Dear new Star Trek movie: please don’t suck. Your new trailer shows definite potential! Beneath the standard Hollywood affliction of breaking everything down into spastic one-liner bites for the sake of making your trailer as dumb as possible (god forbid we should overestimate the intelligence of the average moviegoer), I can see the shape and form of a pretty good movie.
Maybe it will even be a movie that will hit all the points that made me such a big ol’ Trek nerd 20 years ago! Granted, a big part of my long-ago love for the series had to do with the fact that I was just a dumb junior high kid at that point, but the Trek I liked so much was a very different creature than the beast it is now. It was about one man’s goofy utopian vision: a universe in which all the peoples of the planet Earth had learned to live in peace and harmony under a new version of the American flag, only to fly into to the stars and meet stunningly transparent analogs for America’s old partners. You had your warlike
Russians Klingons with their guttural language, the enigmatic and powerful Chinese Romulans, who existed in an uneasy not-quite-peace with Earth and seemed to have some mysterious link to our good buddies the Japanese Vulcans, with their profound intelligence and aloof love of tradition and ceremony.
It was all very silly, but then, those inane space metaphors weren’t the point of the show. Trek in its heyday was about exploration, meeting the unknown, and inevitably outsmarting it when said unknown decided it didn’t like frail hu-mans. (Or when that failed, beating the unknown to a bloody/ichor-y pulp. Or occasionally bedding it.) Trek has always been about discovery, looking out into the great unknown and hoping for the best. Well, it used to be. Over the past decade, it’s been more about maintaining the status quo and carefully tiptoeing around precedent, even while painfully mangling the things fans cherish. (Good thing I got out when I did.)
Personally, I’m OK with the new movie not particularly adhering to “canon,” just as long as it’s interesting and doesn’t feel like a two-hour episode of the TV series. I just want it to feel like the producers are actually trying for once.
And I guess there’s one other thing. I’d like for them to treat the Enterprise like a member of the cast again. That was something I always loved about the original, something that Star Wars did really well with the Millennium Falcon, too (and Firefly with the Serenity). It always grated that the Trek series that was named after the ship lacked that sort of affection for its namesake. I think Enterprise reverence sort of vanished when they blew up the original. Or maybe it was when they let William Shatner direct one of the movies and he decided it would be rollickingly funny to turn the centerpiece of the series into an unreliable space jalopy. Ha, ha.
Oh, Bill. I’m so glad you refused to be in the new movie.