Joseph Dickerson’s “Star Trek is Broken” editorial has caused quite a stir among the Trek community. One person who had a response to this was TrekBBS member “The Stig”, his clear, concise, and level-headed post got a lot of kudos. He contacted us at TrekMovie and said he’d be happy to flesh it out a little bit more and have us run it as a counter-point. So we present it here as an ongoing dialog about the future of the franchise we all love so much. — The TrekMovie Staff
What, exactly, are we expecting from Star Trek?
There has been some talk recently that Star Trek is broken. It’s lost its way and needs to be shepherded back to the true path. Where is the social commentary? Where are the big ideas?
What about Gene’s vision?
I’d argue that if we’re expecting cutting social commentary or big ideas, Star Trek isn’t (and never has been) particularly effective on that front. It’s always played it safe, with pat answers and trite conclusions to all the “issues” presented. The “first interracial kiss” was anything but, depicted as a forced and unpleasant affair thanks to alien mind control. Commentary on race relations was boiled down to aliens bisected by white and black makeup.
Even the much-vaunted Deep Space Nine failed to actually create the moral grey area that fans give it credit for. Our heroes always did the “right” thing and even in their darkest hour, it was alien third-parties that did the dirty work (I’m looking at you, “In the Pale Moonlight.”).
On the other hand, if you’re looking for rousing adventure, exciting spectacle and human characters, you’d also be disappointed by The Next Generation-era Star Trek. Thanks to Roddenberry’s self-aggrandizing view of “evolved humanity,” we got stale and stiff characters with a “higher sensibility.” Picard and his crew would hit their marks and declaim, loudly, that humanity had evolved past such petty squabbles. Here was a show with a large extended cast, the most interesting, human, and believable of which was the android.
At least First Contact had the balls to call Picard on his bullshit, if even for a moment.
If you look at the original, with no bloody A,B,C or D, you get relatable people who have interpersonal conflicts, petty fights and make all-too-human mistakes. Kirk and Spock have a shouting match over what to do about Anton Karidian in “The Conscience of the King.” Kirk’s obsession with the gas creature that attacked the Farragut puts the Enterprise in grave jeopardy in “Obsession.”
Sure, it’s just as sexist as you’d expect a television show from the 60’s to be, but there’s a core there that has endured all these years. It’s a winning formula: The cocksure captain, emotionless first officer and a collection of colorful crewmembers (mostly) working together. This is a story about a team, a family, with all the ups and downs that encompasses.
The rub is that, when Abrams looked at reviving Star Trek, he didn’t look to TNG-era Trek. He looked back, way back, to the 60’s and an action-adventure series that captured the imagination and attention of a generation.
The question is, why?
It’s because TNG Trek and beyond never actually continued the original series. In reality, it went sideways from the heart and soul of Trek and never really honored what it was about in the first place. We haven’t had a true, spiritual successor to the original series until Abrams came along. Nothing that came after managed to capture the verve and sheer enthusiasm of that series: the life-and-death stakes mixed with just the right measure of irreverence. If I were to sit down fresh and watch Star Trek with new eyes, then the succeeding films and television shows, there would be no question:
Abrams got it right.
Yes, yes it is.
nah… I disagree with this. there should be a good mix of all these elements.
I did re-watch STID last night (2nd viewing). I realized I have let internet trolls brain-wash me, however some of their concerns and points are valid.
I think there were plenty of great elements to the latest installment, but i still want something original. Someone could have easily told me that the story was originally about a villian/terrorist named john harrison and at the last second some one from production stated ” let’s call him Kahn”, and so they did.
otherwise Fantastic film. it just felt a little lazy on the story especially when there are what 60(?) or so episodes to pull content from, Kahn was never all that great. If your not gonna be original give me a flippin Horta, or a salt creature.
Absolutely spot-on. It’s a shame that a vocal minority of hardcore Trek fans can’t see the things they hate are the very reason Trek is still alive. Orci, Kurtzman, and Abrams got the winning combination of action, scifi, character, and homage together TWICE now. Both films are a success commercially and critically. I’m not sure even where the debate is.
Probably Trekkies caught up in the past, not able to see beyond nostalgia.
“Abrams got it right”? I don’t think so. ‘Getting it right’ is not when you’re just re-telling somone else’s story – especially one that’s considered the best of all Trek movies. That’s just laziness IMO. ‘Getting it right’ is when you’re using your own creativity to tell an original story, but still capturing the heart and soul of TOS. Because of STID, I’m concerned about what he’s going to do with this next big project he has coming…
I pretty much agree here.
Star Trek Into Darkness is closer to the original than a lot of 1990s and 2000’s Trek ever was.
If you set aside canon for a sec, Cumberbatch made a great Khan, in the same way Pierce Brosnan made a great Bond, Halle Berry made a great Catwomen. Both were different race from the original actors, yet no-one battered an eyelid. Everyone accepted it. Its just a different take on a character. I am beginning to accept it now.
To all the fans, I know its hard for some to accept, but Star Trek is not real, there will never be a Captain Kirk, and there was never a Khan Noonien Singh. Lets just enjoy Trek for being good entertainment.
Very good article but there is one point that was left out that needs to be addressed. I’d have to say that the best thing about the Abrams Star Trek films is that they are fun to watch, which is something I haven’t been able to say since after Star Trek VI. Nemesis put me to sleep because it seemed so slow paced and boring. I just think that Star Trek should be fun to watch and worth the time I spent to see it. I think the worst thing you could do to me whether it’s Star Trek or any other entertainment is to just bore me.
Sounds like a rant from somebody who, even after all these years, still thinks TNG isn’t “REAL” trek.
JJ hasn’t got it right. I watched all shows and I consider myself mostly an Original Series fan, that’s where my heart is.
Even when you put together those elements there’s an intelligent screenplay with the phylosophical thing Abrams DON’T like, as he said himself. And the phylosophical thing isn’t even that profound!
Kirk could be that all human character but when he does something wrong but he believe it was the right thing, he wouldn’t lie and blame Spock for that!!! He would take responsabilities and assume the consequences. And that’s something of the core of the character you could not change even if we’re talking about an alternative reality. Kirk is all human but not a jerk!
I find impossible to relate to new Kirk’s character. It doesn’t seem at all he would be the Kirk we know if things have gone differently. I really hate him during Into Darkness and cannot understand WHY Spock would like to be his friend!!!
Anyway, every movie has plot holes. But Into Darkness has so many dumb things that I felt like the writers really don’t care about the movie at all. And when they say “you really got us on that one” to a plot hole perceived by a six year old child, I think I was right.
Star Trek isn’t broken. The last movie was something else, but not Star Trek. Star Trek as I know it’s alive and well, but somewhere else… Not with JJ Abrams.
#2: Halle Berry made a great Catwoman?
For a minute there, I thought you actually said that…
JJ’S Trek perfectly captures the flavour of 60’s Trek like no other, whilst at the same time updates it and gives it Blockbuster status.
This is what needed to be done becuase nobody went to see Nemesis and no-one watched Enterprise. ITD and 09 are 2 of the most exciting films ever made for my money, its just a shame that JJ has the party with his SW gig.
AMEN! ALL DAY LONG! This editorial is completely accurate. Well written, great observation and conclusions…GOOD JOB.
This is more a rant against TNG than anything and does not even begin to address the criticisms of STID. People (well, some people, anyway) don’t like it because it’s poorly written and many of the characterizations are terrible. For instance, the personal conflicts of TOS are compelling and mean something (e.g. Spock and McCoy struggling to get along after Kirk’s “death” in The Tholian Web). The personal conflicts in STID are either highly contrived to artificially drive the plot (e.g. Kirk firing Scotty so he can just happen to be near Mars) or inappropriate and annoying (Uhura having a relationship squabble during a dangerous mission).
Star Trek IS broken. It was good again for a little while after the first crappy JJ movie came out, but that worthless abomination that was Into Darkness sent it straight back into the crapper. Hey, JJ, Orsi, if you’re reading this, try coming up with an ORIGINAL idea! Don’t go through the trouble of making a whole new universe, and then rehashing old stories with your mark on them.
#1. You say you want a mix. Let me offer this; Not every Trek film had a true villain, but those that did ended with spectacular deaths, except Into Darkness. Khan was – despite terrible acts – brought to trial. Our heroes even risked their own lives to see this through. In 2013, we have a lot of people yelling for revenge and killing. Jodi Arias, The Boston bomber, Osama. Now we all have our personal politics, and I’m not looking to start a political debate in this thread, but it took balls to play on the audiences want to kill the villain – in movies or real life – to show that point of view through Kirk’s eyes, and then to say no.
I admit it, I’m a killer. But all it takes is just to day I’m not going to kill… Today.
I’m not certain why they revisited an old story, but it did have one advantage; it ‘re-opened a dialog from 1982 and came to a different conclusion, that we shouldn’t cheer vengeance.
The Prime Directive was also dragged out of retirement as Vietnam is now Afghanistan/Syria. We didn’t really need too much talk of Prime Directive in TNG, but it’s an idea who’s time has come again.
Just my thoughts. IDIC
i criticized the “broken” article. But this article misses the mark as well.
Excellent article! I’m 64 and I’ve been with Star Trek since the first
show. I enjoyed TNG for what it was, a program very different from TOS
and I missed the flair TOS had. I think 2009 & STID have revived the
“Mood” of TOS and I hope the 3rd movie can rekindle the mystery of
exploration with some pop corn action added!
Why does Abrams Trek always have to be about a ‘villain’. Who isn’t tited of big evil black starships? The thing is that they can’t come up with new fresh ideas.
I view STID as a mixed bag. It looks great and has great performances – but Khan is a missed opportunity. Not just the casting, but the portrayal was wrong. This Khan was stoic and humorless, whereas the old Khan, while villainous, had the flamboyant charm that makes him well-loved to this day. New Khan had no quotable lines. Old Khan was chock full of them. The threat in this film would have been much more credible had Khan’s crew been awakened – but we don’t get to see that here, as we did in the 60’s. And the filmmakers also miss the opportunity to show us what old Trek never could – Khan’s origin. A flashback, similar to the mind meld scene in ST 2009, would have been glorious – to actually get our first glimpse of Khan in power on Earth, and to see him fleeing in the Botany Bay. We don’t see the Botany Bay in the new film, it isn’t even mentioned by name. And there’s certainly no mention of the Eugenics Wars – Khan’s reason for being frozen in space is never adequately explained. Oddly, they do stick to the “300 years later” timeline, meaning Khan is still supposed to be from the 20th century!
And I’m not sure what JJ & co mean when they keep saying the scale of the action is bigger this time. Nero destroyed Vulcan and almost Earth last time, this time Khan crashes a ship into San Fran. Last movie climaxed with Nero and his crew being sucked into a blackhole, this time Khan is merely knocked out in a fistfight.
I still enjoyed the movie. Here’s hoping they knock it out of the park in 2016, the big anniversary year.
Star Trek Into Darkness had more social/political commentary than 10/12 of the Star Trek films. IV and VI have overt messages, the rest of them? Not so much.
This “response” needed to be at least a few paragraphs longer. I think there was so much to say on this subject.
… The “first interracial kiss” was anything but, depicted as a forced and unpleasant affair thanks to alien mind control.
Finally someone calls this out. First interracial kiss? Shatner and Nichols should be ashamed of themselves if they ever took credit for that. So I read on at Wiki.
From Wiki and Nichelle’s book…
However, Nichelle Nichols insists in her autobiography Beyond Uhura (written in 1994 after Shatner’s book) that the kiss was real, even in takes where her head obscures their lips.
As Nichelle Nichols writes:
‘Knowing that Gene was determined to air the real kiss, Bill shook me and hissed menacingly in his best ham-fisted Kirkian staccato delivery, “I! WON’T! KISS! YOU! I! WON’T! KISS! YOU!”It was absolutely awful, and we were hysterical and ecstatic. The director was beside himself, and still determined to get the kissless shot. So we did it again, and it seemed to be fine. “Cut! Print! That’s a wrap!”The next day they screened the dailies, and although I rarely attended them, I couldn’t miss this one. Everyone watched as Kirk and Uhura kissed and kissed and kissed. And I’d like to set the record straight: Although Kirk and Uhura fought it, they did kiss in every single scene. When the non-kissing scene came on, everyone in the room cracked up. The last shot, which looked okay on the set, actually had Bill wildly crossing his eyes. It was so corny and just plain bad it was unusable. The only alternative was to cut out the scene altogether, but that was impossible to do without ruining the entire episode. Finally, the guys in charge relented: “To hell with it. Let’s go with the kiss.” I guess they figured we were going to be cancelled in a few months anyway. And so the kiss stayed.’
So, I guess it was a kiss. I learned something new today.
I also mostly agree with the article. TOS were rousing, swashbuckling, Horation Hornblower-type episodes, but they were also deeper than that (mostly).
STiD does emulate a lot of that, but fails in others. Like someone said before, the most disappointing thing about STiD is that there is a great movie in there somewhere, but it needs some weeding.
Also…where the heck is Anthony?
I’m a trekkie from way back and TOS is my favourite.
There are some things I don’t like about the new movies, such as playing fast and loose with the distances involved, and seeming to have each of the movies take place over a period of only a day or so – presumably to feed into the relentless pace at which these movies take place. There are also other things I don’t like about these movies, but overall I like more things than I don’t like. That can also be said, to a greater or lesser extent, about the rest of the Star Trek movies. These new movies aren’t at the top of my list, but they are nowhere near the bottom either.
The characters and their interactions in the new movies hark back to the spirit of TOS in a way I didn’t feel with the other Trek series – and I don’t believe it’s just because they have the same names. The characters in the Alternate Universe movies are meant to be younger and have had different life experiences from their TOS counterparts. They are a bit different, yet still very recognisable.
I agree with the author: “Nothing that came after managed to capture the verve and sheer enthusiasm of that series: the life-and-death stakes mixed with just the right measure of irreverence.”
These movies aren’t perfect, but they feel very TOS to me, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both of them.
I hope the next Trek movie has more ‘Space, the final frontier…’ and less relentless action; but I’m optimistic that so long as it continues to feel like TOS to me, I will enjoy it.
Well am not here calling myself a tos fan or a tng fan..i am proud to say that am a star trek fan. Having said that, the article discusses and views the vision of star trek only on the human element. To me Star Trek was not just that its also about science, exploration, bring theoritical science to life, showing parallels of real world in their stories. In that aspect i would say, TNG had more science in it.
Every series of star trek had some aspect of things to portray and it did. DS9 was war themed and it had parallels to real world war issues too.
Now, coming to JJ i think his movies lack all of these, his movies are dramatic, visually grand, a jolly ride but it lacks an essence ( a soul) …no science, no exploration,no advancements of technology shown only hardcore action packed hero/villain (save earth) concept.
I believe he has this tendency to give huge build up to this stories in the start but at the end it finishes so kiddishly. I have experienced this when i saw his Fringe series, each one will have a huge revolutionary start (a build up) but will end so amateurish.
JJ is a super director but he has limitations when it comes to Star Trek, it needs a better one for next movie in my opinion.
I have to agree with this article. Trek isn’t broken. It is at its most successful point in years. I have been a trek fan all my life. I loved TOS and TNG. They are very different shows, but I enjoy them both. I have a similar feeling with the new JJ movies. Are they like TNG? No but that does’t make them less enjoyable.
Nice article. It calls out the “hate” crew by reminding them the Star Trek” they imagine J.J. betrayed didn’t actually exist. in the first place (in much the same way that the fundamentalist right often pine for a 1950’s “leave it to beaver” culture that never existed either).
If anything, STID and the film before it are truly in the spirit of the original, told in modern cinematic vernacular. We don’t see the reasoning behind using a volcano to save a culture or why we would submerge a starship, but can easily imagine the arguments between K, S and Mc that made it happen played out on 1967’s bridge.
Trek, like Bond, departed from itself for decades as cultural mores forced it away from the western-in-space roots where it was born. We now can return to that “space” without feeling so very guilty about it, and a mature eye on the fun it represents. To rant against these films, or the franchise itself as “not true to the fans” is, as one recent poster put it, is a “shitty dodge” that ignores the facts.
We all like to spout the ‘moral issues’, ‘social commentary’ and ‘exploring the human condition’ line when we’re trying to justify the fact that we take this show about aliens and spaceships so seriously, but I wonder how many of us really fell in love with it for those reasons? After all those are the same things any good drama should be about. TNG and the other series were at their most tedious when that’s ALL they did, eg Worf and Alexander having some father-son crisis…why do we even need a spaceship for that? The episodes I most enjoyed as a kid were the ones with the most mid-boggling alien and situations… and I still enjoyed them as an adult because the heroes dealt with these new situations in an enlightened and thoughtful way instead of in some mindless, macho ‘lock-and-load’ manner. The way the characters handled their situations, the fact that they had the outlook and ingenuity we wished all our leaders and representatives had, are what made Star Trek what it was, but without that ‘hook’ of exploring strange new worlds, encountering unknowns, we may as well be watching The West Wing.
@ 5. Gracian “I find impossible to relate to new Kirk’s character. It doesn’t seem at all he would be the Kirk we know if things have gone differently. I really hate him during Into Darkness and cannot understand WHY Spock would like to be his friend!!!”
JJ’s era of Trek works because Kirk isn’t who you know him as yet. He’s growing. It’s not Roddenberry’s James T. Kirk. This Kirk belongs to the vision of what Pike sees him becoming. That displays in the end of STID when Kirk gives his speech and says that he now understands what Pike tried to tell him all along with the Captain’s Oath. Earlier in the movie Kirk states “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I only know what I can do.” That phrase is the epitome of the character at this time in his life. It shows Kirk has learned humility and that’s where experience comes from.
I know many recent converts to Trek. People who would never have considered watching it in the past who now believe this is a great movie, as was the one before it. But those same people don’t have all that much interest in going back to the 60’s to see where it originated. For them this timeline is the origin and I’m ok with that.
Boborci, if you read this, thank you for taking on the task and succeeding in making Star Trek live again.
I completely agree with this, especially now that I am reading “These Are the Voyages” the making of the original series. TNG basically contrasted with everything the original series put forth.
… and I still enjoyed them as an adult because the heroes dealt with these new situations in an enlightened and thoughtful way instead of in some mindless, macho ‘lock-and-load’ manner. The way the characters handled their situations, the fact that they had the outlook and ingenuity we wished all our leaders and representatives had
You mean like going off half assed and bombing countries without confirming who is responsible for a mass killing, or who might have a weapon of mass destruction?
I think they covered that in this Trek. Unfortunately our heroes in STiD were to young and inexperienced, or did not have the proper role models growing up.
Hell, the only way this Trek could more closely reflect on today’s societal ills would be to have most of the Federation appear fat and on welfare, and with a hint of ADD. God knows this crews is always at war.
NOPE! It’s still broken!
And as for the “Black and White” thing… can you say budget?
And as for the forced kiss… can you say ACTING!
This is just back-pedaling, apologist drivel for the “ST is broken” editorial.
It doesn’t address ANY of the real problems with STID in an insightful or meaningful way. It implies that since early ST was kind of shallow, we should just shut up and forget all of the evolution and huge strides forward the franchise has made since 1966….
And the observation that DS9 never actually played in its own gray area sounds like someone who watched the show with earphones on the whole time. There were innumerable times the crew had to delve into the dark side (he forgot that Sisko is the one who had to LIE to the Romulan senator himself; it doesn’t matter who forged the Data rod… Sisko was in command; and he was complicit in the lie, in fact, he authored it!).
And as for the ‘high-mindedness’ the editorial blasts? Well, the morality of ST has been the backbone of the show since the beginning. But unlike the author’s view of ST, it grew and evolved over time….
Just look at the writer’s guide for the original series, JJ is pretty much following it. There is a quote from Gene in These Are the Voyages, about technology. It was never to interfere with the storytelling. We all know TNG drowned in the tech the tech to tech the tech talk, in addition to having no conflict between the main characters it just sucked a lot of the drama out of the show. DS9 sort of found a way around the no conflict rule, but it was still based on TNG even though Ira and RDM managed to get some original series life injected into it.
Good article. Although I’d say that JJ’s Star Trek does have a lot of social commentary. This is a different world we live in post 9/11. JJ’s Star Trek reflects that. Vulcan destroyed, terrorist attacks to the heart of the Federation. To me these are all social commentaries on what we’re dealing with today. How do we keep our humanity in the face of all this evil. Very different times than 1960.
I thought this article by Harry Knowles over at AICN explained it very well: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/62477
I agree with this, though I wish it went further. I continue to be astonished by some of the people who post on this site that claim to be real Star Trek fans, yet who hated STID. These people missed the point of what the movie was actually about.
The movie was about two things. First, the continuing development of the relationship between Kirk and Spock. Take the scene from STID when Kirk is telling Spock he lost the ship and Spock is reassigned, and he tells Spock, “I’m going to miss you,” then waits to see if Spock can echo such an emotional sentiment and Spock, though it looks like he wants to, can’t, or won’t. Compare that to Kirk’s death scene at the end and Spock’s emotional response. There is an arc there that is at the heart of what the movie is about, and it’s done beautifully.
Second, the movie is about Kirk’s continued maturity toward earning the captain’s chair, which is evident in scenes throughout the movie.
The “fans” who insist on calling the movie unoriginal or a rip-off are unable to subscribe to the notion that, even in an alternate timeline, the universe harmonizes, and certain situations that occurred before could occur again but under different circumstances. This is the premise under which the writers operated and they did it brilliantly. How did you not get chills when you heard Scotty’s voice say, “You better get down here. Better hurry.”
22 “You mean like going off half assed and bombing countries without confirming who is responsible for a mass killing, or who might have a weapon of mass destruction? I think they covered that in this Trek. Unfortunately our heroes in STiD were to young and inexperienced, or did not have the proper role models growing up.”
Totally agree. The new film got its priorities right by addressing those issues against a setting of an action/adventure film. I could quibble about the Khan stuff but on the whole I think they got it right.
Well said. THIS is what I keep saying to people – Abrams’ Trek is fueled by 1960s Trek NOT 1980s Trek. It was primarily an action-adventure show. Not as bad as Lost in Space but still… To the Spock/Uhura critics, there was clear flirtation in episodes of The Original Series….
To be honest I think TNG DS9 VOY and ENT and the movies during this era DID follow the spirit, the 2009/ID films do have the spirit but something has been lost within them. I think they should continue as they are.
However I think a return to star trek on TV will restore the balance we are looking for.
The netflix campaign anyone??????
This article is right on. Let’s get Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman going on a Trek series set in the TOS alternate timeline and let them tell the Trek stories that only can be told on TV. I love the movies for the action element, but the franchise shines brightest when on TV.
I kinda think both the “broken” and “not broken” articles are a waste of space on this site, cause Star Trek, like such franchises like Doctor Who, have different phases and different styles all over the place for everyone. Some people like the stiffness of Next Gen, some people like the b-movie aspect of Voyager, and some people like the action spectacle of Into Darkness.
So, why call something broken if there’s something for everyone? Stop quibbling over such nonsense. Just be glad it’s still around, and that there’s so much of it to enjoy.
A shameless repost of a repost, but I think I’ve given this a lot of thought and it is meant to address all those that are disturbed by this latest Trek and the tone of the new movies. And I believe it still warrants a response from someone here posting at TrekMovie.
If they wrap this next Trek correctly we will all be singing their praises.
I am beginning to suspect that they took such a trigger-happy approach so they could really take some chances with a three picture storyline.
Remember, John Harrison / Khan made some comments about the state of the Federation while referring to Vulcan’s demise. Where in Star Trek has there ever been a pointed effort by a screenwriter to refer to another series storyline, or to even have a movie sequel’s story connect together? Very few times. In spite of the popular STII and STIII
I am getting the feeling the our much maligned writers were trying to make us all see things that take us out of our usual comfort zones in Trek, so that we take a look at the world WE are living in, to possibly make positive changes in our society. I see real concern for our world in Star Trek into Darkness – put there by the writers – for our best welfare. Now that is an encouraging way to look at these Trek’s. There is the hope.
I am also beginning to suspect that this next Trek will really make us see exactly what Star Trek could be – in its full potential. To that end the writers seemingly decided to create characters that are going through dark times that are very trying (sound familiar?), to take them to a place where they should not have ever been. In the end, through that trek into darkness, we just might have an opportunity to more fully connect to those characters, by sharing in that similar dark experience. Thereby learning more about them in situations that are new.
I think a lot of us are “upset” because we looked to Trek as a place where the craziness of this world, the darkness could not exist. Gene’s original utopian vision was a future place that is kind of like heaven. A clean place where misery never often happens. But Gene’s future is not a real place that is easy for most to find interest in, while enjoying what a character might experience. So, perhaps we need to see our characters have similar tragedies occur, so that they are more real to us.
To make the characters more real, the writers are trying show us that they to share in dark tragedies, so that we all have a common frame of reference. A shared experience.
Here’s hoping that someday we can relate to each other on that higher level, and still pay for ticket. Seems like a contradiction, though.
I believe that these “new Trek” writer guys are way smarter than we have been giving them credit. We will see after the next movie if Star Trek can elevate to truly become something more than just that “geeky sci-fi show.” I think it can. And I see no reason that this next trek can’t travel through all the series, experience all the characters, in an effort to avoid Trek’s greatest threat.
Nero and the dark timeline paradox.
OK Stig, I agree Star Trek is not broken. But STID did break my heart. It’s alright, I’m over it…for the most part. And I just see it as a bit of karmic balancing for the hearts I’ve broken over the years. I meant no harm.
The thing about STID, and this certainly has been said before by myself and many others, is what I see as an imbalance of action to character development. More than a few new fans have said they’ve found the older Treks boring with their ‘talky-ness’ and (pseudo?)intellectual pretentions. Well I found the latest Trek to be mind-deadening with it’s nearly relentless bombardment of action and noise. So, so much sound and fury. I won’t say it all signified nothing but I will say the significance was easily muddled and lessened by the sheer amount of it’s own kinetic onslaught.
I’ve decided I don’t want the next film to be dramatically different from the last two. I like the idea of three Trek films as a recognizable ‘trilogy’. And the box office success of STID can’t be denied or ignored, at least not by me (I may be crazy but I’m not insane). But more action does not automatically translate to more ticket and disc sales. And my Libran nature wants, no NEEDS, (here’s that word again) balance.
Also that TOS was labeled an ‘action/adventure’ series had more to do with the fact that calling it ‘science fiction’ was not considered the most marketable designation for a television show in the sixties. Gene Roddenberry wanted to make a smart science fiction television show. All the action/adventure stuff was to sell. Hmmm. The more things some change, the more they stay the same I guess.
But fine editorial Stig. TY
Being both a Trekkie and a metalhead… I gotta say Trekkie snobs may have surpassed metal snobs in terms of whining… and that is no easy feat. Some of these comment threads are proof… I mean just holy crap! This is one article that gets what JJ was trying to accomplish with the reboot series for sure! Something I have been pointing out all along!
Time to face it Trek Fans: We’re our own worst enemy at times.
I enjoyed ST09 more than I did STID. That’s not to say that I didn’t like it, I did. I just didn’t enjoy it as much on first viewing. And I realized immediately why I didn’t – I had spent months and months on this BBS speculating, respeculating, analyzing, etc and went to a midnight screening so I could confirm my hunches, suspicions, and analyses. Trying to analyze all of that made me enjoy the movie less than I would have if I would have went in as “cold” as I did with STO9.
There are so many MINOR quibbles fans have had of the movie it completely overshadows whats there. Take ST09, for example. Everyone’s so caught up with the color of Khan’s skin and other nonsense that they’re completely missing that THIS IS THE BEST KIRK STORY, EVER! Or one of them, but I defy anyone to name 5 that top it (not including STO9, this is a continuation of that arc)
I mean, look at it. You’ve got brash and reckless Kirk who goes saves his buddy, who gets him in trouble and the unthinkable happens. The Enterprise is wrenched away from him. Reality starts to sink in a bit, but he’s still Kirk, and maneuvers his way into getting the ship back on a mission. But as before, he’s Kirk…..but he’s inexperienced. He either holds his command too loosely (Prime Directive) or squeezes it too tightly (Scotty’s dismissal) and through a series of events, every thing goes COMPLETELY DOWN THE DRAIN. No win scenario. He has to turn around to his crew, who are going to all die by his decisionmaking, and apologize. Kirk does that. Did you ever in a million years think you’d live to see something like that? Kirk doesn’t accept no for an answer. So what do the writers do? Give him a complete and resounding NO so loud and final, that even Kirk has to bow down. That’s awesome!
Kirk was dead and beaten in that moment, before he actually died later in the movie. And to see a dead man walking, who is still alive enough to realize he needs to die to save the ship, even thoug he doesn’t WANT to die……I mean…doesn’t that make you forget how much you wanted Hrithnik Roshan or whoever to play Khan? For a MINUTE???? And if you didn’t get a little verklempt when Bones looks down on his “corpse” in sickbay, you’re a stone hearted, pointy-eared, green-blooded hobgoblin!
Our own worst enemies….
Sisko ghost authored the data rod transmission.
I don’t get how STID is heartbreaking. It’s not the worst entry of the 12 movies, and it’s not the end of an era. The way TNG is wrapped up in Nemesis most certainly is heartbreaking, however. Data’s death was weak and trite. Some of the best parts of the movie were left on the cutting room floor. It was such an unfortunate send off for that crew. I had such high expectations for that movie, and it fell flatter than a year old open bottle of soda.
Star Trek is just not a good Motion Picture franchise. Yes, yes, it’s made money, but it was made for and should always have been a TV show. The movies have all had one basic theme…revenge. From TMP to ID, the center of it all is about revenge.
From V’ger and Decker, to Khan, to Kruge and Kirk, to the cylinder alien trying to contact the whales and Gillian mad about losing hers, to Sybok, to Chang and Kirk, to Soran, and Picard and the Borg, to Ru’afo, to Shinzon, to Nero, and now the “new” Khan and Spock. The heart of the movies is about revenge.
We need better story lines like the ones TV can bring. And if it continues to be a movie franchise, then we need a fresh take on story lines, maybe include multiple writers and divide up the story like a “Pulp Fiction” style movie.
Similar to what Chancellor Gorkon says in ST 6, if there is to be a brave new “Trek”, our generation that grew up with it on TV will have the hardest time living in it. But it can be made to change with the times and still hold true to it’s values of the past.
I started watching Star Trek when I was 9 years old in 1990. But not, as might be expected at the time, with TNG. I watched TOS after my dad’s 6 o’clock news. I didn’t know anything else as Star Trek, except the cartoon that aired on Nickelodeon that I never liked much. After watching dozens of TOS episodes I saw that there were Trek movies in the video store. I rented TMP and TWOK and even though I recognized the actors, it didn’t feel anything like the original show. I didn’t like the movies much until Star Trek IV, V, and VI when they finally felt right to me, though I now have an artistic appreciation for TMP.
One night, instead of TOS, the local channel started airing TNG. I wasn’t paying much attention at first as the basics kind of looked the same. Then I was blown away: what happened to the ship?! Who was this bald captain and Klingon?! I hated it at first but came to love it and Picard is my favorite Trek captain. But it wasn’t like the original. Neither were any of the shows that followed, until Enterprise Season 4 started a bit to be.
I think this article is right except that I think Star Trek deals beautifully with social and philosophical issues and that both Star Trek ’09 and Into Darkness do as well.
…the more *some things* change…
I’m still waiting for MJ’s editorial. ; )
I think my main issue with the last movie was knowing too much about the writer, to be honest. I think knowing that Orci is a true conspiracy ‘nut’ no offense intended, has tainted my appreciation for his work.
I don’t think that 9/11 was specifically engineered by the US government, therefore, knowing that the writer believes that, and insinuates that message in the STID, casuses me problems. I am very Left, when it comes to politics, and despised the Bush/Cheyney regime and the direction they took the world, but that is different than the conspiracy theories being put out there.
I just can’t get past the underlying element stated above. Perhaps I misunderstand boborci’s true beliefs, or shouldn’t let that cloud my judgement.