Nerys Myk wrote:
Yep. Anyone who thinks TMP represents what TOS is are the ones who must have been watch a different show.
I thought that was the main criticism of TMP... that it was remaking a mediocre episode:
"Where Nomad Had Gone Before"
Or was it "The Doomsday Machine" with Decker sacrificing himself to save the day?
The story was certainly Star Trek. The execution is where things got confused.
TOS tried to blend action and ideas. TMP was a "G" rated movie pitched to a "G" rated crowd that tried to be as cerebral as "2001". JJTrek is Star Wars in different costumes. TMP and JJTrek represent the extremes with TOS somewhere in the middle. The question is, just which "extreme" reflects the "heart" of Star Trek?
Star Trek began with "The Cage" and an idea to bring Jonathan Swift into the 1960s. Star Wars begins with an idea to remake "Flash Gordon". I think Star Trek starts cerebral and sugarcoats with action and adventure to make the message palatable. Star Wars is quite the opposite, beginning with action-adventure and down the road aspiring to remake John Frankenheimer in space.
Having said this, I admit that JJ Abrams is the right filmmaker for his time. He knows his audience. But in order to do what he does so well, he had to dump most of what was Star Trek and start over. I'm sure that in addition to being a credit to JJ Abrams instincts, that says something about the unmarketability of Star Trek as it was originally conceived.
It has got to be a lot harder to wrap an idea-driven script with action than it is to just do action. I think that's why we keep seeing filmmakers go to that well. But for being such a "failure", TMP sure inspires fanatic defenders even to this day, 33 years after its release. A script developed for TV being rewritten as the camera rolled, a studio determined upon a release date, SFX being wholly reconceived late in the production... and it's box office still ranks in the top 50 "G" rated films of all time. And it rebirthed Star Trek for the big screen and TV. And yet, all of us would agree that it didn't do what Roddenberry was setting out to do, which almost certainly was to tell a story well. But as I said above, wrapping an idea with action and adventure is hard. Particularly when you forget the action and adventure.
But was it "Trek" at heart? Absolutely. It was trying to say something deep and meaningful about the human condition -- that Man and God as Creator and Creation are interchangeable. That makes it Star Trek at its heart, whether it was perfectly executed or not. More so than any of the other Star Trek movies. Definitely more so than the current efforts.
JJ's Trek does not forget the action and adventure and is immensely popular. But IMHO it will not inspire a fanatic, deep obsessive fan base unless this road is followed long enough to build its own universe and mythos like the Star Trek that preceded it and the Star Wars that inspires it. Why? Because at heart, it isn't Star Trek. That doesn't make it "bad". Believe me, as an investor, I don't believe it is "bad". But I will be surprised if it results in a new "Star Trek" franchise. There is no "there" there, to steal from Stein. No heart. No Roddenberry and Jefferies (or Lucas and McQuarrie, for that matter). Just stuff -- stuff floating on a big, dead pond of nothing.