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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Future of Trek

Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

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Old August 3 2014, 08:30 AM   #1
davidl28
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Future of Star Trek...

Hello--at the annual Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this weekend; one could not help but notice that we as fans are getting older...

So that leads to the question/comment:

a) How are we going to re-energize the fan base with new/younger fans ?

b) How is it that Star Wars comes out with new animation series such as: Star Wars Rebels (coming out soon) and Clone Wars and gets who new generation of Star Wars fans (kids under the age of 14)....and Star Trek doesn't offer anything similar to that ?

c) Separately at the San Diego Comic Con--I saw many young kids--clamoring around the Hasbro booth and Mattel booth and the Lego booth looking eagerly at new Star Wars toys...and then when I look at new Star Trek merchandise-- I see Star Trek Salt and Pepper shakers, Wall Clock, Doggie bag dispensers, mugs, and expensive costume/prop replicas..while some of those items are neat, Not sure kids can really play/want that kind of stuff...

What's amazing is that Star Wars has far fewer hours of content than Star Trek; but much more appealing consumer goods/products than Star Trek and keeps a vibrant fan base growing with cool toys/things that still fly off the shelf.

I recommend that CBS & Paramount: really consider a new Star Trek cartoon series and coming up with a strategy to incl. merchandising to resurrect a younger set of fans.

Comments ? Who else agrees ?

thanks
Dave
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Old August 3 2014, 12:46 PM   #2
Melakon
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

There have never been any highly popular Star Trek toys that I remember. Model kits were probably the biggest consistent sellers. But I was already a teen when TOS originally aired, so maybe there was something I missed. I remember Mego had some dolls and a bridge playset adapted from their other toy lines, and they were taller than what became the standard for "action figures". There were some licensed toy products, but they were often older generic toys that looked nothing like Star Trek props and just had the name on packaging. I never saw low priced (under $10) phasers and tricorders that looked like what was on the show.
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Old August 3 2014, 01:50 PM   #3
-Brett-
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

Star Trek (and Star Wars for that matter) became popular initially by appealing to all ages. Ditching the adults (you know, the people with money) to focus exclusively on young people would be a mistake. Lets face it, kids don't like feeling talked down to, anyway. A cartoon would probably flop.
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Old August 3 2014, 02:12 PM   #4
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

davidl28 wrote: View Post
Hello--at the annual Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this weekend; one could not help but notice that we as fans are getting older...

So that leads to the question/comment:

a) How are we going to re-energize the fan base with new/younger fans ?
To be blunt, it's not our problem. The rightsholders have a financial incentive to bring in new fans, and it's really their problem. With nuTrek, they've already revitalized the film arm of the franchise.

Reinventing itself is not something that Star Wars ever had to do, because in contrast to Star Trek their canonical enterprises have never failed. Star Trek's have failed on two fronts, with the flopping of Nemesis and the cancellation of Enterprise. The situation with Star Trek is more fraught with financial peril.

b) How is it that Star Wars comes out with new animation series such as: Star Wars Rebels (coming out soon) and Clone Wars and gets who new generation of Star Wars fans (kids under the age of 14)....and Star Trek doesn't offer anything similar to that ?

c) Separately at the San Diego Comic Con--I saw many young kids--clamoring around the Hasbro booth and Mattel booth and the Lego booth looking eagerly at new Star Wars toys...and then when I look at new Star Trek merchandise-- I see Star Trek Salt and Pepper shakers, Wall Clock, Doggie bag dispensers, mugs, and expensive costume/prop replicas..while some of those items are neat, Not sure kids can really play/want that kind of stuff...

What's amazing is that Star Wars has far fewer hours of content than Star Trek; but much more appealing consumer goods/products than Star Trek and keeps a vibrant fan base growing with cool toys/things that still fly off the shelf.

I recommend that CBS & Paramount: really consider a new Star Trek cartoon series and coming up with a strategy to incl. merchandising to resurrect a younger set of fans.

Comments ? Who else agrees ?

thanks
Dave
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Old August 3 2014, 03:19 PM   #5
1001001
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

Since this is literally about the Future of Star Trek, I am moving it to....

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Old August 3 2014, 04:53 PM   #6
drt
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

Melakon wrote: View Post
There have never been any highly popular Star Trek toys that I remember. Model kits were probably the biggest consistent sellers. But I was already a teen when TOS originally aired, so maybe there was something I missed. I remember Mego had some dolls and a bridge playset adapted from their other toy lines, and they were taller than what became the standard for "action figures". There were some licensed toy products, but they were often older generic toys that looked nothing like Star Trek props and just had the name on packaging. I never saw low priced (under $10) phasers and tricorders that looked like what was on the show.
I was a kid in the early 70s, the Mego figures were popular enough with my peers (I still have all of mine, but sadly the Enterprise playset probably ended up in a landfill 30+ years ago - unless it happens to be buried in my dad's garage somewhere). But you are correct, the best way to get an Enterprise or a phaser/communicator/tricorder was to get AMT's model kits, of which I probably went through about three each, since as models, they really didn't stand up to everyday play. Dinky came out with some more kid appropriate starships in the mid-70s, but they were hard to come by, and I don't remember any kids having one (my parents tried to get me one from mail-order but it had sold out). And there were also phaser flashlights and squirtguns which were reasonably accurate toys.

The Playmates toyline was pretty popular from 1992-1996, when TNG was at it's peak. However, I don't think DS9 or Voyager caught on as well with kids, so the Playmates line quietly faded away by about 1998-1999 or so.
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Old August 3 2014, 05:21 PM   #7
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

There was talk of a new animated series just prior to Into Darkness' release, but I guess it didn't go anywhere. I think a kids animated series would go a long way to getting the younglings interested in the new movies.

Just imagine how awesome this would be!
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Old August 3 2014, 06:32 PM   #8
T'Girl
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

davidl28 wrote: View Post
How are we going to re-energize the fan base with new/younger fans?
Figure out what your customers want, and provide it.

-Brett- wrote: View Post
Ditching the adults (you know, the people with money) to focus exclusively on young people would be a mistake.
It's not a matter of focusing exclusively on young people, it's a matter of not excluding us."

The mistake both TOS and TNG movies series made imho was they didn't introduce new (yes younger) characters who would become a ongoing part of the continuing cast of main characters. The way we were introduced to Lt Hawk would have been a good way of going about it. Which TPTB screwed up by killing him, instead he should have been kept around, been in all the movies, made a central character. Or someone like him.

Geordi was the younger officer (late twenties) at the beginning of the TNG TV series, do it again.

Lets face it, kids don't like feeling talked down to
Neither do adults, don't do it to either group.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
To be blunt, it's not our problem.
Disagree, as fans of the show, we do have a vested interest in the continuation of the show, so it isn't just a matter for CBS television and Paramount.

The rightsholders have a financial incentive to bring in new fans
Yes.

and it's really their problem.
If the show disappears, that would be a problem for me.

With nuTrek, they've already revitalized the film arm of the franchise.
But is that resulting in a influx of fans? Or just "Hey great movie, I really liked the explosions and half naked girls." If that was the last of Star Trek they ever saw, how many would realize it was gone?

How many of the people who saw the last couple of movies are "new fans?" Which is the question of this thread.

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Old August 3 2014, 06:58 PM   #9
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Disagree, as fans of the show, we do have a vested interest in the continuation of the show, so it isn't just a matter for CBS television and Paramount.
Vested interest, seriously? Sounds like fan entitlement, which is really an unreciprocated delusion.

But if you feel that strongly as a fan that the show must go on, why not create fan fiction or fan film?
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Old August 3 2014, 10:07 PM   #10
VST
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

Here's the thing... Star Wars is just *cooler*.

It always has been really. You'll find a lot more people outside the sci-fi fan bracket will enjoy or tolerate Star Wars than Star Trek, in my experience. Trek has done itself no favours over the years in feeling less vital & more middle-aged - the new movies have tried redressing that balance but they then get pilloried for being 'dumb' or 'not this or that', like Trek has ever really known what it was!

Star Wars has always known what it was - a big space opera based on mythological narrative. Now I love a lot of Wars but I truly believe it's more 'lowest common denominator' than Trek, it's more for the masses with greater populist appeal. Trek has always been far less cool or 'sexy' in its approach to science-fiction, though as a result it's deeper & more rewarding IMO.

In other words, little kids are never going to react to Trek in the way they do Wars unless Trek *becomes* Wars and that, for all I love Star Wars, is not something I would want it to do.
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Old August 4 2014, 01:58 AM   #11
T'Girl
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

VST wrote: View Post
Now I love a lot of Wars but I truly believe it's more 'lowest common denominator' than Trek ...
I'd replace that with simply "common denominator." Might be a better description of Wars' audience verses Trek's.

Trek has always been far less cool or 'sexy' in its approach to science-fiction, though as a result it's deeper & more rewarding IMO.
Trek maybe comes off as "too deep" sometimes, it isn't enough that the future be generally optimistic, no it has to be a utopian paradise. Our heroes have to be superior and 'the best of the best.' Luke Skywalker was some smuck farmer boy, Leah was a egotistical twit, Han was pirate drug runner. The trio was flawed from the start.

Just like the audience watching them.

And Mace Windu is cooler than nuSpock. Windu is written to be cool, intense and macho. NuSpock was written to be high strung, conflicted and possessing a high maintenance girlfriend.

As a Trek fan I'd honestly rather spend time with Obi-wan from the prequels than nuKirk from the reboot.

(JarJar Binks over nuKirk too)

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Old August 4 2014, 10:32 AM   #12
SPCTRE
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
There was talk of a new animated series just prior to Into Darkness' release, but I guess it didn't go anywhere. I think a kids animated series would go a long way to getting the younglings interested in the new movies.

Just imagine how awesome this would be!
I would probably watch it.
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Old August 4 2014, 01:25 PM   #13
Commishsleer
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
But is that resulting in a influx of fans? Or just "Hey great movie, I really liked the explosions and half naked girls." If that was the last of Star Trek they ever saw, how many would realize it was gone?

If people watched ST09 or STID just to see half-naked girls then they'd be bitterly disappointed.
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Old August 4 2014, 02:12 PM   #14
VST
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Trek maybe comes off as "too deep" sometimes, it isn't enough that the future be generally optimistic, no it has to be a utopian paradise. Our heroes have to be superior and 'the best of the best.' Luke Skywalker was some smuck farmer boy, Leah was a egotistical twit, Han was pirate drug runner. The trio was flawed from the start.

Just like the audience watching them.

And Mace Windu is cooler than nuSpock. Windu is written to be cool, intense and macho. NuSpock was written to be high strung, conflicted and possessing a high maintenance girlfriend.
Trek has been doing this for years now though, on TV.

Take DS9. Ira Steven Behr & his team wanted characters people could find some relation to even deep in outer space so they were all very flawed individuals - and as a result, the show is often decried as 'the least Trek' when frankly if you go back to TOS, they're not a utopian unit; how many times does Kirk recklessly get his end away on a mission? Bones is a grouchy old bastard & at various points most of the crew, via alien means, fall victim to their own primal urges & vices.

I'm not knocking the show storytelling wise, but TNG is responsible for creating this 'too deep' image, a kind of sci-fi starchiness, because Roddenberry wanted people who aren't flawed - which isn't attractive to us f'd up mere mortals. We want characters to strive, to improve, to show us we *can* do better - if they're already there, that's just a whole lot less interesting.
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Old August 4 2014, 02:36 PM   #15
Albertese
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Re: Future of Star Trek...

Regarding a new animated series, I think a well done show could be quite successful. I'm not afraid to say that I kinda fell out of love with Star Wars after the very poorly written prequel trilogy, but then, along comes The Clone Wars, which, after an admittedly rocky start, went on to totally redeem the prequel era, at least for my money. The show was smart and fun and complex. Kids can enjoy it for the excitement and adults can enjoy stories with serious political consequence that don't feel bogged down in the dryness of politics.

TCW is a great example of how to use a cartoon to revitalize a franchise and I think if CBS took that route with Star Trek they could get some very positive results.

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