Friday, April 21, 2006

Tiny Trek Adventures?

I'm sure you've heard some inkling of the news that J.J. Abrams will be making a Star Trek movie. In the most blatant borrowing yet from the whole "Batman Begins" concept, Paramount is trying to revive the life-supported Trek franchise by making a movie about the young Kirk and Spock. As the article describes it:


Project... will center on the early days of seminal "Trek" characters James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer space mission.


I don't want to be a downer here, but seeing Kirk before he became the Captain of the Enterprise doesn't have that much appeal to me, at least instinctively. It's not like Bruce Wayne, who has all kinds of familiar comic-book mythology associated with his youth, and who becomes Batman as soon as he puts on the costume. "Captain of the Enterprise" is Kirk's identity every bit as much as "Batman" is Bruce Wayne's identity; if he doesn't take on that identity in the movie, what's the point of saying it's Kirk?

Oh, well; it could still be good, I suppose, though I pity the poor guys who have to pretend to be Kirk and Spock when all of us will know they're not. What I'd really like to see, actually, is a revival of the original Trek with new actors in the original roles, but taking advantage of the modern TV series' ability to do real character growth and development. The original series, being done like an anthology show with continuing characters -- the default format for a drama series at the time -- could never really develop the characters; anything Kirk and Spock learned about each other in one episode could never be carried over to the next episode, because every hour was completely self-contained. Trying to really flesh out these characters, even with different actors, might be more worthwhile than trying to do Kirk and Spock: Their Early Days.

8 comments:

Peter Lynn said...

I'm with you except for one thing: What I want is a revival of the original Trek with the original actors in the original roles ... sort of. Once we can get over the uncanny valley, the future of entertainment is in computer-generated recreations of the younger and/or living versions of old and/or dead actors. It's been inevitable ever since Humphrey Bogart was in that Diet Coke commercial.

And what could be more appropriate than to let Star Trek be the first to do this? Much of it will have to be computer generated anyway, because of the special effects. In a way, it would be like Star Trek: The Animated Series. And making even more fitting is that characters in the shows have been using their holodecks for years to recreate Moriarty, Dixon Hill, Buck Bokai, and anyone else they can think of.

And the biggest bonus? A CGI Shatner will never want to direct and ruin a Star Trek feature film.

Peter Lynn said...

Oh, and it's not like the acting quality could really suffer in the process anyway.

jorge garrido said...

Star Trek? You're a trekkie?

Jaime J. Weinman said...

You don't have to be a Trekkie to like the original "Star Trek."

Noel Katz said...

My wife just said she'd rather see a movie about Kirk & Spock, after their space adventures, hawking airline tickets for Priceline.

Heather said...

Actually, I'd be happy to see the whole "Star Trek" franchise retired before Paramount runs it any further into the ground. But as long as there's a buck or two to be made....

Christopher said...

I don't know if it's really fair to say this is a borrowing of the "Batman Begins" concept, since the idea of a Starfleet Academy movie has been bouncing around at Paramount for over twenty years now, since Harve Bennett proposed it back around the time of STAR TREK IV. In fact, Shatner recently announced that his next couple of ST novels would be about young Kirk and Spock at the Academy; no word yet on how the movie news will affect those plans, though I wouldn't be surprised if the books were cancelled, or at best postponed and reworked into sequels to the movie.

John said...

If they really want Spock revived, I'd actually rather see a movie based on the Enterprise originally created by Rodenberry for the 1964 pilot, with Capt. Pike and his other crew instead of Kirk.