Friday, May 29, 2009

About the new STAR TREK & alternate timelines

I was excited to see STAR TREK. Even though I am much more of a Star Wars fan, I have become a fan of Star Trek and that franchise has been a part of the pop culture background for much of my life. The new STAR TREK is a great movie. It's got some fairly well developed characters, lots of action, vivid imagery, superb special effects, etc. Movie-goers seem to love it and many have been introduced to the characters of Kirk, Spock, etc for the first time. The studio, Paramount, loves it because the film will now allow them to "re-energize" their tent-pole franchise from the ground-up and they will make huge bank. I'll admit that as a movie, I enjoyed it. Yet, overall, I was severely disappointed because as a piece of storymaking, STAR TREK is a complete cop-out.

If you haven't seen the movie, beware that what might be considered spoilers are coming.

Almost the entire new STAR TREK film is set within an alternative timeline. Writers and actors like alternate timelines because it allows them to do things with characters that they normally couldn't do. In all honesty, alternate timelines are a complete cop-out and hugely dishonest. I can understand why actors enjoy it because if they've been acting in a series for several years a change of pace might allow them to display talent that they couldn't before. However, there's no excuse for writers. Alternate timelines are something that poor writers fall back upon because they're either too lazy or uncreative enough to stay true to a character's personality while keeping it interesting. It shows a complete and utter disregard for characters and the fictional universes they inhabit.

Basically, because of the new STAR TREK movie, nothing (and I mean nothing, no Next Generation, no Deep Space Nine, no Q, no Borg, nothing) exists from before. Five different television shows, ten movies, and a series of pseudo-canon novels have been completely eradicated. I mean, the entire planet Vulcan, which played huge part in the original series and movies has been destroyed. Everything Star Trek related for the next several years, perhaps decades, will be set within the new "alaternative timeline" of the new movie. That's not to say that Paramount won't go back to the original timeline at some point in the future, but the new Star Trek is all the rage and that's what will make them the most amount of money right now in the short term. The future has been postponed for a "new past". And there won't be going back to the original format for a very long time. In my opinion what J.J. Abrams and company have done is the equivalancy of what George Lucas did with Indiana Jones and the entire alien encounter in INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

No comments: