8 Years Ago “Star Trek” Restarted A Franchise

Eight years ago saw the release of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. There were some early screenings, but the official release date was May 8th, 2009. The 11th film in the franchise came six years and five months after Star Trek: Nemesis. After that film didn’t meet expectations the franchise sat dormant until Paramount decided to bring back Star Trek with a new team behind the camera led by producer/director J.J. Abrams. The studio also decided to go big with Trek, giving it summer release date and a $150 million dollar budget. They even ran a Superbowl commercial for it, which emphasized the action-packed nature of the film.

A new timeline

In another potentially risky move, Abrams and his team (including producer Damon Lindelof and writer/exec. producers Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman) decided to ‘re-imagine’ the franchise by recasting the original Star Trek series crew with mostly lesser known young actors. They also chose to both preserve the Star Trek universe and to reboot it at the same time by creating a new timeline by using some old-fashioned time-travel. This was done by giving Leonard Nimoy a major part in the film to reprise his original role as Spock to tie together the past and hand it off to the future.

Mainstream success

The result was a film that broke into box office top 10 for the year and even after inflation is still the top performer for the franchise domestically. With worldwide sales it pulled in $385 million, second behind the follow-up film Star Trek Into Darkness. The 2009 film also had widespread critical acclaim, landing it on many critics top 10 lists for the year. It was nominated for four Academy Awards and is still the only film in the franchise to win an Oscar, for Best Makeup.

Fans (mostly) on board too

Of course Star Trek fans can’t all agree on anything, with multiple TV series and movies and more over a span of five decades. However in general the 2009 Star Trek film was well received by the fan base. Even critics of the film can often find something to praise, whether its Karl Urban’s performance as Dr. McCoy, Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack, ILM’s special effects, or some other aspect of the production.

A revived franchise

And of course the movie brought in many new fans into the franchise. The last eight years have seen interest in Star Trek grow. There has been more merchandising, more books and comics, more games, and pretty much more of everything, including two feature film sequels (2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond in 2016).

It cannot be known what the last eight years would have been like if that 2009 movie had not been a success, but it is reasonable to assume J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek had a big role in re-awakening the popularity and inspiring new interest this franchise we all love.

The future has begun

We now await the next step for Star Trek on the big screen, and hopefully we won’t have to wait six years for Paramount to make another Star Trek movie.

Thanks to the resurgence of interest in all things Trek, started by the release of Star Trek (2009) and continuing on through the 50th anniversary in 2016, CBS has made a large investment to return to the franchise to its natural home, on television, with the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery currently in production.

Sound off on Star Trek 2009

What are your thought on the 2009 Star Trek with eight year’s time to reflect? Have your views changed? What effect do you think it had on the franchise as a whole? Discuss in in the comments below.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It’s too bad Into Darkness derailed the effort!! ST 2009 was an awesome reboot. Imagine if Into Darkness was evil Kahn having infiltrated Starfleet, working with elements of the Klingons, trying to recover after the loss of Vulcan – can Kirk save Starfleet before its too late? Nope, not SJW PC enough – poor Kahn. He needs to save his family, GWB is the real bad guy. Groan….

STID had a great social message about the dangers of the governmental overreach and the military industrial complex. In the end it was some lazy writing and and a bit too many nods to TWOK for most Trekkies liking. They had an opportunity to do something really new and unique with the character, but opted to just remake a lot of the same story.

Ultimately, though, it was a fun action flick, and the most financially successful Trek film of all time, even adjusted for inflation.

Ill actually agree with Torchwood. STID had the bones of a great idea but it was written by people who weren’t good enough to bring it to fruition.

The biggest issue is that the story was influenced by Bob Orci’s personal opinions. So he could only write a story that was “bad bad Cheney-esque Starfleet Admiral” and “poor, misunderstood terrorist who only kills good people because we make him do it”. It was the wrong message but more importantly, it was only half the message.

They needed to flesh out Marcus and show us why he thinks he’s right. If you can try to make us sympathetic to the mass murderer terrorist, then you can provide some understanding and sympathy to the career military man who’s only desire is the protection of his people. The fact his daughter is in Starfleet is the perfect way to add to this desire to protect.

Then you need to flesh out the Pike/Marcus relationship and the Marcus/Kirk relationship. Show us that Marcus values Kirk. I’d go so far as to imply a bit of a father/son dynamic between them not only for the fun foreshadow but also to be a clear dichotomy to Pike/Kirk relationship.

Dont kill Pike. So when Kirk is faced with the choice to do what Marcus wants or what Pike (in my perspective) would counsel, he is torn. He see’s both sides. That’s the Kirk we know.

Ive said many times, I’d have saved Pike’s “death” for the end and let him go into the irradiated chamber giving us a “universe correcting” scenario where he suffers the same fate in this Universe as he did in the Prime. His sacrifice teaches Kirk. Because, if its me, Pike doesnt die. You can use the stupid magic blood to save Pike but it doesnt restore, it only stops the radiation from progressing.

Pike is still left a disfigured, barely alive mess. So the choices Kirk made, to defy Marcus and to save Pike (because Kirk wont accept death) are two choices with opposing outcomes that he has to live with for different reasons that impact him in very large ways.

What to do about Khan is tough. But you cant have him be Khan. You just cant. When you make the decision to cast Benedict and have the character so different, then you have to take the easy road rather then the washed-out impassable road.

I’d still go with him being one of the other Supermen who was awoken first in error and pretends to be Khan in a pre-arranged plan to protect their leader. That still gives you the “I am Khan” WTF moment. But allows you to undo it. Spock Prime appears but instead of a phone call where he says “yup, you guys are f’ed”, he provides the true identity which is then used by our heroes to save the day. Instead of that terrible Tribble scene, perhaps Spock even provides the tidbit that as bad as the supermen are, they do have “some” benefits.

Anyway…STID killed the new film franchise.


Though I doubt we’d agree about much politically, I think your points here are excellent. Yes, Marcus was just an unabashed creep, just like Dick Cheney. His character should have been more rounded and dimensional, like a real human being. :-)

Honestly if we are talking ST:II Kahn you have all the bad guy you need. In the reboot it should have been just imagine you take Kahn and give him some real resources and not just some stolen Reliant…. Anything less was a wasted opportunity.

That would have been another option. Cut the political crap and have the Enterprise out in space all alone and it runs into the Botany Bay. Or another ship…Reliant, gets there first. Khan takes over. Hell breaks loose.

@Michael – Im certainly more a conservative (I wished Stephen Harper was still PM and should be forever lol) but I was pulling for Hilary. I liked W. I think good people can be wrong but it doesnt change their genuine desire to be good.

I think showing Marcus as a guy who now, near the end of his career, having been shaped by his experiences. Imagine what a guy, especially in the wake of Nero, would be like in the leadership of Starfleet. I think Marcus was the actual star of STID, they just didnt write him like it.

If at the end Kirk realises that Marcus was sort of right and Pike (the opposing view they gave to Kirk, Scotty etc) was sort of right, that helps shape the Kirk we know. I mean, he did arm the opposing side in a war once. He was a man of action but of peace as well. Cowboy Diplomacy and the such.

The idea of Kirk as a lefty touchy feely type just doesnt compute. The reason he breaks the rules a lot is because he knows there arent always universal rights and wrongs and has to be free to make the right decision in the moment.

But thats not the story Orci told because it didnt align with his anti-US agenda.

If he was based strictly on Cheney, I would not say Cheney is so rounded and dimensional ;-)

Marcus had no good motivations he was a meglamaniac compensating for a micro-penis like Trump.

Ouch. Don’t get me started on GWB white guy themes in STID.

Though i won’t disagree that Orci’s personal beliefs likely influenced the story, i’m not sure that’s where the problems lie. I think there was enough there to make me sympathetic to Marcus’ POV… sure, it could have used a bit more fleshing out of his fears of the coming Klingon War, but I think people understood where he was coming from, enough to at least empathize even if they didn’t disagree.

I think they did a reasonably good enough job to show the audience the pros and cons of both sides, but in the end Marcus was ALWAYS going to be the villain, just as Khan was always going to be the villain in the original. Remember, the message was about the dangers of government overreach, not the dangers of creating a terrorist…

In the end, the way I see it, the story suffered most from the studio mandate for big explosions, at the expense of further developing those characters, and I don’t think that’s entirely Orci’s fault– though I suppose we’ll never know. This is after all the same team that wrote Transformers, so they may just have a real love of over-the-top action.

But then again, that is very likely why they were chosen to write, as opposed to say, someone like Neil Blomkamp, Alfonso Cuaran or Denis Villenueve.

But man, how much more Trek-like would a movie have been by one of those guys?

When has Star Trek ever not been SJW PC? That’s one of the great things about it.

No where near as much as some fans make it out to be.

That was pretty much every lesson at the end of a TOS episode, TNG episode, Voyager episode and some Enterprise episodes. If anything, DS9 was the show that was not PC. I don’t know WHY some Trek fans seem to have amnesia when it comes to this. Enterprise didn’t have to be PC as much mainly to reflect it being more of a frontier era of Trek than anything else. The Xindi story really compromised Archer and turned him from a wide-eyed ‘we come in peace’ explorer to a man willing to do anything it took to get the mission done, and the non-PC stories reflected that.

Yeah Balance of Terror had a good lesson on how it is better to attack an aggressive opponent then to let him cross the neutral zone. In Errand of Mercy Kirk and Starfleet were taught a lesson that while he is a “soldier not a diplomat” and at the time fighting for Organia seems the thing to do they will eventually be friends. In Elaan of Troyius Kirk ensures the Federation gets the dilithium crystals they need. In A Private Little War we learn to save South Vietnam from the Communists to the point we arm the natives. In Doomsday Machine had an important lesson on blowing up doomsday machines. Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn had a lesson that sometimes you need to defeat evil power hungry genetically superior humans. Devil in the Dark, Mudds Woman – look at all those miners living on the edge just to make a profit.
Don’t get me wrong – I think Star Trek TOS had a positive message that peace, liberty and prosperity were possible and that today’s humanity could succeed. I just don’t think it was the SWJ message which is quite frankly one of boredom. Poor poor Kahn. They took his family!!! Sniffles. And that mean Starfleet guy wants to fire Tomahawks, cough, photon torpedoes to take him out. Same with those misunderstood Klingons, they just want to be like us!!!
DS9 was awesome when they went back to an exciting universe with some conflict, TNG was awesome when the Borg – the ultimate SJW hive mind shows up.

Yeah because in the 60s every show had blacks, Asians and Eastern Europeans on and made stories dealing with racism, sexism, mental illness, class equality while argued against the cold war, religion, atomic weapons and Vietnam with a constant diatribe of social equality and justice for minorities. Also one of the first shows to have an interracial kiss. But no Star Trek was never PC…only when you turned it on.

I find it funny how people try to dismiss TOS as not ‘really’ a SJW show during the 1960s lol. If the internet was around back then though, it would’ve exploded.

80s and 90s Star Trek has been, in fact, quite conservative – sometimes to the point of bland. I’ve seen them all (most of them more than once), but the only distinctly SJW moment I can remember in was the DS9 episode “Sanctuary”, where a bunch of uninvited foreigners emerge from the wormhole, start behaving all obnoxious (roughing up the locals; shedding their skinflakes everywhere; acting like they jumped out of God’s very anus), and decide to settle on Bajor – only to act insulted when Bajorans don’t WANT to take them in. So these rude, stuck-up, self-important aliens put up a tantrum and storm out like little school kids, because they didn’t get to live in someone else’s home.

That alone would be pretty alright for a cautionary story about ungrateful guests. But here comes the most ridiculous part of the episode, if not of the entire modern Star Trek: instead of breathing out in relief, Sisko and Kira were actually SAD to see the aliens leaving. Absurd.

My, to think you understand the point of a story better than the people who conceived and wrote it. Arrogant, much?

Are you kidding? DS9 had tons of PC/left-liberal messaging, but also had some right-wing/conservative leaning messaging too.

Whether it was general tolerance, gender equality, sexuality/transgender issues, race relations, inter-species romance taboos– you name it, they tackled it. And they tackled it in a much more nuanced way (less heavy handed) than previous Trek.

But with the war stories also came some right wing messaging, and I think ultimately that’s a good thing– to show both political angles.

INTO DARKNESS is, simply, not just the best of the 3 new films, it is a genuinely great film in the broadest sense. It certainly did not “derail” the so-called reboot; it was hugely successful both commercially (ask most movie-goers, Trek fans or not, and ID is the favorite) and critically, doing as well, generally, and better in some cases than Abrams’ first film (which I think is also great). This whole backlash to the film, which I find baffling (and a clear indication that a lot of fans may know their Trek trivia but have no idea how to “read” a film in terms of basics like mine-en-scene, point of view cutting, the use of musical leitmotifs, and actors giving performances that both homage the original players in their mix of theatricality and naturalism, and make the characters feel new all over with the investment of themselves in their roles), has become set in stone as a kind of (to me) lamentable Group-think. I wasn’t going to post in this article, aside from expressing how much I still enjoy the ’09 film and hope that there will be at least parts IV and V to follow BEYOND, which was good, sincere,and better with each viewing, even if it cowtows to a few too many Trek Tropes, but when the first response is a jump on the ID hate train, someone of good minded sense has to join in.

We will have to agree to disagree. I think the plot was nonsensical and took everything it had going for it (the crew in place, the USS Enterprise as flagship on her five year mission, evil Kahn out there, the Klingons, the unknown) and trashed it (the Enterprise lasts 2 seconds in combat and is crippled, Kahn is a poor mistreated soul who just wants his family back, the Klingons are wronged and just want to be allies of the Feds and by the way who cares if we violate the Prime Directive – no big deal except we are breaking up the gang we spend all first movie putting together and oh yeah, we can beam across the galaxy and fly all the way to Qu’nos no problem, it’s just around the block!!) Turn that all around – a desperate Starfleet sans Vulcan under pressure from the Klingons recruits Kahn who is actually planning to take over with the HELP of the Klingons, the Enterprise discovers that other elements of Starfleet are helping the Klingons violate the Prime Directive and only the USS Enterprise can put together the puzzle and save the Federation and you’d have a much better movie. Don’t get me wrong STID had moments (the crew, the ship) but the overall plot makes it unwatchable on repeat when you really think about it.

Well said Hawkeye. I consider Into Darkness my personal favorite of the Kelvin movies.

I think the only thing missing from STID was some of the character moments from STB. Throw some more character stuff in and i might consider it my favorite Trek film, period.

For now though, it’s still TUC.

Hey, TrekMovie! Was my reply removed? If so, why? If not, where is is?

It had been sooo long since the last Series and last Movie (2005) fizzling-out of the Franchise . So , did the young Spin-Doctor , JJ Abrams , save and refresh the Franchise ?! Well , the Fans went into a frenzy , with the introduction of Crowdfunding , spending millions on fan-based revival movies , with Franchise frantically imposing legal limits to stop all their attempts . And what does that say now ?

What’s with all the extraneous capital letters?

Poignancy Has It’s Place , Dingo !

Well, since poignancy means “the quality of evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret”… this isn’t the place.

No , Dingo !?!

Yeah and I gotta say the franchise’s future looks murkier than it has in a while…

That trailer with the music (freedom fighters) by two steps from hell was quite impactive at the time if i recall correctly too

That was a great trailer, really sold the movie. I just added it to the bottom of the article :-)

The marketing for the first film was ON POINT; it’s a shame TPTB blew it on the next two. I was 17 when ST09 came out and for the first time in my life I felt like everyone, not just me, was a Trek fan. Everyone at my high school loved it, so much that we actually watched it in class — three times! Hardly any of that good will carried over to STID, even though I managed to bring 20 of my friends to see it over 5 screenings. They all liked 09 better even though I preferred STID, which felt more like Trek to me. When I did the trilogy marathon for Beyond’s release last summer, I realized how little rewatch potential 09 has for me — I’ve seen it enough times now that I really never have to see it again. It’s not that deep of a movie and its laziness in writing and plot really annoys me sometimes, not to mention it doesn’t make a lot of sense. None of the movies really make a lot of sense to me, honestly…but STID remains my favorite, for better or for worse.

Agree. I find the old Trek movies have tons of rewatch value, for some reason. I don’t feel that waw with the new-trek trilogy. I haven’t even bought the Beyond bluray. I don’t feel the need too.

I’ve bought the Beyond bluray and rewatched the film. The movie has many good scenes; but they don’t go together. The 3D version is just horrible; I had to stop watching it after 30 minutes. What the makers of the Star Trek movies in the past 20 years didn’t understand is that the Enterprise is the star. They destroy or heavily damage the ship in every film. Shatner’s Kirk took care about his ship. And the only time it was destroyed – after 20 years – was self destruction in ST III.

ST movies are not made to be blockbusters. They always were produced for the fans. After the success of ST8 they tried to make blockbusters, above all with the JJAbrams movies. This does not work. The fans are annoyed, the big audience is bored. A good ST film for the fans will also find the big audience, but a film for the big audience will never win the fans.

Thomas, thats a really good point. They did a major disservice to the ship, firstly with that ridiculous redesign to make it a friggen star destroyer. They stripped away the intimacy and claustrophobic feeling that gave it a sense of atmosphere and danger. It was always getting its ass kicked. And yes, James Kirk was the master tactician that kept his ship together but the Enterprise was the lady that never let him down.

Great point that when it finally came time to destroy it, it was Kirk doing the destroying himself.

But she SAVED ALL THEIR LIVES in Beyond. This is what many critics forget. She was “dying” but made the ultimate sacrifice when the captain needed her to.


re:…she SAVED ALL THEIR LIVES in Beyond.

How did you come to the conclusion that Krall ripped the E apart but there were absolutely NO casualties from his doing so? Kirk even told Chekov they needed to look for survivors when they were on the planet’s surface.

Well, all their lives meaning the lead characters. All the poor red shirts who died dont matter. Im sure Starfleet didnt mind that Kirk lost their flagship and probably thousands of lives. Picard got court-martialed. Kirk got offered a promotion. Different universes I guess. Hell, Prime Kirk got court-martialed for losing an empty Enterprise when he actually DID save everyone’s lives.


Re: flagship

I thought the ship they were building on the Yorktown was obviously going to dislodge it from that title, Krall or no Krall?

@Dis – then it was a darn good coincidence that they lost their previous flagship just in time for the new one to launch!

Were you are Star Trek Fan before ST09 , Albatrosity ? Was ST09 , you’re first Star Trek experience ?

I’ve been a Trek fan out of the womb. First Trek experience I had was watching TSFS when I was three and I still remember it. I basically watched every minute of it ever since.

The marketing by Josh Greenstein was first rate and how did Brad Grey screw it up on the rest of the films? By totally reorganizing the marketing wing in 2011 and promoting Josh out of his position of extreme competency in Domestic Marketing. Then a couple of years later when Josh’s contract negotiations came up, kept lowballing him for months until he jumped ship for Sony.

It’s not perfect, but I quite like it. The coolest thing about the new movies is how they completed an arc for Spock Prime that is easily the best part of the entire franchise. It touched on every facet of his life, and this Spock really fleshed out what he touched upon in ST VI. That he had moved on from logic as the driving force in his life. That Logic is the beginning of wisdom. I love what they did with Spock Prime in this film, and it really was a wonderful coda for the character, and for Nimoy.

8 years ago… I was still at school when Star Trek was released in May of that year…

Eight-year anniversary…nice, round number.

Are you going to do anniversary articles each year for each of the “Star Trek” movies?

Or just for the ones that broke faith with the original spirit and values of “Star Trek”, and should not rightly bear that title.

Or, is this article meant to lure Bob Orci back for some mutual back-scratching, like in the old days?

Seriously, rush hour traffic, blindfolded. GO!

Sounds like you already did it.

Does Bob even lurk here any more? Once the consensus turned from unabashed love to disappointment and criticism, he high tailed it…well, after a few late night (and who knows what else) cheap shots. It was great having him here for awhile, provided some wonderful insight. But man, the arrogance of that guy was off the charts.

Well let’s summon him up:

“Hail, hail fire and snow….”

-Just Kidding ;^)

(Hope all is well with you Bob.

Yes I know, bad episode)

I still remember his outrage about the Dickerson article, “Star Trek is broken.” He was incredulous that an article critical of the Bad Robot movies had been published here, after years of unswerving devotion and promotion. He seemed to indicate that the article violated a standing agreement, whether spoken or unspoken, between him and this site.


Re:…the article violated a standing agreement

Granted Bob did blow his cork and I recall he personally shot off at the article’s author which seemed a first, but I recall more reams from MJ going off on how this site had broken and continues to break some sort of a pact. Bob’s attitude seemed more “This article’s serving as a lightning rod for the morons and I must now rise and take each and every one of them to task.”?

I can understand someone being insulted when people criticize their work. But as a writer I always thought Bob took it way too personally, had way too thin skinned. Its easy to look at criticism and see what is irrelevant or silly and what criticism has a point. Im sure there are aspects of the films Bob would change if he could go back and re-do them.

As cool as it was that he interacted with fans here, it was very ill-advised once he began trading insults. It also seemed like he couldn’t really answer to some of the relevant criticism, like he couldn’t explain why “we” were wrong. it was just “I’m the professional writer and you’re not”.


Well you know, what’s funny is mj on his ‘final frontier’ board claims he hopes they don’t make another kelvin movie, so this guy is all over the map.

Cool it with remarks like that.

You’re so annoying.

Go play in rush hour traffic . . . blindfolded.

I love self-appointed defenders of Star Trek that understand nothing of its message of optimism, open mindedness and tolerant. You are a fine example.

One could just as easily argue that the Bad Robot movies are intolerant of “Star Trek”, being that they bear such little resemblance to it while still exploiting its name. “Tolerance” arguments are, as often as not, a passive-aggressive way of promoting your own view as superior to others. Perverting Star Trek into a shallow, superficial comic-book franchise, in a shortsighted attempt to compete with Marvel movies, is no exemplar of “tolerance”.

One could just as easily argue that the Bad Robot movies are intolerant of “Star Trek”, being that they bear such little resemblance to it while still exploiting its name. “Tolerance” arguments are, as often as not, a passive-aggressive way of promoting your own view as superior to others. Per-verting Star Trek into a shallow, superficial comic-book franchise, in a shortsighted attempt to compete with Marvel movies, is no exemplar of “tolerance”.

This website was specifically founded eleven years ago to provide reports on this movie, so I’d say it’s appropriate to mark this particular film here.

Eric Cheung
So, your rationale there is an example of a Naturalistic Fallacy. A thing exists in a certain form, therefore it is right for it to be that way.

My response is that if someone is going to promote garbage, then I am at least as justified in describing its odor.

Eric Cheung.

This site existed, to promote STAR TREK movies, period.


And as you can see here:


Existed BEFORE Abrams was signed.

Greatness. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it possible to recast the crew of the Enterprise in such n imaginative, fun and unique way that in no way, stepped on the toes of the original series. So refreshing after almost 2 decades of boring, pretentious, Bermanized Treknobabbling. Trek 09 was fun, thoughtful adventure again, ala 1966. I wish they could tap into it once more…the last movie was a big disappointment. All in all, the entire resurrection of Trek was misfire after misfire behind the scenes. The new timeline simply wasn’t allowed to flourish due to the greed of CBS. Shame.

Now the JJverse is dead. Took 8 years to kill it.

Anyone who thinks “Discovery” will last more than one season is delusional. ST is truly dead.

You’re being too harsh about the New Series , Bob !

Actually, Discovery is too big to fail for CBS (and Netflix) – CBS will pour money into it to make their streaming model a success. It is guaranteed to have at least 2 or 3 seasons, whether the show is good or not. Personally, I’m rooting for the show to be both excellent and successful. Even Hemlock Grove (in my opinion one of the worst shows ever produced) got 3 seasons on Netflix. Star Trek is iconic, it will never truly be dead.

I love how fans can predict it’s demise before they’ve seen any of it. You can claim it’s dead all it wants but it’s alive for at least one more year.

And if it’s a big hit on international netflix — as I suspect it will be– I can’t imagine it NOT getting more seasons. Frankly, the fact that Netflix is investing so heavily in it (having just been revealed they’re helping to directly fund it, unlike most shows they distribute but don’t produce) tells me this is going to be a big hit.

Netflix has good sense. If they’re behind it, don’t bet against it.


Don’t forget, with Netflix’s involvement, the odds of it leaning towards awards nominated Trek have increased substantially. Even, if the doomsayers are somehow correct, it’ll end in a glorious pyre instead of a whimpering thud.

Beyond had so little advertising (Not one measly poster at the theater!) It was as if TPTB WANTED it to loose money. You can have STID. I’ll take the 1st and 3rd movies any day.

So much seemed to work so well in the first movie, only to see the effort stall. Kinda like my Dodgers, a team built for the post season, but not quite ready for the championship….

Rookies can always surprise , Phil !

It’s early. Hasn’t hurt that Colorado plays well on the road, a continuing sore spot for the Boys in Blue….

I saw this movie at the first world premiere in Sydney Australia. Totally by accident. I just wanted to take pics of the cast and an hour later thanks to a group that had to bail before it started gave me their passes instead and now I’m sitting in the Opera House about to watch my beloved franchise start once again. I can’t tell you how excited it felt. I STILL remember after the soaring music started and the Bad Robot logo came my hairs stood on the back of my neck seeing that close up shot of the Kelvin coming into view. It was surreal, Star Trek was not only back but back in a BIG way. It was exciting for sure and I didn’t even like the idea of a TOS reboot. But seeing the film in that environment I was convinced this was probably the better way to go for at least awhile and we now had a big exciting franchise on our hands.

Sadly 8 years and 2 films later it feels like the KT films have already ran out of gas. Not completely of course and they still might make another one but the excitement and hype the first film brought is no longer there. The idea that Trek would capture a new and young audience held out in the first two films but I think it never caught on the way Paramount hoped. Beyond should’ve EASILY been the biggest film out of the three, being the 50th anniversary and instead only the second Star Trek film to flop in the theaters. Really a shame.

Even though I’m skeptical they will I hope they make more. Or at least one more to give it closure. If not, there are three films part of the legacy although the Kelvin timeline itself looks dead now that Discovery is back in prime. It was a nice idea but one TOS fans never seem to embrace as much as hoped.

Giant Beginnings , Confused Endings , Tiger2 ?!

You just described my sex life. ;)

I hope Discovery improves things , Tiger2 !

J,j Adams should get a old James T Kirk one more time if William shatner want seat in captain chair again one more missing

A great movie, it felt epic and important. The promotional work was superb and they built on the success with STID. Beyond however was small scale stuff with poor marketing and a weak story.

ST 2009 was a hopeful relaunch although it was rather shallow in the way that can be observed across all Abrams films. We even kind of digested the destruction of Vulcan. We thought it would go to better places. Somehow it didn’t. “revenge” plot sank in like the writers failed to imagine anything else in a universe as fertile as Star Trek. It went downhill with each movie. Never mind what happened, as a lifelong fan, I want to thank the great new cast deeply. I think we can’t thank them enough. It’s a miracle such great talent with visible sincerity for the characters were brought together. If only we had good scripts and better directors…

I applauded the comeback in 2009. Was concerned about the reboot. An original Trekker since 1966 who lived with all the incarnations of Trek, I felt they totally missed the mark by not having the original crew bookend the movie. Nimoy was the reason I went to see all of them. The new cast is quite amiable and believable. However the writing was sophomoric. Direction was from a video game junkie. All noise and no substance. The Enterprise looked like a bloated 50’s Buick. Horrible. The designer must of been on something. She never looked majestic, very cartoonish streamlined design. And finally, the Spock/Uhura romance was just plain unbelievable. A Vulcan in either universe wouldn’t wimp & wine and weep around publically like they had them do. I winced every time the writers felt they needed to jazz up a weak story by forcing pseudo emotions, rather than emotion building by a character driven story line.
All in all however, I’m glad we still can discuss Star Trek after all the years I have been a Trekker. Note not a Trekkie. A name penned by 60’s journalists who intended to demean what they did not understand about the emerging Trek fanbase during and post 1969. Keep on Trekking!

As for the design of the Big E, i’ll say this: when it was first revealed, I was just so relieved that it looked like the Enterprise. I was really concerned that the “reboot” would completely overhaul the visuals, and we’d end up with something too different.

I was both surprised and delighted that they kept it so Trek-like: the ship design, the uniforms, iconography, etc.

Yes I would agree with that. I liked how the ship looked. It was just faaaar too big. Meyer understood creating a sense of confinement and dread even surrounded by advanced technology. JJ wanted the biggest, shiniest toy.

I liked the Kelvin a lot more.

I didn’t think it was a bad movie. I do think that its only downfall was that of a typical Star Trek movie, Nero was a throw away villain. Unlinke Kahn, or the Borg, Nero had very little backstory IN THE FILM. sure they did the countdown comic series to try and fix that, but there were tons of deleted scenes when Nero and his crew were on Rura penta (spelling?) that should have made the actually movie. from what I’ve seen, IMO, it would have made Star Trek 09 a million times better. Too bad Into Darkness was horribly written, That pretty much killed it for me.

Succomb to the Great Disney Overlord of eye-popping, mind-numbing, drawn out soap-operaization of time and space.

Roll Star Trek into the Star Wars movies, then mash the whole space saga into the Marvel Universe, put mouse ears on it…and make it a ride at a theme park near you…

Yes, this was a great effort at a new era of Star Trek. My biggest gripes were how Kirk went from cadet to captain so quickly and the factory-like engineering sets. Other than that, it is a great movie. And it is real Star Trek. I think that Roddenberry would have really liked it. I feel his major concerns may have been how military-like Star Fleet was, but he may have overlooked that.

Unfortunately, STID jumped the shark for the franchise on only its second outing. STB would have made much more sense as a follow up but JJ and company got a bit cocky by pulling the Khan card and there was no one at Paramount to say no.

What a whirlwind 8 years. The re-birth of the franchise as a big budget, big action summer tentpole, big revenue, big plans, high expectations….brick wall of STID, limped to its conclusion with Beyond. *sigh*

Concisely well put, TUP.

I feel like it’s fair to say this: Star Trek suffered massive trauma with Nemesis and the fan response and direction of Enterprise (let’s be honest, a lot of fans hated it before they loved it at the very end and then there was that awful finale). Star Trek 2009 was the jolt of adrenaline it needed to get it going again and garner interest from the general public again. Into Darkness stumbled a bit getting out of the gate with promotion, etc and while the movie started off as an excellent and darker sequel it quickly floundered and became a note-for-note rehash of the timeless classic Wrath of Kahn – not to mention having a poor villain reveal. By then Star Wars had moved over to Disney and the space opera momentum quickly shifted to what the House of Mouse was going to do to bring back that beloved franchise after snagging the man who had reinvigorated the Trek franchise. The wind, so to speak had been stolen. The boost was short-term but what will really prove to be a lasting effect is what CBS and Paramount does from this point. Discovery, the next Trek film, and the next batch of merchandising and video games (which overall just needs a real improvement) have to all be as good as entities are suggesting they will be. Those things, along with the 2009 film will be what secure a healthy future for Trek for 50 more years down the line.

I thought (and still think) that it was just awful — a trite, uninspired mishmash of TOP GUN-esque bad-boy machismo and every insipid buddy-cop bromance cliché the writers could squeeze into its running time. Lots of money was thrown at it, which I’m sure many fans found gratifying, but much of the production design is terrible (and the Enterprise itself a travesty), and the plot and much of the character motivation doesn’t make any sense. The one bright spot was the cast, who are all likable and talented.

Of course quite a few fans did love it, and more power to them. But for me, the best reaction to the film (and J.J. Abrams’ approach to Trek in general) came from Salon’s Andrew O’Heier, who pointed out that the Kelvin films feel less that they take place in an alternate reality than that they were produced in one, where the source material was a Marvel comic book franchise instead of a quirky, idealistic, ’60s TV space opera. Abrams’ technical flair and willingness to pander to his audience got butts in seats, but in the end he brought nothing to the table besides a lot of noise and hype and goofy jokes (Mickey Mouse hands, anyone?), and thus it’s no surprise at all that the whole thing has apparently collapsed.

Michael Hall
At the risk of gilding the lily, all of the badness that you mentioned is only compounded by the fact that ST09 gets worse over time, with each additional viewing. I need a metaphorical phrase that means the exact opposite of to hold up well over time, because that’s what has happened with ST09. But, the most insidious quality of ST09 and STID is that they have individual scenes that work well and are compelling as self-contained vignettes. Some of them pander to the audience’s emotions in the cheapest, most shameless possible way, and do so effectively— — the opening scene in ST09 is perhaps the most obvious (and egregious) example. How can we get the audience to care about a movie with no meaningful overarching theme and very little character development? Show mommy giving birth to baby, while daddy’s getting killed to save them. What this all comes down to for me is that there is an overabundance of big, dumb, superficial, shallow comic-book movies. The people who like those movies—- more power to them! Great! Go watch those movies until the cows come home. What I RESENT is Star Trek, the only remaining sci-fi franchise for the thinking person, being turned into yet another dumb comic-book movie franchise. Comic-book movie fans have more than enough comic-book movies to veg out to. Why do they need to convert Star Trek into yet another one? Why can’t they just let us have our one thinking-person’s sci-fi franchise? And that’s what grinds my gears.


Re: Comic book Trek

You know I agree but to play devil’s advocate:

Maybe because as part of its first series merchandising, it WAS a comic book?

Of course, I might have respected the whole process a slight bit more if those, who definitely resorted to the comic book to prologue their script, had bothered to read those comics to presage what they were about to attempt.

I dont hate 2009 but I do agree it doesn’t hold up well, mainly because it feels like such a lost opportunity when you take in the context of the entire JJ film series.

Paramount should move forward with more motion pictures in the new time line.
With STID being the only tarnish strictly because they used Khan, the films have been well made over all and the actors are terrific in their roles.

If Star Trek is to survive, die hards need to tone down their whiny perceptions.
Multiable outlets in films, TV and maybe this online thing (I’m not sold on this form of series)

A broader base for toys, high quality collectibles and other tie-ins need to be expanded on.
The puny offerings that dribble out because of cross licensing must be cleared up to maximize the audience.

That’s what they should have done in the beginning, but Abrams wouldn’t play ball with CBS. So no, there won’t be any new films in the new timeline, because CBS won’t accept Abrams unreasonable terms.

And STID didnt fail just because of Khan. Thats an easy thing to pick on though. But it had a lot of problems. That script was half baked and shouldnt have made it out of the writers room. It was really bad. Needed several more re-writes by better writers. Id love to see the notes provided to the writers by JJ and the studio…I mean, how much worse could it have been?

…then there are those who would say the biggest money maker of all, worldwide, wasn’t a failure at all. JJ’s problem was getting new product out in a timely fashion to cash in on the popularity. Too many choices for today’s audiences, a franchise has to be expedient and consistant to stay on the radar. There just arent enough Trek fans to sustain it…it needs the masses to be profitable and survive.

Well if you ask Orci it was a huge success because of how it inflated his bank account. I’d prefer to think about the group success rather then the individual success. STID made a lot of money. And practically killed the film franchise.

Hardly. Because a handful of Wrath of Khan fanboys got their panties in a wad because the way it was handled, and a few obssessive types have some type of axe to grind with Orci, means little, if anything. The mass audiences liked it just fine and the movie conitnued to have a 5 star rating on netflix until just recently when they scrapped the “star” system for a simplistic “thumbs up” or down. Another sequel at that point was never in question. Now…the whole debacle, during the years leading into Trek Beyond…probably DID kill the film franchise…but it had nothing to do with Trek Into Darkness.

@Jonboc – liking STID is one thing. Being so blinded by that like that you cant see how bad STID was is laughable. I was very excited for Khan to be in the film so the usual nonsense to deflect my point wont work. And no one had an axe to grind with Orci. Any negativity he got, he earned.

I had the line from the Onion piece as a ringtone for a while “Gene Roddenberry was the hack who created the Star Trek television show way back in the 40’s or something.” Onion at it’s best

OK, I guess I am not one of those fans who is ‘mostly’ on-board. Time to end the JJ-verse. If yah want another crack at it, try again.

Does Bob Orci still peruse this site?

I think he’s busy: he has a new girlfriend.

Who knows. Who cares. Have you been to this site (link above)?


Hey Bob!

Tom Hanks still a no in Trek? ;-))

not my yob, mang!

I like JJAbrams take on Star Trek despite all these haters but the 2009 movie did put Star Trek back on the map the original prime Trek is still Intact some people are never satisfied just like some Star Wars fans (The Prequels sucked!!!!)as far as I’m concerned neither of them sucked.

But the Prequels did suck.

I remember eight years ago when star trek debut its was may 7th and may 8th I seen it on DVD many times plus two more star trek movies like into darkness that was my favorite and beyond that one is my favorite I just want to pray if the cast will return in the 14th chapter of the star trek franchise is title star trek iv but it need a name for the movie if date like may 8th 2019 with the new ship enterprise A and more enemy starship if they two starship like excelsior and grissom star trek iv will be bigger trekkie adventure ever

09 was a terrific adventure with little to nipick about. Shame STID political message heavy storyline & blatant TWOK cut n paste flushed it all away causing Beyond to underperform & cast doubt on another movie with the same cast.


It likely stoked the number 2 top topic on the top ten most blogged of May of that year.

I could not wait for ST 2009 to release, although I was concerned how new actors would keep the timeline. But when I read the prequel comic “Countdown”, I knew exactly how JJ was going to make it work. Got me really excited to know the timeline wouldn’t be altered, but rather an alternative reality created. I went on the Thursday night pre-screen, and our theater was packed with humans, an Orion woman, a Klingon, a few Starfleet personnel – had never seen anything like it (sadly I’ve never been to a convention). Movie started good – but went from good to outstanding when Spock Prime appears “James T Kirk, how did you find me? I have been and always shall be your friend”. It made everything real again about Star Trek, and was a perfect way to tie the two realities together. That scene, to this day, is my favorite of all JJ-Treks, and I’ve watched that scene more times than any other scene. I think Trek 2009 was a brilliant reboot. At the end of the movie, everyone in the theater cheered and applauded. Also a first.

STID I really didn’t like. After watching it on pre-opening night, I felt I had watched a recreation of TWOK. Was there a writer’s strike that producers ran out of material and had to copy TWOK? JJ had a chance to take the franchise in a brand new and creative direction, but instead chose to use what was used before. No Trek fan will remember Benedict as Khan – it will always be Montalban. I thought it would have been great to have Khan turn good after a moment of clarity, and join Kirk in the fight against Marcus. Instead, the same old “revenge” plot is used.

BEYOND I LOVED (had to watch it a 2nd time to get there). The opening is brilliant, during Kirk’s captain’s log. The scene between McCoy and Kirk was classic Trek. Adding Jayla was smart, a good supporting character. The theme of the movie was mostly original, having to work in small groups to accomplish the overall goal (ST:IV was kinda like that). I also wish Krall had turned good after seeing his reflection in the glass, and ended up helping Kirk stop the black matter from destroying Yorktown. Would have been a great way to showcase how even the darkest hearts can be turned to do good. Last thing I wish was different, when Spock opened the case and saw the Prime universe original crew – a recorded message from Prime Kirk (Shatner in uniform) which he recorded for Spock prior to Kirk retiring (pre ST:VII). Would have been a great way to give Shatner one last hurrah like they gave Nimoy!

Can’t wait for the next one. Even if not all the supporting actors return (Zoe doesn’t appear available), the story they have lined up where Kirk Jr meets Kirk Sr may only require the triumvirate of Kirk, Spock, McCoy anyway if it is an emotional journey where Kirk takes his best friends with him.

And then promptly killed it again.

We need a Star Trek 4 (more than ever) but a good story! close the gap between TOS and the Motion Picture.

Star Trek 2009 and STID brought us to Star Trek Beyond which was one of the best Star Trek movie’s ever made. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. If you disagree with me, you’re wrong.

I was a nice run, but I am glad that the Kelvin time line is over. We can finally go back to the prime time line.

i was really enjoying the 2009 movie until kirk fired on nero’s helpless ship as it was immobilized by red matter.

that felt so wrong.

j j and co promised not to rehash OS ideas in STID.

and then they did.

having the big E be shredded in ‘beyond’ felt sacrilegious and cruel.
especially in an anniversary film. that would never happen to the tardis.

and it was all because this version of kirk led a foolish attack on the swarm, not considering the safety of his crew and ship.

but there were some nice character moments later on it that film.

in all a wasted opportunity to move the films away from the ‘khan’ format, especially with so many recent, more grown up sf like ‘arrival’ showing the way.

@Tony Yes that was an out of character moment that was stupidly played for laughs when Spock asked him why he was offering help and then basically told Kirk he should murder them.

The problem with wanting to see the natural evolution of trek to be a more intelligent, more thoughtful sci fi film is that they hired over-grown children to write it.

Sorry, you guys need to lighten up and learn the characters…maybe even watch ALL of the original series to understand the characters and maybe you can get a better grasp on why these younger versions, albeit, in another reality, were on the money.

Sorry, you cant make a blanket statement like that with no examples. Spock being played for laughs right there was not in character. Him advising Kirk to murder everyone was not in character. Not in our universe or that one.

But even if it was, it screwed with the pacing of the scene and was a poor decision by the director.

and it was symptomatic of what was wrong this reboot of the series.

and it was symptomatic of what was wrong with this reboot of the series.

STAR TREK 2009 was a good reboot, it drew new people in, introduced them to star Trek & promised to boldly to take them to strange new worlds & civilisations & Boldy Go to places the original series couldnt afford to show us onscreen.
But instead, they stayed on earth rehashing Khan & doing a tired terrorism & Evil Admiral tale pandering to post 9/11 paranoia instead of rising above it with Gene Roddenberys original vision of the series & 23rd century earth.

People lost interest because it didn’t deliver on its Promise.
STAR TREK is not a Earth-bound political drama/Action story it’s supposed to be Science Fiction, like bigger hits Interstella, gravity & the Arrival. These films made us think & wonder instead of just millitary bravado & explosions.

I wonder if we’ll get another one. It’s not Trek if the next flick isn’t hanging by a thread…

To the powers that be, please don’t stop the Kelvin Timeline now.

I loved ’09, I went and watched it on the big screen three or four times, it was amazing! I saw Into Darkness twice, and Beyond once and have them all on DVD. ’09 and Beyond have been my favorites,Into Darkness just sucked. Period. But all in all I like the reboot Trek, I like the actors, I will always go and watch as long as they make more. Love that Star Trek can be watched by new fans who will maybe go back and watch the classic stuff and be fans of that too.

This makes me feel nostalgic. I remember the trailers, and then watching the movie, how exciting it was to get something new with these characters, something different. When the actors say those names! It was a whole new world of opportunities and I was happy to share it with people who didn’t like the original, but they found themselves giving a chance to trek. So much potential. I couldn’t wait for stid to come out. But now I think about how backwards the franchise went with all the nostalgia and fan pandering in Beyond, all the integrity lost and that excitement for something that wasn’t just tos with different actors, and I’m sad and almost wish I never watched the first movie. It’s bittersweet to see it (maybe) end when it still feels as if we never got a real continuation of the furst movie. All these years praising this trek only to see the people behind it prioritize pandering to the haters at the expense of us who had genuinely loved these movies.