After pushing the new Star Trek movie as a reboot of the franchise, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are starting to push back.
It's clear that most people are not interested in yet another reboot, and even less are interested in a reboot of Star Trek. It is interesting to see how they are changing the context of the film from a reboot to a prequel/sequel.
From Reboot to Prequel/Sequel
Orci said, "We couldn't imagine not having this movie somehow fall within some degree of continuity. We don't accept the word reboot. Reboot does not actually describe the fact that this movie would not be possible without the 10 movies that came prior to it. The very events of the movie themselves are caused by Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and his story, which picks up essentially after the last movie, Star Trek 10 [Nemesis]. ... So our movie is both a prequel and a sequel. It's a sequel if you're a fan, and a prequel if you're not (SCI FI Wire)."
Honestly, I don't know what to think about this. I am not sure if it is:
- the writers starting to revolt against what they feel is an unfair characterization of this movie
- a new marketing push to rebrand a movie that is not gaining much traction
I want to be hopeful, and believe they are telling the truth, but the good feeling doesn't last long.
Time Travel and Canon
Why is the time-travel element necessary?
Orci: I don't think that fits into the classic definition of a reboot. So it was necessary for that. And it's also necessary in order to both connect the world to the original Star Trek, but then also to then give us the dramatic license and the dramatic stakes of having an unknown future in the movie.
Kurtzman: Yeah, the biggest thing I think we all hiccuped on, just conceptually, when Trek was presented to us was, "Well, we know how they all died. We know what happened to them." And when you know that, it's very difficult to put them in jeopardy in a way that feels fresh or original. How do you ever have real stakes to your characters?
This also conveniently allows you to violate canon, such as it is, if necessary.
Orci: Well, again, it's a continuation of canon. If words have precise meaning, it's not technically a canon violation (SCI FI Wire).
They are going out of their way to try to keep this movie in the prequel/sequel category.
I find it hilarious to see any Star Trek writer talk about cannon. Every fan knows that ever since Gene Roddenberry died, continuity has not exactly been a preoccupation of the continuity. Whenever it was convenient, they have abandoned canon. Kurtzman does make a good point that by adding an element of time travel, it does mean that no one is safe.
Star Wars in Star Trek
I have already gone into detail about my fears that they are going to make the new Star Trek film too much like Star Wars (see it here), so I won't repeat myself, but Orci and Kurtzman have given me more to chew on:
Orci: Well, my short quick answer on that up front is Star Wars had a little bit more of an archetypal, mythological structure. That differentiated it from Star Trek to a certain degree in that Star Trek was a little bit more classical science fiction. Star Wars is fantasy, really.
So, as a result of it being fantasy, the story, I think, was a little bit more mythologically drawn.
Kurtzman: I think what we know is that ... Star Trek is about naval battles, and, at its best, is always about out-thinking your opponent. ... But there's a reality to the way that people watch movies today. ... Which is that you cannot honestly expect ... a 12-year-old boy to walk into a theater and to go sit through two hours of very slow naval battle. It's just not going to work.
... There has to be an updating there. And yet you have to stay entirely true to the spirit of Trek. So the challenge then becomes "How do you marry those two things?" And ... the way that we put it is that there's plenty of naval battles in a way that's familiar and a way that seems very Trek. But ... the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars is that Star Wars has always been about speed. ... It's dogfights versus slow ship fights (SCI FI Wire).
Ok, I am not sure what to make out of this. I really want to remind them of the space battles from the Dominion War in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, or in Voyager, or Enterprise. You don't have to look outside the franchise to find fast paced action.
I also have a problem with the invocation of the 12 year old boy. They have been dumbing down entertainment for so long, that they now feel that they have to cater to the short attention spans they created.
I suppose I should be comforted that their contribution to the franchise will be to remove what little science fiction remains.
Forget everything you know
- It's not a reboot
- It's a prequel/sequel
- It will be fast paced
- It will not by Science Fiction or Scifi
- It was made just for 12 year old boys, not for general audiences
- It is true to cannon
Wait?? What?? Forget everything I know? Ok, I will. I will expect:
- wooden 2 dimensional characters
- no plot
- nothing thought provoking
- lots of shaky cam
- lots of explosions
- fantasy creatures around every corner
I didn't expect the sequel to Lord of the Rings to be a Star Trek film but game on...
PS: J. J. Abrams' "Creativity" and "Imagination"