The Five Ages of Star Trek: Day Five, 2006 to 2016

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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.

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“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. 

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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.

Vreenak Age

  • 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

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103 Comments on "The Five Ages of Star Trek: Day Five, 2006 to 2016"

 
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I like jj Abrams, could it be better, all versions of could have been. I mostly like the actors and the ship. I liked in to darkness. I didn’t mind khan, although I think it would have been more clever to have “John Harriman” be actually John Harriman or some other member of Khan’s crew hinting at the looming danger of khan.

The part that I was disappointed in was the reverse Kirk/Spock death thing. Not that they did it but where they did it. The long history between the two is why it smacks you in the gut in the first place. Now, it Abrams trek had been a TV series and the switcheroo had been a anniversary celebration like the trials and tribulation or the voyager tribute episode it would have been sweet.

I just hope we get more of pine, Quinto, Karl and others.

I’m grateful that JJ Abrams revitalized “Star Trek” and made it a big deal again. Leonard Nimoy was happy to see “Trek” come back and if he’s fine with it then so am I.

Nimoy was somehow happy with at least one Cushman TREK book too, despite their endless errors, some of which seem to be deliberate while others owe to incompetence. Even a smart man can get suckered on occasion.

In retrospect, I wish Nimoy had lobbied for someone with real sf filmmaking credentials to handle the reboots, like what Andrew Niccol once promised to become.Either that or someone WAY outside the loop, like THE STATION AGENT director, who would be a Meyer-esque choice, far outside of the box, but perhaps still capable of tying into the alchemical magic that made TOS work.

Steve Gennarelli,

My problem with making Nimoy the pope of STAR TREK is that his focus was exclusively on Spock and he had blinders on for most everything else during much of its genesis. An author he endorses, Mark Cushman, quotes James Doohan:

“Leonard {Nimoy} was more interested in [protecting] the character of Spock. I think Bill {Shatner} was more interested in the series.” — James Doohan

John Harrison, not Harriman. Harriman was Captain of the Enterprise-B in GEN…

While I find 09′ to be very re-watchable, STID is something I just can’t sit through again, I’ve tried. Guess I wasted the $$ on that dvd. Beyond was a fun ride, but honestly, everything for me these days is geared towards Star Wars. Disney is just doing it so right, IMO.

I just wish Disney would go ahead and buy Trek, so they could properly handle the franchise with the respect it deserves.

Amen to that!

Double Amen.

I want Paramount to continue producing Trek films for as long as I’m alive. DeForest Kelley was a contract player at Paramount in the 40’s and William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy worked on the lot on other projects like “Mission: Impossible” and “Mork and Mindy” to name just two.
Trek has been a major property for Paramount since the success of “The Motion Picture”. I don’t see Paramount selling one of its key assets anytime soon.

Just the opposite for me, 09 is the absolute worst for me, and two repeat attempts to view it without fastforwarding through the most inept portions haven’t improved matters since 1st renting it on rent-one-get-one-free night. I think it is like a bored 7 year old getting to play at Trek while wishing he was in the SWverse, creatively, artistically and dramatically. ID is better, but that is because 09 is such a miss by comparison – though I found BEYOND to be enjoyable.

I can’t imagine WHY Disney would want TREK (with Marvel and SW, they already have two winners), but I bet there’d be as much complaining about it if they were handling things – only dif is that you’d have more product, which is certainly no guarantee of quality.

People who think Disney buying Trek would solve all of Trek’s problems don’t understand the industry. They bought Marvel and Star Wars because they were proven evergreen properties/brands that would earn back their money with NO effort from Disney. They were ALREADY doing insanely good business both at the box office and in licensing/consumer products. Lucasfilm was the #15 top licensor in the licensing industry with over $3B generated in 2012 prior to the acquisition and that was WITHOUT ANY MOVIE. Marvel was #4 with over $5.7B in revenue in 2010 prior to joining Disney, and that’s apart from the $800M they had made at the box office through their first two films, which, combined with the lucasfilm stat above, tells me they’re looking less at Box Office and more at licensing revenue. So where does Star Trek rank in consumer products? Well it’s hard to tell because they’re split between two companies, but CBS Consumer Products was #91 in 2015 with just 300M (and that includes their ENTIRE portfolio), while Paramount was NOT EVEN ON THE LIST. Buying Trek would not only mean paying a lot of money, and a LOT of effort to turn it into something that would bring them big profits. So why would they do it? And even if they did, what makes you think they’d turn it into a big success that YOU’D like? In just the past several years they’ve tried John Carter, Prince of Persia, The Lone Ranger, The Wizard of Oz,… Read more »

Torchwood,

Re: People who think Disney buying Trek would solve all of Trek’s problems don’t understand the industry

I think someone’s forgetting that Marvel was partnered with Paramount BEFORE Disney bought them. You must not understand the industry as well as you claim to understand it, if you think Marvel ended up at Disney because it was so easy for it to make coin in partnership with Paramount.

Paramount was only a distribution partner of their films. If you recall, they continued distributing the films after the Disney sale, and Disney actually had to pay a SUBSTANTIAL amount to Paramount to be able to control and distribute the Avengers film in 2012, which was at the time due to be the last film in the Paramount/Marvel distribution deal.

Please try again.

In the licensing industry, prior to their acquisitions, both LUCASFILM and MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT, were autonomous companies who reported their own independent licensing revenue.

Marvel also handled the licensing business for Spider-Man 3 and subsequent Spider-Man films, though revenue was split with Sony, who produced the films (this was a huge miscalculation on Sony’s part, who, in exchange for a decreased royalty on film receipts, allowed Marvel to handle consumer products– where revenue eventually dwarfed the films BO totals. Sony also did a straight handover of animation rights to Marvel following the ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’ cartoon series concluded, which allowed Marvel to produce Ultimate Spider-Man even before the joint venture with Disney last year).

Paramount Consumer Products and CBS Consumer Products were two additional, separate companies, as was 20th Century Fox Consumer Products.

This despite Paramount being a distributor of Marvel films, and Fox (at the time) being distributor of Star Wars, and Paramount distributing Indiana Jones films.

WB, of WB Consumer Products, was actually the film distribution partner on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated feature film.

Distributors are completely separate business arrangements.

In fact, Disney doesn’t distribute Marvel and SW films– technically their distribution subsidiary Buena Vista does, likely for some complicated tax reason.

Torchwood,

Re: Paramount was only a distribution partner

Their arrangement was far more than a simple silent partner distribution arrangement that you try to paint it as. Marvel execs had reams of complaints about nuParamount’s inane dictates.

Re: SUBSTANTIAL amount

Yeah, which was why Paramount’s deal with Marvel was far more SUBSTANTIAL than the one you are trying to make it out as.

You may entertain doubts. But I, and obviously others, am much convinced that whatever kind of STAR TREK Disney might produced, it would be a better one — if only because it would be one free of the stodgy mentality of nuParamount’s lack of vision and respect for supporting and marketing its distribution.

Please try again.

I’m trying to figure out why you think Paramount’s distribution arrangement matters to my point. It doesn’t.

Re: Their arrangement was far more than a simple silent partner distribution arrangement that you try to paint it as.

I am not painting it as a silent partnership. Far from it. Paramount handled all theatrical marketing.

Re: Marvel execs had reams of complaints about nuParamount’s inane dictates.

But they had no say in the production of the actual films, so whatever complaints you’re referring to (source?) could not have been about creative choices, and if they were, Marvel could laugh in their faces.

Re: it would be one free of the stodgy mentality of nuParamount’s lack of vision

What makes you think that? What makes you think Disney execs have any better understanding of Trek, or any better idea of what to do with it? What makes you think they even believe it’s worth buying? Particularly when you already own Marvel and Star Wars?

RE: “if you think Marvel ended up at Disney because it was so easy for it to make coin”

I don’t think that’s the only WHY, but it was a BIG motive.

A bigger WHY is that, prior to Marvel, they had very little content that appealed to teen boys. Most of their content was younger kids and girls. It was also the last independently owned, successful IP houses with brands appealing to teen boys, outside of Hasbro.

Marvel was an easy purchase, despite its enormous price tage: a huge library of characters (over 8000 reported after the purchase) an established, successful film division (admittedly only 2 films to that point, but enough to convince them that the foundation for a future powerhouse was in place), a huge revenue stream from licensing, and a demographic they currently weren’t appealing to.

Torchwood,

Re: they had very little content that appealed to teen boys

The only way this preposterous assertion could possibly seem true is if we ignore Disney’s entire Touchstone library of films. Granted, they aren’t presently doing much with it in terms of producing new content, BUT that was the result of an active decision on their part that did not the result in a lack of teen boy appealing products to draw upon if such a market void, indeed, needed to be filled by them.

This reason you gave for their purchase of Marvel doesn’t pass muster.

Please try again.

Sorry, you’re flat out wrong. This was absolutely the motive for Disney buying Marvel. It was a widely recognized fact, both internally and externally. Here’s a few sources:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/31/news/companies/disney_marvel/

From the article: “The deal would give Disney some content that appeals more to boys, a market it has been looking to develop, Iger said.” [That’s Bob Iger, Disney CEO.]

Here’s another:

http://www.newsweek.com/why-disney-bought-marvel-78573

From the article: “After all, they are more manly crowd. ‘We both have properties with broad appeal, but they skew more toward boys,’ says Tom Staggs, Disney’s chief financial officer and Iger’s supersidekick.”

And another:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/business/media/01disney.html

From the article: “The brooding Marvel characters tend to be more popular with boys — an area where Disney could use help. While the likes of “Hannah Montana” and the blockbuster Princesses merchandising line have solidified Disney’s hold on little girls, franchises for boys have been harder to come by.”

—-

And what Touchstone movies are you referring to? What franchise fare did touchstone have that appealed to boys 8-16? Because I don’t see any.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Touchstone_Pictures_films

At this point, just stop trying because you make yourself look stupid.

I’ve posted a nice response with links to online sources, but apparently it requires moderator approval because of internet links. But to point, they include quotes from Disney execs acknowledging that the reason they bought Marvel was to appeal more to boys, an area they struggled. Here’s one quote:

“The deal would give Disney some content that appeals more to boys, a market it has been looking to develop, Iger said.” [That’s Bob Iger, Disney CEO.]

By the way, Touchstone Pictures isn’t a production studio, but another of Disney’s distribution arms, which means MOST of Touchstone’s film’s aren’t even owned by Disney– not only would they not collect the bulk of revenue from those films, but they would definitely NOT receive the revenue from products and merchandise from those films. For example, Real Steel, which was the last Touchstone movie to perform reasonably well and was aimed at the 8-16 boy demo, was produced by Dreamworks, and the merchandising controlled by Dreamworks. Disney needed not only movies that appealed to older boys (older meaning not toddlers or young children), but brands they could develop to provide revenue from merchandise. They have really NEVER had, prior to Marvel, any brands that did that. They looked over at the likes of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and DC Comics for years in envy, and really, Marvel and Lucasfilm (along with the aforementioned Hasbro with Transformers) were the last independently owned IP house they could purchase that boasted proven content that had existing successful business in both film and merchandise. They purchased Marvel because the machine was already well-oiled and running. Same with Pixar and Lucasfilm (and in fact, I believe Disney handled the merchandise for Pixar prior to their acquisition, so it was a known and well-valued quantity even internally). Frankly, i’m not sure what Disney would get out of a Star Trek purchase. Paramount/CBS would not let it go for nothing– it would be one of… Read more »
Torchwood, Re: I’ve posted a nice response You have a marvelous penchant for understatement. I would say that zinger at the end makes it anything but. And you shouldn’t be so quick to sling that barbed arrow from its quiver. Especially since you were the one who pointed out the folly of trying to fill a teen boy film library void with the library of a production company whose library consisted of two, count ‘em, TWO films [That’s “some” content.]. And now you are trying to convince me that you swallowed that corporate sound bite created solely as a balm for queasy investors having the same questions as the actual mission statement in the Marvel purchase when two years later they had to spend another 4 billion and some odd dollars to purchase Lucasfilm with an ACTUAL teen boy film franchise library to refill the same hole you claimed their strategy already filled with the Marvel purchase? Please spare us the unwarranted testosterone hosing over my merely suggesting that the Touchstone Pictures Library alone had at least the same potential and number, and very likely more of actually existing teen boy appealing films that an infusion of $4.6 billion could work similar wonders for in dispelling this faux part of the stated Disney premise? If Disney’s teen boy slate was indeed already filled by the Marvel purchase as you now seem to be claiming whole hog, what’s your rationalization for Lucasfilm? Mandated by Disney’s strategy of turning rides in their… Read more »

Sorry but you’re the one wrong. When the deal came around it was reported numerous times Disney wanted Marvel to attract more young boys (for some reason this just sounds wrong lol). They saw how well boys were buying up their CARS merchandise and decided they wanted to expand that in a big way and Marvel merchandise was an obvious target.

And this was before the films became so big. Most people think it was the films why Disney bought Marvel although it wasn’t, it was the merchandise. The films were just a happy accident because no one had a clue at the time just how big MCU would get and that includes Marvel themselves.

Tiger2,

Re: Most people think it was the films

No, you are confused about what nonsense I was challenging and who was the source of it. Torchwood ably pointed out that Disney floated the flim content bogus reason for the Marvel purchse.

And it created solely to dispel the hate for it among shareholders:

http://deadline.com/2012/05/the-avengers-makes-marvel-a-good-deal-for-disney-not-a-great-one-analyst-275767/

“Wall Street dislikes the movie business and hated Disney CEO Bob Iger’s 2009 agreement to pay $4.2B for Marvel, especially after he paid $7.5B for Pixar.” – David Lieberman, ”’The Avengers’ Makes Marvel A “Good Deal” For Disney, Not A Great One: Analyst”

Re: The films were just a happy accident

This, we agree on. But where we disagree is that Disney very clearly was responsible for peddling this nonsense that left most people thinking the films were why they had to buy Marvel. And THAT’S the nonsense that I’ve been scoffing at.

OK fair enough.

Trek isn’t Marvel and Star Wars. If anything, Disney would make them more like Trek 2009. I still think that part of the problem is that Abrams is treating Trek too respectfully.

Really?? We’re still doing this??

We’re still calling the Kelvin films second-class? Please GET OVER THIS. They may not be ALL fans’ cup of tea, but that just means it’s not YOUR Star Trek (as the Mission Log guys like to say).

It’s a fake, my ass.

Agreed.
And speaking my point of view, they’re not only decidedly not “second-class,” they’re actually good movies in the general sense (and I’d rate the divisive INTO DARKNESS a genuinely great film in this regard; BEYOND, the lesser of the three by far, but it grows on you – – parts of it anyway) and good ST in that they expand what ST is, in a basically similar (and obviously different in terms of “tone” and pace) as Nicholas Meyer did.
I think even Vreenak would agree with me.

+1. It’s True Trek. May not be my favorite, but it’s just as much Trek as Enterprise or Voyager or TNG or the movies were compared to TOS.

Re: second-class

I believe the old school regards it as such largely because by rewriting its rules of time travel and transitioning the stories to an entirely different universe, it abandons the fantasy that STAR TREK really is our future. And you can’t deny the believe that it was, profoundly affected the future that came after its 1969 cancellation.

Rules of Trek time travel are rewritten with nearly every episode involving time travel. I think it’s grossly unfair to judge the film based on that. If you feel it’s too Star Warsy in its execution, I totally understand, however, even if we still disagree. The writing, characters and presentation should be where the focus is on what you judge, not the logistics of time travel.

Torchwood:

Re: logistics of time travel

You saw my words but totally choose to not see my point but instead bog down in typical fun Trek minutiae.

Besides, it wasn’t the logistics of time travel per se, after all anti-Lazarus introduced that in his alternate universe, but the alternate universe side of it that created for many the abandonment of the “Trek is our future.” dream.

The alternate universes of the first Trek’s anti-Lazarus and Mirror Kirk simply were not presented or thought of as “our” universe, its history or our future.

For the old school fans, that kept Trek alive as a saleable product for a Paramount that wrote it off and couldn’t have cared less in the time frame I referenced prior to their awakening to it, this was a change that, while nothing new to comic book fans, was significant to those Trek fans. Abandonment of dreams rarely are suffered easily.

You’re right, I missed your point.

But your point is also pointless. As documented in RedLetterMedia’s wonderful review of Star Trek 09, what universe it takes place in is irrelevant, particularly after ‘Parallels’ (which he considers to be one of the worst Trek episodes ever, even if I adore it).

The Trek 09 universe is STILL our future just a different one. Like a flowing river, split by a rock, both universes share our present as their past.

And you want to talk about Trek minutiae? If you want to get bogged down in the semantics of universe’s, which is ours, which is not, which is which, that just plain silly as a reason to dislike it, and it’s just laughable to debate seriously (fun to debate as fans i’ll grant you).

If you want to pick on the execution as a Star Wars style action-fantasy, fair enough at least.

Torchwood,

Re: I missed your point.

My point was to explain why the old guard feels that way. Bringing up TNG is equally pointless in that regard as there’s very few of the old guard that regard it as season 4 through 10 of the first series and so you aren’t reaching them with that and it is well known that Orci’s Trek fan experience was heavily TNG based and his movies laced with it as you, indeed, point out. But it is again, his TNGination of the first series that’s what leaves them disgruntled. You, as a TNG fan, don’t have to agree with it to understand that that’s the way many of them feel.

It’s just as pointless as your being a TNG fan is to them, but neither’s pointlessness invalidates the other’s feelings. And in producing art that aspires to greatness and a viable market, they don’t have to be a slave to them but artists ignore potential consumers’ feelings at their own economic peril.

I’m not hating on the Kelvin universe. Trek 09 was still pretty darn good, even though they played a bit fast and loose with universal geography. ID would have been OK had they done the same movie with ANYONE but Khan and they lose the Kirk “death” scene. This is just the 2nd movie. We all knew he wasn’t going to perish and repeating the exact same lines as in TWK was just pure laziness. I guess O and K felt it was an fun “switcharoo” to play homage to TWK but it just didn’t work. And what emotion one may have felt for the moment was completely destroyed when Spock screamed “KHAN!” That scream has become a joke over the years and it did not play well. Also, the death scene in WOK was after 15 years of these characters. In this version, only a few years earlier did the ice between them start to melt. Sure, they were forming the friendship but it didn’t carry the same weight as it would if it were even a few more years later. I do have severe reservations on DSC (or STD). First from the low quality delivery method to some of the ideas and concepts that have been leaked out. I still don’t know if I will even be able to see it yet. I am so very torn on that show. I guess time will tell…

Into Darkness, as a film on its own, worked for me. The death made sense– as in this movie it was Kirk’s death that made Spock realize how much he truly treasured Kirk’s friendship; intead of being the culmination of a 20 year friendship, it was the beginning of one.

But it suffers from the same problem The Force Awakens had– in a vacuum they’re both good films, but the fact that they retell old stories makes it impossible to judge them on their own terms.

Is it a coincidence that both were directed by JJ Abrams? YES and NO. Though I believe it was Paramount and Disney that mandated the retellings, I also believe they both chose JJ as director for their respective films because he excels at capturing the spirit of old material while updating to a modern sensibility.

Yeah you said every single concern I had with STID as well. I guess most of us who didn’t love this film had the same problems. I honestly still remember being on IMDB the day the film had its first premiere and someone leaked the entire story line in one sitting after seeing the premiere and people reading it actually accused the guy of trolling because some of the plot lines just sounded so ridiculous at the time. I mean Khan’s blood is what saved a tribble?? Spock yells “Khaaaaaan”? Kirk lose being Captain for all of 20 minutes? They do a WOK switch?? Yeah I think the film just went a bit too far in some places. ;) For the record I like it but it did a lot of really dumb things. I think the first hour is really strong its just the second hour and after the reveal of “Khan” where it goes south. But as I said in my OP here I still like the KT films overall. They are fine and fun but not the Star Trek most fans remembered and why they get a lot of hate. As for Discovery like you I’m hesitant because I don’t like the prequel idea and while I like Klingons I never been a huge lover of them but excited to see what they do with them. I just hope whatever it is it just last one season and move on to something else. But I’m just excited… Read more »

I was confused at first about what Star Trek content there is to regard in this, nominal “Fifth Age”, being that there haven’t been any Star Trek movies or TV shows made since ENT went off the air. But, The Golden Age of Fan Trek, for its very best offerings (such as STC, New Voyages) does merit consideration as Star Trek of the past decade.

Three movies HAVE been made after ENT went off the air. Entertaining ones too.

Actually, there were were four movies made after ENT went off the air, the three you mention, plus Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But they were all Star Wars movies. Still, STC, New Voyages, etc. show that Star Trek was still boldly going.

LOL!

Sorry, STC, New Voyages are NOT star trek. They are fan films. If I draw a spider-man comic on loose leaf paper, and throw it up on Facebook, is it considered a real Spider-Man comic just because I got a few hundred thousand people to look at it?

Torchwood,

Re: is it considered a real Spider-Man comic just because I got a few hundred thousand people to look at it

Between 1969 and 1979, STAR TREK fan fiction was the only game in town and the best of it was adopted as such, gaining general consensus amongst the fans from newsletter and fanzine subscription mailing lists.

Proof that, despite TPTB, including Roddenberry himself, declaring this or that piece of fan fiction not a part of the official canon, some of it was indeed STAR TREK is that elements created solely within those creative confines were later adopted onto the “official” on screen exploits.

If I recall correctly, NEW VOYAGES/PHASE 2 fan actor, James Cawley, was even on screen on the KELVIN in 2009’s STAR TREK to further blur the lines and possibly a contributing factor as to why the lawsuit against fan films was a stated issue for Bad Robot as well.

Disinvited

Torchwood,

Re: [Cawley] on screen on the KELVIN

My mistake. It was Enterprise herself:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796366/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

Re: Between 1969 and 1979, STAR TREK fan fiction was the only game in town and the best of it was adopted as such, gaining general consensus amongst the fans from newsletter and fanzine subscription mailing lists.

General consensus among fans? HAHAHA. Ok. Whatever.

Re: Re: [Cawley] on screen on the KELVIN

What is the relevance here?

Torchwood,

Re: General consensus among fans? HAHAHA.

You can mock the facts of history, but the simple truth is there was enough of a consensus that STAR TREK was worth it to put the time and effort into to writing all those letters, which never actually stopped with the end of the third season, and go to all the trouble to maintain mailing lists, etc. to keep a communication network going with others of a like mind.

Further examples can be found in the first names of the characters Uhura and Sulu which were adopted by fan consensus directly leading to eventual production adoption.

People can joke about Trek fans all they want, but Trek wouldn’t have been much of a phenomenon worth serving capitalistically if they couldn’t, from time to time, form consensuses.

Re: What is the relevance here?

That Cawley’s efforts to produce fan films, no matter how insignificant you and others would have them be regarded, was significant enough to get him invited to be a part of what you all regard as more significant TREK.

That’s all wonderful, but it’s still not real Trek. I have nothing but respect for the people who produce them (save ONE production, I think you know which) but even they would acknowledge their work is not real Trek. It’s fan work. Made with love and care, and passion, but not content to be acknowledged in a Trek production timeline.

Torchwood,

Re: it’s still not real Trek

You, of course, do realize the delicious absurdity of you saying that about a work of fiction?

But for the record, what exactly is your personal definition of what is “real Trek”?

The Trek fan films are no no more a part of official Star Trek than the multiple fanzines that kept Trek alive in the hearts of many fans for years in the 70’s. Fan fiction/fan films are a hobbies that fill a void. The offer comfort and even entertainment for many. I’m not one of them, but their presence and contributions to Trek, mostly in their efforts to keep the fire burning, can’t be denied.

I think fan films are fine to have but I doubt they get 1% of views that a film like Beyond gets. And its not that they are not good (although probably a lot of them aren’t) but most fans want stuff in canon. It is a weird head game, at the end of the day if you’re being entertained you’re being entertained but for many if its not official than it doesn’t ‘count’ and of course a lot of fan films can’t compete production wise. Of course thanks to the internet and the technology only getting better (and cheaper) for effects they get better but its still a huge gap between a fan produced show and a professionally done show. And a lot of the bigger fan stuff just redo TOS for some reason. Of course I can’t see anyone trying to do something like DS9 or anything because thats a big production set wise it would be nice to see other stuff like TNG, etc. I do like the fan stuff that do their own thing completely though but I would be lying if I said I saw anymore than a few hours of fan stuff at best. And even the professionally produced fan stuff like Renegades I never got farther than 30 mins of watching that. It was just really really bad even though it has a lot of Star Trek actors and crew. It just proves its not as easy as it looks with a great… Read more »

I meant ‘without’.

Huh … was half-way expecting this era to be called “The Red Matter Age” …

Masterpieces of fan production. ROFL😂

James,

Re: Masterpieces of fan production

You may scoff but James Cawley’s efforts to that end got him a cameo on the 2009 effort:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796366/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

So someone over at Bad Robot considers his contributions, at least, to those ends significant enough.

Yeah, Cawley’s efforts were by far the best. Still wouldn’t refer to them as masterpieces. Fan films are fun, great amateur fun. It’s what they should be, it’s what fandom should be.

Wow thats pretty cool. I only seen one episode of his films and saw him in Gods and Monsters. Its nice someone noticed the hard work he put into making those films. Does he still do them?

No, I think they stopped last fall in the wake of the new rules announced for fan productions, though it didn’t sound like that was Mr. Cawley’s only reason for stopping. I believe Star Trek Continues… uh… continues.

Oh thats too bad. But yeah he seems to be the one to kick off the more modern day fan films with full on episodes and pretty decent production values. But with the new rules in place I guess I can see why that would make them stop although as you said there are probably other reasons too. My guess just all the work to do them got too much, especially when you’re essentially doing it for free. I know thats been the big issue with these films though you can’t profit but as long as no one is getting rich I don’t see whats wrong with making a tiny profit. I always thought maybe just do a profit sharing deal where CBS gets money for doing nothing but I guess its not really worth it to them.

I don’t agree that the three new films, starting with Star Trek 2009, had “questionable” contributions to Trek’s legacy.

The franchise was dead on the table until ST 2009 brought it back to life and relevant again. I will concede that Beyond wasn’t that good.

Pumping a dead body full of crap to make it jump around and twitch spastically isn’t a resurrection, it is a chemistry gimmick. That’s about all that happened with Trek due to the Abrams presence.

That’s a pretty minority opinion (you are of course welcome to it) but I’d consider the financial and critical reception counts as a resurrection looking at the big picture.

I’d like to think that even if I didn’t enjoy these movies I could accept that they just aren’t my preferred flavor of Trek but they clearly resonate positively.

I have the same view of the Bond reboot, which has killed Bond almost completely for me (thank god I still have Connery and Dalton blu-rays and the original Fleming books), and if I understand your phrase correctly, I don’t see any ‘positive resonance’ in either rebooted franchise, except that Abrams at least didn’t get too hands-on with BEYOND, which was pretty enjoyable. Critics rarely ever understood TREK in the past (ever read the TMP review where a NY writer didn’t understand where the critters inside vger went between the start and end of the movie? Somehow he didn’t understand the klingons were approaching and attacking the cloud!!!), so the idea that they have suddenly got smarts about trek in 09 or that there is something good about quoting Ian Fleming passages WAAAAYYYY out of context in CASINO ROYALE or the even more dreadful SKYFALL is a good thing is just a sign that they don’t know what they’re talking about. in CR, Bond pretty much drives the plot by killing professionals for their cellphone info – like a ‘pro’ wouldn’t keep this information in his head!!! You can’t play the ‘good cuz it is realistic’ card when everything hinges on idiot plot turns that only really work when you’re making brain-dead Roger Moore movies. By way of contrast, I found the Nolan Batmans to be largely excellent, even superb at points, so it isn’t reboots in general, it is very specifically the ones that do a disservice to the… Read more »

Anthony Lewis,

Except being a financial record breaker was never a thing attached to original Trek nor any sort of barometer of its greatness or an explanation of why it was so inspirational; neither was the critical response during its initial run. So it is difficult to understand just what it is that you are celebrating as being resurrected in STAR TREK? Seems more like you are celebrating the return of Paramount’s corporate lust and then trying to conflate that as the return of something essential to STAR TREK, which it absolutely never was with Paramount regarding it as an albatross around its neck for around 7 long years until it won that Emmy and took off in syndication.

“a dead body full of crap to make it jump around and twitch spastically”

Good description of JJ’s “lens flare and shakey-cam” style filmmaking.

Vokar,

Re: Good description of JJ’s “lens flare and shakey-cam” style filmmaking.

One thing kmart definitely knows from where he speaks is filmaking.

Another, is where the body’s buried.

@Disinvited:

Kmart and I go waaaay back, making our first film together in early 1979. He acted in about 6 or 8 of mine, and I acted in one of his (my big line: “Zero power in sixty seconds!” or somesuch) and I shot parts of a couple other films for him (I remember Stars with the overhead tracking rig of his, and Critical Orbit in a bridge set built in an upstairs bedroom). I was lucky, as I had a 2-car garage in which to build sets. So yep, he knows his filmmaking. And so do I, but we come from different ends of the sci-fi spectrum of influence. I’m pretty much a b-movie guy; Corman films and the like.

As far as “where the body’s buried,” you got me there!

Star Trek was never dead. It was always a hugely lucrative property with a massive fan base that had fallen into neglect. Anybody could have brought back Trek with huge fanfare after a decade’s absence. JJ was smart to pounce when he did, but anyone who says he revived a dead franchise is delusional. Hey, JJ–bring back Lone Ranger, bring back Green Hornet, bring back a truly dead franchise, and I’ll start thinking you’re more than just a smart opportunist.

I wouldn’t say dead, but it’s not a wholly incorrect thing to say. The previous movie made 67M globally.

The last series on TV was a ratings dud, despite multiple re-toolings (new title, new producer, new format, etc).

For the first time in almost 2 decades there was NO new Trek in active development in TV or film.

And it wasn’t “a decade’s absence.” It was 4 years between Enterprise and the JJ movie, 7 between films. It was NOT an easy feat considering the previous movie, again, earned just 67M worldwide. SIXTY SEVEN MILLION. That’s about the entire production budget of ‘Maid in Manhattan’ from the same year, from a franchise known all over the world, and based on the highest rated syndicated series ever (TNG).

Star Trek was largely dead as a box office draw, and JJ and Paramount turned around and released a blockbuster that earned 385M global (the largest Trek movie to that point, even adjusted for inflation), with the HIGHEST Rotten Tomatoes score for ANY Trek film!

We can debate which you like better, or how much of a barometer box office totals and RT are, but it’s clear it was a HUGE critical and commercial success, and to do so after the abysmally received Nemesis is nothing short of amazing.

I hear everything you’re saying but I think people waaaaay over exaggerated that Trek was ‘dead’ after Enterprise ended because yeah while it took four years between Enterprise cancellation and the first KT film what people don’t seem to realize is Paramount was already looking to do new Trek stuff just months after it went off the air. They had already hired new writers and producers to come up with either new films or a show. Everyone here knows Star Trek: The Beginning was being written after Nemesis bombed 2 years later which would start a trilogy to the Romulan war that Rick Berman was trying to get off the ground. They just decided to go another way. But they were already working on other concepts and in fact the first KT film was announced less than a year when Enterprise went off the air. So its not like Trek was some long forgotten thing they had to dust off ala Battlestar Galactica. They were actively looking to do something with Trek again when Enterprise wasn’t off the air for a full year. Movie ideas were being worked before Orci and Abrams showed up, they simply liked Orci and Kurtzman idea and went with that. But there was going to be SOMEONE doing Star Trek around this time regardless. I know you’re not saying this but I get tired of hearing this weird narrative Paramount was ready to put away Star Trek for awhile until Orci or Abrams showed up… Read more »

Could have called it the Vulcaya Age!

Vreenak Age? Really? Actually…and I told you so two days ago…this was the EASIEST age to name… RED MATTER AGE!!! Red Matter was the material, that started the Kelvin Timeline. Red Matter is what makes the haters of the Kelvin Timeline literally see red.

Vreenak has NOTHING to do with these movies and he isn’t even a “material”… Red Matter Age would have been the only reasonable name for this era… Sorry, you’ve failed…

Disagree and I even enjoyed Beyond. Too many fans caught up in getting too upset over what – frankly – is a TV show; a piece of fiction. Get over it. There are so many contradictions and inconsistencies over ALL the series, I don’t understand the upset with any issues in the Kelvinverse movies. The typical BS of so many Trek fans being afraid to move on with the times. Ironic, eh?

One thing that annoys me about coming to this site and trekcore is that there are clearly some people here with not enough to occupy their lives and too much time on their hands, getting upset with the “problems” of a fictional world.

Oh, and I for one can’t wait to see what Discovery puts our way!

I was never in love with these films but same time I was just happy to have ANY form of Star Trek, especially after it went off the air. But yes I think what was great about these films is that Star Trek was made a big deal again. We never had big budget Trek films outside of TMP and we know how that went. It was cool that Star Trek was actually…cool. And it was smart of Orci and Kurtzman to come up with the alternate timeline angle. Sadly it probably has caused more arguments and confusion over it but its nice that they came up with a way to keep all the other Trek as it always was and had these films do their own thing. And its cool we have two different Kirks, Spocks, etc. They feel like their own separate crew, so I count the franchise as six crews total….soon to be seven! One big happy fleet. :) And while their future seems kind of iffy at the moment since Beyond didn’t do very well I do hope we get more or at least one more to give it closure. Its still amazing though this franchise started off with a low budget show that got cancelled in the sixties in its third season and its still going today bigger than I think anyone ever imagined. I love Star Trek to death and while not loved every show or film I can easily say there is more… Read more »

Nicely said!

Thanks! :)

During the pre-reboot years, my impressionable, naive self was actually longing for a full-on high budget Star Trek film series in the vein of the typical 2000’s blockbusters. In those years, the failure of NEM was a huge letdown for me, and hearing about the STXI going full retro really had me grinning for excitement. I thought to myself, that finally Trek was going to get its full blown attention it deserved.

Looking back on it, we got exactly that. “Less talk and more action” and somehow it worked! On one hand, Trek was back on the radar and had some of its “cred” back for general audiences. Technically, it was bring back Kirk!

However, the reboot was also wildly successful in rooting out the biggest self-entitled man-children within the fandom. It takes an extra kind of patience (and restraint) to be a Star Trek fan these days. And despite the success of the reboot era, I personally think that the fandom has become more hostile and divisive on the internet level.

That’s my general take on it. Trek is cool once more, but the hardcores say otherwise. And this gap/border/whatever will persist for a long time methinks.

this nu version of kirk is no good.
fast tracked into the captain’s chair, lacking the skills, wisdom and cunning of prime kirk and he lost the enterprise because he was too foolish to retreat from a massively overmatched enemy.

but now this kelvin version of ‘trek’ is been outclassed by films like ‘the martian’, ‘arrival’, interstellar’ and even GOTG.

films that take us where no one has gone before.

Agreed except for GOTG – I honestly didn’t see what all of the fuss was about. It was entertaining but not worthy of the hype and praise that followed it, IMO. I actually like Ant Man better. lol

The Martian and Interstellar were great (though not without a few plot holes and convenient MacGuffins – am I getting too old to watch these??) I haven’t see “Arrival” yet – do you recommend it?

I think regardless of your opinions on the quality of the JJ-Verse films I find it mind boggling that people think the new films actually revived the series and made it ‘relevant’. 09 was a success, but rather than surging forward with the new films instead they languished for 4 years. 4 years is a century in movies these days, we get 3 marvel films and a Star Wars every year now. The entire franchise has reeked of reluctance on the part of the creative team. I have no doubt that, were it not for the fact that this is the 50th anniversary, we would have had to wait just as long for the next film. JJ seemed apathetic, and Orci seemed outright hostile towards the fandom. So instead they had to bring in a group of people to slap a film together in 18 months and get it out the door with next to no fanfare. (This is not a criticism of the quality of Beyond, I actually adored the film and think the team did a great job) This is not what happens in a thriving franchise. Star Trek isn’t relevant because the people behind the scenes didn’t seem to care. They were preoccupied. It has been the 50th anniversary of one of the top sci-fi franchises in history, and instead all we got was one divisive film, a few good comics, and the promise of a series in the future that is struggling to maintain a creative… Read more »

Have to remember that actors, directors, producers, writers and other creative minds are involved in more projects than one these days. You can’t expect there to be a movie every year. While there are multiple Marvel movies every year, it doesn’t involve the same cast, writers, directors, etc. So making that comparison doesn’t hold up.

It revived the franchise, in that people actually went to see it to the degree that sequels were greenlit. Unlike the implosion of Trek from Insurection forward, there was actual world-wide interest in the JJ films, rather than the disinteret that greeted Nemesis and Enterprise. So in that regard, yes, the new films did “revive”, with great success, the franchise, which was dormant.

Lack of canonical material?

Three films isn’t enough?!

In your second age that you listed it was only the first four films!

Those first four films were part of over 80 hours of canonical material at the time, not including the Animated series, part of which is also considered canon, and a wealth of non-canon material in the forms of books, comics, novels, blueprints, technical manuals and the like … The Abrams films have around 5 hours total in the span of about a decade, with no real ancillary markets for novels, manuals and the like. That’s a dearth of canonical material no matter how you slice it.

What about all the novels that have continued to be released? Combined with the IDW comic books as well.

torgo1964,

Re: What about all the novels that have continued to be released?

The Kelvin timeline novels that were scheduled to be released in conjunction with the 2009 effort were pulled and NEVER released. There’s been absolutely no KT novels to CONTINUE to be released since. There’s been some YA stuff, but to call those “novels” is generous to say the least.

That had to be the dumbest series of articles I have ever seen.

Amen to that.

Thirded.

Franchises need to continually evolve to suit the audience of the time that they’re in. If Casablanca came out today, you’d probably only see it in art-house movie theaters. It’s not 1966 anymore.

torgo1964,

The STAR TREK franchise was solely a Paramount of the past’s MBA bean counters, after the fact, invention. It wasn’t a part of Trek’s creation nor the phenomenon that led to keeping it economically viable until those same disdaining, ready to dump it for $175 thousand, MBAs suddenly found “franchise” STAR TREK economic religion.

There’s nothing essential about a franchise to STAR TREK and justifying changing its essence in service to it is nonsense. CASABLANCA doesn’t have to be redone to speak to the current generation any more than it had to be redone for the one prior because the original is still available and does fine, as it is, on its own in speaking to them and being cherished which is why it’s available on blu-ray to this day.

You have the cart before the horse. Books, TV shows and other storytelling forms get turned into a successful movie franchise because there’s something great in their essence to begin with. Turning it into a viable movie franchise isn’t what makes it that. CASABLANCA doesn’t have to be turned into a movie franchise to become great. CASABLANCA is great because that’s what it is.

I’m not saying turn Casablanca into a franchise. I misspoke. I meant to say that movie styles have changed so much that a modern younger audience might not sit through a Casablanca if it was made exactly the same way.

If CASABLANCA came out today, it would be made by Tyler Perry and consequently have a whole different spin and feel. Shoot, I saw PLAY IT AGAIN SAM before I ever saw CASABLANCA, and it has colored nearly every viewing of the latter for me (sort of like how seeing LIFE OF BRIAN’s ‘blessed are the cheesemakers’ can make a hash of new viewings for ‘THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.’

And no, I could never bring myself to watch David Soul in the tv series of CASABLANCA. Actually had respect for him as an actor, but for chrissakes, don’t go THERE! Burt Reynolds and SEan Connery were smart enough to steer clear of Rhett Butler when a GWTW sequel was proposed in the late 70s, but poor Timothy Dalton caught that bullet in the 90s.

It’s funny, having been a regular at Trekmovie for ten years… this was the decade where I returned to Star Trek after disliking all of the Roddenberry/Berman/Braga 1980s-2000s shows. I liked the first new film a lot; the second was terrific, but felt like a ‘Rogue One,’ in terms of being an interesting add-on, when I’d really wanted to get on to proper five-year-mission exploration story. But the long gaps between films, my growing older and changing as part of that, reading and falling in love with a lot of other science fiction has meant I’ve drifted away from caring about any new Star Trek. After watching shows like The Expanse and the more recent (scarily, I can no longer say ‘new’) version of Battlestar Galactica, I’m not sure Star Trek has anything left to give. I adore my Blu-rays of the original show. It was – and always shall be – my first science fiction love affair, but I’m not convinced the franchise has anything further to offer; at least to me. The 60s Kennedy era liberalism and enthusiasm of the original has given way to a nihilism that either tries to be excessively, falsely light and preachy in or dark and ‘edgy’ in a way that makes it pointless using the Star Trek moniker. Nothing I’ve heard about the new TV show really attracts me right now. So, the 50th anniversary of the original show has been bittersweet for me: the official ‘celebration’ has been lacking and I… Read more »

pegg and jung promised us ‘beyond’s villain would make us rethink what the federation/starfleet stood for, that ‘the frontier was pushing back’.

but all we got was the usual formuluric ‘trek’ movie villain in the end.

and the ‘kelvin’ line has diminished the strength of the enterpise, unable to defend itself in ‘darkness’ and ‘beyond’.

The Enterprise got the shit kicked out of it in Wrath of Khan because Khan played off of Starfleet protocols. The reason it was kicked the shit out of in the last two was because it was facing a more powerful ship. This isn’t a new thing in Star Trek. Look at when they introduced the Borg.

torgo1964,

Re: The reason it was kicked the shit out of in the last two was because it was facing a more powerful ship

But the very first time The Enterprise ever was challenged by a more powerful ship in just a few episodes into the series with THE CORBORMITE MANEUVER, the encounter was an extremely challenging one, BUT she avoided getting the shit kicked out of her and, in the end, made a new friend.

That episode is the quintessential essence of what a STAR TREK tale is, i.e. to use the traditional trappings of an action/adventure piece to get all your juices flowing anticipating a standard beat down but then tickle your cranium by resolving it in a surprisingly more thoughtful and novel manner.

shatner would have bluffed to overcome the swarm, pine seems unable to do the same.

Dis,
I find it interesting that Lin seized on CORBOMITE, having the writers watch the ‘brief the crew via intercom’ speech, which is practically repeated verbatim in BEYOND, though admittedly not in the same exact context.

I think Lin’s need to have so many action beats may actually work to sabotage his story sense; it’s like his instincts are right, but then once he goes to work on a scene, it gets buried under all the modern-movie-isms. Of course I’ve only seen about 10minutes of one of his F&Fs before zoning out, so mine is not an informed opinion, just a guess based on BEYOND.

we have reached another turning point in the affairs of the franchise just as we had in 1989 and 2002.

I can’t stop watching that Tik Tok Star Trek video lol. Why the internet is so much fun!

This was also the age when the legacy got treated with due respect, via the remastering of the original series and TNG. That’s some love and care spent preserving – and improving – the material so that it’s available and accessible to a whole new generation.

I would have called the modern age the “Protomatter Age” or possibly the “Genesis Age”

Sure, Genesis was introduced into a lifeless space body to birth a whole new world of amazement and excitement. BUT! Some young upstart with tightly curly hair decided to use protomatter because “it was the only way to solve certain problems” inherent in the Genesis matrix — problems like continuity and plots that make sense.

“Protomatter. An unstable substance which every ethical scientist in the galaxy has denounced as dangerously unpredictable. “

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