Friday, August 16, 2013

Star Trek Is For TV, Doesn't Work For Movies

Who's with me in believing that the last two Star Trek movies and the whole reboot is awesome and, as a fan, I'll keep going back because it's Star Trek, just isn't right for the theaters?

In fact, I think Star Trek should be about what Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future is about.  The last two movies had nothing to do with science, exploration, or taking today's social issues into account.  In the last movie (spoiler), Kirk violated the Prime Directive to save an indigenous race.  Okay, that was as far as JJ Abrams' vision of Star Trek went.  

The problem with today's science fiction movie has more and more explosions, special effects, and stunts that the studios think will attract people to the theaters.  In a way, it's true but only in the sense that Hollywood has spent decades dumbing down the scripts, leaving out more complicated stories and themes, to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  

Not all Hollywood science fiction successes come from just loud explosions and kick-ass action sequences.  Take the latest Batman interpretations from Batman Begins to The Dark Knight Rises. It dealt with science as well as a superhero and pit him against moral issues.  

Back to Star Trek.  A reboot of the original Star Trek series would have made more sense than a movie from the perspective of keeping it faithful to the original Roddenberry vision.  

It's on the small screens where writers and actors can keep the smart viewers engaged with the larger themes of the Federation and the ideals that humans have grown to represent to the other alien races.  And yeah, one week you can have issues pertaining to the Prime Directive, another about social issues, and then another week where you just have explosions after explosions.  It worked with The Next Generation and Voyager with the Borg and DS-9 with the Dominions.  At the same time, they all pushed the bounds of what's possible and human growth in space.

I'm not the only one who believes this.  Ask Captain Kirk, the original one.  William Shatner also believes that a new Star Trek series for television is very much needed.  Maybe with Abrams' movies having procure a larger audience, now is the perfect time to start up another series.  

The series, more than any other science fiction series or movies, has inspired generations of scientists and entrepreneurs.  And while folks can watch the older series, the current generations of wannabe scientists and engineers also deserve to have their own Star Trek.

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