If you’ve been paying attention, you probably realize that I’m a huge Star Wars nerd. So why should I care about the upcoming Star Trek film? After all, I’ve never even seen a Trek movie. Like most people my age, I did watch a lot of The Next Generation, mostly in syndication, as it aired every weekday around the time I was getting home from school. I enjoyed the show, but didn’t bother watching any of its successors, whether they be Deep Space Nine, Voyager, or Enterprise. I’m just not a Trek kind of guy.
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That being said, I’m pretty excited about the upcoming, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s a reboot of sort — so as a relative Trek noob I won’t be punished for not knowing very much about the franchise. Of course, if it were simply a reboot, I probably wouldn’t be so intrigued, but the creative team on the film is a massive attraction. Director JJ Abrams is mostly famous for his television work, although he did get his start writing and producing feature films, and helped create the television series Felicity, Alias, Lost, and Fringe. As a big fan of his TV work, I also felt his direction on Mission: Impossible III was solid and resulted in the most entertaining entry in that underwhelming franchise.
One reason I’m looking forward to Abrams’ take on Trek is because he’s made no secret of the fact that he’s a Star Wars fan. The writers on the project are also fans of Star Wars, with co-writer Roberto Orci telling Wired, “It’s controversial to even mention Star Wars and Star Trek in the same sentence, but [co-writer] Alex [Kurtzman] said, ‘We have to bring more Star Wars into Star Trek.’ Original Star Wars. I want to feel the space, I want to feel speed, and I want to feel all the things that can become a little bit lost when Star Trek becomes very stately — which I love about it , but…. ”
The special effects on Trek are being created by Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects company started by George Lucas to provide effects for the first Star Wars film and worked on all the subsequent films as well. [Little does Mr. “Not-A-Trek-Fan” Tinney realize that ILM did the visuals on Star Trek VI, including the ridiculous zero-G purple Klingon blood effects. — Parish] That’s not even the most exciting Trek/Wars connection in this new film: audio design genius Ben Burtt has been brought in to provide the sound effects for the new film as well.
You may have heard of Ben Burtt. He was responsible for the sound design on Pixar’s Wall-E, even “voicing” Wall-E himself, along with many of the other robot characters. He’s won Academy Awards for his sound work on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Oh, and he’s responsible for R2-D2’s voice, Darth Vader’s breathing, the hum of lightsabers, and pretty much all of other iconic, indispensable sounds of both Star Wars trilogies. As much as John Williams and almost as much George Lucas, he is one of the guys who makes Star Wars what it is, and having him involved in your space-adventure movie can only be a good thing.
So, while it might grate diehard Trekkers, turns out the biggest reason I want to see the new Star Trek movie is Star Wars. Who knew?