Friday, October 17, 2008

The Return of Star Trek

Anton Yelchin, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho and Zoe Saldana star as the new incarnations of Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Chekov, Sulu and Uhura in the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek.

Most people who know me know that I have been and always shall be a Star Trek fan. For as long as I can remember, I have loved Star Trek. I grew up watching first-run episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation ever since I lived in St. Mary's, where I also remember watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture for the first time and loving it so much I wanted to watch again! Of course, little did I know that it was two-and-a-half hour movie!

I have so many memories of loving Star Trek, from seeing Star Trek V in the movie theater (today, I cringe at how bad it was) to seeing the best cliffhanger of all-time at the end of Best of Both Worlds TNG's season 3 ender ("Mr.!" is all I can say)! I've seen every movie since The Final Frontier (the 5th) in the movie theater. Star Trek helped flourish my young imagination and gave me the desire to write my own little Star Trek stories! I have countless Trek novels and comic books, still have a number of my action figures, and own 9 of the 10 movies and four seasons of Deep Space 9 on DVD.

I've seen Star Trek during its glory days and I've seen its unfortunate decline during the late-90s. Say what you will about what contributed to Star Trek's fall from grace. Many fans blame it on producer Rick Berman for just running out of ideas. Can you blame him? He was associated with Star Trek from its re-introduction to television in 1987 all the way to May 2005! Can't you blame him for being creatively bankrupt?

For me Star Trek topped out with the 8th film and my personal favorite Star Trek: First Contact in 1996 and the final three seasons of Deep Space 9 which finished in May 1999. I admit that Voyager was entertaining for me during its 7-year run, but I have a hard time watching most rerun episodes, and while Star Trek: Enterprise had promise and potential, it was evident that Star Trek in today's society was not what it used to be. Star Trek didn't have the appeal that it used to, and it showed not only in the ratings for Enterprise, but also Star Trek: Nemesis's (2002) box office intake of $43 million!

When it was announced in February 2005 that Enterprise would be ending that May and Star Trek would be taking a break, I felt that it was necessary. Not only did it need a break, it needed fresh hands to direct it. How quickly things moved because in early- to mid-2006 it was announced that J.J. Abrams would be producing a new Star Trek movie!

While it's been going through the various stages of production since then, they finished filming in the spring and the new film is set to be released in May 2009. J.J. Abrams has run a pretty tight ship, keeping leaks and information to a minimum. In fact, many members of the cast have joked at the secrecy involved in the production!

While not much is known about the film, it is well-known by now that this is an origin story of the original crew of the Enterprise. While many fans are cautious, there is much excitement in knowing that Abrams and his team of writers are huge Trek fans and the biggest vote of confidence comes from one of its stars: Leonard Nimoy. While the characters have been recast and the look has been updated, Leonard Nimoy has agreed to come out of retirement to play an older Mr. Spock because he loved the script! For those of you who do not know, Leonard Nimoy was offered the chance to direct 1994's Star Trek: Generations but turned it down because he felt it was too weak and pointed out many of the script's flaws. For many fans, Nimoy knows what is good for Trek, especially since he is the only member of the very original cast (I mean, the first pilot pre-Shatner) to survivor into what we all know now as Star Trek.

In the last couple of days, the first photos have arisen of the new crew and various shots of the new bridge set. I can't help but feel kind of giddy at what I am seeing and I'm very excited about the possibilities for this new film! My one disappointment? So far there are no images of the new look for the Enterprise! Ah well...guess I'll just have to wait for the trailer attached to Quantum of Solace, the new Bond flick!

Don't be surprised to hear a lot from me on Star Trek over the next nine months while I wait for opening day!

Zachary Quinto is the younger Spock.

The bridge of the original U.S.S. Enterprise has never looked better!


Evie said...

I'll look forward to seeing this one. I hope a fresh perspective will re-invigorate the series. The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine were my favorite ST series. I quickly grew bored with Voyager, although Seven of Nine was an interesting character. I think that series would have died a couple of years earlier without her. The Enterprise series never captured my attention at all. As for the movies,First Contact is my favorite one too.

Dave said...

I had not heard about the new production. I enjoyed Next Generation and Deep Space Nine but last series did not move me. I will be interested in seeing this new one.