Friday, November 14, 2008

Some Thoughts on the New "Star Trek" Trailer

I'll admit, one of the things I was most excited about going into Quantum of Solace was the premier of the new trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. I've gotten into Star Trek quite a bit in the last year or so, and I've been looking forward to seeing the first real glimpse into what Abrams has come up with for his prequel of sorts.

And I came away completely underwhelmed.

I say this not as a lifelong megafan or a drooling fanboy, but as someone who appreciates the vision of Gene Roddenberry and the world he created. And by the looks of this trailer, this is not it.

Abrams has made it very clear in recent interviews that he has no respect for the fans that made Star Trek what it is, or the established universe he is working in. I can respect a decision to not bend over backwards to please the fans and to try to make something that appeals to non-fans as well, but Abrams has all but stuck up his middle finger and yelled "FUCK YOU" to all the fans of Star Trek, while apparently throwing the established canon in the garbage. On top of that, if this trailer is any indication, he has turned Star Trek into Star Wars, and that's the last thing it needs to be.

Roddenberry's idyllic vision of the future was about hope, wonder, and the promise of human ingenuity. Action was never at the forefront, even though it often figured in. To forget that would be disastrous. Roddenberry wanted each script to mean something, to have some kind of significance...Abrams seems as if he's more enamored with space battles and explosions.

The series has gone to the extremes of both directions over the course of its ten films, with the unfairly maligned Star Trek: The Motion Picture being a cerebral think piece akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the last film, Star Trek: Nemesis being a more action driven film, and subsequently becoming the worst entry into the series (yes, even worse than Star Trek V, which I love despite its shortcomings). I'm afraid if Abrams swings too far in the action direction, he's going to end up with something of the Nemesis variety, or he could find a healthy balance and end up with The Wrath of Khan...who knows?

It may have been different if the trailer had given a better idea of the plot, instead it's a bunch of quickly edited action shots with little cohesion and a totally out of place robot cop complete with hoverbike.

I'm still looking forward to this, but my expectations have been severely tempered. I'm just hoping that Abrams doesn't turn Star Trek into something it was never meant to be, and make into an exclusively Abrams project. Like it or not, there is a history here that cannot be ignored, and the vision and dream of a man named Roddenberry, whose name he should not forget.

1 comment:

Daniel Getahun said...

What can we expect, I guess. This guy is taking whatever he wants and putting his name on it. Next thing he'll remake the original Star Wars.