Star Trek Named NBR Top 10 Film + #5 Google Movie Search of 2009 |
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Star Trek Named NBR Top 10 Film + #5 Google Movie Search of 2009 December 3, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

JJ Abrams Star Trek continues to build steam in its quest for award season glory. Today the prestigious National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named its top 11  films of the year and Star Trek is on the list. Plus Google reports that Star Trek is named one of the top movie searches of they year.


Star Trek makes NBR Top 10
Today the NBR issued its list of National Board of Review Awards for 2009. For the Best Movie category here is the full list (via Variety)

Best Picture Up in the Air

Top 10 Films (alphabetical order)
An Education
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are

Variety also has the full list of other NBR award winners.

The NBR have been listing the top films for 80 years and this is the first time a Star Trek movie has made the cut. In fact, it is very rare for a science fiction film to be listed. Past sci-fi films honored by the board were 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, and E.T.. But other sci-fi classics like Blade Runner and Alien didn’t make the list. Variety notes that because the awards are announced so early, the board’s top 10 lists are often cited in awards campaigns. As we reported earlier this week, Paramount has already identified Star Trek as one of the four movies they are pitching in their "for your consideration" awards campaign.

The NBR listing is just the latest piece of good buzz for JJ Abrams movie. The film remains one of the best reviewed films of the year, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% from the ‘Top Critics’. With the Academy’s expansion of the Best Picture category to 10 films, the NBR list is a big boost in the hopes that Star Trek will be one of them. One of the next tests will be to track how many critics put Star Trek onto their top 10 lists for the year.

Star Trek in the Google Zeitgeist
This week Star Trek also was one of the films listed in Google’s annual "Zeitgest" listings of top searches for the year. Star Trek was the 5th most searched movie trailer, here is the full list via Google Zeitgest

Movie Trailers

  1. new moon
  2. transformers 2
  3. bruno
  4. avatar
  5. star trek
  6. twilight
  7. gi joe
  8. 2012
  9. paranormal activity
  10. watchmen



1. startrekforever - December 3, 2009

here’s the ones that really matter! hahah!

2. sebimeyer - December 3, 2009

If all this data is to be believed then Star Trek is more popular now than when there was always another Trek movie being made AND up to two Trek shows were on the air.

Am I the only one who finds that hard do believe?

3. Blake Powers - December 3, 2009

#1: Matter…….. Red Matter

4. DS9 Rocks - December 3, 2009


I don’t know if you are the only one, but I do not find ST’s popularity hard to believe at all. Just because Paramount was popping out shows doesn’t make Star Trek automatically popular. In fact, Paramount was riding ST into oblivion. Nemesis being in production was not a sign of good things… And while I love all ST shows, VOY and ENT were not responding to true demand. Which was finally shown by ENT’s cancellation.

Today, there are more creative forces behind ST, with higher budget, broader appeal and fresher cast and without oversaturation. I find it very easy to believe that ST (the movie) is more popular than any other ST incarnation.

P.S. I am not sure that means ST the franchise is more popular… That can be told by DVD sales of old ST shows, games and merchandise. I don’t know what those look like. I am sure they picked up, but probably not to any crazy levels.

5. Captain McCOll - December 3, 2009

2. Back then they didn´t have the most searched for movie trailers because there was no internet.

6. Commander Crooner - December 3, 2009


I don’t think you can correlate it quite so easily. Internet use behaviors have changed drastically in the last few years, with smartphones, social networking sites, and JJ Abrams…

7. CmdrR - December 3, 2009

Out of both lists… I’ve seen 4 movies.

Inglorious Basterds??? Um….

8. MvRojo - December 3, 2009

I’ve seen 7 so far.

9. rogue_alice - December 3, 2009

I think this story is too political. GRIN

10. Anthony Pascale - December 3, 2009

It is hard to measure popularity vs. the nineties when Star Trek had two TV shows and a movie. The new Star Trek certainly sold more tickets than the nineties movies.

Just for fun I did a ‘Star Trek in the zeitgest’ comparison of how the the term “star trek” compares to “god’ and “lady gaga”

it came in last…so there is still work to do

11. VOODOO - December 3, 2009

It may seem hard to believe, but Star Trek stands an outside chance of being nominated for best film at the Oscars this year.

ST is exactly the type of critically acclaimed blockbuster that the Academy was hoping for when they expanded the best film field from five to ten. They want to boost the Oscar’s ratings and ST is exactly the type of film that could do that.

When you look at the list of films that could be nominated Star Trek is going to be VERY close to making the list.

12. Hat Rick - December 3, 2009



I TOLD you ST2009 was and is a GREAT film! :-)

Now that a prestigious film review board has given it a stamp of approval, it would be horrible if the Academy were to overlook at least nominating ST2009 for Best Picture — and JJ Abrams as Best Director.

13. JimYourNotDead - December 3, 2009

Anything that shows that Star Trek is popular can only help improve the chances of future Star Trek movies and T.V. shows. Cool!

14. sebimeyer - December 3, 2009

What does God need with a Zeitgeist google comparison? ;)

Seriously though, I find it hard to believe that the new Trek is more popular than TNG/DS9 were in their heyday. But maybe I am just being a snob and the unwashed masses actually think it IS more popular now.

Either way: more Trek please. And yes, that includes a TV show (only if done right though)

15. Enterprise - December 3, 2009

DS9 and Voyager were not that popular when they first came out. They pretty much killed convention interest, and that’s why Creation started looking at other shows, and stuff.

16. rogue_alice - December 3, 2009

14 – “Either way: more Trek please. And yes, that includes a TV show (only if done right though)”

I too would like a show but I wonder if it would dilute the impact of the movies. If the public would tire of the show thus tire of the (potential future) movies?

17. Anthony Pascale - December 3, 2009

Again ‘popularity’ is hard to judge. At its peak in 1993 TNG had about 14.75 million viewers. The biggest movie in the nineties sold about 21 million tickets. The new Star Trek movie sold about 34 million tickets, beating the record of TMP. (all domestic numbers)

Star Trek is certainly back in the mainstream zeitgest in a big way, that can be seen from the accolades, the comparisons of the president, other references in popular culture, etc.

However, I would say that in the 90s, Star Trek had more hard core fans. Back then the franchise supported two shows, and enough of a core to support even more product and dozens of conventions each year.

I wish we were living in that age, this site would get even more traffic! (if the web was as ubiquitous as it is now)

18. Paul Fitz - December 3, 2009

The popularity seems broader to me with ST09, Iwhen the dvd release happened a few weeks back, I actually heard radio DJ’s (both male and female) saying they were looking forward to seeing it again, many claiming it was their favourite film of the summer. Then seeing it in the number 1 spot for rental and purchase.
Cant remember when last a trek film got so much praise and attention from the mainstream, I grew up on TNG, DS9 & VOY, but its repeated to hell on tv, I really think that DVD negates the need for so much trek on tv, fine for a few (to catch new generations) but it feels like its too much. . . The 90’s were the boom time, but over saturation thinned the demand.

JJ & Co have injected life into Trek, and it has come at the cost of hearing and seeing it be warmly met by general moviegoers, great price to pay IMHO.

19. Harry Seldom - December 3, 2009

There was more interest than that.

Anyone who really wanted to keep track of Trek bookmarked this site, and bypassed Google.

(Now, what good can come from kissing up to Anthony like this???)

– Harry

20. AJ - December 3, 2009

Here in NYC, I showed up at the pre-midnight show the day before release, the the media were out in full force (ABC News, local stations). I think here in the States, the anticipation due to the trailers, and due to the fact that we are looking at young virile Kirk and Spock in an energetic new film which not only doesn’t suck, but is really good, drew people in in droves.

It’s a great story with non-stop action, decent character plays, and Nimoy as Spock Prime, who is still an icon of the ’60s and ’70s, acting his heart out.

Looking at that list, ST09 sure seems like an odd inclusion (No T4, no Transformers 2, Wolverine or Harry Potter), but we should assume that NBR has seen all these films, and that Trek has risen above the pack. Congrats to all.

21. screaming satellite - December 3, 2009

Oscar time:

Clint Eastwood (or whichever big shot) comes on stage to present the best pic

opens the envelope…’and…..the award….for best picture….goes to….Star Trek………………V The Final Frontier!!’… starts playing TOS theme….black tie shatner takes the stage to mass applause already holding his best director statue (awarded to him by Costner) …takes the award from eastwood…and proudly holds both oscars in each hand

its 1990 and shatner is king of the world….

cut to:

shatner wakes up in his bel air bedroom circa 2010…Zero hour nine a.m.
…..sighs….another dream….life that could have been… and wasn’t……life is but a dream…

he goes to the window and watches the morning rain sliding gently against the window….

tears he couldnt shed

22. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - December 3, 2009

To me Star Trek was to Bland for the usualy fan of Movies in the 90s. I loved all the Trek Films and seen them many many times. But the regular Movie going People were not interested. Take Trek 10 for example. nemisis was doinf things that everyone has seen before. Clones. That has already been done and trek 10 did not do it that well. Do not get me wrong. it had it’s great Moments. Byt the Regular Fans just werent buying into it. Now here comes Star Trek 09 with the Hottest Director and writers in Holloywood. J.J and the Court. The Spruced it up. Went back to the roots and made something old seem new again with Nimoy himself coming out of Retirement. Made it more fast pased and much better Fx and much better writing. Not perfect but much better. Now the Regular moie goingpeople lovbe it. The critics love it. I love it. Most hard corce trek fans love it. As do I and im a very hard core trek Fan. heres to the next Trek Movie.

23. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - December 3, 2009

Sorry. I did not proof read that. Ok. Back to the Agoniser booth for me.

24. Chris Fawkes - December 3, 2009

You would have to be the only one who finds that hard to believe. The whole point of this film is that it has vastly expanded the fan base.

The film took far more at the box office than any previous trek film. That alone should give you an idea.

25. ger - December 3, 2009

Closing the other thread to prevent further comments. Very in spirit of Trek, haha!

Long time ago, I asked Bob Orci why didn’t they make this movie with a new crew, because I think the audience doesn’t care if the characters were named Jerk and McGurk, and that the movie itself, with its fast pace and action and the good-looking trailers were the key.

And the reply was:

271. Boborci – August 17, 2009

You still of the NEXT NEXT NEXT generation? Do you really think the New York Times and Newsweek would’ve given us the free press they did and compared our current President to your Doctor MGurk or Captain Jerk, instead of Spock?

It was all coldly calculated, from day one. And because the bluray was just released, they are again warming up the Spock/Obama parallel again. Wonderful how the business works.

“Free press”. Ha! I wouldn’t be surprised if Paramount actually asked AP to interview Orci and Nimoy about that.

26. Thorny - December 3, 2009

AJ… “Looking at that list, ST09 sure seems like an odd inclusion (No T4, no Transformers 2, Wolverine or Harry Potter),”

Not odd at all. “Wolverine” stunk. “Terminator 4″ was a mess, and “Harry Potter And The Studio Timekiller” was the weakest entry in the movie series so far. “Transformers 2″ will get a non-effects Oscar nomination sometime shortly after Hades experiences its first freeze. Among summer movies to get the Best Picture nomination, it really is just “Star Trek” or “Up”, but “Up” will get the Best Animated Feature, so Trek is the frontrunner.

27. ger - December 3, 2009

Well, they lobbied the movie well enough. It will definately win the oscar for best picture.

28. boborci - December 3, 2009

25. ger – December 3, 2009

You got me!

The press is my plaything, and I manipulate it to my will!

Or maybe my point was that people still did and do care about Kirk and Spock and McCoy as cultural icons.

29. AJ - December 3, 2009



Point taken. It’s just that we’re all used to lumping Trek in with all the other genre films. ST09 definitely deserves to be the genre standard-bearer amongst films of all types. It is a good film, Period.

30. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - December 3, 2009

#28. Hey Bob. You guys did a great job on Trek. From the first letter in writting the Movie to the Adds and promoting it. So on this Trek for the Awards and the next Trek Movie. DO WHAT EVER YOU NEED TO DO!!!. When ever I get on Yahoo and others Ill always put Trek up above all the others.

31. Jim Nightshade - December 3, 2009

yessir bob u guys were right on-tos characters were more original and iconic and their relationships and family closeness was only copied not quite as well as the originals in the other incarnations–the original is the core of all trek–much as i luved tng etc…the original was the zeitgeist and any other overused buzzword u can think of `

32. VOODOO - December 3, 2009

#25 ger

They didn’t make a movie with another cast of characters for the simple reason that nobody would have cared.

Maybe you missed Star Trek’s 15 year slide into irrelevency, but by the time the last episode of “Enterprise” aired some local wrestling cable access programs were getting better ratings and “Nemesis” was a total disaster at the box office… Roger Ebert said it best when he said ” Star Trek was kind of terrific once, but now it is a copy of a copy of a copy”…The public only cared about the real thing.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why they went back to Kirk, Spock + McCoy. Those characters are cultural icons the same way that James Bond and Indiana Jones are.

They brought back Kirk and Spock (plus Leonard Nimoy to add some old school credibility) in an extremely entertaining film and all of a sudden ST is relevant again…It was a pretty obvious choice to make.

As a ST fan why would you be upset that the film was a major hit that essentially saved the franchise?

33. lostrod - December 3, 2009


Totally uncalled for.

34. Michael - December 3, 2009

Bruno???????????????????????????????????? Really????????????????????????????????????????????????
Top 10? There’s the last sign of the apocalypse!

35. brian - December 3, 2009

I think this is fantastic. I will no longer equate NBR with a bunch of stuffy old people.

They’re cool now.

Come on Academy, don’t you want to be cool, too?


and I for one am glad that a well executed and entirely entertaining movie has placed Trek back in the cultural zeitgeist. As a lifelong Trekker, I’m quite happy that other people finally get to see it in a way they can understand… I think now they understand me a little better.

36. Anthony Pascale - December 3, 2009

well Bruno is only on the top list of Google searches.

what i find most interesting is that Star Trek is the only film on BOTH lists. Showing it was able to appeal to the masses and the ‘critic elites’

The only other top 10 box office movie that is also a top 10 critics movie is Up, and maybe The Hangover to a lesser extend.

37. MC1 Doug - December 3, 2009

On the list of the ten best films, I have seen ‘Star Trek’ (naturally) and ‘Up.’

Not one of the other films remotely interests me.

38. MC1 Doug - December 3, 2009

What I find interesting and disturbing at the same time is that neither ‘Transformers 2′ or ‘GI Joe’ made the top ten list for award consideration.


I kill myself sometimes (I’m sorry Mr. Orci for the slam… I did like both films for what they were, just for the record).

I do predict that ‘Star Trek’ will take a number of awards, but am dubious that it can take the best film (wish that I may) award. *fingers crossed*

That said, I would feel better about ST09 winning if it hadn’t changed two important longstanding elements (the death of Vulcan and Amanda).

Mr. Orci, I do have a question if you are here by chance. Why did you guys change Birk’s brother George Kirk, Jr.’s name to Johnny?

39. MC1 Doug - December 3, 2009

#38: oops… that should have said Kirk’s… not Birk’s… damn fumble fingers.

40. S. John Ross - December 3, 2009

#32: “Roger Ebert said it best when he said ” Star Trek was kind of terrific once, but now it is a copy of a copy of a copy”

He also nailed it when he wrote “But the franchise has become much of a muchness. The new movie essentially intends to reboot the franchise with younger characters and carry on as before.”

As a copy, of a copy, of a copy, of a copy, of a copy, of a copy …

41. MvRojo - December 3, 2009

#37. You should give more films a try. Of the list, I’ve seen (500) Days of Summer, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, Star Trek, Up, Where the Wild Things Are.

All of them I loved (except A Serious Man which I didn’t get into). The thing I liked is that I loved all of these movies for different reasons.

42. Charla a long time STAR TREK FAN - December 3, 2009

It is inevitable that Star Trek would be rebooted- but I disagree with the copy of a copy analogy. Look at 007 Bond for instance. THAT is a copy of a copy of a copy. The same character, but every so often Bond is played by someone new.

In Star Trek, our beloved Shat and Nimoy are IRL getting older. To be in the movies, sure! But one day, they will have to leave this world like the rest of us. Then what??? No more Kirk and Spock and crew? This had to happen to ensure the survival of Star Trek. Breath has been instilled into this new movie- and we are the first in forty years to see HOW Kirk and Spock met as well as the other crew members. How cool is that??

And that is what makes it original.

43. MC1 Doug - December 3, 2009

#41: Yeah, yeah I know, but I don’t go to movies very often and almost never unless they are genre films.

This year I have seen ‘TREK, Up, Terminator – Salvation, New Moon (Twilight), Harry Potter’ and I plan to see ‘Avatar.’

Seeing that number of films in one year has to be a record for me.

(also saw ‘Wolverine’ and ‘Proposal’ but not until they hit DVD) I wanted to see ‘District 9′ but just never got around to it.

But back to the list… nothing on it interests me in the least.

44. "Check the Circuit!" - December 3, 2009

Pretty impresive company among the NBR list!

Trek Lives!

45. Buzz Cagney - December 3, 2009

Very pleasing.

46. VOODOO - December 3, 2009

S.John Ross #40

I don’t remember that quote from Ebert in reference to the new film, but I’ll take your word for it.

quote – “He also nailed it when he wrote “But the franchise has become much of a muchness. The new movie essentially intends to reboot the franchise with younger characters and carry on as before.”

Ebert’s statement is essentially correct, but that was the intention of the film. Get back to basics (Kirk,Spock McCoy) and then “carry on as before”
His copy, of a copy, of a copy statement was alluding to the fact that the series had unintentionally become creatively stagnant in a vain attempt to recreate both the commercial and critical appeal (failed on both fronts) of the original Star Trek and it’s iconic characters.

A clear distinction must be made… Abrams ST accomplished it’s goals by intentionally returning to source material and characters that made the series great. While most of the spinoffs failed because they were simply pale “copies” of the original.

P.S. I am a big fan of Roger Ebert, but I think he missed the boat on “Star Trek” he was one of the few major U.S. critics who gave the film a lukewarm review.

47. ryanhuyton - December 3, 2009

Bob, if you are still reading this. Here are a few things I’d like you to tackle in the next SEVERAL fillms. And I say several because I know “Star Trek: Something Something” will be even better and more lucrative than the first because of your unquestionable talent and love for all things “Star Trek”. Anyway, here are my suggestions:

Khan and the Klingons. There is a history between the Klingons and the genetically engineered “relatives” of Khan. Just watch “Enterprise Season 4″ for more.

William Shatner. I know it would be hard to get him in the movie without time travel, but as I said earlier, I have confidence in you guys.

Tholians, Gorn, and Andorians. The Andorians are always cool, and the Gorn and Tholians have only been done a couple of times.

The Borg. It can work. The Narada featured Borg technology and perhaps the Borg were in the Beta Quadrant and end up invading Federation space 100+years earlier than expected. And besides, all the other main captains faced the Borg, so why not Captain Kirk?

48. ryanhuyton - December 4, 2009

As for comparing Star Trek’s current popularity to the mid 90’s, I have to agree with Anthony. TNG brought in new viewers and fans due to the fact a lot of people (myself included) were not even born during the original run of The Original Series. Deep Space Nine had solid ratings (though not as high as TNG’s were) but it was mainly the hardcore fans supporting it and Voyager. After Deep Space Nine went off the air, ratings plummeted further. Despite the attempt to bring “realism’ to Trek with the launch of “Enterprise”, ratings continued to drop until the show got canned. As for the TNG films, First Contact was the most successful of the bunch and perhaps would have made more money if there hadn’t been two shows on the air at the time. As for Insurrection, that movie was the turning point in TNG’s demise and the beginning of over-saturation taking it’s toll on the fanbase and the franchise. Now the “Star Trek’ brand is successful again. Unfortuneately though, there is still some work to do specifically with new fans in North America and moviegoers in general overseas. The success of the new movie was based mostly on fans who supported at least some of the movies and shows. Many of these fans came back after many years. There is no doubt that new fans were created by this new film, but most of the repeat customers were probably at least semi-hardcore fans. I do believe now that the new film is on DVD/ Blu Ray, even more people will become fans just like us. This will not only be good for how the next film will perform in North America, but also internationally. And the added benefit will be people who weren’t fans before could end up becoming fans of “Old Star Trek” as well.

As for Star Trek returning to the small screen, don’t hold your breath. The T.V landscape has changed dramaticlly since the TNG era. First of all, people have the options of TIVO and the internet. This means that people will watch the show at their convience,and thus cutting into Nielsen ratings. Secondly, sci-fi in general is risky business for many networks who have to worry about sponsors. Sponsors will pay much more for a spot during a show such as CSI or Grey’s Anatomy.
And thirdly, apart fom Battlestar Galactica, most non-sci-fi viewers find sci-fi unwelcoming. There is still the stigma of T.V sci-fi being a “geeks only” club. And finally, the cost of producing a high quality Star Trek T.V show would be quite expensive. The show would be given only a handful of episodes to prove itself, and even that would require a stroke of luck.
Unfortuneately, with the economy still in recession, a new show would be just too much of a gamble. CBS would more likely to put a new CSI spinoff on the air, rather than take a chance on a t.v show that wouldn’t come close to getting a quarter of the number of viewers that CSI gets.
Therefore it would be wiser to wait another few years and to let the next sequel or two to bring in more fans before considering a new show. T.V economics are just too unpredictable right now. Of course, I have never worked in the T.V industry nor do I know much about it, but I do know it’s about numbers. Numbers such as dollars and cents as well as ratings.

49. James Heaney - December 4, 2009

#25 ger: You’ve won my award for Most Insane Conspiracy Theory of the Month. And that’s *really* hard to do. I mean, between the birthers and the vast right-wing conspiracy and that one guy who keeps insisting that ST09 did not necessarily spin off a new universe, but can be reconciled with the old one while keeping the original and known history (disclaimer: that one guy is actually me), it takes a lot to come up with something *so* insane as “the entire Star Trek movie was conceived and implemented two years before the election as an enormous Obama puff piece designed to save his falling approval ratings during the first term”! That’s… well, like I said, that’s the Most Insane Conspiracy Theory of the Month. Congratulations! Your check is in the mail! If you don’t receive it, no doubt it was snagged by Illuminati Masons from the center of the Earth!


50. Hat Rick - December 4, 2009

48, your TV show comments sound quite reasonable. I think it would be nice to consider, however, whether a “one-off” TV special based in the Star Trek universe might work on cable — especially an animated one.

Imagine this animated special: “Tales from the Federation” — a story of a roguish former Starfleet officer and his band of friends who, aboard a sleek new starship, fight the battles that Starfleet legally cannot fight. The series would include entirely new characters and take place in the Prime Timeline just before the five-year mission of James T. Kirk. It would be like “Firefly,” except that the characters would be members of a covert, do-good Federation organization — an organization that does not officially exist. For that reason, the team is also pursued by above-board Federation authorities who are unaware that they act through covert sanction.

Characters would include humans, Tellarites, Betazoids, and a being from a new species capable of incredible feats of strength and agility. We could also incorporate characters from TAS in it.

It’d be like Section 31 meets A-Team.

In fact, this organization might very well morph into Section 31 in the future.

It could be distributed on any one of Viacom’s various outlets through a special deal with CBS, or by CBS or its affiliated entities.

That’s a TV special I would watch!

51. screaming satellite - December 4, 2009

33 – ah ok…just rifting on Shatner accepting the scream award and various shatnerian themes (e.g ashes of eden)

52. Captain Otter - December 4, 2009

@ 50,

If you are thinking of a “clone wars” type animated special on a cable network, I think it could work.

53. VZX - December 4, 2009

I wonder why they release that list so early. I mean, what about the movies in December? Dont they count? I heard The Lovely Bones is pretty good, and the other artsy movies that come out this time. Huh.

I feel that District 9 should be on that list. But I’m glad that Star Trek is getting mad props.

54. Hat Rick - December 4, 2009

52, yes like the “Clone Wars” series, but way better.

Further, with improvements in animation technology, it may even be possible to use CGI animation in production, the way that Pixar has done. The characters need not be photorealistic, obviously. Of course, if it’s less expensive to do it the “Clone Wars” way, then that’s an option, too.

SyFy would be a logical outlet for it, but it’s owned by NBC Universal. However, Trek debuted on NBC forty-three years ago. so there would be some cachet associated with that.

In the series, the ship would be of non-Federation design to detract from any suspicion that it was part of the Federation. However, it would be fast, sleek, and able to do unusual things that Federation ships could not do, including using an experimental and highly classified cloaking device. (Kirk’s operation in “The Enterprise Incident” to “borrow” a cloaking device from the Romulans later on was in actuality to see if the Romulans had developed a better one.) It’s possible that cloaking and many other effects could be more cheaply done through animation.

55. Hat Rick - December 4, 2009

This New Enterprise….

Writing about the proposed animated series has given me thoughts about why ST2009 works so well. Obviously it’s the characters — that’s undeniable. The return to Classic characters was just what the doctor ordered. The charactesr were also well-played and struck not a single flawed note, with the sole exception — and it’s a minor one — of the character of Scotty, who seemed a bit too lighthearted for my taste. But that was a quibble, and at least we got Keenser out of it. The story, too, was compelling, and it was fantastic to see how the two Trek universes could inter-relate through the character of Spock. Further, the emotional tonality and pacing were just right.

I could go on and on.

It’s quite ironic that a return to the older archetypes could have so much more appeal than the movies featuring characters from TNG.

This is not to cast aspersions on TNG — not at all. TNG was right for its time, and it brought depth and fidelity to the franchise. It also expanded it in unique and interesting ways, both temporally and spatially. I rewatched First Contact several times on Blu-ray over the course of the last few days, and, to me, it really holds up. Casting James Cromwell and Alfre Woodard was quite a feather in its cap. The attention to detail was remarkable.

So where did the TNG movies go wrong?

We need not rehash the various issues many people had with Nemesis. Leaving that aside, one thing that occurred to me was that the characters in TNG no longer felt like a family. With the destruction of the Enterprise-D, much of the memories associated with it seemed to vanish. And — here is the take-away I get from thinking about this — it’s as if a house has burned down, unmourned.

For did Picard mourn the loss of the Enterprise-D as much as Kirk mourned the loss of the Enterprise in TSFS? Despite the final scene in Generations, I think not.

It became almost a standing joke by the time of Nemesis that Picard was going around destroying his own starships right and left. And that, I think, struck some people the wrong way, in that the Enterprise was something of a character herself. For both Kirk and the Enterprise-D to go away in Generations left a residual impact that was only temporarily overcome by First Contact.

Star Trek is about exploring new worlds, yes, but it’s also about building upon foundations — foundations of trust, friendship, integrity, justice, and law. When you destroy a ship of longstanding without reflecting upon what that actually means, that says a little something about how important that ship and the experiences aboard it were to you.

Picard did not seem to mourn the loss of the Enterprise-D, nor did the other characters — unlike what was seen in TSFS. Of course, Picard’s emotions might have been residually affected by his Borgification, but what about the other characters?

Then again, it was Deanna who crashed the ship, I suppose…..

56. S. John Ross - December 4, 2009

#46: “Abrams ST accomplished it’s goals by intentionally returning to source material and characters that made the series great.”

Abrams’ ST accomplished its goals by intentionally returning to recognizable brand elements to stamp out a broadly marketable product.

But we agree, at least, that Abrams accomplished his goals ;)

And we’re both fans of Ebert.

57. TJ Trek - December 4, 2009

i do not think that people would tire of a show. The shows could all be done in the Prime timeline, while the movies explore the JJ universe. That way they arn’t the same.

Anyways, I think a show would be great, but would have to take a new approach to how Star Trek is told. For instance, lets look at something diffrent then a star ship or space station. Lets try…

1. Starfleet inteligence/Section 31: This could be a Star Trek approach to an espianage show. There is plenty of other aliens out in the Star Trek universe that do not have the morals of 24th Century humans, to make this work. Plus you could have a whole set on Section 31.

2. How about a series based on the junior officers. You have 3 or 4 ensigns straight out of the acadamy, and have them go to various different posts. From there you have the normal Star Trek storylines, from the view of those ensigns. One would be on a star ship, one on a station, one on a planet bound post. Each character would there own set of stories, unique to there posting. At first you would have to go back and forth between them all, with small stories, doing an arch to fit them all in. But after that you could do stories centering on one character, with archs fitting in. Then when you come to a story that involves the entire federation, you can have multiple viewpoints that you have started to care about. I think this is a great idea.

These are just two ideas, what do you guys think

58. AJ - December 4, 2009


TJ Trek:

While those certainly sound compelling, I’d like to think CBS could ‘take the risk’ of populating a starship with a compelling crew in either the 23rd, 24th, or 25th, centuries.

DS9 wanted to get out of the standard shipboard formula, VOY tried to get out of the familar universe, and ENT decided to go back in time in search of untold stories, and they represent the ultimate decline of the franchise. This is not a judgment of quality, mind you. We all have favorites among these shows. It may reflect what Ron Moore once said was the restrictive nature of Trek canon, and the desire to mine fresh material outside of the 24th century Alpha Quadrant.

I am among those fans who think that a return to a ship exploring a familiar universe would be most desirable. The ‘Romulan War’ storyline discussed for ENT’s 5th season would have been great, for example. Trek has invested so much in its own continuity, why just toss it aside?

Put unique individuals on a ship with contemporary character interplay in an action/adventure format, make it fun, and base it in “our” universe. That’s my two cents.

59. S. John Ross - December 4, 2009

#57: “The shows could all be done in the Prime timeline, while the movies explore the JJ universe. That way they arn’t the same.”

In the world beyond Star Trek, that makes perfect sense … the superhero franchises do exactly that, for example, and then some (TV cartoons, comics, direct-to-video stuff, all frequently set in variant and unrelated versions of the same-ish fictional universe). The existence of all these things is generally considered a good thing which broadens exposure and interest in the characters. Because, well, it obviously does.

But Star Trek is plagued by a superstition about such things, arising from a lot of finger-pointing that went on as the franchise’s fiscal value declined over the course of the TNG/DS9/VOY years. The filmmakers responsible for the bland rehashes and timid storytelling deflected blame to the TV shows (which were also increasingly engaging in bland rehashes and timid storytelling), claiming that a weekly-plus diet of Star Trek on TV sated the public’s Trek appetite to the point where nobody was lining up to see their crappy movies. Remarkably and despite all available contrary evidence, this finger-pointing stuck to some extent, and lives on as an enduring Trek superstition. For related superstitions, see “franchise fatigue,” which is what happens when weak writers blame the endurance of their own franchise for the fact that they can’t be bothered to write something good.

But yeah … Star Trek is a TV thing. Spinoff movies and shot-glasses and things are all well and good, but if Star Trek isn’t on TV, Star Trek is dormant. Everything else is just merchandising. So bring on the TV show, animated or otherwise, and let’s make with some boldly (rather than timidly) going.

60. AJ - December 4, 2009

I agree that CBS “blamed” the TV show for its own failure while taking no measures to fix it until Manny Coto’s run in season 4 of ENT.

You could see the ‘fixes’ applied to the various spin-offs: The Defiant, the “Dominion War” and Worf in DS9, Seven in VOY, and then the Big Borg Overdose, making Archer a psycho in season 3 of ENT, etc. Finally getting back into some real Star Trek, season 4 of ENT just didn’t have any viewers left, despite its successful pilot.

At the same time, Paramount, after fun “First Contact,” decided to do a 180 and inflate a bad episode to the big screen. We had F. Murray Abraham and Anthony Zerbe sitting around on a spaceship while everyone else decided to give a crap about a small town of Ba’ku. NEM should have turned a profit, but the writing was already on the wall.

I guess Rick Berman, as show-runner, really thought he could coast without a major step-change. It’s Paramount/CBS who dropped the ball, NOT Star Trek.

61. S. John Ross - December 4, 2009

#60: “I agree that CBS “blamed” the TV show for its own failure while taking no measures to fix it until Manny Coto’s run in season 4 of ENT.”

I really, really keep meaning to watch ENT Season 4, really and truly mean to :( One of these days …

62. Red Skirt - December 4, 2009

I saw Up In The Air last night and I have to say, of the films I’ve seen this year I must agree with NBR. As much as I loved Star Trek, it really doesn’t belong in the same category as Up In The Air. I’ve been reading the awards buzz about Star Trek here and thinking a lot about it. But last night convinced me as I thought about the dinner conversation I had with my friends after watching both Up In The AIr and Star Trek with them. One was a deep discussion of the human condition, the other was a superficial discussion of who was sexier, Pine or Quinto and the differences between the old and the new (that doesn’t mean we didn’t talk about how sexy George Clooney was!). While Star Trek was a lot of fun, it was more gloss and effects than meaning and message. And that is not an insult. Star Trek deserves all the recognition it is getting. But it’s more of an entertaining diversion than a thought provoking presentation. That’s not to say a film that is all “message” is good either, but then that’s the fine line an Oscar-winner must walk.

What I wonder after reading the Variety article is whether NBR has seen Sherlock Holmes or Avatar, and if not, what does it mean for their list? Would Star Trek still be on it? While i don’t see Sherlock Holmes breaking any records, as someone who LOVED Titanic as a girl and is also into sci-fi/fantasy … I am anticipating Avatar as a rabid dog might. If Cameron hits the same buttons with this genre-pushing film, he could once again find himself walking away with all the prizes. If not, I really hope Up In The Air wins.

63. AJ - December 4, 2009


Definitely worth a rental for a few days. Coto closes out the Temporal War, and goes onto a few multi-ep arcs which touch on an ancestor of Dr. Soong and Khan’s embryonic brothers, Klingons developing ridgeless foreheads, and a stepchange in Vulcan society involving a young T’Pau and the katra of Surak.

You also get Peter Weller in a great xenophobia piece, and lots more. Go get it. Test on Monday ;-)

64. Thorny - December 4, 2009

62… I don’t think anyone really expects “Star Trek” or another ‘popcorn movie’ to WIN the Academy Award for Best Picture, but now that the nominations field has been expanded to 10 films, it is a foregone conclusion that two or three such movies will get a nomination. “Star Trek” seems to me the most likely of this bunch, earning the best reviews of any of the summer blockbusters. “Avatar” or “Sherlock Holmes” might be others, we’ll have to wait and see. I wouldn’t be surprised if “The Hangover” gets a nomination as well, as the year’s obligatory nomination from the comedy genre. (I also fully expect Betty White to get a nomination for Supporting Actress in “The Proposal”.)

65. Hat Rick - December 4, 2009

I do not think that Best Picture should be restricted to allegedly “deep” movies. I think that “Up in the Air” is probably as intellectually compelling as they say. However, in terms of impact, it doesn’t hold a candle to Trek.

I will say it again and again: If the Academy can actually GIVE Best Pic to the likes of “Rocky” (1976) and “Oliver!” (1968), then there is NO PRINCIPLED REASON for ST2009 not to be at least nominated for Best Pic.

I’m not at all convinced that only “auteur” or “Sideways”-types movies are the ones that the Academy should honor with a BP Award, let alone a BP nomination. And if ST2009 is overlooked simply on that blatantly untrue basis, where’d be the justice in that?

66. Hat Rick - December 4, 2009

64, Thorny, I think that “Rocky” was definitely a “popcorn”-type movie. No matter how amped up it was, it didn’t say anything that hadn’t been said thousands of times before, not least of all by “A Streetcar Named Desire” (BP-nominated 1951), which, to be honest, was a far better film in terms of meaning and intellectual depth, in my opinion, and still didnt’ win.

67. S. John Ross - December 4, 2009

#63: You’ve just about sold me completely. My one lingering reservation: how is it likely to be for someone (like me) who’s seen basically nothing of the seasons that precede it? I watched a grand total of one episode from first season (and that’s only because someone mailed me a VHS of it).

68. Jim Nightshade - December 5, 2009

67 i still think u would enjoy season 4–many if the episodes relate to and extend the legends from tos so if u know tos n tng well these episodes add more depth–they really are mostly great–with the exception of the final episode which was well intentioned but only served to disrespect enterprise by bringing in tng members–the two mirror universe episodes in season 4 were 2 of the best enterprise episodes made–i think a mirror enterprise series would have been better than the normal one thats how good it was-bakula was great as an evil archer as was the entire cast–season 4 is worth owning ffor any trek fan-manny did great work-

69. Phil - December 5, 2009

Didn’t go through the comments so apologies if anyone has said this, but if Star Trek is number 5 on the Google most searched movie list, then it must make this one of the most hit sites in relation to movies throughout the year. And congratulations are in order for that. That’s how I happened upon this site a couple of years ago, after all! And it’s always one of the first to appear when google has loaded up.

70. Thorny - December 5, 2009

66. Hat Rick… “Thorny, I think that “Rocky” was definitely a “popcorn”-type movie”

Yes. I’m not saying ‘popcorn movies’ can’t win Best Picture. But it certainly is rare. The last was… what, “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003? And it is even more rare for a ‘summer movie’ to win. The last to do so was “Braveheart” in 1995. I never cared much for “Braveheart” myself, but “Star Trek” is not in the same league as “Lord of the Rings,” the only remotely-genre movie to win Best Picture..

71. Thorny - December 5, 2009

67. S. John Ross… “#63: You’ve just about sold me completely. My one lingering reservation: how is it likely to be for someone (like me) who’s seen basically nothing of the seasons that precede it? ”

Except for the idiotic season premiere (which dug the show out of the deep hole it was in from Berman & Braga’s long-running “Temporal Cold War” storyline), you don’t need to know much about “Enterprise” to enjoy the fourth season. Be advised, however, that while the stories overall improved considerably and actually seemed to take place in the same universe as the rest of “Star Trek”, “Enterprise” was still saddled by relentlessly mediocre acting (even Bakula, who I like in everything else he’s done but who chewed the scenery in “Enterprise”) and the poorest production values of any Trek. And since you didn’t invest in all four years of “Enterprise”, you might actually enjoy its Next Generation-set series finale (which Enterprise fans largely consider and insult to them.)

72. S. John Ross - December 5, 2009

#71: If I were the kind of viewer who insisted on good acting, I’d never have become a Star Trek fan to begin with :) And production values don’t impress me (one way or another) either … for me it’s all about the writing, alpha to omega (which is why this recent film, which had excellent production values, some strong acting and “writing” that could have been randomly generated by a chart without anyone noticing the difference, failed to rock my world).

So, #71 and #68, thanks, I’ll officially start watching S4 sometime in the next week.

73. Red Skirt - December 5, 2009

#65: “I think that “Up in the Air” is probably as intellectually compelling as they say. However, in terms of impact, it doesn’t hold a candle to Trek.”

What does that even mean? Because it doesn’t have explosions? Have you seen it to make such a comment? At the screening I attended I saw a large cross section of people come together and laugh steadily throughout the film, sometimes cry, sometimes erupt in applause. I don’t recall the same degree for my viewings of Star Trek. Impact? This audience was clearly impacted by Up In The Air.

I love Star Trek as much as anyone, but that is no excuse to hand it best picture if there are other more compelling films out there. In particular, I had as much fun in Up In The Air as I did in ST. I cried more in Up In The Air than Trek. I was surprised more than I was in Trek, as the plot was significantly less predictable. And I thought more about Up In The Air than I did about Trek when it was over. The messages were much deeper and more compelling. So if I am to tabulate the impact each film had on me, then on that basis, Up In The Air Wins, hands down.

74. steve - December 5, 2009

Trek is more popular now with the MASSES, i.e. normal folk. It has become mainstream and not just a geek niche. It was actually mainstream in the 80’s , however TNG/DS9 etc turned Trek into a science geek/virgin only club. Thankfully that has now been changed.

75. Matt - December 5, 2009

#64: Sorry to say it, but that shows that you don’t know a lot about these kinds of awards. Neither The Hangover nor The Proposal or any of the movies you name save for Avatar maybe will find their names called out at the Oscars. The expansion of the Best Picture nominations does not mean that it’s automatically blockbusters that get the additional slots. In fact, it was already a huge surprise that Star Trek showed up on the NBR list. If it (or any other similarly entertainment-focused film) were able to crack that list of nominations, it would be unexpected. No way will there be several.

76. James Heaney - December 5, 2009

#72: S. John Ross: I must add as a forewarning that the two-part season premiere, “Storm Front” is utterly unimaginative tripe, so when you hate it don’t judge the rest of the season by it. The Augments arc, the Vulcan arc, the Klingon arc, the Romulan arc, In A Mirror Darkly, and (my favorite of the year) the Terra Prime two-parter all range from good to excellent. And that’s pretty much the whole season. And a whole season of good-to-excellent Trek happens so very rarely, doesn’t it?

You’ll hate the finale anyway. It was a terribly written episode.

Lastly, I would add that the one big plot thread you need to know from season three is that Trip and T’Pol had a romantic thing, but it was partly because T’Pol was high on drugs, so it kinda ended. Yeah, it was a terrible plotline and made no sense at the time for either character, but in Season 4 it develops into something quite excellent.

Enjoy your viewing!

77. S. John Ross - December 6, 2009

#76: Can I safely skip “Storm Front” without being confused (or, additionally confused) by the rest of the season?

78. Hat Rick - December 6, 2009

73, in terms of impact, I am no expert at evaluating the technical aspects of the matter. I make a measurement based on what I see in popular culture and I just don’t see the level of buzz to be comparable to the analogous stage of ST2009. Further, I don’t see that the movie has tapped into a cultural phenomenon the way that ST2009 has done.

79. Bucky - December 7, 2009

Geez, why is Bruno higher up than Star Trek in search terms? Certainly didn’t translate to box office… is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.