I will disclaim myself here a bit. My experience with Star Trek is limited to episodes of the original series, TNG and DS9. I do not claim to be an omniscient Star Trek geek who can call up any information about the shows. I also somehow mistake Cardassians for Kardashians in my brain, which has lead to more than one stern dressing down of the man you know as Sykes and is completely deserved.
Faulty memory aside, the series has always stood apart from most sci-fi fare for several reasons. I also realize that this reaction is mainly from the teaser trailer and the movie from 2010. That may discredit anything I say later because I may be mis-remembering plots or motifs or STID could totally be the opposite of what I saw this morning but frankly, this needs to be out of my system as its something that’s bothered me since
Also, this may be spoiler-laden. But after 5 years, I consider media a spoiler-go zone.
Space: The final frontier. It seems a bit more black nowadays.
I watched the teaser trailer for Into Darkness this morning. While the excitement of seeing future Spike Speigel Benedict Cumberbatch roundhouse kick everyone into submission brought cheer to an otherwise maddening morning, the more I thought about the minute or so of teaser footage I watched, the more I realize that its not Star Trek anymore
Its not the days of Crusher aiming above his station to get the girl or Data being questioned about whether he had rights. It wasn’t about Tribbles being Tribbles or Sulu thinking he’s Don Quixote and laughing hysterically while climbing back up the engineering ladder anymore.
Yes, I get it. There’s no way you can accurate keep to the the spirit of Star Trek in a feature movie without A. Creating a boring movie or B. Running out of time. I also realize that most of the movies pre-reboot do not handle the essence of Star Trek well either. Star Trek Into Darkness feels different.
Star Trek is becoming a just another pew-pew-boom franchise and I will be complicit in its change.
I know this change was coming. I knew it when I got older and realize that Gene was dead. I knew when Enterprise was ended and JJ picked up the reboot. I understand Star Trek as it is now will never be the Star Trek that my father set me down to watch or that my mom nicknamed me after (John-Luc Picard, my momma made it so)
I just really find myself missing the exploration, diversity and exposure to other cultures and new species that made Star Trek great. I realize that it doesn’t make for a blockbuster and frankly, my dearies, I don’t care.
Perhaps I’m judging JJ Abrams too harshly. Maybe he’ll surprise me. Maybe he wont. However, don’t think for a second that any amount of glitz, boom and Cumberbatch will allow me to suspend disbelief. I want to feel like the deck of the Enterprise is a family. I want to be challenged about how I view the world and how the world views me. Above all else, I want my wonderment back. That humankind could conquer its overwhelming urge to prejudge and destroy to strive for something greater than stopping Cumberbatch, which judging by the teaser will take the whole of Starfleet to do it.
To paraphrase another favorite movie of mine: There once was a dream that was Star Trek.
Someone make me believe again.