Did Star Trek need a reboot? This is the same question I posed many months ago. The answer? Truthfully, no. I also don't believe that anyone can justly argue against the answer of no. Here's why...I'm sure that there are writers out there that could come up with many, many new and exciting stories set in the prime timeline. I'm sure there are also producers and directors that could have taken Trek into new and exciting eras, all the while staying in the prime timeline, be it before Star Trek Enterprise, after Star Trek Nemesis and everything else in between. With all that said, the reboot did work in resurrecting a stale franchise. It gives Trek the ability to do new and different things that they might not have been able to do in the prime timeline. I'm not against a reboot at all, but I know, and I think everyone else could admit that given the right circumstances, writers, ideas, etc...there could have been many, many great stories and such told in the prime timeline that would have pumped new and exciting life into the Trek franchise. I also don't buy the argument that sticking to continuity would be a bad thing in making Trek exciting again. Let's be honest, the current Trek movies are sticking to certain continuities even now and that's not at all a bad thing. I think that if they had made more Trek in the prime timeline, the best idea would have been to move forward past the TNG era. Even in a timeline past the TNG era, certain continuities didn't necessarily have to be mentioned or written about. For example....let's say a version of Trek set 80 years after the TNG era was made and the story was about future Klingons who have denounced their warrior ways and embraced something like...let's say kindness and helping others. With that said, do we really need to mention anything about how many centuries ago, Klingons at one point had no ridges due to an attempt at genetic engineering? I just believe that given all the correct circumstances, Star Trek has a lot of life left in it, without having a reboot, but as I've said before, I'm not against it, and the reboot has worked and I enjoy the re-imagined Trek just as much.
But again, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are pop culture icons and as much as I love it, the truth is the generic Star Trek universe setting was a proven failure both on television and in movies. With Enterprise
they revamped the show twice. They went darker and edgier with the third season's Xindi war, then got new writers and a new showrunner to take the fourth season in another new (direct-prequel-tastic) direction. Neither idea worked. Nemesis
was a major flop, despite having the biggest budget and marketing push (at the time) since The Motion Picture
and starring the cast that were at the helm during Trek's most financially successful period.
J.M. Straczynski and Bryce Zabel put it best, I think, in their 2004 pitch for a rebooted TOS:
"Over the decades, Star Trek has become so insular, so strictly defined, and placed so many layers upon itself that the essence of what made us love it in the first place has been lost. The all-too-reasonable desire to protect the franchise may now be the cause of it's stagnation.
Imagine buying a new Porsche and leaving it in the garage all the time, because if you take it on the road, it might get scratched. But that's exactly what's happened to Star Trek. The Porsche is still clean and polished, but we're driving around in a nice, reasonable family car.
It's time to throw caution to the wind and go out for a drive... a real drive..."