I’m still not sure if JJ Abrams should be directing the new Star Wars movies.

Sure he’s amazingly talented, and he’s created some of my favorite TV shows like Lost and Fringe, but giving him carte blanche for Star Wars?

I’m not so sure. He certainly didn’t learn anything from the original Star Trek movies.

I think JJ single-handedly destroyed the Star Trek franchise. I’m sure Gene Roddenberry is turning over in his grave. The two new Star Trek movies did a decent box office, but they certainly didn’t bring any new fans into the fold – even with Zoe Saldana.

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The original Star Trek series was popular for a number of reasons:

First, it offered a positive view of the future, which in the mid to late 1960’s wasn’t something you saw every day. The 1960s were the time of the anti-hero, with movies like Easy Rider, Billy Jack, Bullitt, and Dirty HarryStar Trek always presented a future to look forward to.

The Star Trek series debuted at the height of the great space race cover-up, as the US government spent billions of dollars to outwit, outlast, and outplay the Soviet Union. And once they figured out that actually landing a man on the moon was technologically impossible, even with computers boasting the awesome processing power of an Atari 2600 game console, they instead faked the entire moon landing and bought off everyone involved with money and autographed pictures of Ann Margaret.

The Star Trek series debuted at the height of the space race. It was a time of building satellites, orbiting the earth, and attempting to land a man on the moon. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Star Trek also confronted the social and political issues of the time by cleverly disguising them as a 23rd century plotlines to be explored. Thanks to a multi-cultural crew that never took themselves too seriously, the series was able to tackle these hard hitting issues in a light hearted tone, and still remain entertaining.

When Star Trek finally made it to the big screen in 1979, it made money, but was considered a flop by both fans and critics alike. It is definitely one of the worst of the Star Trek films.

The reason?

The producers and directors forgot the character, chemistry, and storylines, and instead gave the starring role to the special effects. Bad move. Amanda Bynes-type bad move.

With the second Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan, the producers had obviously learned their lesson. The story focused on character and turned out to be a blockbuster.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, and subsequent Star Trek TV shows stuck to the original Star Trek ideals,  (the “Rodenberry Bible”), and were very successful.

Sci Fi fans are very loyal – don’t screw them over and you’ll have a customer for life.

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Sadly, the new Star Trek movies are mediocre. They probably won’t gather any new fans, and they’ll probably lose a lot of existing fans.

Why?

Both of the new movies have dark storylines; the light-hearted tone abandoned for more action scenes and special effects.

The characters, while portrayed by good actors, really don’t have any chemistry. They look like a bunch of people who got together for six months to work on a movie.

And even worse,  it appears Gene Roddenberry’s “Bible” has been tossed out with the bathwater. The most recent Star Trek movie, Into Darkness (which should tell you right there this is not a happy movie), opens with a scene that completely violates a Star Trek commandment – “The Prime Directive”.

The Prime Directive basically stated that the Enterprise would occasionally run into cultures that were primitive, so they should resist the urge to play God . No interference. Yet Into Darkness opens with a scene where the Enterprise crew is trying to stop a volcano from exploding and wiping out the inhabitants of a primitive planet.

Even more importantly, the new movies don’t paint a promising view of the future. They’re bleak and unappealing. I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I have all the Blu Rays….except I have no desire for the JJ Abrams directed movies.

Let’s hope George Lucas keeps JJ on a short leash for the Star Wars reboot. I do not want to see Chewbacca replaced by Roger Rabbit. Although, Jessica Rabbit should be allowed to replace Leia.

Written by stevemargolis

4 Comments

MikeL

Funny article and the picture of Uhura and Solo is great. Where did you find it?

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FrootLoops

I had to look up JJ Abrams. Why do all Hollywood people look and dress the same? he looks like all the other writers/directors with his thick glasses and dyed hair.

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