Mistakes The New 'Star Trek' Movie Needs To Avoid
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In case Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek Lower Decks, and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds weren’t quite enough Star Trek for you, Paramount just announced that they’re making a new movie featuring the original cast – and by that, we mean the original reboot cast, they’re not resorting to the Dark Arts to resurrect Leonard Nimoy and company.
The future of this particular strand of the Trek universe seemed somewhat dire after the middling box office of Star Trek Beyond and several canceled attempts to revive it – including whatever the hell Quentin Tarantino was up to. But now the alternate timeline Enterprise crew are apparently coming back in a new movie produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Wandavision’s Matt Shakman – who will hopefully shoot the entire movie using vintage ‘60s camera equipment on a recreation of the Desilu lot.
While we have no details yet, maybe Shakman’s movie will … not try so hard. Star Trek isn’t a skin-tight red leather jumpsuit; it’s a comfy old cardigan with some Werther’s Originals in the pocket. We’ve mentioned before how Star Trek movies have historically worked best when focusing on themes of aging and death – and how the new series failed at every attempt to replicate those themes with a fresh-faced young cast who look like they stepped out of a Club Monaco catalog.
But this unintentional hiatus has given the series something it didn’t have before: time. While some of the weightier Trek themes fell flat before, Kirk 2.0, Chris Pine, is now in his 40s. He’s just seven years younger than William Shatner was in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which is all about how the older and wiser Kirk is still more capable than most of Starfleet’s young whippersnappers.
In a way, the new Star Trek cast is very much in a similar place to where their original counterparts were when the film franchise kicked off: trying to revitalize a “canceled” series. But the new films don’t have to try and be so edgy and youthful, as that pretty much goes against everything that has worked for Star Trek movies in the past. While Star Trek Beyond wasn’t bad, it aggressively sought to compete with Marvel and Star Wars by dialing up the action … and cranking up yet more Beastie Boys tunes.
And despite being Paramount’s “biggest grossing movie of the year,” Beyond was seen as a flop because it cost a whopping $185 million to make. Which is crazy, not least of which because arguably the best Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan, was made by the company’s TV movie division for less than half the budget of The Motion Picture. Sometimes a lot of tension, emotion, and, yes, action can be wrung out of two great actors yelling at each other through a giant TV screen.
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Top Image: Paramount