Damon Lindelof had this to say about Earth's role in the next movie "Star Trek Into Darkness".
Damon Lindelof wrote:
I don't want to get into percentages of how much takes place on Earth and how much takes place off Earth, suffice to say I think one of the things we felt a lot of people didn't know about Star Trek was that they didn't think that Star Trek was the future. You take something like Star Wars; Star Wars is not the future. It's a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and Luke Skywalker is not a human being and isn't from the planet Earth. The idea in Star Trek, they are. They're in the 23rd century and these people are from Earth. The Earth needed to play more of a role in these movies, especially in the sense of giving the audience a degree of relatability. I think that in the same way that New York City becomes this anchor point for people in the Marvel movies; that's Spidey's stomping ground, that was the stomping ground for Tony Stark, that was the stomping ground for The Avengers, it's New York. We wanted to do the same thing with Earth in the Star Trek movies.
Now I know a lot of fans out there still feel that that Star Trek is about humanity, with Gene Roddenberry himself saying that "Earth is a paradise" when explaining how humans should act (No sad feelings over a parents death). It's no surprise that Earth has played a part in Star Trek to help explore those 'perfect' traits of our characters when they're acting besides their 'infantile' selves.
However, I have some pretty strong issues with the notion of making Earth play a much larger role in this new take of Star Trek. Bear in mind that these points simply reflect my opinion on what I think Star Trek is about and isn't meant to dissuade other fans' viewpoints.
- Earth doesn't make Star Trek unique. Despite bringing up Star Wars, there aren't all that many science fiction franchises that don't have an Earth, let alone stories that don't follow a human protagonist. The idea of giving Earth a more centralized role I feel does more to hinder Star Trek's identity, since a lot of science fiction works have an Earth. Just compare how many science fiction works have an Earth, and how many have a planet Vulcan. Sadly, Star Trek doesn't have a Vulcan anymore.
- It's a cheap gimmick. For a franchise that has spanned so much territory in regards to how much the federation has explored, there sure seems to be a lot of focus on that one tiny blue planet. That's where the gimmick part comes in because putting Earth in danger will get audiences rallied up because, hey, we all live on Earth! Damon's reasons seem to stems more from this fact than anything else in just trying to get more audiences into the seats. Imagine for instance if the Earth was destroyed instead of Vulcan. The writers would actually have to work in coming up with ways to get audiences excited about Star Trek! Impossible? Well, how many original series episodes dealt with a destructive force that wanted to destroy just the Earth in the entire series? Here's a clue. The crew never even went to their modern day Earth.
- It makes Star Trek more human focused than it should. This is where my idea of what Star Trek is about clashes with a lot of "it's about humanity!" ideas. For me, Star Trek is about a massive, diverse and ever changing galaxy and how everyone fits into it. That includes humans to, and also Klingons, Romulans ect. When you look at some of the characters from TNG or even Deep Space Nine as a whole, Star Trek has given several alien cultures a huge chunk of non-human based stories. This is one of the crucial parts that separates Star Trek from any other science fiction franchise because it was willing to give the aliens and sometimes ONLY the aliens their own story that played out in a big way. However with JJ's Trek, aliens have gotten their roles reduced dramatically since the original series had all it's main character be human to a degree, and now with Earth's bigger role, there may never be a huge part for any alien based story for quite some time, and that's unfortunate.
- It's been done already. Star Trek Into Darkness is the third consecutive Star Trek movie that features a bad guy who wants to attack Earth out of vengeance. I would just like to see the writers come up with a storyline that can be exciting that doesn't involve Earth. But with Lindelof's comments about making Earth more prominent in 'their' movies, I don't think Star Trek is going to leave it's comfort zone anytime soon.
So that's my view on Earth in Star Trek. I just find the planet boring and uninteresting. I'd like to see the Enterprise to be the crew's home, not that over used blue blob of grease.
One other thing. Iron Man's stomping ground is California.