Today we finish our five-part series examining the franchise’s five decades of history. Today we look at the fifth decade and a world without Star Trek … except for everywhere.
Yesterday, we looked at Trek’s Iron Age, when nerd culture began to rise but Star Trek’s began to decline. As a nod to the Enterprise TV show, we called it the Polarized Hull Plating Age.
Modern Age: 2006 – 2016
The weird thing about the last decade of Star Trek’s existence is it’s the one you can write both the most and the least about. There are only three canonical movies and their contribution to the franchise’s legacy is questionable.
“Bullsh— well, OK, you’re right.”
Star Trek (2009) is the most financially successful movie (domestically) in the franchise’s history and the only one to win an Oscar – make-up, but it also got noms for sound editing, sound mixing, and visual effects. Into Darkness would prove even more successful (as worldwide receipts had become so much more significant). But the “Kelvin-verse” hasn’t had the same impact on this decade that the TOS films did on Trek’s Silver Age.
Despite the lack of canonical material in the last 10 years, thrusters have, irrefutably, been at full. We’ve seen an explosion of online material about Star Trek, with reviewers like SF Debris, who revisit and dissect episodes in ways that were impossible when the shows were still on the air – even ENT. We’ve seen fans take the helm, creating masterpieces of fan-production like Star Trek Continues. Moreover, Star Trek has fed the Internet’s insatiable appetite for memes, podcasts, and video content, whether it’s something as ubiquitous as the Picard face palm, William Shatner screaming Khaaaan!, or that one Ke$ha video.
This age was the hardest one to name. But because of all the above-listed factors – the financial success of nu-Trek, the rise of fan content, and the popularity of Trek memes – I have settled on the franchise’s fifth decade as the Vreenak Age. An acerbic Romulan Senator’s declaration that “It’s a fake!” became Internet gold a few months after ENT warped into the sunset, and it set the stage for what was to come.
Beyond everything else, this era put Star Trek in front of more people’s eyeballs than ever before, thanks to Netflix and other platforms. (And most notably, the Modern Age of Trek fandom saw the creation of TrekMovie in 2007!) The era ends in July 2016 with the release of Star Trek Beyond.
- Start: July 2005
- End: July 2016
- Episodes: 0
- Movies: 3
AND BEYOND … now the next decade of Star Trek I’m going to call “The Age of Discovery” for a) obvious reasons and b) because I’ve already run out of phony futuristic metals.
We don’t know how successful this latest installment of the franchise will be or if there will be additional movies. But we’re optimistic at TrekMovie that the next decade will continue to inspire and entertain. For heaven’s sake … if Doctor Who can do a successful reboot, then Star Trek can too. So c’mon. Let’s see what’s still out there.
|Read the rest of the 5 Ages of Trek:|
|The 5 Ages of Trek – Day 1|
|The 5 Ages of Trek – Day 2|
|The 5 Ages of Trek – Day 3|
|The 5 Ages of Trek – Day 4|