Mr. B wrote:
Captain Nebula wrote:
Why did they bother with the original Trek crew in these new movies?
Kirk, Spock and "Beam me up, Scotty" is about all the unwashed masses know about Star Trek, and that's who these movies are for. If you don't play into that, there's no need to even call these new movies "Star Trek."
Right, it is an exploitable franchise, a way to make money.
The center of mass for maximum possible ticket sales is comprised of an audience holding a vague pop-cultural memory of Star Trek. The pop-cultural memory, vague as it is, still makes a Trek film more recognizable than a generic "space movie."
For the intended audience, nuTrek has everything their pop-cultural memory tells it a Trek film should have (green women, tribbles, certain prominent villains like the great "John Harrison," McCoy saying "Dammit," Kirk womanizing, and Spock talking about "Logic").
Our pop cultural memory of, say, "piracy" doesn't give us an accurate historical picture of the past, but rather how we played as kids. The caricature is embarrassing when we mistake it for actual history. Consider, this example.
Our pop cultural memory is a sort of iconic reduction which is often satiric and exaggerated. Our image of John Travolta converting popping and locking into pointing like a retriever in a white disco suit is our iconic image of 70's night clubbing. The 1960's, that's hippies, right?
Star Trek is lucky to have made any sort of imprint on pop cultural memory, but the Trek that remains is only sustained by that memory. It's a faded image.
Wiping away Vulcan in the first film was an implicit announcement that all the trifling details under the surface of that image no longer matter. This is a new Star Trek that will simply inhabit the iconography of the original Star Trek.
What we're waiting to find out is if they will eventually show the courage to tell a story of their own, by boldly going out into the imaginative frontier of literature and creating their own iconic moments and characters.
Don't bet on it though. Star Trek was assimilated to make money, not to tell original stories, and this is why the most likely villain in the next film will be the Borg.