Star Trek turned 46 this month and the legacy of the show has grown to include 11 movies and a further 4 television series’. After the Original Series got canceled in 1969 after only three seasons, the show became extremely popular in syndication. In 1979 Star Trek The Motion Picture was released to capitalize on the success of Star Wars. Even though the film was a financial success, it failed to impress critics but the subsequent sequel by Nicholas Meyer with Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan showed audiences that Star Trek could be a success in the cinema as well as on TV.
The show’s popularity peaked with Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager with all shows lasting seven seasons. The follow-up prequel series Enterprise was deemed a failure and the show got canceled after only four seasons, sadly just as the show’s quality was starting to pick up. Combined with Star Trek: Nemesis bombing at the box office, the Star Trek franchise was put to bed, suffering from a severe case of overkill.
After a break of 4 years, JJ Abrams gave the world a new Star Trek, and not just a new Star Trek but also a new set of actors playing Kirk, Spock and the rest of the iconic original crew. Gone was the techonbable, morality tales about what makes us human and canon. In its place we got ACTION, cheesy nostalgic one liners and a wafer thin plot, in other words, a movie for the modern casual audience.
Star Trek had fallen into the trap of only pleasing its core group of Star Trek fans, even though that audience was huge, Paramount wanted to bring in the casual audience movie-goer who doesn’t want to see a film with a heavy plot, references to science and belonging to a franchise that is considered very nerdy. So Abrams, being a life long fan of Star Wars, Star Warsified Star Trek and engaged the casual audience like no other Star Trek film had done before. It made $350 million at the box office and critics loved it. Anticipation is high for the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness that is set for release next year.
But stuck in the whirlwind of hype that surrounded J.J Abrams’ Star Trek was a core set of old school Star Trek fans who objected to the liberties Abrams took with the universe they had invested so much time, love and money into for most of their lives. They didn’t like the dumbing down, the odd looking Enterprise, nonsensical science and the rubbish plot. It is easy to ignore them and say that they are just butthurt Star Trek nerds who would never be happy unless they saw William Shatner put on the Starfleet uniform again and take his place in the captain’s chair, but that is a lazy and dismissive response to some very valid points. There are a lot of flaws with Star Trek and the biggest being that the franchise has been pushed into a more generic action fare and gone (possibly forever) is all the things that made Star Trek unique.
Star Trek was more than just catchphrases, warp spreed and firing phasers, it was character driven story telling that had a human heart and no matter how fantastical the setting, you could always relate it to something much more closer to home. That is why these fans wait to see if Star Trek Into Darkness has more of what made pre-Abrams Star Trek so engaging for them or have they been pushed aside for the casual audience member and his/her box office ticket.
So in hope that Star Trek Into Darkness is a much more worthy movie for the Star Trek franchise now that the writers have not got to deal with the difficult, rebooting first movie, here are 15 blunders that ruined JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek movie and possibly the franchise forever.
This article was first posted on September 19, 2012