas … "

More at LA Times

Star Trek and Allegories
There are many examples of Star Trek dealing with issues of the day, some of which even evolved over time, like how the Klingons were always the stand-in for the Soviet Union during the cold-war in the 60s on Star Trek: The Original Series [see clip below] and then detente of the late 80s and 90s in The Next Generation and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Although torture is an issue of today, it was also something that was explored in the season six TNG episode "Chains of Command".

Osama bin Khan? Tali-Klingons?
This talk of modern-day allegory brings back the talk of whether the film will be going back to the well and bringing back original series elements, or creating their own. Even though they may be doing a modern story, they could always use a classic baddie. Being that we are in an alternative universe, it is possible that the Star Trek team could reshape a famous Trekkie baddie to be a stand-in for the modern era. Khan could emerge in this time to be some kind of terrorist leader. Klingons, who were cut out of the Star Trek movie, could come back for the sequel as some kind of allegorical space Taliban, who knows.

All in all it is good to see Abrams and Orci looking back to the roots of Trek for inspiration. Using sci-fi and Star Trek to tell a modern story is great, and in fact this summer’s District 9 was a prime example of how well the genre can tell a nuanced and thought-provoking topical story. However, hopefully it can be done without losing the optimism that worked so well in the 2009 Star Trek movie.


"District 9" – a sci-fi film dealing deftly with S. Africa race relations

 

Comments

1. Rocket Scientist - September 15, 2009

I like what I’m reading here!

2. Geodesic17 - September 15, 2009

I love this!

Sybok doesn’t have to be a disliked… uh, villain… in this new timeline. Maybe there are some emotional, vengeful Vulcans out there after the events of last movie? Although, that sets up another revenge plot.

3. Geodesic17 - September 15, 2009

*Fingers crossed for an Undiscovered Country style Star Trek movie*

4. Frederick - September 15, 2009

Whatever, but no Khan, PLEASE. We want new stories, not rehashes.

5. Eric Cheung - September 15, 2009

Cool. Of course, I hope it’s something that fits organically into the world they’ve created, and that the characters inform the plot instead of the other way around. If that’s the case then hopefully we’ll have some powerful complex drama with nuance so that it doesn’t become preachy.

6. Trek Nerd Central - September 15, 2009

Excellent, excellent, excellent news.

But still, I wanna know: Will there be a FLYING LEG KICK?

7. Sybok's Secret Brother - September 15, 2009

This is WONDERFUL news!!!

That is indeed the core, the very soul of Star Trek.

Thank-you.

8. Jim Nightshade - September 15, 2009

Yes! Sounds like the supreme court have the right idea! They can still do almost anything within that framework but its great to hear they are out there looking for that-to make trek more than just a scifi shootemup- take that star wars-trek actually means something sometimes-

9. Open Maw Productions - September 15, 2009

I just hope this doesnt turn into a big soap box for lefty or righty political pandering. Ironically episodes like “A Private Little War” took the practical route when discussing these issues, and were not concerned with proving who specifically was right or wrong, but what can and might happen in certain situations. and the tough decisions that must be made. TOS was very good at speaking plainly without polarizing its audience.

Not to mention if this goes with a strongly anti war message I will have to laugh because this new franchise used lots of “Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll” in its previews. Violence, action and explosions, and sex to promote to a wider audience.

So if Trek is going to be serioues than it needs to be genuinely serious about such issues and tackle them in a fashion that lets both sides of the audience at least have a sense they arent being told to sit down and shut up.

In any event I look forward to see the next one!

10. Techtrekker - September 15, 2009

Very cool news!!!

Whatever you do, please make it subtle and thought provoking. Make sure we have to think on different emotional/political/cultural levels. Do not give us a 2D allegory which is plain as the nose on our faces that can only be true from one point of view.

Please do not cater to the lowest common denominator. :-)

11. Chris Dawson - September 15, 2009

Just make a film that makes us think.

Forget “box-office only” mentality – that’ll be the tough part.

12. MC1 Doug in Norfolk, Va. - September 15, 2009

Me like….

Finally, someone is talking about making a relevant TREK, with the core ideas and philosophies that Mr. Roddenberry would approve of.

Of course, it’s a long way to production, but this definitely sounds promising.

13. Jason P Hunt - SciFi4Me.com - September 15, 2009

Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.??

How about: MAKE SURE IT ACTUALLY HAS A STORY WITH AN ACTUAL PLOT AND INTELLIGENT PLANNING?

14. jas_montreal - September 15, 2009

great news ! Glad to see this next trek movie will ACTUALLY talk about something. Hopefully it’ll be a trek movie that would make Gene proud.

15. Jim Cude - September 15, 2009

A 9/11-style attack on San Francisco prompts a smirky President of the United Federation of Planets to attack both the Klingons and the Romulans in retaliation. The true villain is a young Khan who’s learned of his original timeline fate by torturing Spock Prime. That will be one million dollars Bob.

16. Daniel Broadway - September 15, 2009

I’m of two minds about Khan. On the one hand, it would be cool, on the other, you could border on rehash.

For example, Batman 89 and The Dark Knight both have the Joker as the villain, but those movies are vastly different.

So in theory, you could have Khan return and still have it be fresh, and new.

17. sebimeyer - September 15, 2009

Right track guys.

Some more depth would be much appreciated. And the topics I’m hearing are right, too.

18. Ian - September 15, 2009

This sounds fantastic! I can’t wait!

19. OneBuckFilms - September 15, 2009

And people said they didn’t get Star Trek in the early stages.

I hope the crow tastes good. :)

But please, remember that there is a difference between allegory and preaching.

What would the Federation do if they had something similar to the Taliban, or something as catastrophic as 9/11?

- Peace process with the Romulans underway …
- A Klingon faction decides to engage in an “Act Of Honor” and blom themselves up at a Federation outpost, almost destroying the station.
- The Romulans blame the Klingon Government, and threaten war.
- The Federation urges against war.
- The Enterprise has to figure out who is behind it all.

There are many ideas that can be inspired by current events.

20. Thomas Jensen - September 15, 2009

Be careful. If you use elements of what is going on today in our society, just make sure you research all aspects of it. There are two sides to the “torture” question. This is an issue which is more complex then the black & white issue the media claims it to be.

I’d hate to see a trek movie become unrealistic just because subsequent historical developments render it “dated”.

I’d love to see a relevant Star Trek with regard to modern day political issues, but not a superficial one-sided treatment.

21. tman - September 15, 2009

9- Audience is already split into Trekkers vs. general population, Canon-Nazis vs. people who don’t really love trek. I’m hoping they don’t find other groups to potentially alienate.

I think TOS was more about how people maintain their humanity in the face of conflict. It’s about how hard a soldier’s life is. I think what it can show is how the brutalities of war bring out our worst traits and we have to fight to maintain our humanity and find ways to fight the exhaustion of it all. I think it’s right to have a “war should be avoided” message, but crafted with a realism that was in TOS but not in some of the later Kirk+crew films.

Again, I would love it if they present the Klingons (if they are in this) as intelligent and completely ruthless in their method of warfare, fearless warriors and hint at a more complicated culture beyond war without dwelling on it or trying to make them “understood.”

22. EFFeX - September 15, 2009

I am already loving this thought process. Although we’ve heard so little about the upcoming sequel, it is clear that the powers that be have been listening to fan reactions all along. I know it’s premature, but I’m already very excited.

23. LH - September 15, 2009

Open Maw “So if Trek is going to be serious than it needs to be genuinely serious about such issues and tackle them in a fashion that lets both sides of the audience at least have a sense they arent being told to sit down and shut up.”

I absolutely agree with this. To me the writers can still have some views expressed, but not have it turn into a “you suck” diatribe at certain quarters. Right now political analysis/thought doesn’t seem to extend beyond knee-jerk reaction to disagreement, though I guess that’s been true (for both sides) for a while. Or maybe I read too many rightie and lefty blogs. I think people are more, um, *passionate* online.

But if they do want to write a diatribe I encourage them to do so…on a movie that isn’t Trek :-)

24. voyager - September 15, 2009

Hey remember Enterprise?

Oh that’s right, nobody does…

Anyways, there was a little arc that got the show CANCELLED about A TERRORIST plot to destroy Starfleet and all. Sadly I remembered that episode when I read the possible ideas for the new movie.

I’m scared.

25. Enterprise - September 15, 2009

Um, the reason the Trek movie was fun was because it DROPPED the heavy stuff DS9 and Voyager and Enterprise had. Please don’t go back to that.

26. VOODOO - September 15, 2009

Sounds like they aren’t going to dumb it down. I like what I’m hearing.

27. tman - September 15, 2009

20- I think torture especially this late in the “war on terror” isn’t something that needs to be explored specifically (though Klingon’s use of torture can be depicted more realistically than in TOS which makes it’s own statement). I would say, though that they really need to reinvent the Klingons as smart and vicious and forget all the nonsense in TNG. If they do that, they create an enemy where you are forced to confront your notions of conventional “rules of war” and decide whether to give in to brutality and whether you lose your humanity in the process. Look at Pike’s discussion with the doctor at the start of Menagerie and you get an idea what I’m talking about. Look at Hurt Locker and Bullet as other examples of films that survey how we lose our humanity in the face of the worlds’ brutal reality. I think that’s the natural arc of Kirk between the first film and TOS so I think making a story “true” to the characters is a no-brainer.

28. RapidNadion - September 15, 2009

I’m also a fan of this line of thinking, and also fully agree with the commenters who are concerned about “dating” the film with issues too transient, or alienating portions of the audience with a preach-fest. IMO, Star Trek is at its best when it showcases the fat expanse of gray between the black and white viewpoints. If JJ&Co. Can do that while incorporating the same amount of excitement and character work as in the first film … We’ve got a winner, IMO.

Oh, and Voyager: ENT was canceled due to a lack of viewers, not because of a terrorist allegory.

29. mdbchud - September 15, 2009

Just please don’t forget the “fun”

and NO Khan

30. samrock83 - September 15, 2009

I hope they don’t re-use old villains, i.e., specific characters. Dropping in a bit character here and there for those hard-core fans is fine. But I would rather see something new, something original.

And, why all the talk about Harry Mudd? I mean, is Mudd really such a great character that we need him in a new film? I don’t get it.

31. Darkwing - September 15, 2009

if they do a modern day allegory, this movie will have elevated 100% to status of worthy pf the original series…if done well of course….

32. EnterpriseSucks - September 15, 2009

Gay marriage allegory please.

33. Julio - September 15, 2009

Hopefully they will treat the movie as a means to encourage discussion about a certain issue as opposed to just grandstanding and preaching.

Actually, I’d rather them skip the “issues” deal altogether, but people seem to want that sort of thing in their Star Trek. And yes, I know Star Trek has always dealt with issues, but I found the worst of TNG was when they were overtly “liberal”. It was embarrassing to watch.

Just tell me a good sci-fi/Star Trek story, and I’ll be pleased as punch.

34. dmduncan - September 15, 2009

“I asked Orci somewhat flippantly if that meant we might see Starfleet grappling with the ethics of torture or dealing with a rising terrorist threat or perhaps a painful, politicized war with the Klingons.”

“Well yeah, those are the kind of issues we’re talking about. Wow, you’re good! But seriously that’s the way we’re thinking, that’s an approach. So if you have any ideas … ”

I think this is an excellent direction to go, and yes, I do have some ideas:

The Federation infiltrated by Klingons engineered to look and read (scan) as human, perpetrating an attack that buckles the Federation, leading to Federation measures that threaten the liberties of all the Federation worlds by the measures taken, with the very crew of the Enterprise divided on the appropriateness of the Federation response and the Enterprise’s role in carrying out controversial Federation orders. Spock seeing the logical necessity of extreme measures while Kirk is rightfully suspicious and doesn’t like the direction things are headed.

I like it. Give us a good look at ourselves. We need it. The war in Afghanistan is ramping up as it grows ever more unpopular and questionable. This is the best of what Star Trek did in the 60′s, and as long as it doesn’t become a secular humanist preach fest, but something all reasonable people can identify with, something like this would have wide appeal. And it would be controversial.

It would be the perfect vehicle to introduce a young Klingon Captain Chang as Kirk’s (preferably) non-disposable nemesis.

35. HotStove - September 15, 2009

The Supreme Court gets it. They soooooo get it. Social commentary within Star Trek is one of the elements that made it so great in the first place. Mix in great sci-fi effects and strong characters, that’s the recipe for another winner of a film.

Where do I get my advance tickets?

36. siphunclekaiju54 - September 15, 2009

The best thing about TOS was seeing the crew of the Enterprise “boldy go where no man has gone before” and experience the unknown wonders of the universe. I’d love to see this next film live up to that, instead of just being a war movie in space. That’s why the ending to the first film was so great, it set up the beginning of the 5-year mission. I want to see that adventure into the unknown, save the war with the Klingons for the third film.

37. dmduncan - September 15, 2009

33: “Actually, I’d rather them skip the “issues” deal altogether, but people seem to want that sort of thing in their Star Trek. And yes, I know Star Trek has always dealt with issues, but I found the worst of TNG was when they were overtly “liberal”. It was embarrassing to watch.”

I think you make an important point. Whatever issue they embed in the story should not target a political party or religious group. The issue should be something that all people can relate to even if it makes us uncomfortable because we may come out on different sides of the issue.

38. Thorny - September 15, 2009

My thoughts on Trek 2011…

The allegory should be something fairly important, but not something depressing. People don’t go to movies to be reminded about terrorism, torture, and war. Instead, make the next movie about the energy crisis. “Star Trek III” told us that ‘protomatter’ was dangerous, but no details were given. The next movie will be set some 20 years before Star Trek III. How about we find out what was dangerous about it? The Enterprise, perhaps while scouting for a new Vulcan homeworld, discovers a huge source of protomatter in uncharted space. Protomatter had only existed in laboratory quantities before, but this new source could power the entire Federation for a century. Up-and-coming molecular physicist Carol Marcus is assigned to the Enterprise to study the protomatter source. Meanwhile, the (insert nemesis here) have learned of the protomatter find and have sent a ship to stop the Enterprise and claim the source for themselves…

39. Harry Ballz - September 15, 2009

I don’t like how TPTB claim that one message that came through loud and clear from the fans regarding the next movie was to “make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues”.

That’s a bald-faced lie. I come to this site several times a day and very few people voiced that particular opinion. Most of us asked for an exciting and engaging story that reminds us of what was best about Star Trek. Most stories that are allegory-driven, reflecting current-day circumstances, look hopelessly out of date after a few years.

I hate it when writers come up with a specific storyline they want to do, then spin it to make it appear as if the fans asked for it! Total crap!

Something original would be a refreshing change, but I guess that would require a concerted effort, now wouldn’t it?

40. Gary - September 15, 2009

Looks to me like Orci is thinking of similar allegories used in the Battlestar Galactica reboot.

41. Open Maw Productions - September 15, 2009

“21. Audience is already split into Trekkers vs. general population, Canon-Nazis vs. people who don’t really love trek. I’m hoping they don’t find other groups to potentially alienate.”

I wasnt speaking so much of Canon Nazies vs General Public. I was speaking of the political divide, particularly in America’s regard, that still exists. The last thing Star Trek needs to do is go on a rant about the War on Terror or White Wash Left side or Right side.

“21. I think TOS was more about how people maintain their humanity in the face of conflict. It’s about how hard a soldier’s life is. I think what it can show is how the brutalities of war bring out our worst traits and we have to fight to maintain our humanity and find ways to fight the exhaustion of it all. I think it’s right to have a “war should be avoided” message, but crafted with a realism that was in TOS but not in some of the later Kirk+crew films.”

Yes. There are many episodes where instead of focusing on Political idealogies they focused simply on the aspect of humanity, which allowed the story to not only be relevant for the time, but also go beyond and become renewably relevant.

If they have a “George Bush” or a “Barack Obama” and try to make this really specific, they are going to hurt themselves.

“21. Again, I would love it if they present the Klingons (if they are in this) as intelligent and completely ruthless in their method of warfare, fearless warriors and hint at a more complicated culture beyond war without dwelling on it or trying to make them “understood.””

This right here. I think if they’re going to do an alien race, they should do something with the Klingons, something that gives them back their depth from the original Star Trek. (Look at Kor in “Errand of Mercy” or Kang in “Day of the Dove.” There’s a lot going on there.)

I think something involving a humanitarian mission would work very well. A simpler initial story that gets more complex as it moves along. Dealing with a poor people with very little hope, being exploited by Klingons, and the Enterprise comes in, unaware of the Klingons, to offer medical supplies and technology to help this planet out of their darkest time. I dont know what the bigger message might be, but something like that sounds like a very bright, optimsitic and fun story.

I again look forward to hearing what these guys come up with.

42. dmduncan - September 15, 2009

36: “I want to see that adventure into the unknown, save the war with the Klingons for the third film.”

First of all, why save it for the third film? That seems arbitrary.

Second, starting the five year mission in the sequel only to have it interrupted by major Klingon conflict in the third film would be highly illogical.

Spock and the Vulcan Science Academy would not approve.

43. RetroWarbird - September 15, 2009

I’d love to see Sybok pushing for Reunification, to be honest. But he’d be a radical.

We have the set-up … a natural evolution from the TOS Federation/Klingon Cold War allegory. We have smaller factions – Vulcan fundamentalists … potentially Andorians, and more that can act like Israel/Palestine … Eastern Europe … Southeast Asia …

And we have the Federation (U.S.), Klingons (Russia) and Romulans (China, maybe? Growing stronger very fast and keeping very mysterious within their borders) … who would potentially be backing these “third world galactic territories” the same way – Klingons selling arms for instance, has been seen in TOS on Neural.

There’s definitely room for real-world allegory there.

44. tman - September 15, 2009

36- I’m also a fan of doing the next film on something sci-fi, maybe with a fight with the Klingons on the way in, but I can’t think of something topical (energy conservation, climate change, pollution’s consequences) that I would want to see discussed. That said, you can always have a mystery going on during a war. Many great and some lesser films (Predator) went hat route in the horror genre.

45. Marvin the Martian - September 15, 2009

Maybe *this* supreme court won’t be afraid to weave gay characters into the tapestry of the universe they create, unlike the previous regime.

Not as a focus of the story necessarily, but just *there*.

For example, I can totally see Chekov as gay in this alternate universe. He’s sensitive and intelligent, and a humorous throwaway line could establish this fact without beating the audience over the head with it.

46. dmduncan - September 15, 2009

41: “If they have a “George Bush” or a “Barack Obama” and try to make this really specific, they are going to hurt themselves.”

Agreed. But these guys are smarter than that.

And a story involving interstellar terrorism does NOT have to be this dark and depressing story. I mean there’s probably no other franchise out there that has the philosophical tools to see beyond the clouds to the sunny skies above, so there’s probably no other franchise that could take a dark subject like that and find a way out of it. I would love to see a story that tells us we don’t HAVE to be afraid of terrorism—fear is a contract with the devil—and that we can deal with human inflicted tragedy without losing our humanity or values.

Star Trek is the franchise that can do that type of story and do it well.

47. siphunclekaiju54 - September 15, 2009

42. “Second, starting the five year mission in the sequel only to have it interrupted by major Klingon conflict in the third film would be highly illogical.”

Alright, I just meant that a war with a familiar race (as in a race Starfleet has already made contact with) is not the direction I’d like to see the film go in. I want to see at least some element of exploration and discovery.

48. Andy - September 15, 2009

This really could go either way at this point, but I trust JJ and co. I’m hoping that whatever they do, its subtle but deep. It’s hard, but definitely doable. I think The Dark Knight is an excellent example of this done right. TDK tackled a number of issues well: the idea of corruption in society, whether people are naturally evil/good. Both of these notions were really well done and developed. I’m hoping the next Trek movie chooses to go in the same direction: deep but fun.

49. GarySeven - September 15, 2009

Harry Baby,
I have read your posts over the years. They have made me laugh (you are very funny) and at times they have made me think. You are a great contributor to this page.
I have to say, though, that I am THRILLED (and relieved, and grateful) that the Supreme Court will make the next Star Trek movie “about something.” I have posted repeatedly, in appeals to Bob Orci, to please please please make the next movie a spiritual descendant of Roddenbery. I urged them to use metaphor to comment, to make us THINK, about the society.
I want to add that it would be very good if they channeled a related, albeit distinct, quality of Star Trek- to comment on aspects of the human condition, and point the way for a path for humanity’s growth in the future. I know this may sound heavy handed, and the way they do this does not have to be that way. It can, and should, be vastly entertaining at the same time.
I believe that if the Supreme Court failed to do these things, they would have essentially killed Star Trek. No matter how many people saw it, no matter how much more popular Star Trek would be, it would not really be Star Trek anymore. These guys did a GREAT job of reinvigorating the franchise, which was necessary. I am grateful for this. But they must, since they did not do it in the first movie, make the franchise worthy of being saved- by making it different, and better, than the thriving action/sci fi-movies of today, which often are nothing more than really candy for the mind.
Just sayin.

50. Thorny - September 15, 2009

46… “And a story involving interstellar terrorism does NOT have to be this dark and depressing story. ”

I must have missed all those easy-going, happy-go-lucky terrorism stories…

51. Harry Ballz - September 15, 2009

GarySeven

I’ve enjoyed your posts as well, and for a guy who’s “just sayin”, you said it well. If they embrace your point about the next movie where “it can, and should, be vastly entertaining at the same time”, then I don’t swallowing a little bit of allegory!

Thanks for politely and persuasively making me rethink my position! :>)

52. dmduncan - September 15, 2009

50: “I must have missed all those easy-going, happy-go-lucky terrorism stories…”

There aren’t any, and there wouldn’t be any after Star Trek touched the subject either. Fortunately, I wasn’t proposing a “happy go lucky terrorism story,” so I’ll just leave your straw man for the crows to poop on.

53. Harry Ballz - September 15, 2009

Make that “don’t mind swallowing a little bit of allegory”

54. Nathanael Tjoa - September 15, 2009

Klingons as Talibans?

I thought the Sulibans were Trek’s allegory for Talibans.

55. S. John Ross - September 15, 2009

#39 says “I don’t like how TPTB claim that one message that came through loud and clear from the fans regarding the next movie was to “make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues. That’s a bald-faced lie.”

To be fair, it’s a journalistic lie (a lie of implication) rather than a more literal one, since Orci never claimed it was some kind of consensus or even that he heard that opinion more than once, from one fan. All the quote says is that they saw that opinion.

The way it’s pitched _implies_ that it was more than an isolated opinion dragged out to pretend as if they give the tiniest crap about Star Trek or what it stands for, but still, in fairness, that’s just a journalistic lie.

Which means that, ethically speaking, they’re improving. Maybe artistically they will, too. Hope springs eternal.

56. USS Enterprise B - September 15, 2009

I still like the idea of the sequel opening sequence starting out in the present day focusing on Khan and what he was like in his own time, and how/why he ended up freezing himself, et. Then after the title we return to the future with the enterprise dealing with the botany bay and unfreezing history bound to repeat itself. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in some Klingons in there, somehow. Keep elements of the original story but throw new things in there to modernize / spice it up so we won’t know what happens next…

57. Hat Rick - September 15, 2009

It’s good that Trek will deal with issues, but it’s not essential that it does.

What IS essential, however, is that the next Trek movie must deal with the requirements of the marketplace. If it does THAT, then the fact that it sends a message will be icing on the cake.

I think that it was Sam Goldwyn who said that if he wanted to send a message, he’d use Western Union.

Trek’s power is that it is both popular AND meaningful. The second without the first is ultimately self-defeating.

58. Naver Drol - September 15, 2009

I agree with #48. The last film to do a ‘allegory’ on terrorism and torture well was The Dark Knight. And I’m sure it covered lots of other issues as well (domesitc surveillance). But it wasn’t overtly stating “HEY! THIS IS ABOUT TERROR AND TORTURE!” throughout the film.

Be subtle about it. Don’t beat us over the head with it. Don’t wink at the camera. I think there are sometimes when Star Trek can be heavy handed with whatever its message happens to be for that episode/movie… and unfortunately it can sometimes be over done. But it doesn’t have to be.

59. Hat Rick - September 15, 2009

Further, the terror and torture thing has been done — not least of all by TNG in one of its episodes (there are… how many? … lights?).

A much more controversial topic is the current loss of status on the part of the United States. America is widely seen as a country in decline. What does this mean, exactly?

And — dare we say — what does this mean for the American-led future depicted in Trek ITSELF?

60. Frank - September 15, 2009

Looks like someone has been catching up on their Battlestar Galactica DVDs….

Hopefully they can do a better job of ripping that off than they did ripping off Wrath of Khan for the first film….

61. GarySeven - September 15, 2009

#51 Harry Ballz:

What can I say? The fact that you are a class act while at the same naming yourself “Harry Ballz” is a testament to greatness.

Maybe our civil discourse will rub off on the nastiness and pettiness that is too common here. One can hope.

62. Kevin Riley - September 15, 2009

I’M TYPING IN CAPS TO GIVE A SUGGESTION FOR A STORY LINE!

Earth’s has just a few days before it’s core/gravity is destroyed by terrorists , Time is running out. Not enough time to evacuate and to re-locate an entire planet’s population & while at war with the klingons and also finding the creator of the device who has the knowledge to stop this, You have the crew not only sent on separate missions doing heroic things you also have the thrill of desperation, negotiation, with that old fashioned edge of your seat action., Taking the question of why terrorists do what they do and how we can deal with it in the 21 century.

63. AJ - September 15, 2009

Issues like torture and gay marriage are small potatoes compared to the real issues which dog our society: The fall and rise of empires, and the continuing importance of natural resources such as oil and gas which have created wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are issues which should occupy the writers, especially as alternative energy sources exist, but are only being addressed now due to absolute economic need.

Let’s do the big military-industrial complex story in ‘Star Trek’ and leave the US-centric stuff to current popular culture, where the gay lifestyle is now mainstream and accepted.

I can’t wait for the next film, and I’ll join many here in saying to Bob and the team “Thanks for listening, and keep in touch!”

64. THX-1138 - September 15, 2009

Gary Seven and Harry Ballz should shut up. What a couple of dorks.

(that’s a joke-put away the pitchforks)

Allegory plotlines are well and good, but as a kid watching Trk I always enjoyed a great adventure. Please don’t pound me over the head with a message. If it occurs to me on the way home after watching the movie, all the better. Don’t give me the “Coms and Yangs” and an American flag and pound me over the head with a bloody obvious tone.

65. Simon - September 15, 2009

I’m just worried anything topical now will be horribly dated 5-10-20 years from now.

It also will impact the Roddenberry-style optimism that they fought so hard to keep in the new film.

66. The Riddler - September 15, 2009

BSG did this already.

How about a sequel without any concidences.

67. DJT - September 15, 2009

Good stuff.

68. somethoughts - September 15, 2009

Hey Bob, can you make it so you explain the artifacts on Mars and the origins of life, I know it’s a bit controversial but I think if done right, it can work.

http://www.mars-earth.com/newface.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BToUxSi-QwA&feature=related

69. Hat Rick - September 15, 2009

Perhaps instead of “big” themes, Trek should do existential ones that have a “big” dimension.

Free story idea (please feel free to use):

Spock has the chance to restore Vulcan. Furthermore, Vulcan’s continued existence is vital to the continued existence of the Federation, since it is Vulcan-inspired technology that permits the Federation in repel the Borg and even deadlier threats in centuries hence.

Spock cannot bring himself to restore Vulcan, however, if even one innocent life is lost. Instead, he brings forth an elaborate chain of events that will achieve the intended goal, neither restoring Vulcan nor resulting in the loss of that innocent life … to the best of his knowledge.

That innocent life, by the way, is none other than that of a certain James T. Kirk.

70. Dovile - September 15, 2009

So far so good:)

But we’ve already had an Osama bin Nero in the first movie, so they’ll have to come up with something else this time. Maybe not a single villain, but a more general evil+some exploration?

71. Cap'n Kirk - September 15, 2009

Bob Orci, If you’re reading these -

Using the Trek sequel to address current issues like Roddenberry did is a great idea – but don’t do just the obvious War/Torture/Terrorist themes – make it about the importance of focusing on the explorative spirit that TOS had, since people today aren’t interested in spending the resources on going to space they way we once were. Tell a Trek story that reminds people that we have the responsibility & the privilege to use our intelligence to explore the wonders of the universe. What makes those TOS topics timeless is that they’re human issues – not just current events.

72. Hat Rick - September 15, 2009

Random musings:

Perhaps the ultimate fear that people have isn’t that we will be taken over by aliens. Perhaps the ultimate fear is, instead, is that Earth is totally irrelevant — that the reason that the aliens haven’t landed on the White House lawn is that Earth is in fact only, to use Sagan’s phrase, just a pale blue dot after all.

Sometimes when I look at pictures of astronomical phenomena, I marvel at the beauty of Creation (or Random, as the case may be). Other times, I feel a void in the pit of my stomach, knowing that space is, ultimately, just that — space. Empty. Devoid of warmth.

And here we are on Earth, arguing about climate change and whether or not to support Joe Wilson.

73. Bill Peters - September 15, 2009

I at least would like the Allegory to have an upbeat seance to it…Star Trek being Dark is kinda hard…DS9 was fun but it isn’t the heart of Trek!

Trek is hopeful about the Future not Pessimistic most of the time…please don’t try to make trek into something it is not!

74. Hat Rick - September 15, 2009

Yeahyeah! Good thoughts, 73 (Bill Peters). Agreed.

75. somethoughts - September 15, 2009

Just go explore, and have them discover something grand that can change how humans view their past and the implications it has on their beliefs/religion and how the govt always like to suppress the truth from the population to sustain order and control. How these findings can affect each character etc. and have klingons/villains lurking around.

76. Bill Peters - September 15, 2009

DS9 was great but hey Upbeat is the way to go…even it ended somewhat Optimistically also left a lot of lose ends (but I digress)

Trek is about Hope and Optimism and about a good future for Huanity, even though having Klingons or Gorn in the next movie would be cool. along with the Alegory have some good Character moments and keep that sence of a good future and leave room for a 3rd Movie!

77. Sci-Fi Bri - September 15, 2009

star trek was the most entertaining sci fi movie this year, but district 9 was more important… D9 has more chances for awards imo…

78. Vardonir - September 15, 2009

Torture and Terrorism?
Aww. That’s the reason why I don’t like DS9!

Well, IMO, the ending of TrekXI had the original narration. Why not go from there? Go somewhere and find a planet with a Earth-like situation? But that’ll be like a stretched-out TOS episode.

/ Prays for a Time-Travel ala-TVH/FC thing.

79. somethoughts - September 15, 2009

every time travel movie has done well, perhaps a hybrid of space seed/city on the edge….

80. Enterprise - September 16, 2009

From the Writers of Transformers 2 comes a modern day allegory.

81. Jack - September 16, 2009

Maybe Bones will give unauthorized healthcare to some illegal aliens.

82. Tim1701 - September 16, 2009

Interesting trains of thought going around here. I like #44′s eco-themes better than doing a terrorism story, but the bottom line is the next film needs to have a lot more care put into its overall cohesiveness than this year’s did. The plot holes in this movie were gigantic, and it’s a testament to the performances and production craft that I enjoyed it so much despite elements that shouldn’t have survived the first rewrite stage.

A great script is a great script, and if it involves terrorism, then so be it. One of DS9′s strengths was in its ability to flip our perceptions — in the case of Bajor, the terrorists were the “good guys” fighting off oppressors. One of that series’ best episodes puts its protagonist in the position of violating his own ethics for what he believes is the greater good. Quark was a greedy lowlife in some ways, but in the end you had to respect his dedication to his culture. So if a terrorism allegory is to be used, I hope it’s done with some interesting twists. But current events-wise, the issue that’s going to be with us for a long, long time is climate change — that’s a good issue to work off of, but with some subtlety; TNG beat us over the head with an ozone layer story in its first year that failed to deliver the goods, and going to a planet that’s polluting itself into melted ice caps would similarly beat us over the heads.

As for using Khan, I say emphatically no. That’s going once too often to the well. Using elements of Trek history to bolster and support a script is awesome. Retelling a prior story in the “new universe” is unworthy of the scope of these films.

It would be sensible to involve the Vulcan survivors (as a political concept), or the fact that the Feds now know that Romulus has a brief lifespan to look forward to if nothing is done, but I’d like to see threads from this year’s film followed in the background rather than be the main plot focus; maybe pick them up with a major story in the third installment.

But like I said — I great script is a great script, so make that the goal. (And please — no ginormous plot holes this time, guys. Pay attention and don’t be so lazy — the transporter is a piece of technology, not magic; a scientifically progressive, spacefaring culture with a superiority complex is not going to fail to act when a giant alien ship starts hovering over it and drilling into its core, waiting for Earther help; a planet close enough to see another with the naked eye in fair detail is not going to keep on going as before when the neighbor planet is obliterated; a raw cadet is not going to be given command unless there is nobody else around; I could go on, but you get the idea.)

83. David J - September 16, 2009

Actually I think the PERFECT example to follow from TOS would be an episode like “Arena.”

You’d have your exploration of the unknown, you’d have some fun and action-packed adventure, and you’d have your allegory (and I’m sure you could fit some space battles in there too).

It would be the perfect balance of everything fans are looking for in a new Star Trek movie, without getting too dark or dreary in the process.

84. Al - September 16, 2009

What about a plot where some vulcans deside to go back in time and save vulcan from nero’s distruction OR to reverse the damage nero did and distroy Romulus? The enterprise, along with spock, who is still morning the loss of his mother are sent to stop these vulcans at any means nessessary and spock becomes conflicted as to weather he now has a chance to go back in time and save his mother, but at the cost of distroying romulus…or stay loyal to the federation?

85. Jack - September 16, 2009

#62 – so who will play Jack Bauer?

Personally, I always liked the idea of a Trek film ending in utter hopelessness — like a few survivors on a shuttlecraft in the middle of nowhere.

86. Jim Cude - September 16, 2009

I’d like to see one where Jim Kirk goes to the Playboy Mansion…

87. Penhall99 - September 16, 2009

Good God, I hope they are at least subtle.

I don’t wanna have a bunch of liberal viewpoints and “Bush is evil/Obama is God” crap shoved down my throat.

UGH….

88. Gasphemer - September 16, 2009

I want what I loved about Star Trek. Please don’t lace it with cynicism- that’s all too common these days and that’s the last thing we as a society need now. We have different sets of issues- please to be addressing them. Please give good reason for what you’re doing besides pandering to everyone in the movie theater. Show me something to aspire to be- not a high school in space.

Sometimes, anvils have to be dropped. This is the perfect opportunity to do so- and good god, give some characters some room to grow and make them less one-dimensional and “edgy”.

89. Captain John C Baron - September 16, 2009

A Trek movie that subtley talks about something, while keeping the epic scope and character arcs of the first film is enough to make your mouth water! This, for me, would cement the feeling that Trek is well and truly back.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Trek 09 – Orci and Kurtzman et al did a very fine job of (re) introducing so many characters and a reimagined universe while trying to keep fans and newcomers both happy. No mean feat and I don’t think they’ve received enough credit for their achievements.

And there’s only so much you can fit into two hours…

90. NCC-73515 - September 16, 2009

It is very simple. The loss of Vulcan = the loss of the WTC.
2258 Romulus will be attacked by the Federation, even though they don’t know anything about it. The theme is: revenge at all costs, even against innocent people? Kirk & crew rebel against the Federation and try to prevent the war against Romulus.
That’s my current dream about Trek Sequel.

91. nic - September 16, 2009

Hi, have not had time to read comments above. But I’d like to say war & torture do not appeal to me … & perhaps more relevant to the ‘home’ rather than global market. Perhaps we could enjoy some positivity rather than darkness. I suggest using that metaphorical situation for the opponents of the crew is dangerously embarassing, considering that the local government has obviously been caught out in that regard (opps but true). Star Trek needs to capture the international audience by taking a bit of a leap & returning to setting higher values, … we need an adventure not a lecture.

I’d take the opportunity that Star Wars had with relaunching in Ep1, and show them what a great adventure is. Come on, look outside the square, box, cube …

Think of the possibilities you felt around every corner in your favorite tv show, movie when you were young ….

If the new movie borrows from previous lines, I’d be dissapointed … it is a great opportunity to create something very special considering we have the characters and relationships well cemented …

Show us something special.

92. screaming satellite - September 16, 2009

KHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!

that is all

93. David B - September 16, 2009

Perhaps they could use modern day issues and explore at the same time. Some particular modern day issue prevents the crew from exploring because they are dragged in to battle. But in the end they overcome the odds and explore and discover something at the end.

94. somethoughts - September 16, 2009

God creates man, man creates Khan and Khan….

….tos mix end credits theme.

Audience stunned, both smiling and crying, standing ovation.
Space opera Allegory.

New Klingon ship designs zomg pwnbbq pew pew and cloaking effects!

95. Jim Nightshade - September 16, 2009

hmmm Remember Pike told Kirk that Starfleet was a peace keeping armada-that actually can be interpreted as a conflict of interest right there–and thats a good allegory for what america tries to be and iraq/afganistan shows it isnt that easy or black and white–and yes americas world image has been affected as we try to react to the threats of terrorism from abroad and yet still be a free society-Absoluteley any allegories should not be preachy or heavy handed and should show all sides of a complex issue like that but still ultimately CAN project a pro humanist position-not necessarily liberal or conservstive but humanist–tos was pretty good about not being too preachy yet making you think-remembering metamorphisis for example–companion and cochrans different love kept both of them alive and happy-yet when mccoy saw the union he claimed it was sick-ultimately they had their cake and ate it too by deciding different love was not wrong yet they made the companion human and a woman so that normal hetero love prevails-makes ya think yet keeps the status quo—imagine if the dying human patient was a guy instead of a woman…anyway I also think that the supreme court is smart enuf to make any allegories they may use as subtle and intelligent and not preachy or unfairly balanced-I cant wait-this is a good thing to hear from them this early in the story development-

96. Ihsan - September 16, 2009

It shouldnt be about torture or wat (we have seen enough about that) but about sustainability and the corruption of the financial system.

97. screaming satellite - September 16, 2009

Klingons awaken Khan….

Khan conquers the Klingon Empire…(or at least causes some serious trouble)…

Federation has to do battle with Khan and the klingons…

(no major Romulan threat – was done last 2 films…)

then for Trek 3 – the Borg

thanks for listening

98. captain_neill - September 16, 2009

Good news that they are going to do this.

But like the best Star Trek I believe it should be presented as a morality play, the next film should have a theme to it.

Maybe down the line we could have a crossover from the prime universe to the new alternate universe or vice versa.

No Khan please. I will be very unhappy if the writers just reuse Khan for lack of a better idea.

I want to love the next movie I don’t want to be alienated by a direction I hate. To me Star Trek is the best show ever and to me it always will b emy favourite, in all its forms. I love it all

99. me - September 16, 2009

@37
“I think you make an important point. Whatever issue they embed in the story should not target a political party or religious group. The issue should be something that all people can relate to even if it makes us uncomfortable because we may come out on different sides of the issue.”

Nope, Star Trek always was about an optimistic, liberal, yes almost socialistic future society.

I don’t want any Star Trek movie that targets at right wing people, Neo-Nazis or similar policital views. I am not unhappy when these right wing people forgo every single Star Trek movie. Star Trek is not for them.

Of course the allegory should be too plump, and too one-sided.
In TNG they always found a good balance. In discussions Picard mostly was on the freedom-side, Worf was on the security-side…The characters can express different opinions, depending on their different world views.

100. captain_neill - September 16, 2009

25
so you want to forget one of Trek’s strengths.

If that were the case then every future Star Trek production under this team will just be Trek in name only.

I am glad they are going in this route. Its bad enough they destroyed Vulcan last time but I am a little happier now this seems like they will be honouring wht Gene created Trek to do.

I want it to done like a morality play as it is done in the best tradition of Trek but not going to happen given the market Abrams is catering for but I can hope.

101. Holger - September 16, 2009

War on terrorism and ethical problems of torture? Are you kiddin’ me? These have been treated at length in Enterprise and in the BSG reboot, as well as in a lot of other productions. How about something of our time which is not as episodic and short-term, and not as US-specific, like overpopulation and energy supply?

102. captain_neill - September 16, 2009

Would discussing the moral and ethical implications be ok to have in this new parallel universe or would it be too much for the mainstream audience?

103. GaryP - September 16, 2009

Here’s an idea. While Spock is at the Academy, his health insurance is dropped because they deem Pon-Farr a pre-existing condition.

104. VeratheGun - September 16, 2009

Just–please–Star Trek is not Battlestar Galactica.

I’m tired of nihlism. It depresses me. Star Trek is about hope, the possibilities of a better future.

Don’t succumb to the Dark Side, boborci.

105. KingDaniel - September 16, 2009

The great thing about Star Trek was that it could do message shows, but unlike stuff like BSG (which i hated), Trek dressed them up enough that they didn’t get too preachy (with a few exceptions).

If the writers can do a message show/film and keep it fun I’m all for it.

And if they work Mr Arex from TAS in as well I’ll be in heaven.

BTW This may be the first time in a long time that an announcemnt about a Trek film hasn’t started an avalanche of shit at how “all wrong” it was. Could Trekkies be learning to relax a bit at last? Took long enough!

106. Spockish - September 16, 2009

So far many ideas, some with power in there ideas, some with not much more than a yawn of bordum. The analogy to modern times that some love to use when they are losing politically is the class warfare angle. This is the upper -vs- lower class and making the rich pay for the poor small mined people. The best Star Trek similar story was done by Deep Space Nine in their End of season 3 beginning of season 4, where the transporter beam crossed a time line beam and the Defiant crew got transported back to the early 21 century.

Every thing was a big mess because of how society was almost killed by the Robin Hoods robbing from the upper class to feed the lazy lower class. Not that the lower class was lazy it just looked that way to those with jobs (the upper class)

I even brought up the story to Newt when he was the leader of Congress. He even noted that one day we could end up that way if bad things happen. The biggest cause of this was Politicians feeling they had more rights to form our future the way they not the public desired.

Oddly does that not resemble life today. May I recommend that the script writers view this 2 part story to build ideas from.

Maybe Paramount could re-edit the two parts into one movie and create a DVD movie of DSN predicting the future. Not in a day by day story line but at least a cause or movement action prediction.

Wish I could recall the episode title, guess I’ll have to dig out my DSN disks and watch it again. Possible mix the two shows into a 90 minute movie.

Today upper -vs- lower class gets about the same unrealistic arguments as the racial arguments/implacations do today. It gets used as a big club to bet the other side with, but the other side knows it only leaves bruises and those will heal in time. But no one likes to touch the sensitive black and blue marks while things heal.

107. Lore - September 16, 2009

#15 If the Klingons and Romulans were assisting Khan then going after them would be the right thing to do. Khan would just be their pawn.

108. AdamTrek - September 16, 2009

Bob, if you want political conspiracy, etc, that the gallant crew of the Enterprise have to fight against, may I suggest Section 31. That could plan a pivotal role in the new movie. Not only is it an established organization from TNG era AND pre-Kirk, we assume it was around during Kirk’s time as well. Perhaps there is a secret war against the Klingons or something, which would pre-date the Organian peace treaty. Perhaps this film could lead up to and reinterprete those events that took place in that episode.
Just a thought.

=A=

109. KingDaniel - September 16, 2009

#107: I hated Section 31. It was just so fundamentally wrong for Star Trek. Secret wars? I’d much prefer big-budget open warfare for $150 million budget.

110. madtrekfan - September 16, 2009

Going off track a little, but in regards to the sequel, anyone want to sign my online petition to have Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek Theme re-instated for the next film?

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/startrekjerrygoldsmith/

111. ensign joe - September 16, 2009

Space… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.

go

exploring

112. Lore - September 16, 2009

#109 NO! Alternate reality = Alternate theme song. Get out of your mom’s garage, oh I forgot, its a carriage-house.

113. Admiral_BlackCat - September 16, 2009

Spock dealing with PTSD.

114. Ken McLaren - September 16, 2009

good news! if they are going to deal with torture ethics, than what better group to involve than good old Section 31?

115. Crusade2267 - September 16, 2009

I’ve got it! In the last movie, a Romulan splinter group attacks the Federation and kills many civilians. In this one, the Federation President spins it so that the Federation attacks Qo’nos in some sort of “War on Terrifying intergalactic villains”

116. Captain Dunsel - September 16, 2009

Just throwing my two cents in here (and liable to upset some in the process).

The problem that I tended to have after a while with TNG was that their “moral” stories became a bit heavy handed in their delivery. Mix that with the way that the characters became parodies of themselves and films like INSURRECTION become almost poison by their very existence.

TO BE FAIR… TOS had a tendency to do the same thing every now and then, but after 7 years and a few movies, TNG became one of the worst offenders, with DS9 coming in a close second.

With all due respect (sincerely) to Mr. Orci, Mr. Abrams and crew… be careful of making a moral story. Everyone talks about how great STAR TREK was with dealing with issues of morality, but some of the most beloved episodes deal with it sparingly or judiciously.

My two cents… worth exactly that and not a penny more.

117. Mel - September 16, 2009

I only hope that there won’t be Khan or Klingons in the next movie. There are so many other characters or races from which we haven’t already heard so much. The Gorn for example.

118. captain_neill - September 16, 2009

If Khan is in the next film then I will be one seriously angry Trek fan. I am dead against this.

TWOK is my fav Trek movie and redoing Khan would mean that these writers can only draw upon the great stuff and cannot do an original story themselves.

119. Porthos X - September 16, 2009

DO NOT repeat DO NOT screw with the Klingons by making them dishonorable terrorists… geez if theyre gonna do Tailban-like stuff they should just use Enterprise’s Suliban…

120. jackson - September 16, 2009

OK so, modern day allegory? Or, like “4 years ago” allegory?

121. AJ - September 16, 2009

118:

Klingons, as properly portrayed in “Star Trek” TOS occupy planets and kill prisoners en masse. They will stab you in the back at any time. “A thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man.”

Hardly the “honorable” drunk clowns of the DS9 era.

122. Porthos X - September 16, 2009

they SHOULD fo something where the Federation is trying to pick up the pieces and reorient itself after the destruction of Vulcan (allegory to the big bank failures) and they in Hitlerian style vote in as Federation president who promises a new era of prosperity but drives the Federation very close to tyranny…they fit the torture thing in…and make it a war with some new race we’ve never seen before; perhaps a Klingon offshoot race similar to how the Romulans offshot from Vulcans

123. Porthos X - September 16, 2009

#82 THERES AN IDEA–push the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor back over a hundred years and get Kirk and crew violating the Prime Directive in grand TOS style to help liberate Bajor from Cardassia all while finding out Cardassia is recieving help from the Klingons to oppress the Bajorans

124. theARE - September 16, 2009

How about the Klingons invading a planet to harness it’s natural recources and the locals taking up arms and using terrorist tactics to try and defeat them.

The Enterprise answers a Klingon distress call, only to find themselves in a difficult situation – do they side with the “terrorists” or the exploitive superpower.

That has a nice allegorical ring to it

125. RobertZ - September 16, 2009

Make it truly original, please.

126. Porthos X - September 16, 2009

umm 120–the TOS Klingons had a form of honor just not OUR form of honor…

127. Porthos X - September 16, 2009

so basically 123 ur saying it should be a retread of Insurrection with the Klingons subbing as the Son’a

128. Dunsel Report - September 16, 2009

Yeah, go easy on the preaching and don’t turn this into Lions For Lambs, guys.

On the other hand I’d love to see Chris Pine lecturing the Gamesters of Triskelion in their little glass pastry stand.

129. T'Cal - September 16, 2009

All along, I had hoped that JJA would follow the success formula for STXI that Nolan used for Batman Begins/The Dark Knight:

*Market the hell out of the film
*Set up all the characters’ origins while still having a very good story
*Follow up with a sequel that’s even better focusing on a story that deals with moral/ethic issues that aren’t always black and white

Trek works best when it deals with the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” issues. It sounds like JJA & crew are looking to go that route, God bless them.

130. falcon - September 16, 2009

Let’s all remember that, although allegory was a mainstay of at least the second season of Trek, the Enterprise was not a catalyst in most cases – instead she and her crew were more of a conduit, bringing ideas to the forefront. The really bad episodes were where Kirk & Co. dealt with them head-on, single-handedly saving the Earth/Federation/Galaxy in the process. In this new movie, we need a thought-provoking plot and script, we need heroes who don’t seem so at first and people who should be heroes who are not, and we need an ending that – while happily wraps up the story and leaves us wanting a Trek XIII (or a Nu-Trek III) – also leaves us with some thoughts and discussion points. Minority Report kind of did this in a way, by bringing up the issue of profiling and using the sci-fi element of time-travel (in a way) and prescience. Not that I’m defending that movie in any way, but it does bring up a point or two. The next Trek needs to do that, and still give us a kick-a$$ story that makes boatloads of money and guarantees another movie. As Jack Kirby once said, “’nuff said.”

And I also agree with @110 above. Explore. That’s what this is supposed to be all about.

131. Locke for President - September 16, 2009

Hot modern issues in a Star Trek movie. Hmm, lemme see . . . .

1. An Andorian member of the Federation Council yells, “Liar!” at the President during a council meeting, setting of an intersteller war.

2. A Klingon couple with eight kids has a reality TV show. He cheats on her with an Orion slave girl, and the Klingons have a battle to the death in front of a galaxy full of interested viewers.

3. Spock Prime has troubles sleeping, accidentaly dies from a drug overdose. Sets off an intergalactic controversy.

4. Captain Kirk, now old and over the hill, decides to retire. Then not. Then does. Then doesn’t. Then goes and captains a Romulan ship because he still wants to see the action. Federation citizens burn him in effigy.

5. A young cadet peaks through a hole in Uhura’s quarters, and takes a video of her undressing. He puts it on AlphaQuadrantTube.com and sets off an intergalactic controvery.

Yep, there sure are a lot of interesting, hot, current topics out there to make a new Star Trek movie from!

;-)

132. Trekwho - September 16, 2009

Why not have the Federation encounter the race of beings who created the Doomsday Machine, but this time they run into a fleet of those Machines? It would be fresh as there would be a whole new civilization for the writers to create, yet harken back to something cool from the Original series.

133. T'Cal - September 16, 2009

If they are to use the Klingons, I hope they make them more like Kruge in ST:TSFS or Martok in DS9 than some of the others. They were warriors in the greatest Klingon tradition. They were killers, of course, but they did so well within their culture’s perceptions of honor and duty. They were great tacticians as well. They had ambition but that was not their driving force. While I’ve enjoyed the stories about Klingon politics in many of the episodes in TNG and DS9 plus ST:TUC, I want to see Klingons as an honor-driven, somewhat vicsious race.

134. theARE - September 16, 2009

@126 well no, not really. I trully didnt get a allegorical feel from Insurection, and the So’na we’re a very remote threat in their space ship mining the plant’s rings.

The klingons would have an army on the ground, overthrowing local government, distrupting normal life, being in your face to the locals – i.e. everything the So’na were not.

Might have elements of TOS “A Private Little War” / “Errand of Mercy” as well as the obvious modern day allegory.

135. VeratheGun - September 16, 2009

130. Brilliant!

Still laughing.

136. Phil - September 16, 2009

Bring on Star Trek 12!

137. Locke for President - September 16, 2009

#134

I also forgot about a Klingon pop star interrupting Spock Prime’s funeral, making a jerk out of himself and saying that Captain Kang’s funeral was better.

138. Demode - September 16, 2009

Sybok as some sort of radical in 12 and 13 would be good. Khan might work as a “terrorist” from the genetics wars.

Bring on the Klingons!

139. Exocomp 4 - September 16, 2009

I just hope that the Enterprise goes through a refit between the last movie and the next, and that engineering doesn’t look like a brewery :-X

140. DC - September 16, 2009

I actually want them to go back to the REAL roots. Exploration. The characters. The heart. That family aboard that starship. The human condition. I say, bring back those elements along with the social commentary, and you will have a GREAT Star Trek film.

Oh that, and get rid of, or at least reduce, the God awful lens flare.

And as a TOS fanboy, I gotta say, bring color back to the Enterprise. All we ever saw was blue. Where’s the red turbo lift (yes two words as it was on TOS signs) doors? The red wall panels and bridge hand rails? The blue comm panels? The red, green, and yellow on the bridge display monitors? Any black at all on the bridge to balance out the white? The brass/copper-y color of the deflector dish? And of course, SOMEONE had to bring this up, the orange color of the nacelle caps? :P

141. earthclanbootstrap - September 16, 2009

I never ever ever ever thought that I would find myself saying this about a Star Trek movie, but…
I kinda don’t care what it’s about.
Sigh…

142. Phil - September 16, 2009

Why do I have a feeling this will end poorly? These are the guys who gave us robots with testicles….

143. Lore - September 16, 2009

#130 A couple posing as a prostitute and a pimp visit the Vulcans and ask for a ways to set up a brothel using under age Andorian girls. The Vulcans happily oblige with advice on how to not get caught; cheat on their taxes; and get loans from the Federation to finance the whole operation. Of course these Vulcans don’t represent the entire species. They could be called the ACORN VULCANS.

144. Spock - September 16, 2009

or redo Return of the Archons, as an allegory on Obama voters..lol :)

However TOS did have some good episodes with commentary:
Return of the Archons
Private Little War
Errand of Mercy
Taste of Armegedon
Balance of Terror
etc

However they need to have both sides of an arguement represented like they did on TOS. That was the whole point of having Kirk, Spock and McCoy represent different opinions, etc.

145. British Naval Dude - September 16, 2009

Al Gore’s gunna’ be in tha’ next film?

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

146. Rastaman - September 16, 2009

I love the idea of an allegory.

However, why have they only had two meetings? It seems to me if they want a Summer 2011 release date, they need to be a little farther along on the story than this. Shouldn’t the story be ready sometime around New Year’s?

I know these are busy men, but I would think Paramount should be a little concerned that one of there few “rainmaker” franchises is being developed by people with clearly bigger priorities on their minds.

147. Steve - September 16, 2009

Please don’t make this a political movie. I don’t want to see Hollywood’s version of a future Dick Cheney or anything like that!

148. AJ - September 16, 2009

141:

I’ve always been of the opinion that Messrs. Orci and Kurtzmann (and now Lindelof) look at Star Trek as a special challenge. Let’s avoid the robot testicles and be up for something that’s a few notches higher. At least, that’s the impression I have from interviews and Orci’s ‘pop-in’ appearances here.

I think doing a true Trek allegory film will be a challenge. Roddenberry was not out there to please NASCAR moms and hippies alike. His messages were “war is wrong, racist and sexual discrimination are wrong, social injustice is wrong.” The man was a soldier, but he refused to show ‘both sides of the story’ when it came to war. In “Errand of Mercy,” Kirk and Kor were clearly shown as being “wrong” when it came to their “right” to wage war, regardless of how compelling their individual reasons.

Those are clear guidelines within which to construct a good allegory. The challenge will be to pick something relevant which resonates with a general audience and tell a good story without wearing the message on their sleeve.

149. OneBuckFilms - September 16, 2009

145 – There’s probably been some back and forth with ideas via email or something as well, but the two meetings are probably to gather ideas and a general direction before they start seriously writing and hashing out the plot.

Once that starts… it’ll likely go fairly fast.

150. Seany-Wan - September 16, 2009

I was thinking of the sequel to this year’s Star Trek (I know, this article has nothing to do with sequel talk but I wanted to throw this out there).

I think for the sequel, instead if introducing Kahn, the next film should be like Batman Begins, but instead be “Kirk Begins”. The last film dealt with how the crew came together and worked as a unit. I think the next film should be about WHY Kirk should be in the Captain’s chair of the Enterprise. Like Batman Begins, the film should be a journey as to how he becomes the most respected captain in Starfleet. Face it, in the new film, he got his butt handed to him several times and he becoming captain (at first) because he emotionally compromised Spock is not exactly the way some saw history unfolding. I think fans need to see why he deserves to be in that chair, specifically, the chair of the Enterprise. We need a true hero’s journey (no, not like Spiderman 2 where he quits, then has a change of conscience) where by the end of the film, he will show that he is a force to be reckoned with (like Bruce Wayne / Batman did in Batman Begins.) Bringing Kahn into the mix so soon would not work. Save it for the third film the way Nolan saved the Joker for a later film. That way, when Kirk is challenged, audiences will feel like Kirk is in over his head, creating great drama like “The dark Knight” did.)

I think the possibilities of a “Kirk Begins” are endless. The ending could even mimic “Batman Begins” with Kirk and crew on the bridge, basking in the glow of their latest victory, when Uhura says to Kirk “Captain, I am receiving a distress beacon from a ship identifying itself as the SS Botany Bay.”

Kirk just smiles, saying “Let’s look into it!” (Or words to that effect, don’t want to copy Batman word-for-word.

AS for Kahn, I know Javier Bardem is a fan favorite, but I think Antonio Banderas would be better. Banderas and Ricardo Montalbán were family in Spy Kids 3, but I feel that Antonio would bring the right mixture of charm and menace to Kahn. The Kahn fans remember the most is from “The Wrath of Kahn”. The Kahn we should meet is from Space Seed (Or Kahn Begins, sorry couldn’t help with that one!). Watching that episode, Kahn was charming, suave and dangerous, qualities that I feel Antonio Banderas has.

Any thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea?

151. iMAniaC - September 16, 2009

How about a good old Prime Directive theme? The allegory would be to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Federation monitors a pre-warp civilization bent on conquering the Galaxy as they discover some powerful weapon that might actually pose a threat. What does the Federation do? Does it pre-emptively occupy the planet and teach the baddies about democracy or does it follow its own Prime Directive? There’s not even need for a 9/11-like attack, so the allegory might not be as transparent.

152. AmmoGod - September 16, 2009

You know, a re-imagined KHAN situation might work well… Someone mentioned the possibilities of the klingons finding him and waking him up… that has some merit. Imagine him convincing them to support an underground insurgency led by him on the outer Federation Colonies (Human worlds) that might be neglected or even impoverished (read 3rd world here), where his ulimate goal is is power grab, and the klingons simply profit from the internal chaos of the Federation. Khan’s character could easily be highly charismatic, and often I think violence might not be his first choice if he can accomplish his goals through a more efficient and peaceful means … he just wants power.

Let enterprise come to discover the reason of the disturbances (or even calls for succession) from this world and find Khan having been transported there and is now fomenting rebelion and desent to his advantage.

Again, Klingons are to an extent the puppetmasters, but khan would be a little too smart for that ecxept when it suited his purposes.

I think a totally reimagined Khan would be great… but it would need to be as different from the original as Heath ledger was from Jack Nicholson. Dont be afraid to be gritty….. make it intelligent above all else.

his defeat would mark the basis for his hatred and need for revenge in the future.

153. Lore - September 16, 2009

Banderas would ask for too much money to play the part.

154. VZX - September 16, 2009

I actually hope for less allegory, but I think I am in the minority. I would like a movie, though, that is more epic-like, but with the focus being the character-arcs.

Oh, and for the record, I vote for either no Khan, or just a little side-remark about him.

155. cd - September 16, 2009

I think some Paramount exec said ” Hey, look at District 9. I was told by one of my people that has an allegory, whatever that is. Let’s get one of those allegory things in the next Star Trek.”
141- I am afraid you might be right. Of course, I am less than impressed by how Star Trek 2009 turned out. And apparently I am not alone. Look at the verdict on p. 74 of the October 2009 of Maximum PC.

156. Alec - September 16, 2009

I’m very glad to here that the Trek team wants to bring more substance to Star Trek; after all, substance has always been synonymous with Star Trek. Star Trek 2009 was very entertaining; but it was essentially an origin story: it (quite correctly) had no scope for moral or political dealings. I like the idea of a torture/war/terror story. But, clearly, it has to be done well. Different people, in the world, and even in the west itself, will have different views on this subject. It’s a political subject after all. If the team wants to present a moral message, they must present the debate well and not set up a straw-man. We still need lots of action, though. If the Klingons are involved, that shouldn’t be too difficult to facilitate. I’d love to see a full-scale Klingon-Federation war, with battle scenes (a la Star Wars) that are even better than those DS9 did in the final few episodes. That would capture the imagination of the mainstream, for whom the film must also cater. There could be some political intrigue via Section 31: perhaps they’re doing some putatively immoral things somehwere and somehow to gain a strategic advantage; and Kirk becomes aware of this. Then, Kirk must decide what to do. Enter the holy trinity. Spock takes a cold, calculating approach to the situation. McCoy gets angry; he tells Kirk to emphasise; and just to go with his gut and his heart. Maybe call the film, Star Trek: The Prime Directive. (N.B., the prime directive applies not just to pre-warp but also warp capable species; see TNG’s Redemption. It’s a good title, I think.)

157. Capt. Wes - September 16, 2009

I can hear thunderous applause. Way to go, Abrams and Orci, you are hopefully taking the Star Trek XII film into an allegory for the modern era. You are finally taking the series back to its roots: Star Trek was always known for doing that. For example, “A Private Little War,” dealt with the Vietnam War (still raging on when the episode was produced in 1968). Star Trek has always done something like that on television numerous times, and twice on film (Star Treks IV and VI). Now if you guys are going into a different direction and make a film that is totally an allegory for the world today, then I’m all for that. Of course, we don’t want to lose the optimism from this first film, but if you guys make it exciting and believable, then you’re going to succeed yet again. Star Trek lives thanks to you guys. You made it what it once was and reinvented it… and in effect, made the franchise “cool” again. Godspeed, and hopefully it will be a great movie to see.

158. Mr. Delicious - September 16, 2009

One word: GORN.

159. LJ - September 16, 2009

A few ideas for the new film:

1. A younger, logical, Sybok pushing for reunification with Romulus – it’s the logical course of action with the homeworld gone…However, he is behind the assassination of the Romulan praetor. Evidence is left pointing the finger at the Federation;

2. The Klingon Empire trying to take advantage of a destabilised Federation, and preparing for invasion.

3. Section 31 and Red Squad launching a pre-emptive strike against the Klingons.

4. Section 31 leader, Admiral Garth, (using one Commander Gary Mitchell as ‘bait’) recruiting a seemingly willing Kirk into S 31 (Kirk is undercover, trying to subvert the organisation);

5. Admiral Garth, in league with…Sybok!…plotting a coup against the Federation government (using the Klingon and Romulan threats, and the Federation Council’s slow and weak response). This is the reason behind all the other events in the film;

6. S 31 have a superweapon (a WMD) – a super carrier, the USS Avenger: Garth’s flagship. Three-times the size of the big-E. She faces off against Enterprise at the climax. The Avenger is built at a secret S 31 base, located in…the Briar Patch.

Opening, pre-titles, sequence: We are looking down at the surface of a forested world. Suddenly an orange beam strikes down from the top of the screen, slamming into the surface below. The ground shakes and rumbles and a gaping hole appears. A large object is seen falling down the path of the beam and disappearing into the hole in the world’s surface – is Nero behind this?

The camera pans up the length of the beam until we see the underside of a ship. The view is close-up, and the viewer cannot identify the vessel. The camera slowly sweeps alongside the underside of the vessel, past the bow, and over the top. Zoom out to reveal…A Miranda class Federation starship…USS Reliant NCC-1864 (pre-refit)…are we going to see Khan?

The Reliant goes to warp, zooming past the wrecks of a dozen Klingon and Federation ships, and then the planet explodes…voice-over: Reliant to Starfleet: Axanar is secure…

160. will - September 16, 2009

The best political episode of TNG was the one where the genderless humanoid being fell in love with Riker, because he/she/it felt herself/himself/itself to be female. And then the government came and altered its mind so it wouldn’t feel itself to be female anymore.

But I think I heard that the actor who played Riker said he didn’t like that episode. It was still a godd example of how sci-fi can tell an interesting story with parallels to real life.

Orci doesn’t have to do “torture and war” stories to make a movie that is more than fluff.

161. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

I say make the Klingons the respectable baddies they once were, instead of the wussified ones we got out of TNG. If I see one more Klingon with a heart of gold I’m going to bite my knuckles.

162. P Technobabble - September 16, 2009

TOS was doing allegory back in the 60′s, and sci-fi, in general, has been overflowing with allegorical tales since its inception. Therefore, I do not think District 9 should be singled out as necessarily having an effect on what kind of story ST2 should be.

It seems completely sensible to want to make a Star Trek movie that does what TOS did, but in a bigger, grander way. The immediacy and slower pace of a tv show has a lot to do with why the characters are so important, however, and the bigger, grander film cannot get away without really getting into them.

There are some dangers in doing something related to modern-day — you don’t want the message to become dated. I thought TVH and TUC both did fine jobs of addressing some of the more modern issues we face without being too much of their time. It is also easy to pick a modern-day subject then make it so obvious in the film that the audience is yawning with boredom. If you watch such allegorical films and think, “This is obviously a message about abortion,” then you don’t need to think, you just wait for the writer’s solution. Just my opinion, of course, but there are examples of Trek episodes, from each series, episodes of M*A*S*H, and probably some others where I felt like I was being hit over the head with some sort of public service announcement, and I found my intelligence being insulted.

In any case, I wish the Supreme Court great energy and inspiration as they journey out to the stars again, to find a new adventure…

163. Paulaner - September 16, 2009

But remember: Star Trek is also entertainment and fun. Don’t push the social commentary button too hard. Some things work in TV, but movies are a little different.

164. Shadowcat - September 16, 2009

I like the idea of a real-world allegory storyline for the ST XII. Terrorism has been in the media a lot lately. My adopted country of Scotland has been undergoing a lot of scrutiny as of late because of the terrorism issue and how terror defendants should be punished.

My Dad was serving in Vietnam in the US Marine Corps when I first saw the TOS episodes a Private Little War and the Omega Glory as a child. I saw the parallels then as I watched the evening news and saw how my Dad acted when he finally came home. War is never a good thing.

I do agree with the other posters that we don’t need to be preached at or hit over the head with the fact that war, torture, and terrorism are bad things. I think the writers should be able to come up with a way to tell a compelling modern-day allegory story without the heavy-handedness of movies like Lions for Lambs. IMHO, Star Trek is about hope and optimism in the face of difficult social and moral issues like war, poverty, terrorism, and racism.

165. Lore - September 16, 2009

Spock could be horibly defaced and turn to the dark side?

166. AJ - September 16, 2009

163:

Scotland has been taking heat because Gordon Brown wants people to think he can pass the buck back down despite the UK’s oil interests having been exposed as a major part of the discussions to free that guy. Last I heard Elizabeth is also Queen in Scotland.

I agree that Trek is about optimism and humanity’s ability to improve upon itself against all odds. Sometimes it takes just “one man with a vision.”

167. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

The producers say allegory
We just want a good story
Have a Gorn named Wang
He shows up with a bang
The fight scenes will be goary!

168. AJ - September 16, 2009

A Gorn named Wang?

169. Mr Phil - September 16, 2009

Shatner as Khan. That’s all I’m saying.

170. ChristopherPike - September 16, 2009

Best to tread carefully in this area. A 9/11 allegory (coupled with the search for WMDs) may have given ENT one of its best seasons, but it was so relentlessly dark at times, many were turned off by the morally questionable decisions to save Earth from destruction.

Hollywood is currently turning the corner now, leaving all that behind… Movies about the War on Terror are a big turn off. If you want that, turn your TV and watch a rolling news station. Star Trek XII runs the risk of being left behind, while the trend it apparently started leaves without it. What with audiences not so keen to be reminded about the bodybags being flown home from Afganistan on a daily basis… here and now, I can imagine a big screen version of The A-Team hitting the big time… precisely because its not realistic, so much larger than life, doesn’t take itself seriously and injects a healthy dose of fantasy, with heroes who right wrongs and have fun doing it. Star Trek should avoid going down that nu BSG, militaristic road. The lighter style of the original Glenn Larson version will soon be back in fashion, hopefully with Bryan Singer directing. The backlash against our preoccupation with 9/11 is already underway, because you can’t spend forever grieving a loss. The future needs to be more positive and optimistic.

171. sean - September 16, 2009

I’m not sure ‘A Private Little War’ is such a great example of Trek’s skill with allegory. The Vietnam connection was unmistakable, not to mention I never much bought Kirk’s argument that providing arms satisfied the Prime Directive.

172. Valar1 - September 16, 2009

I can see it now, the Horta writes “No……Public…..Option” on the rock wall.

173. DGill - September 16, 2009

So…I take it that the next Trek film will deal with overhauling the Federation’s new health care bill? :D

McCoy: “You lie!”

174. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

#167

Yeah, you know the song…..everybody Wang Gorn tonight!

175. sean - September 16, 2009

Also, I don’t think anyone was turned off of Enterprise because it went to some dark places. DS9 did that, and is considered by many (including myself) to be one of Trek’s finest programs. Enterprise was a flawed creature from the start, and I don’t think the Xindi arc had much to do with it.

176. Kalashnikov - September 16, 2009

Terrorism… I couldn’t have never guessed… (sarcasm warning)

177. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! - September 16, 2009

24. That arc (the third-to-last and second-to-last episodes) had nothing to do with the show getting cancelled. It aired after the cancellation was announced due to low ratings. If you’re going to be insulting and preaching doom and gloom, you might as well get your facts right. If you’re referring to the third season, well, again, you need to check your facts. The third season was actually moderately successful…enough to, you know, lead to a fourth.

178. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

Let’s see……most of us enjoy Star Trek movies as they help us forget the stress in our everyday lives.

The next Star Trek movie is going to be allegorical in nature so as to remind us of the stress in our everyday lives.

Guh-reat! Just friggin’ great!!

179. tman - September 16, 2009

A friend of mine (who studied film and was a film critic before expanding her realm of journalism) commented about the last Star Trek Film that she missed the humanism of Star Trek. I think humanism was at the heart of TOS and anyone who doesn’t believe in it shouldn’t be watching Star Trek anyways. Alot of people here talk about optimism, but I think humanism is the right word to use.

Regarding space exploration vs. allegory, scientific discovery ALWAYS raises issues both moral and political that are at once current and timeless, so I don’t think that space exploration precludes anything.
Klingons are also out there exploring, so you can have Klingon conflict and space exploration at once. I would hope the next film is far less operatic in scope than the 1st film and focus on and execute on a tight story instead, with alot of Indiana Jones like action for the away team through a combination of a Klingon threat, orders from Star Fleet or local government that are at odds with humanism, and some mysterious aspect of science-fiction that drives everything. Many good and mediocre sci fi (2010, 2001, ST Errand of Mercy, BSG, Forbidden Planet) have some of this stuff going on, so yes it’s been done but done right it’s always a pleasure.

180. DC - September 16, 2009

143. And let’s not forget the infamous….
Season 3′s
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

181. Dunsel Report - September 16, 2009

#170:
Yeah, A Private Little War was a pretty weak allegory.

I agree that Star Trek political commentary is often some of the most dated Trek. I love Nicholas Meyer like the people on Beta III love Landru. But his Star Trek 6 Oliver North/Chernobyl plot isn’t as timeless as the revenge story from Khan.

And I would argue that City On The Edge Of Forever is one of the best Trek episodes in spite of, not because of, the Vietnam-era allegory it hints at, in which well-meaning peaceniks might cause evil to win.

182. mr. mugato - September 16, 2009

I’m telling you, Spock’s Brain. It could be an allegory for Glenn Beck since he doesn’t have a brain. Just make Spock cry and rant and say crazy things. It’ll work.

183. William Kirk - September 16, 2009

169. Mr Phil – “Shatner as Khan. That’s all I’m saying.”

Yes, and let him shout “Kiiiiiiiirrrrkkkkk!!!!” :-D

184. Plum - September 16, 2009

Smartest thing I’ve ever heard Orci and the others say.

One caviot, however. I wouldn’t concentrate on modern issues but on being relevant.

And this is a good time for mature, relevant, allegorical sci-fi! Some of the best films this year are just that. District 9, Moon, etc. It’s as if the ghost of Rod Sterling has returned to haunt us with great story telling! And that’s the origin of great Star Trek. Just as, in the 60s, Trek was inspired by the Twilight Zone I can’t but be thrilled to hear Orci and crew will go to these roots for inspiration!

This is terrific news!

Oh, my favourite ‘allegory’ show from TOS is still ‘Let This Be Their Last Battlefield’, a damning portrayal of two extremes (left and right). Funny, people always see that one as a racial allegory, but that’s only a part of the story. Ask yourself, are you black on the RIGHT side or the LEFT side? Get it? ;)

Oh… and thank you Orci and crew for a terrific film and can’t wait for this one, sounds even better! :)

185. Mark - September 16, 2009

178– AMEN!

I just hope they don’t get too preachy. I’m not sure Trek was always at its best when it made allegorical statements. Remember the half-white/half-black dudes? Too heavy-handed.

But, I don’t think Paramount will let them get away with anything too heavy. They want to make money, not run off people who don’t agree with a blatant message.

186. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

You mention that the sequel could use elements of terrorism and the first thing everybody does is to look at all the dark tales of terrorism and say no, we don’t want to see that, as if we’d be getting the exact same thing we saw before in another franchise or series. Who CARES about Dark knight or Enterprise? Why even look to those things for any answers at all about what Star Trek (2012) would do with the same subject?

Another thing is that yes, Gene Roddenberry was a secular humanist, but Star Trek appeals to a wide variety of fans, be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, liberals OR conservatives. The worst episodes of Star Trek TNG were secular humanist preachfests that were narrowly about secular humanism, which symbolizes Gene Roddenberry’s own ambivalence of what Star Trek was supposed to represent. A planet that has no different religions or points of view, where everyone is an atheist is certainly not very diverse, which diversity Star Trek was supposed to respect.

In fact, I would argue that the logical end of Roddenberry’s own ideals where everyone is an atheist is very Borg-like in its implications. Which, if they were going to do another story about time travel (which I understand they will not), wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that the Borg are ultimately time travelers from the future, and that WE are those who will begin the Borg, based on a fanatical and unyielding certainty of the correctness of our own ways, and the necessity of converting or killing all those who have different views.

But to do something politically narrow would be a huge turn off. If you want to do something timeless, you can’t make it about personal pettiness towards those you dislike. If you speak the truth then it appeals to all people in all times and places when they face similar circumstances or ask similar questions, regardless of what religion or political views they have.

With a Klingon eugenics program in advanced state of completion to render Klingons indistinguishable from humans or Vulcans in order to infiltrate the Federation, the Klingons might see the destruction of a major Federation world as a perfect opportunity to launch a crippling attack against the Federation with inside help from their operatives, some of whom are captured and tortured for more information. Could it be that whatever is going on in the Laurentian system was orchestrated by Klingons to draw Earth’s forces away from Sol system? Could it be that Nero’s miraculous escape from Rura Penthe was not quite so miraculous, but allowed?

187. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

dmduncan

boy, you’ve really thought this out, haven’t you?

188. Jim Nightshade - September 16, 2009

#130 Falcon…I dont think Jack Kirby said Nuff Said That was usually Stan Lees clain to fame in Stans Soapbox along with Excelsior!

Jack had said, Watch the Skies–he did not share Spielbergs Peaceful Happy Aliens coming to earth. He knew History and he was sure if aliens came to earth it would be to conquer, take our resources and enslave or destroy us all….
…So maybe he would not have necessarily shared any happy peaceful Star Trek stories or moments ….Kirby would have loved the Kick ass story part though hahah

189. Plum - September 16, 2009

182. mr. mugato wrote: “I’m telling you, Spock’s Brain. It could be an allegory for Glenn Beck since he doesn’t have a brain. Just make Spock cry and rant and say crazy things. It’ll work.”

This is strangely compelling. lol!

190. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

Yeah, but if they had one of the main characters crying, ranting and saying crazy things we might think Rick Berman is back helming the franchise!

191. LJ - September 16, 2009

I think one poster previously said that Star Trek is ‘liberal’ and ‘not for right-wing people’ – I’m looking at you #99. Sorry, but I thought the point of Trek is that it is for everybody – IDIC and all that.

I do not define myself as liberal: I am deeply conservative, however I appreciate how Trek makes me consider issues more fully. I think Trek works best when it challenges social mores and the accepted norms of its own universe: Kirk breaking the Prime Directive numerous times, Sisko ordering the assassination of a Romulan senator, etc. The world will never be black and white, and Trek should let us think.

An uber-liberal, preachy, Trek – I argue – would not be a Trek that any of us would want to see. Trek fans are all intelligent people – we want to see both sides of the story. We want to be challenged. We want to be able to talk about the issues. We want to make up our own minds. Trek is a forum for people of different races, religions, politics, etc to come together freely, confidently and with mutual understanding. It is our United Nations.

I personally believe Trek is best when it goes against the grain: conspiracies, breaking the rules, etc. However, I appreciate that many will not agree with this. Life is not easy and never will be. To give you some indication, I’ll illustrate how I would have ended three of the five series:

1. DS9 – Alliance loses the war. Earth is conquered. How do Federation ideals cope with this?
2. VOY – Voyager returns to find an occupied Earth with Terrans as freedom fighters. The government on Exile is based on Qonos, led by one President McCoy…
3. Enterprise – The outbreak of the Romulan War: Earth on its own against a massively superior enemy (British style – always said the Feds were the Brits, not the US (Sorry for the 18/19th century politics Anthony)) – The Vulcans, Andorians, et al on the sidelines (As in Austria, et al in the Napoleonic Wars – hopefully 18/19th Century politics vindicated…last bit of defence: Starfleet is ostensibly based upon the Royal Navy).

I know many – if not most – of you will be different. But I say let each man have his own Trek. The point of Trek is that each of us has our own voice. Even a conservative can appreciate that.

P.S. Anthony, my deepest apologies if some of that is too political for the site’s requirements.

192. John from Cincinati - September 16, 2009

Hey BobOrci-

One of my favorite TOS episodes was ‘Arena’ for a couple reasons. It showed the frontier of the Federation, it showed one of our colonies getting pummeled by an alien force and it showed that we (the good guys/Federation) were in the wrong for setting up the colony in that location in the first place. It also showed Kirk’s resourcefulness and intelligence and cunning.

Perhaps an idea….?

193. TreKMac - September 16, 2009

Its kind of funny. As we get further away from “Star Trek XI”, the less I care about the new direction. I think J.J.’s new Trek will being around for at least two more films, but the franchise will go back to what has already been established. I do not think JJ”s version of the Enterprise will catch on in the long run.

There was no substance to hang onto in “Star Trek XI”. Most of what I do remember is based upon Scotty’s little alien friend.

194. Check the Circuit! - September 16, 2009

Uh-oh! Wait until The Onion gets a hold of this.

195. Marvin the Martian - September 16, 2009

I’m surprised no one has commented on my “gay Chekov” suggestion back in #45.

I guess terrorism–no matter how we say we’re tired of the topic–is still one ripe for discussion, at least here! Personally, the issue was dealt with very effectively in The Dark Knight, and there’s no need to cover that ground again in another mainstream film.

A general theme of how the rights of minorities are often cruelly dictated by the majority could work well, especially if it’s woven into a “let’s fight for the misunderstood underdog” type of story. Everyone loves those kinds of movies.

196. Dan - September 16, 2009

You know making Trek based on what current issues are is what made me stop watching Enterprise! With the whole planet Earth being attacked by terrorists from another planet and we need to wipe out whole the enemy. But in Star Trek II and IIIThe needs of the many and the needs of the few was dealing with communism, that stuff is good. Chose wisely writers.

197. mynameisgorn - September 16, 2009

please, not an antiwar flick

198. Captain Dingleberry -- THE GREAT AND POWERFUL!!! - September 16, 2009

I agree, #197…and any commentary on “torture” will be quite passe by the time the next film comes out.

199. damienchance - September 16, 2009

ha ha.

if star trek gets “preachy” again and too heavy handed you can expect paramount will have a box office flop on their hands.

NO ONE WANTS TO BE LECTURED/PREACHED to (the is one of the worst aspects of star trek to the average normal people), the public want an escapist/fun 2hour action epic. Explosions/humor/excitement/maybe some fantasy/battles/fun.

Make it a kilngon war movie, but make it epic, huge and exciting. Don’t bore the average, non geek, non computer science major, non trek freak, person to death with attempts to “be all serious”. Cause all it will give you is the end of the frachise thanks to the public screaming “b-o-r-i-n-g”.

NO ONE WANTS PREACHY STAR TREK, again the masses want an epic, exciting, space war movie with great characters and heaps of drama. Allegories to the iraq war, gimme a frigging break, how exciting. if that is the case I can see the 120 million gross final receipts right now.

200. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

187: “boy, you’ve really thought this out, haven’t you?”

I’m like a gattling gun of ideas. I wish someone would use them. Heck, I wish I would use them. Maybe they would leave me alone then.

191: “I know many – if not most – of you will be different. But I say let each man have his own Trek. The point of Trek is that each of us has our own voice. Even a conservative can appreciate that.”

Don’t apologize or put yourself down for being conservative. Everyone has and must have a balance of liberal and conservative tendencies.

It’s like the TOS episode, “The Enemy Within,” where Kirk is split into two Kirks, one good and one bad, and we learn that to function as the great captain that he is Kirk needs BOTH halves in balance. The soft Kirk is a wussy who can’t make a freakin decision without whining about it (hello Liberals), and the hard Kirk is a psychopath that wants to consume consume consume (hello conservatives).

A rational person is one in whom there is a healthy tension between those two extremes. The political fanatics on both sides lose that balance and wish the other side would just die.

195: “I’m surprised no one has commented on my “gay Chekov” suggestion back in #45.”

What’s to talk about? He wasn’t understood to be gay in TOS, why should he be gay now? Unless you are trying to say that sexual orientation is chosen, and not by nature, then there’s no good reason to change that. This Star Trek is not BSG under Ron Moore. I think you’d have to be a pc crack ho of a writer to make such a pfandering© (that’s my word, meaning pandering to fans) alteration.

“I guess terrorism–no matter how we say we’re tired of the topic–is still one ripe for discussion, at least here! Personally, the issue was dealt with very effectively in The Dark Knight, and there’s no need to cover that ground again in another mainstream film.”

Sure there is. Star Trek would cover it in a totally different way. There’s plenty of gold left to mine in that vein.

201. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

Give me a freaking break with the whining here. Does anyone who actually SAW Star Trek (2009) SERIOUSLY believe that the writers who made that film and Transformers, and who write Fringe, are suddenly going to tank the franchise with a ham handed slow motion preachy love letter to Gene Roddenberry? Do any of you REALLY think that’s what they have in mind when they express an interest in telling a story relevant to modern issues?

202. Plum - September 16, 2009

197. mynameisgornwrote: “please, not an antiwar flick”.

Um. You mean like almost every other ep of Star Trek? War bad, right? Perhaps I’m not getting that it would be like every other Star Trek? lol! Yea, that might be a bit obvious.

203. Jeyl - September 16, 2009

I feel sick. This is going to hurt.

204. Brian Kirsch - September 16, 2009

Terrorism is not a contemporary issue, it has been going on since man first picked up a rock and threw it at a neighbor he thought was unwelcome on his land.

Currently, terrorism is a reaction to land rights, a dispute over whom the land belongs to, and to picking sides. That is a contemporary issue. The Arab/Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The many conflicts in Africa. The Tibet/China conflict. The disputes by many religions over land in many parts of the world.

So, you have a displaced people, the Vulcans, looking for a new homeworld. Much like the Jews post WWII and may other refugees. Perhaps the Federation finds a suitable planet for their colony, but the Klingons or Romulans, or both, claim the planet is theirs. Not only do they fight against Vulcan “occupation”, they despise the Vulcans on philosophical, political, and cultural issues.

A very contempory issue. Not about terrorism per se, but rather about the roots of terrorism.

205. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

“It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story.”

That’s what they said, and I’d like to support the goal of telling a “moving” story. Tell a story with emotion. Don’t just hit all the checkmark boxes. Aim to make something that when it is all assembled is more than the sum of its checkmark boxes. The sacrifice of George Kirk, James Kirk busted up feeling unworthy to join Starfleet, McCoy finding a way to get his friend aboard the Enterprise, Spock on the transporter absorbed with his conflict. More of that kind of thing please.

206. Brian Kirsch - September 16, 2009

* A very contemporary issue * You know what I meant ;-)

(where is that damn “edit” button? oh, it’s not a feature?)

207. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

@204: Expansion of territory strikes me as what the Klingons would be after. You’d have to be very careful NOT to insinuate that the Klingons are stand-ins for Arabs.

The Klingons might want worlds for raw materials. Maybe they have a habit of taking over a planet and using it until it’s a burned out cinder, and then moving on to look for some other world.

So they might have had their eye on a region of Federation space for quite some time when the Vulcans are settled in that region. Nero is allowed to escape because they know what his plans are and hope he is successful in getting the Federation off balance; part of the cost is that Nero destroys a bunch of Klingon ships in the escape, which the Klingons tolerate as necessary to upholding the illusion of Nero’s escape. Nero himself was unaware that he was part of a Klingon plan. While the fleet is jacking around in the Laurentian system as part of a Klingon created diversion, and Nero is wreaking havoc, they planned to use their operatives within the Federation to disable defenses and communications so the Klingons can invade Federation space and set up a front line of warships preventing the Federation from reaching those now invaded worlds. With Vulcan, a major Federation world now gone, the Klingons seize the moment and enact their plan, taking the Federation by surprise. And with the Enterprise once again one of the only ships able to respond on what appears to be a suicide mission.

Kirk gets his Kobyashi Maru test for real. And he’s squirming in his seat just a little.

Everyone knows how he beat the Kobyashi Maru. So everyone else is squirming in their seats a little too.

208. Plum - September 16, 2009

204. Brian Kirsch – wrote: “Terrorism is not a contemporary issue, it has been going on since man first picked up a rock and threw it at a neighbor he thought was unwelcome on his land.

Currently, terrorism is a reaction to land rights, a dispute over whom the land belongs to, and to picking sides. That is a contemporary issue. The Arab/Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The many conflicts in Africa. The Tibet/China conflict. The disputes by many religions over land in many parts of the world.

So, you have a displaced people, the Vulcans, looking for a new homeworld. Much like the Jews post WWII and may other refugees. Perhaps the Federation finds a suitable planet for their colony, but the Klingons or Romulans, or both, claim the planet is theirs. Not only do they fight against Vulcan “occupation”, they despise the Vulcans on philosophical, political, and cultural issues.

A very contempory issue. Not about terrorism per se, but rather about the roots of terrorism.”

Nice, but I think that’s the Bajorans? ;p

DS9 is incredibly relevant these days still. Great show!

Note: ‘if’ terrorism as a theme or allegory, one could refer to the more ideological kind. Such as, ole Osama Bin Laden (*spit*) and his ilk. They weren’t occupied or forced off their homes… they are ideologues with a “jihad” against the decadent West. They didn’t fly plans into New York for anything but their own cause. Maybe that’s just too cliche, Hollywoodland always has ideologically nuts Arab terrorists hanging around. *shrug*

Ah, there’s so much to wonder about regarding this whole idea from Abrams and Orci. What relevance could they explore or dig from darker nebulas? I hope they find it!

209. Chadwick - September 16, 2009

With regards to the poll the new movie should be like the first movie but nothing like the first movie. I feel the new movie need more character moments equal to more space ship battles. I knew the first movie would tease us with that, we had a one on one battle with the Narada which was in far too close quarters to see anything. The fleet goes to Vulcan and we see the nothing but the destroyed ships, c’mon…thats a huge tease and then slap. But the movie was great. Granted the new movie was to introduce this new style of Star Trek and now the second movie should be bigger in every way. The Dominion war battles, the new Star Wars battle scenes….STAR TREK XII HAS TO TOP ALL THAT HAS COME BEFORE

STAR TREK XII HAS TO TOP IT

STAR TREK XII HAS TO TOP IT

STAR TREK XII HAS TO TOP IT

STAR TREK XII HAS TO TOP IT

210. CarlG - September 16, 2009

@203: Another ray of sunshine heard from.

I’m glad to hear that they’re going the allegory route. Trek is at it’s most powerful when it’s addressing issues in a non-anvilicious way.

I kind of hope that the issue they settle on isn’t the war on terror, though. It almost seems too obvious, and very easy to fumble. No offense, of course.

211. Plum - September 16, 2009

Planes.

Yea, oh but for an edit button. ;p

212. richpit - September 16, 2009

I couldn’t read all 206 comments…so I’ll just add my own.

I guess I’m just a buffoon, because I don’t need (or particularly want) my Trek movies to be all deep and “messagy”. I don’t mind some message / moral, but I want it to be fun. Trek 2009 was fun.

Life is serious enough most of the time. I pay $10 to go to the movies and have fun.

Obviously, I’m in the minority here.

213. Brian Kirsch - September 16, 2009

#195 -

I understand your feelings, but perhaps the whole “Chekov is gay” idea is not the way to go. That being said, Star Trek has always run away from the issue, for whatever reason. I remember when Enterprise started that the character of Malcolm was “rumored” to be gay. They backed off from that by the second season and went to the extreme trying to prove he was “macho”, as if the two were mutually exclusive, lol.

No need, though, to “hit people over the head” with the issue. Rather, a bit part by an openly gay, matter of fact crewmember or secondary character would have more impact. And it would reward Star Trek’s many gay fans, myself included, for many years of fandom and belief in real diversity.

214. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

And the master mind of the Klingon military strategy is a brilliant young Klingon named Chang, who has not yet lost an eye, and who, like Kirk, has risen to senior command in an extraordinarily short amount of time through proven battlefield brilliance.

215. Losira - September 16, 2009

Star trek reflects mankind as evolced. Above hate,greed,intolerance,seldishness,raciosmm,and religious jhad hate from all faiths. It took 3 wws to get to this point. Some allegory is needed those who whine about it are those people wgo are miss behaving in that way. Like kids they feel picked on oh well get over it and learn something. Oh@182 glebb beck was done. 3un the form of John. Paxton ENT I guess sad people are stilll around evan after 3 ww

216. Sarah S - September 16, 2009

Wow, sounds like this will be really good

217. Captain Dingleberry -- The GREAT AND POWERFUL!!!! - September 16, 2009

You’re 500% right #199!

218. Brian Kirsch - September 16, 2009

#208 -

As I said, it’s all about the roots of the terrorism, and what motivates the terrorist. Where it all began, not the end product. Bin Laden and his gang of murderers got their beginnings 60 years ago, and has grown with their perceived intervention by the “Evil West” in their land disputes

219. michaela - September 16, 2009

give me back my ENTERPRISE!

NOW they make movies for money,not for entertainment!you can’t see beyound without politics????????????

i think that woudn’t make pleasure to GENE!HE was a dreamer,not a warmaker!yes,we need action,but not in this way!we hear about torture and terrorism ich day,why we need it on STAR TREK?

220. jonboc - September 16, 2009

Nothing dates a movie or series faster than an in your face allegory. But, it is an undeniable part, albeit a small part, of the original Trek and I have the utmost confidence that the writers will drape any modern social parallels in enough fun adventure that the allegory pill will go down with ease, leaving smiles just as before.

221. N - September 16, 2009

Oh no, not Star Trek 6 all over again. Does it have to be a current moral issue.

222. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

Gene Roddenberry pitches Star Trek as “Wagon Train to the stars.”

“Oh no,” somebody quips. “Not Wagon train all over again.”

223. Plum - September 16, 2009

And what’s wrong with ST:VI ? Is it…

http://echosphere.net/star_trek_insp/insp_undiscovered.jpg

Snap!

224. Boborci - September 16, 2009

Federation colony threatens the spotted owl?

225. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

The threat causes Klingon torpedoes to fly. In the end it is revealed as a huge misunderstanding. Who knew the spotted owl was revered by Klingons throughout the galaxy?

226. jonboc@aol.com - September 16, 2009

…224..”.Federation colony threatens the spotted owl?”

No, no Bob, it has to be clever. Have the Spotted Owl home-world…yes it’s revealed they were the ancient aliens that built the pyramids and some stayed behind. Anyway, on THEIR home-world, descendants of the ancient Egyptians from earth brought back to their home-world in ancient times, have recently become extinct. So the owls now seek out more humans to replenish the extinct race….enter the Enterprise crew.

Just a rough outline, but please, feel free to dispose of it as you please.

227. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

#224

I can hear the spotted owl’s war cry now…………..WHOOOO dares threaten us??!!

228. Zachary - September 16, 2009

How about some good old-fashioned exploring of a strange new world?

229. SpocksinnerConflict - September 16, 2009

Well, I guess we all know how Anthony Pascale feels about the Kahn issue. The quoted article said NOTHING about Khan, yet this post suggest Khan be a stand in for bin laden?

I know you’re just speculating dude, but why even bring it up when we’re talking about an allegory film?

to make a Khan movie, it seems like a wasted opportunity. I don’t care who he’s a stand in for.

Who the hell was Khan a stand in for back in then?

No one.

Khan stood in for Khan. A Science-gone-bad, Ubermensch extraordinaire.

sorry,
I feel rather strongly about this.

230. LH - September 16, 2009

“Who knew the spotted owl was revered by Klingons throughout the galaxy?”

Klingon warbirds.

231. Plum - September 16, 2009

229. Zachary – wrote: “How about some good old-fashioned exploring of a strange new world?”

To be honest, that was the allegory part of Trek, I reckon. Those planets, and the people there, were ‘us’. Trek was always best when it was about the human condition (cheesy? Sure, go with it!). Sorry to be high concept there. Too cerebral? Too WNMHGB? ;p But good point still. Why not go out and find … an allegory that means something to ‘us’. Relevance again eh? ::)

232. x0epyon0x - September 16, 2009

I knew it, the plot revolves around the Federation Council trying to provide Universal Healthcare for the Federation, but the Andorians are blocking it in committee, so it’s up to the crew of the Enterprise to provide an affordable, accessible solution that won’t add anymore to the Federation’s already outstanding galactic debt.

233. SpocksinnerConflict - September 16, 2009

232-

You nailed it.

take notes Orci.

234. VeratheGun - September 16, 2009

I just don’t see how you can get away from the plight of the Vulcans. They’re such a major player in ST lore. It’s probably the best place to start when breaking the new story.

The best allegory that I can think of, is what will people do when their back is up against a wall? Our logical Vulcans may resort to some rather unpleasant things to keep their race feasible. Demographically, they need females to make lots of Vulcan babies, FAST. Where are these females going to come from? Romulus.

How are they going to get Romulan women to voluntarily go Vulcan? Maybe they can’t. What happens then?

235. SpocksinnerConflict - September 16, 2009

Hey Orci,

What about the “issue” of a society, thinking they’re above corrupt social behavior, above the social issues that plague us today, yet, get this…they’re not They only pat themselves on the back and talk about how enlightened they are, but in fact, they’re turning a blind eye to social injustice left and right, right in their own back yard (Country; Planets).

It seems the Federation would be a good template for critiquing our (the west’s) half-assed way of solving social injustice. Because we are NOT truly treating everyone as equals.

Wow, I’m super ranty today.

236. SpocksinnerConflict - September 16, 2009

234-
Weird, my above post almost included a similar Vulcan scenario, as an example of how to pull off the who “social problems at home” idea.

the Vulcan’s are Federation members.

237. SpocksinnerConflict - September 16, 2009

234-

Will Pon Far be somehow phased out, and is that even possible?

238. Harry Ballz - September 16, 2009

#233

Based on that logic I have the title for the next movie:

STAR TREK: VULCAN NEEDS WOMEN!

239. Losira - September 16, 2009

Social comment rarely is dated due to the fact that mankind keeps repeating tge same mistakesaa agai & again o like small kids you have to keep telling them over &oveet. However. I am sure the new trek movie. Will be exciting & will be entertaining.

240. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

233: “Demographically, they need females to make lots of Vulcan babies, FAST.”

What’s the rush?

“How are they going to get Romulan women to voluntarily go Vulcan? Maybe they can’t. What happens then?”

Obviously the Vulcans will reason with the Romulan women and try to dispassionately convince them that it’s the logical thing to do. And if that doesn’t work they’ll slip a hood over their heads and throw them in the trunk.

On a separate note, you were wise to reference District 9 in this post, Pascale.

District 9 was a surprising and very good movie. By the end we find the aliens more human than the humans, and the humans more monstrous than the monsters.

And it achieved that effect without being either preachy or ham fisted in its approach. That’s the sort of thing the ST sequel should aim for.

241. VeratheGun - September 16, 2009

236. I mean , you expect your enemies to give you a hard time, try and trip you up and generally make life difficult, right?

But what happens when it’s your friends that are doing it? How hard can the Federation be on the poor, pitiful Vulcans who, after all, have been all but wiped out.

How do you deal with a small, rightfully endangered minority willing to do WHATEVER it takes to survive? And oh, yeah, they’re your closest allies.

The Fed could probably forgive quite a lot, or look the other way pretty easily. And that’s when the s**t hits the fan.

242. Plum - September 16, 2009

232. x0epyon0x – wrote: “I knew it, the plot revolves around the Federation Council trying to provide Universal Healthcare for the Federation, but the Andorians are blocking it in committee, so it’s up to the crew of the Enterprise to provide an affordable, accessible solution that won’t add anymore to the Federation’s already outstanding galactic debt.”

That’s sooo spot on funny, and relevant! lol! :D

234. VeratheGun – wrote: “I just don’t see how you can get away from the plight of the Vulcans.”

Good point! It’s hard to let Abrams and Orci get away with … Vulcan. Consequences.

243. dmduncan - September 16, 2009

Perhaps the destruction of Vulcan by a Romulan softens the Romulan Empire’s attitude. Perhaps the remaining Vulcans are aided by the Romulans themselves, given a world or a protected corner of Romulus to make their own? Perhaps the walls come down between the Romulan Empire and the Federation as a result, and the Klingons feel even more threatened by the alliance.

I have this image of 50,000 Klingon battle cruisers invading federation space and establishing a foothold around several major star systems.

How much does a CGI Klingon Battlecruiser cost these days? Can Paramount afford 50,000 of them on the screen at the same time?

How about half a billion Klingon troops pouring onto these invaded worlds? Think big. Can we afford big?

244. VeratheGun - September 16, 2009

242. I like it.

The unexpected consequences of Romulans turning more Vulcan-like and Vulcans turning more Romulan-like.

We already know there are tensions between the Romulans and Klingons. The Federation will be pulled between the two.

245. SpocksinnerConflict - September 16, 2009

241

“How do you deal with a small, rightfully endangered minority willing to do WHATEVER it takes to survive? And oh, yeah, they’re your closest allies.”

That’s it…great moral conundrum.

see, we don’t need Khan for this sh@#t.

I do worry about treading into bsg territory though. Gotta find some way of getting around that. But the Vulcan set up from the last movie is asking for it

246. Jim Nightshade - September 16, 2009

the owls have a book in their language about how to serve humans-but its really a cook book! Humans turn out to be who-liscious!
What?Already been done? Curse you Rod Serling! hehehe

247. Plum - September 16, 2009

245. SpocksinnerConflict – wrote: “I do worry about treading into bsg territory though. Gotta find some way of getting around that. But the Vulcan set up from the last movie is asking for it.”

You want it, but you’re afraid. Excellent. *evil laugh*

248. Spockish - September 16, 2009

Does anyone remember last week the idea of Space costs to much lets just send robots. If this idea ever sprouts wings, all I can see for humanities future is control strings from above by those that only want to be puppet masters. And in the end this means we join the dinosaurs.

To prevent this STM#XII needs to inspire us in first person to venture into space and explore, other wise humanity gets more rabid like, what do you think terrorism is today. It’s and early form of Rabies, it has yet to get us to foam at the mouth. You could almost say our spending habits today can be our foaming at the mouth.

Kirk needs to show us that individualism and the power of personal desire to explore is of a greater curing power that control of others by puppet masters means extinction of humanity. Becoming puppets will never let Picard save humanity’s none birth by Q.

My views may be biased by me living in open unconfined areas of The Rocky Mountains, I do not yet live in the Concrete Jungle and am trained to let others do for me what I can do for myself and over work to pay taxes so others get paid to do it for you. I have never been a Polyester suit puppet that likes a Windowless high-rise cube for a job.

I want Kirk to educate those office cube puppets that doing things for yourself and as a gift to others is what humanity is destination for the future. In ways this kind of implies the old selling point of Wagon Train to the Stars.

I desire Freedom not Puppet Masters, and the Star Trek I grew up on in the 70′s wanted this also. So how wrong is my view of things?

249. tom vinelli - September 16, 2009

I think they should look at all the tos tv stuff to see if they could find a baddie. This is how startrek 2 came to be. They could use a race from any of the series. I mean enterprize used the borg as well as the gorn.

These races started sometime before startrek tos. right.? theres other baddies beside the kingons and roms.

250. Hat Rick - September 16, 2009

Trek is paradoxical, my friends. It is both nerdy and majestic, weak and strong, human and superhuman. It is both the yin and the yang, it is both you and me, both the individual and the whole.

Trek needs to find nothing less than its inner contradiction. Not to be — HORRORS! — Marxist about it, but the concept of contradiction, which, in any case, is Hegelian — is that which needs to be overcome.

Trek’s contradiction is that it is a contradiction that itself needs to be contradicted. It needs to be that helpful populist, that saleable intellectualism, that happy sadness, that produces satisfaction in even the least satisfiable.

Miracle of miracles — it is a human that must produce the unproduceable.

It is us who must produce the unimaginable fantasy, the rounded square, that IS Trek.

God — if he/she/it exists — help those who are indeed so tasked.

251. devon - September 16, 2009

Speaking as a gay Trekker myself, I would not want to see one of the main characters presented as gay if it deviates from the pre-existing core of that character just for the sake of inclusion! I had no problem accepting the Spock-Uhura romance because in TOS Uhura quite often flirted with Spock, and Spock appreciated Uhura’s abilities, talents, & intelligence, so to have this as a reality in the divergent timeline made sense to me , as a path that might have been! As for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, Scott, these characters were presented as heterosexual in the series, and quite likely Chekov as well (unless these characters were bisexual or omnisexual?). I would prefer a newly created character who is gay or of an alternative(alien) sexuality who could become a core member of the crew and add something new & fresh to the franchise, rather than distort an already existing character for the sake of controversy! I don’t like it when pre-established characters like Wonder Woman are played by Black actresses like Beyonce (glad that was only rumor!) because it changes the fundamental core of the known character, WW is an Amazon (Greek) and from an all female society, so it would be completely believable for her to be a lesbian, but never Black… she is undeniably Greek!!!

252. GarySeven - September 16, 2009

I am enjoying many of the above posts- they are thoughtful, interesting, and stimulating.
Some people have mentioned the point I want to make, but I want to say it directly:
Star trek was not only about the social/political commentary of the day. It was also about understanding the basic human condition, and an optimistic stance on the positive possibilties of being human in the future. Such themes are, unlike political commentaries (such as terrorism) will not become dated. They are timeless truths.
Examples in Trek about the challenges of being human, and a message of how to positively meet those challenges, include:
-”The Enemy Within, (the need to accept and integrate the light and the dark sides in us)
-” “Arena, (the need to grow past reacting from only our own perspectives
-”The Devil in the Dark” (same)
- Where No Man Has Gone Before” (the challenge of having too much power when one remains motivated by basic human faults).

253. Petey from Singapore - September 16, 2009

This may not be the right forum to express this, but perhaps the “Supreme Court” might also want to explore ways to make Star Trek more relevant on an international level. Trek unfortunately experienced less than stellar results in the global box office.

I’m not saying dumb it down to “Transformers 2″ level (which panders to the lowest common denominator) but maybe address ideas that are relevant to all of humanity. Depicting Starfleet as a humanitarian force rather than an offensive power would go a long way in being inclusive.

254. captain_neill - September 16, 2009

If they dumb down Star Trek further I will not be happy
If they bring in Khan or rehash a classic episode I could become disconnected.

I don’t want to feel like this because Star Trek is the greatest franchise ever and I want to love it to prosper for years to come.

I am glad when I read that the writers are going to do a Modern Day allegory, it will give the film a theme and play to another of Trek’s strengths as well as the characters.

I just hope these writiers can write a stronger story, reading some of the comments it seems some people are happy for Trek to movie away from what is all about. If it want further away it could become Trek in name only and become more like Star Wars.

This gives me hope that the next Trek film will be great but I hop it is not the obvious Iraq war theme.

I disagree about Star Trek VI being dated, true that the politics behind i are 2 decades old but it is still a relevant film that deals with themes that are relevant to this day such as Prejudice and racism. TO me Star Trek Vi is still a great film and IMO is much better than the new Trek XI.

in the top 11 I place Trek XI number 6.

255. will - September 17, 2009

How about a Trek film to scare the teabaggers? Have Trek explain how the one-world government of Earth works.

256. Spockish - September 17, 2009

Star Trek has never been a you have to do things this way and the only way it can be solved. It’s been more of if this happens you can react this way and they happy results can result.

And then everyone has different ways of expressing nomenclature of Movie titles, dates, and happenings. The nice thing is with the world expressing views from everywhere and in different styles.

The world’s populace gets to learn how others express things and the world learns to understand others ideas and views.

Anyone else think Anthony deserves an award for helping the world understand each other that much better. I have no idea when the next webbie awards are but shall all us commentators work on getting him an award.

I do not know if he wants one or cares to get one but how bad of an idea is it?

257. somethoughts - September 17, 2009

1. Heroes
2. Challenges and Discovery, “fascinating.”
3. Comment on morality/ethical issue/problem
4. Solution to problem
5. Incredible special effects, like how T2 today is still cool
6. Epic Direction/music score
7. Progression of characters
8. WoW factor, why should ppl go see it
9. Release every possible human emotion for the movie goer, in the lines of District 9
10. William Shatner before he moves onto the next realm.

258. Brain - September 17, 2009

New universe… no half-brother.
Please.
STAR TREK is NOT soap opera.
I’ll take space opera, but not soap.
(Honor Harrington!)

Also, I would be happy to see a story that doesn’t dip back into any plot point from the recent movie. The situation of the Vulcans was ‘resolved’ (I use the term loosely), if I remember correctly. We need to move on to new adventures before the stigma of YAWN TREK starts back up.

259. Admiral_BlackCat - September 17, 2009

224. Boborci – September 16, 2009
Federation colony threatens the spotted owl?

LMAO!
The danger of inexperienced drivers on the road… oh wait. :P

260. Trek Nerd Central - September 17, 2009

#199, 217. What the huh? People don’t want to Think Big Thoughts? They just wanna sit back and suck their fingers at the Weawy Big Expwosions?

Gimme a break. We’re grown-ups here. A movie can entertain AND! AND! AND! it can address issues of weight in the world today. AND!AND!AND! it can do so with subtlety and force. “Star Trek” can have big battles AND big thoughts. This either/or garbage frankly ticks me off.

Look, if you go back and consider some of the best eps of the original Trek, they addressed all sorts of hefty issues in a really interesting, moving, fun, sexy package. What the heck is “Mirror, Mirror” about, other than free will, despotic rule and the lure of evil? I mean, other than hot costumes, of course.

“Return of the Archons” dissed Soviet communism in one of the coolest, creepiest and most effective little pieces of science fiction that ever hit the screen. Plus: It opens with a wild-eyed orgy! Can ya beat that! Purdy entertaining, huh?

Finally, “City on the Edge of Forever” (which, granted, had no bacchanals or exploding fireballs to speak of) weighed personal joy against universal responsiblity in a manner that resonates, and brings tears, to this day.

Star Trek can be both. It IS both. This is not a matter of debate. If the so-called Supreme Court wants to inject political and/or moral allegory into their sequel, I, for one, will not object. I will rejoice.

And on another subject:
#224, 227. Hilarious. And it reminds me of Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia” : “WHOOOOO will know?” (Tell me I’m not the only Trekkie here who saw & loved that movie.)

261. star trackie - September 17, 2009

#258 “STAR TREK is NOT soap opera.
I’ll take space opera, but not soap.”

Amen brother. Nothing turned me off of Ds9 faster than all that Bjoran religous drek. And the Miles/Keiko/Molly crap. Lord. All the time, I’m thinking, there is a wormhole to a whole new quadrant…why are we never exploring THAT?? What’s with the soapy, sappy storylines??

The spin-offs seemed to forget how to have adventures exploring, I sure hope the new writers don’t foget as well.

262. Khan's Sphincter - September 17, 2009

Well, please no Khan. Been there done that. However, let’s say that after Khan was blown up all of his various body parts were scattered across space and eventually his sphincter was discovered by powerful aliens. The aliens meld with the sphincter to create a super powerful genetically enhanced Khan Alien Hybrid! You can fill in the rest from there…

263. SpocksinnerConflict - September 17, 2009

261-

Oh, hey,,I’m not the only one!

But yea, people like that stuff. what are you gonna do

where does this soap opera fear for the next film come from?

Seems the last film did a good job getting around all of that.

264. James Heaney - September 17, 2009

This is good news. Means the writers recognize the core of Star Trek, and, having given us a slam-bang intro movie, they’re taking us right to where Trek thrives.

Shouldn’t be too strong; shouldn’t be Star Trek IV-silly; shouldn’t alienate a large portion of the audience. But it should be there.

I’ve always thought it odd that so many Trekkies point to “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” and “A Private Little War” as Trek-morality at its best. I hate that episode; it’s so OBVIOUS. Give me “The Doomsday Machine” or “Similitude” or a complex story like “In The Pale Moonlight,” or the brilliant “Critical Care” (and, yes, I am a conservative – but “Critical Care” was very well-done and thought-provoking. It changed some of my views on health care overnight.) Give me “Progress.” Give me “A Taste of Armageddon” (which becomes more relevant every day). Give me “The Drumhead,” and “Darmok,” and “Hard Time.” Against titanic parables like those, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” and “Private Little War” seem like cheap, dated gimmickry.

IMO, anyway. So, hopefully boborci is reading this and hanging on my every word. I certainly think it’s a good idea to bring some critical thinking about current affairs into the new movie. To those who are saying it sounds like Trek copying District 9: Actually, the whole time I was watching D9, I kept thinking, “Boy, this is just like watching a Star Trek episode.” I think they stole the idea from us first, and turnabout is fair play. :P

265. VeratheGun - September 17, 2009

The problem I had with District 9, was how depressed it left me feeling. It was a brilliant, intense film, that left me feeling wrung out and disturbed. That’s not what I want from my entertainment, at least not very often.

People need light, along with their darkness. They need love along with hate. Hope, in the face of adversity. It’s one of the aspects that worked best in new Trek. Sometimes, good guys, can just be good guys, trying to do the right thing.

Everyday life is really tough for a lot of people right now, and to walk into that dark theater and see the regard, and sacrifices all these characters made for each other, was such an incredible GIFT, during a very dark time in the real world.

Thanks, boborci, for those thrilling two hours. I know you guys will get it right again.

266. Van Ness Gate - September 17, 2009

#251. devon – “Speaking as a gay Trekker myself, I would not want to see one of the main characters presented as gay if it deviates from the pre-existing core of that character just for the sake of inclusion! I had no problem accepting the Spock-Uhura romance because in TOS Uhura quite often flirted with Spock, and Spock appreciated Uhura’s abilities, talents, & intelligence, so to have this as a reality in the divergent timeline made sense to me , as a path that might have been! As for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, Scott, these characters were presented as heterosexual in the series, and quite likely Chekov as well (unless these characters were bisexual or omnisexual?).

You have a problem with CANON. Not character.

In case you missed it, all of the molecules have changed in this universe thanks to Nero (and presumably the Butterfly effect). From the subtle change of Kirk’s eyes from brown to blue, to Checkov’s possible sexual orientation.

Spock & Uhura’s relationship in this universe has absolutely no bearing on the relationship which Uhura flirted with in the early episodes of TOS, one in which Spock showed NO interest as I recall. In this universe, Spock is head-over-heels in love with Uhura and visibly displays his open-mouthed affection for her as the mood suits him.

We can only hope this new movie we get a lot more of Uhura. I like that she has displaced McCoy, who was always something of a prude. Leave him as the wise-cracking old curmudgeon comedy relief. Uhura brings a woman’s sensibility to the film which is sorely needed to temper Kirk’s physical testosterone and Spock’s intellectual testosterone. McCoy was a good conscience, but lacked the perspective a woman can bring. I say good riddance. In this universe Uhura can be the third most important character in the film and thanks to Saldana’s insistence, and Abram’s promise, she be given more to do, I expect her celebrity alone will eclipse McCoy, but definitely her character. It’s inevitable as the last film proved that there is just not enough time to squeeze in more than a few relationships per story – by default Uhura will take one of those valuable slots. Besides McCoy is just irrelevant to new audiences. He’s like your father and as we all know by now, this is NOT your father’s Trek.

“I don’t like it when pre-established characters like Wonder Woman are played by Black actresses like Beyonce (glad that was only rumor!) because it changes the fundamental core of the known character, WW is an Amazon (Greek) and from an all female society, so it would be completely believable for her to be a lesbian, but never Black… she is undeniably Greek!!!”

How very close-minded of you. First, historically speaking, some think the Amazons of Greek MYTHOLOGY were from Libya, which could easily give rise to the North African heritage. Also, since it was mythology, why does it have to be Greek ethnicity? That’s like saying a completely fictional satyr can only be depicted as a person of Greek Descent. And by the way, there was NOTHING GREEK about Linda Carter who was Irish and Mexican by descent. Our perception of the anglo Greeks of mythology is primarily perpetrated by white European Renaissance artists who gave us a caucasian, blond and blue-eyed Middle-Eastern Jewish deity.

267. captain_neill - September 17, 2009

Damn there’s always bitching about the spin offs

268. Trek Nerd Central - September 17, 2009

251, 256. Are we arguing about this stuff again?

I agree that Chekov probably isn’t gay; he was always making googly eyes at some twinkie in a skirt. Is he bi or transgendered, though? Is that somewhere in canon?

Seriously folks. Wonder Woman. Who the flip cares what color her skin is? Is that even relevant? Does it affect her ability to ping bullets off her wristbands? Beyonce woulda been fine.

269. Trek Nerd Central - September 17, 2009

I meant 251 and 266 (not 256)

270. John from Cincinnati - September 17, 2009

224.

BobOrci – Except the spotted Owls are 6 feet tall and have large fangs and bad breath.

271. Yammer - September 17, 2009

159 Yeah!

Garth of Izar is a fantastic movie villain because he represents the best of the Federation’s warrior caste. He is also a shape-shifter — I suppose that might be a little too on-the-nose for satire if he becomes a politician, but you can see the possibilities…

Another “retread” character that I have brought up before is T’Pring.

Boborci has cited “Spock’s World” (by the peerless Diane Duane) as an influence in his thinking. Duane postulated T’Pring’s scheming and malice as leading to a revolutionary fervor — well, what if she is in the displaced diaspora, and abusing the moral high ground that Vulcans would now surely possess?

Perhaps grabbing some land… for the greater good… leading to hopeless entrenched battle…

METAPHORS GALORE.

272. Nathan - September 17, 2009

Oh, Khan…this could be bad. Admittedly, one of my major issues with the first film was the lack of any theme, meaning, or ideas connected to it…but blatant allegory concerning modern political issues was not what I had in mind.

Star Trek has been at its almost worst where its tried to directly allegorize contemporary political issues–sure, it can work, but it has to be done with a very, VERY light touch, or its just obnoxious (see: “The God Thing,” proposed story idea, the; or “The Outcast,” token blatant pro-gay-rights allegory episode, the).

I agree it should deal with serious issues–but those issues should must be UNIVERSAL in scope–they should be issues that mankind throughout the ages has dealt with. Religion, war, peace, the nature of man, reality, difficult moral situations, conundrums, the unknown…all of these are things that could be argued with someone 1000 years ago, or 1000 years in the future. Torture and war *can* be among them–but, even there, direct allegories are bad.

Relevant issues like torture can be dealt with without having Tali-Klingons blowing up Starfleet Headquarters in a hijacked shuttle. I hope Orci and the other writers are keeping that very much in mind…

273. Dunsel Report - September 17, 2009

#272 Major props for bringing up “The God Thing.” Like George Lucas, I think that Gene Roddenberry came to misunderstand the original strengths of his own creation, i.e. just because the diversity of the Enterprise was groundbreaking TV that sent a message of hope, didn’t mean that the show should be about utopian dreams in which humans have evolved to a conflict-free world and Kirk is dissing God.

274. Sam Belil - September 17, 2009

NO KHAN!!! NO KHAN!!!
Something FRESH and ORIGINAL,
JUST LIKE THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

275. dmduncan - September 17, 2009

War brings out the best and the worst in people, so it’s an excellent dramatic background against which to explore character.

It also creates opportunities for really big spectacular stuff on screen. The sequel should be BIGGER than the first movie. I predict that if the budget shrinks a lot, the audience will shrink a lot. And I don’t mean in height.

So I really hope we don’t go from a TMP budget to a TWOK budget in the sequel. Star Trek (2009) was the first Star Trek movie to realize how big and spectacular the Star Trek universe could be, and I want to see it become even bigger, bigger than Star Wars in scope.

In Nemesis we enter the Romulan Senate, and we see the Romulan Empire has a senate a little bigger than a Tuff Shed. Come on!

Continue to make things the size they deserve to be.

How about we see Klingons reinvented? How about we see that Klingons are diverse, but a rigidly stratified society and that—believe it or not—they do NOT all wear the same freakin clothes?

How about we see a scientist and engineer caste of Klingon who are small and fragile, but extremely brainy, who are forced by the warrior caste to do what they want?

How about we see how ruthless the warrior caste is? How about they act like the Mongols did, piling the skulls of their victims high as a warning to those who would oppose them?

In short, how about we forget the snarling nice guys of TNG, and see some really frightening characters who are not admirable but horrifying? Klingons who exist in enormous numbers, who have enormous appetites for energy and territory, Klingons who can literally use up a world until it goes from lush to a smoldering piece of charcoal in space?

Think BIG and SPECTACULAR. Let’s see things we’ve NEVER seen before.

276. SpocksinnerConflict - September 17, 2009

272

about “the god thing”: I just think that Roddenberry had the belief, one i share, that everything should be questioned and considered and that nothing should be viewed as a sacred cow exempt from flaw and critique.
Bad things tend to happen when humans stop questioning everything they know or believe in.

277. SpocksinnerConflict - September 17, 2009

I mean

273

278. dmduncan - September 17, 2009

271: “Garth of Izar is a fantastic movie villain because he represents the best of the Federation’s warrior caste.”

Garth as Colonel Kurtz and Kirk as Captain Willard sent to “terminate” his command?

279. SpocksinnerConflict - September 17, 2009

I’m worried that “Universal” allegory just means “an allegory that doesn’t offend my conservative sensibilities.”

Then we end up playing it safe (unlike trek at the time).

Then what’s the point?

Social injustice exists because some people think what they’re doing is right, yet people (and whole cultures) suffer.

280. damienchance - September 17, 2009

The film will FLOP (at least underperform hugely and thus end the movie franchise) if it is all preachy/moral/dull/boring, i.e. too cerebral trek.

Action/fun/EPIC/war/space battles/land battles/human drama/funny = HIT

Preachy/moral/cerebral/geeky/political/TNG like/hard sci fi/current issue driven = FLOP.

281. SpocksinnerConflict - September 17, 2009

Why do people love throwing babies out with the bath water?

There is no law of physics that says you can’t tell an entertaining, action packed tale while dealing with CURRENT social issues.

What up with all the assumptions and hyperbole?

one can deal with current social problems without banging the audience over the head.

take a look at 70′s film making.

282. Trek Nerd Central - September 17, 2009

280, please see my totally unhinged screed at # 260. I don’t have the energy to do it again.

281: Amen!

283. dmduncan - September 17, 2009

279: “Social injustice exists because some people think what they’re doing is right, yet people (and whole cultures) suffer.”

What sort of social injustice did you have in mind? Avatar appears to have a European invaders vs. the American Indian type of theme.

I know lots of American Indians. And I love that theme and would like to see it again, partly because Native Americans are an invisible minority to the dominant culture, and they still battle the consequences of a century old effort to destroy their way of life and culture.

But Avatar already appears to be doing that theme in grand style. That’s the way it looked to me, at least. Sort of like the Alpha Centauri version of Dances With Wolves.

284. RachelMarta - September 17, 2009

I would prefer a story that includes (perhaps as a sub-plot) the concept of IDIC; it is a beautiful idealistic idea but it does present challenges for the crew in trying to live it (as well as for the intergalactic community). It could be used in the developing relationship of Kirk and Spock and then Kirk becomes the role model for his crew. McCoy has always been Kirk’s sounding board. I would like to see that continue. I would like Spock to turn to Jim when he tries to understand how humans think/feel.

I am not interested in a story about the ethics/morality of torture.

I would be interested in the Enterprise crew helping out at “New Vulcan” with the sociological and environmental challenges the Vulcans face on their new planet. Do the Vulcans keep all of their rituals and ways; does the younger generation lead a revolt? Where would Spock fit in? Of course, it would be great if Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) could continue in this story. There would be outside challenges as well.

What about the Romulans who learn that a Romulan ship was destroyed and become furious with the Vulcans and Captain Kirk? Kirk tried to reach out to Nero but Nero would have none of it. The Romulans come to New Vulcan to finish what Nero started. But there are diplomatic talks with Jim and Spock struggling with their own personal tragedies trying to rise above and work with the Romulans and Vulcans to find a way to peace.

And please make sure the crew interacts in ways that show the challenges of meshing as a team when they are all so young and inexperienced. I would enjoy seeing them grow during the course of the 2nd movie. They are not the experienced crew of TOS yet; not even by the end of the 2nd movie. All I can say is I wish the writers and J.J. Abrams good luck in coming up with a story that the fans will love as much as the first movie. I live in hope.

285. Harry Ballz - September 17, 2009

I think we misheard Orci and thought he said “allegory”. In fact he probably said “alligator”, as a veiled hint that the next movie will have the Gorn in it (lizard?).

m’yeah, that must be it!

286. David_Alexander - September 17, 2009

If you want a good ‘Trek allegory for the modern day – look-up ‘Star Trek Reborn’. An excellent internet ‘virtual series’ reimagining & reboot of TOS dealing with corruption in Starfleet & an impending war with the Gorn.

287. Harry Ballz - September 17, 2009

Oooooh, Gorn! Gimmeeee!!

288. Andrew F. - September 17, 2009

Uuugggg! This scares me a bit! I know trek has always done allegory, the trick is to make sure it is believable, subtle, and intelligent! Above all else, it needs to be good story telling!!!

289. Harry Ballz - September 17, 2009

Not asking for much, are you?

290. Jim Nightshade - September 17, 2009

just watched first episode of jj and roberto/alexs fringe and it was awesome! Jj wrote it and if this is any indication this season of fringe will be awesome! It was more of the same but even better!

291. Cervantes - September 18, 2009

I just hope there’s gonna be some actual BOLDLY GOING WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE this time amongst all this ‘topical allegory’….

292. dmduncan - September 18, 2009

How about a Gorn-Klingon alliance in an invasion movie where the Romulans form an allliance with the Federation?

I don’t want to see a movie about Vulcans building their new world. I’m sure 99% of the moviegoing population wouldn’t turn out for that either.

Sure, the sequel should deal somewhat with what happens next to the Vulcans, but a docudrama about New Vulcan would be excruciating. The Vulcan question shouldn’t be the focus. That would be boring. That’s TV show thinking. I’ve had enough Star Trek TV episodes showing up on the movie screen. I don’t want to see that anymore.

Bigger. Think bigger.

When Star Trek (2009) comes out on DVD a LOT of people who weren’t interested in going to the theater to see the movie will check it out on DVD. And a lot of those people who didn’t see it in the theater are going to say wow, that was a really good movie, I can’t wait for the sequel. I predict the sequel will have a bigger opening day and first week than ST.09 did if—IF—the sequel generates the same word of mouth excitement that the first film did.

It won’t do that if it goes back to small TV show thinking. For better or worse, Paramount has established the new franchise as a blockbuster tentpole. It’s not District 9. And they’ll begin it’s demise all over again if they underfund it and return to the low budget days of Nicholas Meyer.

If they want to make the money they’ll have to spend the money.

293. Alec - September 18, 2009

I’ve just recently watched Goldeneye (the James Bond film); and I thought a similar story could be implemented in a Star Trek film. Why not have one of Kirk’s best friends (Gary Mitchell?) become seriously disillusioned with the Federation and plot it’s downfall? Perhaps he joins a terrorist organisation (the Maquis?) Epic conflicts ensue. Mitchell gathers lots of followers and perhaps other species hostile with the Federation and war breaks out. There are huge space battles in open space and with gorilla tactics in nebulae. And, of course, we have the personal conflict between two friends, one of whom, Kirk, is sent by Starfleet to find, stop, and, if need be, kill his friend. To make this story work, we’d need to know that Mitchell? and Kirk were great friends: we’d need to see this depicted on screen, perhaps using the academy setting.

Or what about depicting the conflict between the Maquis refusing to vacate ‘their’ colony planets to the Cardasians, who then try to take them by force. Enter Kirk and co…

Just some ideas. Please keep the requisite action, drama, and emotion in the sequel. Cerebral trek is great; unfortunately, it’s not popular. The sequel has to be great: better than the first. Only after there have been a couple or so of great Star Trek films in succession will the preconceived notions of Trek die away; only then will the mainstream embrace it fully. Why not have an epic Borg conflict? Essentially, a suitably modified version of ‘Best of Both Worlds’ would be *great* with a film budget. Then, after the new crew have been established as characters, and the films have been established as hits, bring our the big guns: Khan and the augments. Their super-human abilities should be shown (TWOK didn’t really do this) and this will bring in fans of super-hero movies, too…..

294. Alec - September 18, 2009

Oh, and I still like the title ‘Star Trek: The Prime Directive’.

295. Alec - September 18, 2009

One further note, if we want to see a new, sustained series of Trek films, there can be no holding back. Star Trek 2009 was a great beginning. But it was only a beginning. The next film has to be better still – hopefully, in every way. If Khan and the Borg are the best ways to keep the mainstream audience, then I say use them. (But only use them if justice can be done to them as characters and concepts.) Insurrection was terrible (in my opinion, *the* worst Trek film). And what has been proposed for Trek 12 (why do people keep calling it Trek 2?) sounds, to me, very much like Insurrection – which has me somewhat worried.

If I were making the sequel, I would present an epic introduction to the Borg. The Borg threatens Earth; a fleet is sent to destroy the Borg ship(s) but fails. And, a la Star Wars, we actually see the huge space battle. The Borg are weakened. The Enterprise is sent or arrives somehow; and, eventually, the Federation are victorious. Essentially, Best of Both Worlds; but I’d add some comedy, humour, and maybe some romance: some light to the obvious dark of the plot. The film ends in an uplifting fashion. And with space battles galore and hand-to-hand combat, assimilations, etc., the mainstream fully enjoy it and no one feels that they’ve been lectured to or forced to endure someone else’s moral perspective with may be very different to one’s own.

296. SpocksinnerConflict - September 18, 2009

292

I hear you about the Vulcan docudrama.

I think, since the end of the last movie, your right, we need to get out into the galaxy. away from federation territory.

But maybe the new vulcan colony is settled outside the federation and then boom….gorn problem.

I’m not actually that into o’l lizard head, but you get the gist.
___________

What id like to see dealt with?
a little worn out to write a huge list.

I think the way our country treats it’s poor is pretty…poor.
Even the public’s view is a bit disturbing.
And we’re the richest country on earth. But we have so many Bombed out neighborhoods that look like 3rd world countries.

I like in the original series ( and i guess TNG), when we’d stumble upon these federation colonies that are totally screwed up, ether by crazy leader ship, or they just didn’t do the research on the planet somehow.

So Kirk and company head out to planet Baltimore or planet Salinas California, or the New Detroit colony.

So we have colony leadership corruption, security corruption, corruption of the soul because living in such shitty conditions WILL screw with your head, and the heads of your children in a big way.

What if the new Vulcan colony was settled on a planet that already had this messed up established colony, and all the federation resources are gong to the Vulcans. So the Vulcans are gentrifying this planet. Building something new without fixing the old.

297. Nata - September 18, 2009

A sequel a la Undiscovered Country sounds terrific – if done right.

But sorry, that scene in the novelization of ST-11, where Kirk teaches Spock how to torture, was awfull. Spock there cheerfully complies, and to add insult to injury, Romulans break after a few slaps in the face – after all the canon of Vulcans and Romulans being creatures of duty and impervious to torture!
There’s so much WRONG with that scene – hope the authors realize it now as well. Otherwise I hope they’ll leave torture/terrorism alone, and do some other allegory.

By the way – yes, terrorism allegory was in ST-11 already – who the heck did we think Nero was? And the way it was dealt with was quite War-on-Terror like, especially the ending.

What I hope for the next movie is dealing with today’s issues in the true spirit of Star Trek – with hope, optimism, faith in the best in humanity.
I.e. show us the light in the end of the tunnel.

Roddenberry believed the Cold War would come to an end and wouldn’t turn to nuclear war, and showed such a future – guess what happened 20 years later!
He believed that black women in command positions would be a normal thing. And guess what we are seeing today.
So you see – optimism is not foolish even outside of Star Trek.

In that light, I hope so much that the current run of movies will end with restoring both Romulus and Vulcan – and that it should be our heroes’ quest.
After all, Kirk!Prime committed 17 temporarial violations to save the heck out of everybody, why the new Kirk shouldn’t try the same?

Otherwise the message we get out of this is really bleak.
Romulans and Vulcans are peoples with the common root, who were separated some thousands years ago, went different routes and became bitter enemies. Just like Arabs and Jews.
In this light we can see how impossible, but noble was Spock’s quest in Unification.
To end it in such an utter failure, and to show that those people cannot coexist in teh same timeline unless one is annihilated – that’s not what I expect to see in Star Trek.

I hope so much Spock!Prime efforts in Unification wouldn’t be dropped and would bring fruit – just to give us hope here, in this our world.
“Countdown” comic was really good about exploring it. I hope it can be tied into sequels somehow.

But overall – those are great news! I’m all for deeper meanings, and exploring the great set-up from ST-11 further – I trust it can be done brilliantly by this team.

298. Nowhere Man - September 18, 2009

Here is the allegory need to present on the big screen.

The president is a klingon implant creating a shadow government to change Federation law and policies. He takes over starfleet medical, financial institutions and establishes Cash for Starfleet Clunkers program. He further dismantles the defense systems on Mars and Moon and releases Khan and his followers from Ceti Alpha V.

Kirk and his crew voices the truth about this conspirancy and restores justice and freedom to the Federation.

299. Harry Ballz - September 18, 2009

#298

Yeah, to return to it’s position of being loved and revered throughout the galaxy like it was BEFORE the “shadow government” was created?

300. Rastaman - September 18, 2009

#298

How is that an allegory? In order to accurately reflect the events to which you refer, the fact pattern would have to change dramatically:

The president is a Vulcan creating an open government to change Federation law and policies away from the evils of his Romulan implant predecessor. He reforms starfleet medical so that all Federation citizens may have access to the latest technological wonders, breaths new life into its financial institutions and establishes logical programs to revitalize production. He restores the Federation’s reputation across the galaxy by putting an end to the imperialist policies of his predecessor. He logically redesigns defense systems on Mars and Moon to respond to conventional threats and restores a system of justice for untried (and often innocent) aliens captured and held in Section 31′s secret prisons and other facilities of torture.

Kirk, Spock and his crew see the logic of the President’s new policies and prevent the ignorant Romulan nay-sayers from their insidious lies and attempts at assassination.

Star Trek’s Federation utopia is restored!!!

301. Plum - September 18, 2009

^^^
Yea, they don’t call it ‘the United States of Amnesia” for nothin’. lol! ;p

302. Alec - September 18, 2009

298. Nowhere Man – September 18, 2009:

This story has been done before, essentially. I.e., the changelings on Earth in DS9. But I see no reason not to do it again: for many, many people it would be the first telling, anway.

I think that one of the problems for the team, regarding the sequel, is going to be just settling on an idea: there are so many from which to choose.

303. dmduncan - September 18, 2009

Torture was even touched in ST.09. Nero had Pike strapped to a table in a pool of water. And wasn’t Pike’s hair in that scene not quite dry yet? He was being waterboarded! See, they commented on it without hitting anyone over the head with waterboarding. Few people even noticed that at all.

304. dmduncan - September 18, 2009

Since we’re having fun playing pretend, here’s the bare bones sequel in my head as it’s playing in an alternate universe right now. I wish I was there.

Klingons genetically engineered to look and scan as human have infiltrated and occupied key security positions within the Federation, and disable defenses allowing a mind bogglingly large Klingon invasion of Federation space to capture star systems for the Empire’s use. As the rest of the fleet speeds back from what is discovered to be a ruse in the Laurentian system, Kirk faces a Mission Impossible type impossible mission. Doubts about Kirk’s ability to carry out the mission abound. Secretly, Kirk doubts himself. A hologram of his dad speaking words of encouragement before he was born is the only thing that seems to help.

How will he resolve this Kobyashi Maru test outnumbered by real Klingons? No one knows. Everyone’s nervous. No one more so than Lieutenant Uhura, whose “I told you so” attitude during Kirk’s academy tests comes back to haunt and irritate him.

Suddenly, a moment of brilliance and Kirk has the idea, a plan as obvious as it is daring—a throwback to the kinds of things old military seafaring Captains and their Marines used to do—and all thanks to Uhura and her refusal to let him live down the Kobyashi Maru. Except that Chekov will have to play Captain, and Kirk will need the forced cooperation of a senior Klingon aboard the Command Ship—and that means that he, Uhura (for translation, since Klingons refuse to speak English), Sulu (bcause he has the nifty sword we want to see again), and a couple of red shirts (one of whom is the cadet from the barfight in Iowa) will have to sneak undetected aboard the command ship across the vacuum of space in space suits rigged by Scotty to shield life signs from Klingon sensors. No beaming. No shuttle. Space suits.

How do they get aboard the Klingon ship? Through the most obscure airlock when a low level Klingon technician manning that station hears knocking on the door and he suits up to investigate (there has to be humor).

What’s Kirk’s plan? It’s brilliant, but I can’t say what it is. What if Bob is getting the same ideas? In fact, not even the CREW (except Chekov and Spock, whose help he needs) knows what he’s planning.

Suffice it to say that the plan works. Colonel Chang, mastermind of the invasion, loses an eye to Kirk along the way, and as the Enterprise escapes firing torpedoes like a machine gun, Klingon Warbirds exploding behind him—and still hordes more giving chase, their torpedo blasts threatening to collapse the shields—a beautiful sight appears ahead:

The Starfleet Armada warps into view from the Laurentian System with Captain Garth’s vessel in the lead position. Unable to defend themselves against phaser fire and torpedoes because of what Kirk did, the Klingon Warbirds are forced to retreat. Defeated without Warbird defense, the Klingon troop carriers are allowed the time to gather their soldiers and leave the invaded worlds, one of which is New Vulcan.

Spock raises an eyebrow and says “fascinating.” McCoy says “WTF?” Admiral Pike is congratulated for fighting to get Kirk command of the Enterprise despite the naysaying and rancor of bureaucratic careerists who opposed Kirk’s promotion. And Uhura stops the turbolift yet again to offer Kirk a deeply felt and humble apology as she realizes he’s much more than a frat boy.

Kirk proves he deserves the Enterprise. He is the Tiger Woods, the Tom Brady of Starship captains.

305. dmduncan - September 18, 2009

roll credits

306. Neal - September 18, 2009

Chain of Command

Best episode of TNG of all time.

307. dmduncan - September 18, 2009

And I should clarify this:

“What’s Kirk’s plan? It’s brilliant, but I can’t say what it is. What if Bob is getting the same ideas?”

What I mean by this is that sure, they’ll probably do something completely unrelated. But to be safe, I don’t want to blow what is a really cool idea by posting it here if one of the actual people who writes Star Trek, and who would want to keep Kirk’s strategy secret, thinks of the same thing should they be going the route of a Kirk-Klingon faceoff in the next movie.

308. Alec - September 18, 2009

306. Neal – September 18, 2009:

Really? For me, considering action, drama, and suspense, it has to be Best of Both Worlds. Then, I’d choose other classics, such as Yesterday’s Enterprise, The Inner Light, and The Measure of a Man.

In Trek 12, I would use the Borg instead of the Klingons. The Klingons appear in pretty much EVERY Star Trek film and in countless episodes. And JJ did say that he wanted the Romulans in Trek 11 because they haven’t been used very often…. The Borg are far less common (never featured in TOS or their movies) and have a better reputation. Talk of Klingonese and guys wearing all the Klingon costumes has diminished the Klingon’s street cred somewhat. The Borg are still scary (ignore Voyager) and could be made more so. In fact, the Borg are the closest Star Trek has come to a mainstream Sci-Fi villain. The Borg are different from all the other aliens in Trek: they’re cold and emotionless killing machines with whom one cannot reason. (Here we’d have conflict with Spock.) What we should have in Trek 12, in my most humble opinion, is an epic introduction to the Borg (following Best of Both Worlds closely) with assimilations, hand-to-hand combat, fleet battles, etc. Maybe bring back the Borg Queen; but recast her with a major Hollywood actress?

And I would have more McCoy. First, Star Trek was all about the big three on the big E. To not give McCoy his rightful place, simply, it seems, because he has the ‘wrong’ sex organs, is unjustifiable sexism. Second, Urban was, if not *the* best actor in Trek 11, he was certainly one of the very best. He seemed to almost channel De; and yet put his own, subtle twist on the character. (He brought Nimoy to tears, in fact.) So, in terms of what Star Trek is supposed to be about, according to the blue-print of Gene Roddenberry, and in terms of who are the best actors, McCoy/Urban should feature more.

309. C.S. Lewis - September 18, 2009

Here’s an idea:

The USS Enterprise embarks on patrol duty in an unexplored sector of the known galaxy. They discover a planet populated with humans that inexplicably speak standard American English and live in buildings that resemble the MGM back lot. Surprisingly, they all dress in impeccably tailored Brooks Brothers and Ann Taylor business suits, (Foreshadowing: except when speaking excitedly in anticipation of something called “Festival” to be held after work at Friday Happy Hours over at “Andrew’s Saturnalian Bar & Grille” at 16th & Market Streets.

While getting to know the locals, Kirk discovers they all think alike. In fact, they all think exactly the same thoughts as each other because they are controlled by a gigantic computer network of embedded brain chips, programmed and integrated by the planets Technocratic Party that believes people are too stupid to live their own lives.

Spock, still sore over the destruction of Vulcan even though the Science Academy sucks, notes the inherent illogic of integrating humans with computers (he speaks from experience). McCoy realizes they give up everything it means to be human, including hatred and wanton sex.

Kirk simply needs to release pent up frustrations and is spoiling for a fight. He knows Star Fleet does not want its captains beating up New Life and New Civilizations without a very good reason so he ad libs a gorgeously delivered speech on the virtue of human frailty and violence, while crushing a brain implant with his 23rd C. cowboy boots.

Back on the Big E, the music swells as Scotty lands an awful pun on the landing party and the end credits roll.

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

Fan of Space Opera, finds PC tedious and boring and not worth $20 at the theatre.

310. C.S. Lewis - September 18, 2009

Oh dear I almost forgot: the Brain Chips look like tiny wooden sticks so the locals call them “Brain Logs” Yes, this is a world run by “b-logs” and it is not pretty.

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

311. Buzz Cagney - September 19, 2009

Last I heard the boys were thinking along the line’s of a Nature derived problem. Please don’t let it be Universal warming!

312. Dr. Image - September 19, 2009

If it’s as heavy-handed as I think it will be, it will BOMB.
They really need to think this through.

313. Darmok - September 19, 2009

Stay out of politic polarization … turns too many people off. And remember, the movie has to make $$$$. If it doesn’t, there won’t be a Star Trek III. Stick with great stories, plenty of action, and a bonding of the characters.

314. Dom - September 19, 2009

Definitely deal with modern-day issues, but be careful not to turn it into some third-rate, one-sided lecture.

Commenting on modern-day issues requires a a delicate hand, as going OTT in either direction potentially alienates half your viewership. Star Trek appeals to people across the political/social spectrum as we often see here.

315. Harry Ballz - September 19, 2009

OTT……over the top!

Ah, yes, the only time that worked was with the rugs Shatner wore in every episode and movie. His weaves and toupees were from the “Over The Top” line! Hairy times indeed!

316. SpocksinnerConflict - September 19, 2009

How about: The Enterprise stumbles onto a planet, run by a society that justifies leaving a large portion of it’s population sick, suffering and dying. And it’s okay, because everyone on this planet lives their OWN life, and refuses to help anyone because you know…everyone has their own life to live, regardless of how much they have and how much their neighbor…or whole neighborhoods don’t have.

As long as i got mine, screw you right? (that’s the name of the planet in the movie. I know it’s a long name for a planet. But everyone that lives there are pretty literal minded).

OH, and when the Enterprise shows up to help, the locals accuse the crew of having a brain disease called the PC virus (which the locals themselves made up in their labs).

317. LJ - September 19, 2009

Star Trek has always had allegories depending on what race they choose to utilise:

Romulans – The Roman Empire, or secretive semi-threatening nations such as China, North Korea, et al;

Klingons – TOS era: the Russians; ‘modern’ era I’d argue Britain/France: a proud, yet seemingly declining society (in this era many Klingons pine for the old ways), aligned in a ‘special relationship’ with the more forthright Federation (US – however I did draw comparisons with the Empire/Commonwealth in a previous post) and yearning for past glories;

Cardassians: Nazi Germany and/or the British in Ireland;

The Borg: Nazi Germany.

Ferengi: Mediaeval Europe. particularly Spain and Portugal (look up the definition of the word), or the Western world in general.

Bajorans: European jews or native Irish (or any other persecuted race: native American, Australian Aborigine, et al)

I think the Klingons need to be utilised at some point as they are Trek’s most recognised race alongside Vulcans, but how do we change the allegory with them? The USSR allegory is no longer relevant, and the British/French declining power allegory would not fit in the TOS era. Maybe we could equate them to a rival, as opposed to an outright enemy: look at China’s influence in (albeit allegedly) supporting bushfire wars in the Middle-East and Africa, and striving to obtain power over natural resources, even in allied countries such as Australia and the US itself (Federation worlds). This seems very Ferengi or Romulan, however, so the question remains: how do we make the Klingons relevant?

Or do they even need to be?

318. dmduncan - September 19, 2009

I think it would be a bad idea to make the Klingons represent a nation or ethnicity or even a political movement. I think they should represent mindless expansionism, unregulated consumption. What happens to a beautiful wold after the Klingons have been there for a while? Of course, you also I think need to see Klingon social stratification. If they were all knuckle dragging club swingers they’d never make it into space. But I think you’d show that Klingon culture is dominated by a political caste that controls a vicious warrior caste.

I don’t think the Klingons have ever been done properly. They have always been one dimensional comic book characters. They all look the same, all wear the same clothes, all act the same.

How about brainy, nerdy scientist Klingons? Low level labor Klingons just trying to make a living? And make them all look related and yet also make them look as significantly different as if you gathered humans from different nations and professions and put them together. Show sharp contrasts in the sorts of Klingons there are and the roles they play.

319. dmduncan - September 19, 2009

wold = world

320. Nowhere Man - September 19, 2009

All of these ideas are bad just like the health care reform

321. AJ - September 19, 2009

Star Trek’s best allegory, one which resonates through all 700+ episodes, is one which was handed to us on a cheesy plate in “Bread and Circuses”: “All men are brothers.”

One of the more elegant ideas, explored both in TOS (“The Paradise Syndrome”) and TNG (“The Chase”) was the idea of the ancient Preservers, who seeded the galaxy with what would become humanoid life. The archeology element was always compelling, and the moral was always to show that no race was superior, as we all had the same ancient forbears. And their ambitions were far loftier. Something to strive for together.

322. SpocksinnerConflict - September 19, 2009

321-

Nice

people still have a big problem with that.

and it still causes a lot of problems.

there’s a lot to work with there.

323. dmduncan - September 19, 2009

I always liked the idea of a Preservers story too, but it doesn’t strike me as blockbuster material. “Mission to Mars” explored that theme without remarkable effect.

An obvious plot to get some conflict out of that premise would be what if all humanoids are ultimately related, and one of the more ancient races has the evidence which the Klingons, our galactic brothers, do not want to come to light because they refuse to see themselves as related to races that they hate? You could get some derring-do and intrigue out of that.

But I also like the idea that WE become the Borg, that the Borg are us time traveling from the future, even though I understand the time travel premise is off the table, which I would not complain about.

But I like the idea because of what it implies about us today. The Borg aren’t Nazis. They don’t really want to exclude, dominate, or destroy alien races. No. They want to assimilate. To purge all races of their individuality and add them to the gray mass of sameness that the Borg is.

That strikes me as awfully close to where we have been heading for a long time.

Destroy all other cultures and ways of life and convert them to your own way of life, because there’s no competition, no argument, no war when everyone thinks and believes the same way. The same themes is explored in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

It’s a really scary theme, when you think about it, and it always seems to be relevant, because the danger of giving up who you are to belong to something unified seems to be present in every generation in a variety of different and opposing ways.

324. dmduncan - September 19, 2009

So I suppose you could conceive of an archeological Preserver type story as a Star Trek version of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Klingons in the role of the Nazis. Instead of bouncing from country to country on the map, we go from planet to planet in a race with the Klingons looking for an artifact left by the Preservers that will prove the common origin of all humanoid species in the galaxy.

Which makes me hope again that Spielberg will direct the sequel.

325. damienchance - September 20, 2009

yep do an allegory guys, get all high brow and serious…and watch the movie series die a nasty box office death.

they need to pull their head out of their collective ****** and realise unless it’s fun, epic, simple, exciting, action packed, funny then it will flop at the box office.

the masses don’t want high brow geeky sci fi crap, they want to be entertained.

326. captain_neill - September 20, 2009

so does the general consensus here want Star Trek to continue in name only.

Do you want to forget one of the reasons Gene created Star Trek for to make it more Star Wars. Star Trek was always more than action, there was alway an ‘idea’ to be discovered within most stories. Now are you saying we must lose that just to appeal to the dumbed down mainstream market.

I like a good fun action movie like the rest but with Star Trek there should be something more to it. It seems you just want flat fun and action, and if thats all then you seem to want Trek back in name only.

I am glad these writiers do understand Trek, I had lost a lot of faith in these writers after the crapfest of Transformers 2 so I need a lot of convincing that they can do a good script. This news is a step in the right directon.

Please remember what Star Trek is about

327. IHeartAngelina - September 20, 2009

LOL, just wait with the praise until you see the script. A modern day allegory doesn’t automatically make a good script.

328. IHeartAngelina - September 20, 2009

The media will definately be going “whoa, modern day allegory, awesome!!!”, just because Abrams & Co dropped the right buzz word at the right moment.

329. Nowhere Man - September 20, 2009

The producers of the next film are going back to the well of using a previous story and redo it for the alternate timeline. Plain and simple. All of these superficial ideas that these bloggers are bringing forward will not be used. Get over it and get a life. The powers that be have already made up their mind. They are motivated by money. They will not make a movie that does not make money.

330. Harry Ballz - September 20, 2009

Why not make a movie that is both thought-provoking AND entertaining?

Nah, that makes too much sense!

331. dmduncan - September 20, 2009

@326: I think the consensus is that yes, we’d like an idea story, but very few people want to be hit over the hit with a message or preached to. It should be subtle. Something that’s there if you want to think about it, but not so in your face that you can’t miss it because it’s all over the film.

I think most of us want the franchise to live, and we understand that to do that it has to expand its fanbase and can’t merely aim to appease the small minority of people who already liked it.

And I will argue until I am a skeleton sitting in this chair that ST.09 was NOT dumbed down. I think that’s an absurd claim. I thought it was smart, and it gave us some genuinely emotional moments, with a remarkable cast that did what seemed impossible in filling the shoes of their predecessors, and it broke Star Trek out of the small TV box mindset by showing us how large and spectacular the Star Trek universe could be.

Where does this charge that it was dumbed down come from? Because it had some physical humor? Sort of like Kirk being buried in a mound of Tribbles? More of the same please. I’ll take Buster Keaton and the Three Stooges over Monty Python any day.

And leave Transformers alone already. What has that to do with anything Star Trek? Transformers is a different franchise with a different fanbase and different expectations, with a director who makes different kinds of movies.

The aim of Transformers is to be a Summer blockbuster fun movie. Star Trek should also be a Summer blockbuster fun movie (ST.09 was) but it should ALSO aim higher. It has the tools to do both. The one or the other mindset that many people seem to think is necessary in here is the result of too much small screen exposure to Star Trek leading to small screen imagination of what the franchise is capable of. With the exception of TMP, each Star Trek movie looked like it came out of that same small screen mindset. They dipped their toe in the water with TMP—a slow moving brachiosaur of a movie—then got scared and went back to small budget TV show thinking.

ST.09 is the first movie that went way beyond TV, and I want to see that continue in spectacular fashion. And these guys all work in TV too. They make and have made a lot of stuff for TV. And unlike Gene Roddenberry they’ve proved beyond a doubt in my mind that they can shift from one medium to the other and exploit each medium for its particular power. When they make a movie they don’t make big screen TV shows, they make MOVIES.

Bravo.

332. Johnny Ice - September 20, 2009

I just want to point out Star Trek is too for right conservative people too. There seems to lot of misconception that Star Trek is just liberal and socialist. but i think they also have some conservative view also especially in TOS. I think TNG got to much politics correct for my taste.
I think Star Trek should try to take the positive elements from the right and the left. Also i want to point out the Nazi party stands for National SOCIALIST German Workers Party. Also you get any lefter then Communists party witch dont have a great track record to look up at.

333. Johnny Ice - September 20, 2009

#317 Ferengi: Medevial Europe, particulary Spain and Portugal…..
Really i always saw them as the ,,greedy Jew,,. Always thinking about money and profit.

334. Dunsel Report - September 20, 2009

#321: I appreciate your spirited defense of ST09. I saw a lot of brilliance in the way the screenplay was put together.

335. Dunsel Report - September 20, 2009

oops, I meant #331.

336. Hat Rick - September 20, 2009

331, we are agreed.

337. somethoughts - September 20, 2009

329

That formula seemed to work in the last one, who wants to see a slow paced movie commenting about issues that affect us today?

You will get blunders like the motion picture/insurrection, filled with great morality and cheese.

Bring on a space opera that rivals T2/Avatar.

338. damienchance - September 20, 2009

337.

exactly, give us an epic, huge space opera that shakes the foundations of the cinema and blow people out of their seats…and guess what, it will be a huge hit.

go all allegorical and issue driven and see the film tank in a huge way.

339. captain_neill - September 20, 2009

331

You seem to imply that JJ Abrams is better than Gene Roddenberry. I get the impression you think this movie is the best ever Star Trek you ever seen. I cannot agree. While I enjoyed the film and was relieved that I did not want to kill JJ Abrams I will admit it aintthe best ever.

Also why so much hate for TNG, I loved the spin offs as much as TOS. I even get the impression that by loving TNG that you would not be a true Star Trek fan. Its great that the new movie has opened up the fanbase and I will be forevergrateful to JJ for that. But all I get on this site is people bitching about the rest of Star Trek and I find it hurtful.

Gene was only involved actively in TMP, he was only a consultant in the rest of the TOS movies

340. dmduncan - September 20, 2009

339

Everyone is accustomed to thinking small because that’s all Star Trek has ever been, so that’s what they keep expecting it to be. Fans keep thinking it can be meaningful but not a rousing fun adventure, or a rousing fun adventure that’s meaningless, and not both. Sure it can be both. Why not? Because it’s never been done that way? Bah.

Star Trek has needed new blood for a very long time, and it’s gotten its transfusion. It’s been taken to a level that Gene Roddenberry literally could not get it to. We don’t have to sit quietly back and expect Star Trek to always be this slow moving thing with very narrow appeal and a low budget.

It’s okay to be Oliver Twist and go up and ask for more.

And yes, I definitely do think ST.09 was the best movie. I understand lots of fans, yourself included, like other Star Trek movies better, but I speak as a fan of movies, not just as a Star Trek fan. And as a MOVIE fan Star Trek has never been done better than in 2009.

In 2009 Star Trek finally went from being a TV show to being an exciting epic big screen adventure. And I’m excited because that’s what I always wanted Star Trek to be in the movie theater, and that has never been what we got. Sure, I liked most of the movies anyway, because I’m a Star Trek fan. But I was also always disappointed that Paramount did not have the same vision for Star Trek that I had, so I lost faith that Paramount knew what they were doing, and the molds they were using weren’t producing interesting Star Trek anymore.

These guys—Bob, Alex, JJ—they get it.

341. Trey - September 20, 2009

im glad that all of yall ST fans enjoy this movie. im not a fan but i like the new movie a lot. after seeing it, i wouldnt call myself a ST fan, call me a TOS fan cuz now im seeing the TOS shows, thanks to this movie.

342. Chadwick - September 20, 2009

Another key factor in the movie was the comedy. This movie was for more humorous than I thought it would be. It wasn’t the dry trek humor that is typical, I love it but its typical. This movie was just plain funny at times, good laughs, scotty and (mini guy) swollen hands and numb tongue, all the hypos he kept giving kirk, you whistle really loud, bangs head, kirk giving spock a slap on the back, I CAN DO ZAT I CAN DO ZAT. The most important thing is that this movie is sci fi it feels real, the movie felt real, and you soak it up like a sponge. I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR THE SECOND!!!!!

I viral marketing was also great, I want comic books for the next movie as well.

343. Buzz Cagney - September 20, 2009

#342 Yes, Chadwick, I agree. Bob and Alex really do humour very well. Its there in all of their work. Transformers is full of it as well. Great stuff- more of the same please, guys.

344. Buzz Cagney - September 20, 2009

#341 thats great, Trey, welcome to our world! Have you seen any of the previous Trek movies yet?
p.s and I’m with you my friend. Just call me a TOS fan. Have watched all of the ‘newcomers’ but none of them connected with me in the way Kirk and crew did. Thats why its such an incredible treat and pleasure to have them back again. Its still a thrill some four months down the line.

345. captain_neill - September 20, 2009

340

You make some valid points but I don’t agree with your assessment of the new movie.

But It does seem that all fans want to do on this site is talk about how amazing the new film is and how crap the rest of Trek is and that I do find hurtful..
Yes I love the new movie but I can name a lot of other Trek moviesI liked better and I grew up on Trek.

346. captain_neill - September 20, 2009

Am i the only one who doesn’t think the new Trek movie is the best ever one?

I place it in 6th place

But it seems everyone on here is a JJ lover, unfortuantley I am not a fan of his other work but will admit he did a good job with film. But I am not a fan of JJ.

Oh and dmduncan, star trek proved it didn’t need a hiuge budget t to make good films, I am sory you think they are small but a good deal of them had better stories than the new one.

347. captain_neill - September 21, 2009

i do agree this one had a better scale but it does not necessary make it a better film than TWOK or TUC or FC

348. dmduncan - September 21, 2009

@346: I didn’t say Star Trek needs a huge budget to make good films. It needs a generous budget to realize its potential. Because portraying big ideas on a big screen in a believable way does not come cheap. ST.09 was a huge experience, and as far as I’m concerned it’s the first Star Trek that’s been that way. It’s broken out of fan territory and is going for the jackpot. That’s what I want. Not to the exclusion of what Trek has always done, but in conjunction with it.

6th place? Obviously I disagree with that in a big way. It’s number 1 for me. And although I liked TWOK, which is the overwhelming fan favorite, I also thought it was way too small. I felt Meyers squandered the potential of a Khan story, and the production values of that film were cheesy. Totally TV. From the phony wind effects on Ceti Alpha 5 to the clothes Khan and his people wore, which looked like they came straight out of a costume factory, to the fact that they painted white the Klingon bridge from TMP and made it serve as the torpedo bay of the Enterprise. Cheapskates all the way through they were.

I still loved it, and it had some of the most memorable scenes ever, but going back to my distinction between great Star Trek movies and great movies, it doesn’t make the cut because it had great parts but as a whole did not excel in every department. Star Trek (2009) did. ST.09 was outstanding in every department and did not require me to make excuses for why this or that was so poorly done. And because it taxed my credulity less than any Star Trek movie before it, I was free to enjoy it more.

349. dmduncan - September 21, 2009

If there’s room for Chapel or Janice Rand in the next movie: Jolene Blaylock for either role. Because she was totally wasted on Trip.

And another thing: Maybe Star Trek should make an attempt to end this Star Trek vs. Star Wars feud by dropping a few Star Wars actors in Star Trek to forge links between the two.

Example: In post number 304 I imagine a story involving the cavalry arriving to Kirk’s aid at the end led by Captain Garth. But in this universe Captain Garth never becomes a bad guy. He’s stays one of the heroes of Starfleet, one of its most brilliant officers. Let’s say he has all of five minutes on screen at the end of the movie and he’s played by…HARRISON FORD! Would that not be just frakin awesome? Harrison Ford creating Captain Garth as a Han Solo-ish wisecracking fearless Starship Captain with a history of making Klingons pay the rent? I would love to see that.

I think by doing little things like that you help Star Trek to break out into the culture more.

350. I am Kurok! - September 21, 2009

The idea of modern allegories is not new to Trek, TOS had them: Omega Glory, yangs (yankees) vs. cohms (communists) the “Eden” episode “Herbert, you are SO square!!” ST6 was actually about the Berlin Wall coming down; I was in the military at the time, and the question “Okay, so who do we hate now??” was reflected in Valeris and the other bad-guys…

351. captain_neill - September 21, 2009

dmduncan

I disagree with you in TWOK .

I know you love Trek but I just get the vibe that you cant watch any of the past Trek because its cheap.

TWOK has a better story and I still believe Meyer is a better director than Abrams. Meyer crafted an excellent story which I think is excellent and Khan was a much better villain than Nero, who was simply a plot point,

I do love Star Trek XI but UI still think TWOK, FC and TUC are much better films.

Perhaps the movie had smaller budgets but the spin off shows had higher budgets than shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

352. captain_neill - September 21, 2009

Abrams dis things I hate, like the Engine Room sucked

353. IHeartAngelina - September 21, 2009

This is certainly not one of the best Trek movie’s ever made.

354. dmduncan - September 21, 2009

351: “I know you love Trek but I just get the vibe that you cant watch any of the past Trek because its cheap.”

No, that’s not true. I mean TOS was the cheapest of them all, and I still watch that gladly.

“I still believe Meyer is a better director than Abrams.”

Oh no way man. I DO think Meyer is a good writer, but as a director I think he has an abysmal sense of detail, rhythm, and I don’t think he thinks in the language of film, whereas JJ does all those things and does them well.

Every time I watch TUC (I love that film) I think, “Jeez Nick, could you have made that veridium patch Spock stuck on Kirk’s shoulder any bigger?” I mean, Spock might as well have stuck one of those magnetic flashing police car lights on Kirk, that patch was so obvious—and yet no one seemed to notice.

As someone who has made short films and who admires directors for their ability to use the medium for its visual power, I can easily imagine one way to fix that by closing in on Spock’s hand and showing a tiny dot on Spock’s fingertip that he embeds in the cloth of the fabric of Kirk’s uniform when he touches him.

But Meyer’s style is SO static that he didn’t bother using closeups or camera movement to convey that idea. So Meyer is more like the directors of the 50′s and 60s who let everything develop within a scene without cutting, as David Lean was fond of doing in films like Lawrence of Arabia. And while that was a great film, the medium has evolved, the language of the medium has evolved, and JJ knows the language. His films are modern in style whereas Meyer’s seem so “old.” Another reason why the choice of director for the sequel will be so important, based on their style.

355. IHeartAngelina - September 21, 2009

Give Abrams the same budget they gave Meyer, I say, and you’d all see how crappy his directing really is behind all those expensive effects.

356. IHeartAngelina - September 21, 2009

And what the heck, did you just say Meyer is a bad director because the way he directed the movie in 1980 is OLD?!?!

357. IHeartAngelina - September 21, 2009

…in the 1980s…

358. dmduncan - September 21, 2009

356: “And what the heck, did you just say Meyer is a bad director because the way he directed the movie in 1980 is OLD?!?!”

If you carefully review my comments you’ll see that I never said Meyer was a “bad” director. ED WOOD was a bad director. Nick Meyer was better than average for his time perhaps, but certainly not a natural in the medium the way that JJ is.

And my criticism of Meyer’s style of making movies has nothing to do with budget. The special effects in Time After Time were some of the worst I’ve ever seen, outclassed even by TOS in 1966. And a hockey puck sized veridium patch on Kirk’s shoulder was inexcusable laziness, or maybe it shows a lack of respect for the fans that he thought little things like that didn’t matter, like he didn’t have to put any effort into the importance of details because Star Trek fans would buy anything as if quality didn’t matter. And at the end of TUC I involuntarily laughed when Kirk looked like he had been launched from a canon when he sailed through the air to save the President.

Meyer vacillated between seriousness and comic book incredibility. Still, I do think he’s a good storyteller.

“Abrams dis things I hate, like the Engine Room sucked”

One of Star Trek’s greatest founding fathers, Matt Jefferies, didn’t think there should be an engine room at all! His idea was that the Enterprise’s engineering functions could be completely controlled from the bridge, so there was no need for a specific engine room set at all, and he was opposed to the idea. So JJ is probably more consistent with Matt Jefferies thinking on that than Gene Roddenberry was. And I think it makes sense not to have a traditional series engine room. All the power and energy of the warp engines is supposed to be separated from the ship anyway, except for the impulse engines, so if they do a traditional engine room maybe it should be centered around the impulse engines in the aft of the saucer section.

And it’s not too late to add that set. Tell Bob whenever he pops in. Maybe he’ll bring it to JJ.

359. dmduncan - September 21, 2009

canon = cannon. I’m getting my canons mixed up with my cannons.

360. Macorsha - September 21, 2009

How about a mission that introduces Ferengi. I could see the enterprise exporing space and running into a highly motivated new race, a race motivated by greed and with no morals. How many different ways that could play out. Originally they were met by tng in the fourth episode but thias is a new timeline right?
Leave the countries politics out of our movies give the fans a chance to leave the problems we face and to explore new worlds.

361. captain_neill - September 21, 2009

How dare you insult Nick Meyer, he is much betterdirector and I would have him over JJ Abrams,

I get the impression dmduncan that because of the new movie that you will now no longer be able to watch trek and it spin off shows. I get the impression so many people find the new movie ‘shiny’ that they are going to adandon the Trek that came before, well that me tell you something that past Trek is still great and I am glad new fans are discovering it thanks to the new movie.

But I dont like the rest of Trek being bitched about because JJ Abrams is on the scene. They are two different universes in the same franchise, can;t they co exist.

I said the spin offs had the budget, I did not say TOS.

362. bbgon - September 22, 2009

I think Nero already was very much like Khan with his revenge. Please make it subtle and thought-provoking. And I don’t feel that the characters’ve been established yet. I’d like to see the development of their relationships, and by that I do NOT mean more Spock/Uhura making-out.
And it would be great to see Mr. Shatner in the movie, so that he and Nimoy’s Spock have a happy happy end to their story.

363. dmduncan - September 22, 2009

Sorry, but I’ve pointed out facts to back up what I say. Meyer did not put anywhere near the comparable effort into Star Trek as a director that JJ has put into the one Star Trek film he made. JJ’s attention to detail was outstanding, and he’s a much more visual director with a great sense of momentum.

And I’m not bitching neill. What I’m trying to do is express the idea that now that we are here, now that Star Trek has finally become as epic as its potential, I don’t want to see it go back to being small. I want it to go forward, to evolve, to get better, not to give us the same old thing. I’m not bitching about what’s been done before, I’m warning of the danger of going back to do it all over again instead of going ahead where no Star Trek movie has gone before.

Star Trek is at a critical moment. It can continue to be big, to be inspired with imagination, or it can go back to being small, and I don’t want to see it go back again. That way waits the capsizing of the franchise.

As far as your impression goes, dude I watched The Enemy Within last night. For what? The 100th time? I lost count long ago. And every time I watch an episode of TOS I am reminded of how cool these TOS characters are, and of how brilliant the design work on that series was with so little money to create something that tried to be so big. The show still is a brilliant achievement.

364. dmduncan - September 22, 2009

I mean you don’t criticize Edison for not inventing LED lighting right off the bat. You recognize the invention of the light bulb for the brilliant thing it was, but as time goes on you want to keep doing better and improving your product so that someday you don’t have to use light bulbs anymore, you can use LEDs instead. That’s the same thing I’m saying about Star Trek.

365. captain_neill - September 25, 2009

363

Because Meyer did NOT have the budget that Abrams had.

If Meyer had the budget of Abrams it would be bigger and what ifAbrams had the budget that Meyer had to work with.

So I hate this attack on Meyer just because he did not have the budget that Abrams had.

I know its your opinion and I respect that but your logic I find infuriating.

366. Sneha Polisetti - September 30, 2009

You know I’d love to see something about how the people in power brainwash people to see the other side as evil and invade it with the pretense that it’s for our own good when it’s only really for oil.

The torture idea sounds good, how the terrorists only really wanted to undermine our political system and they did by taking away the way justice should be in America which is what it’s based on. That torture’s okay since it’s the “bad guy” like that makes us so much better.

Or the deforestation and water pollution and how people don’t even care

or how out of touch with nature we are now a days

367. Harry Ballz - October 1, 2009

Or we could have a movie that’s INTERESTING!

368. Joseph Gluckstern - October 12, 2009

I know everyone is going to grimce at this, but here’s a thought. in the the big process, make amends to Wil Wheaton for what Rick Berman did to him. Everyone knows that Gene told Wil he could look around for other things to do and after he passed away, Rick Berman decided to throw him off the series for it. He is a good actor and this would be a way to set something right. Just a part, dosent have to be big one. Doing the right thing in the proccess is really something to think about.

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