Obviously there was a lot of Hype around our J.J after Star Trek XI came out, he looked to be breathing new life into the series which had gotten stale. Star Trek Into Darkness however, was a little bit of a dissapointment to me. Without getting into too many spoilers, I have a feeling that the way J.J sees the Star Trek universe is a little bit one note. The performance of Benedict Cumberbatch is the high point of the movie, and expect J.J to get a lot of credit for that but the thing is Benedict would do well with any script.
All this is not to say that the film is bad, far from it. But with the novelty factor gone, STID is just a solid 7/10 actioner with a very good performance by it's main villain. Outside of that it's nothing special, and it suffers the same problems it's predecessor did, in forgetting the roots of the franchise, although this time it's even worse as J.J did not have to worry about the core fanbase buying tickets.
I hope that J.J is not at the helm for the next movie in the series, as it will be nice to see somebody else have a go. J.J can produce consistantly decent product but I feel he is lacking that something extra which will be needed to KEEP this franchise relevant.
It's fine to not like the movie, or feel it's nothing special, but exactly what does it lack to keep the franchise relevant? What roots does it forget? Especially if there are so many references to familiar things in STID.
There is a supposedly clean slate to work with in this new universe, but I also think the producers have made it clear that while this may be a different universe, our heroes still seem bound to experience many similar things (take the comic stories, for example).
Maybe this universe is more derivative of the old one than brand new -- which can be good or bad depending on the quality of the old product to begin with, and the quality of the derivative product.
If this movie is this universe's take on TWOK, it's probably not fair to say it's unoriginal just because it borrows characters and bits from that movie. To me, it would be far more fair to say, "Is this a good story on its own?" And let the chips fall where they may based on that.
If STID grosses more than the previous movie did, at the risk of sounding like an economic determinist, that does keep
the franchise relevant.