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J.J. Abrams Doesn't Get Trek

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J.J. Abrams on his biggest mistake ever:
"'Star Trek' to me was always about infinite possibility and the incredible imagination that Gene Rodenberry brought to that core of characters," he says. "It was a show about purpose, about faith vs. logic, about science vs. emotion, about us vs. them. It was its own world, and yet it was our world."

Amazing, he doesn't get it. Say what you want about the movies, and the original series, but Trek was about one thing and one thing only: exploring the human condition. That they were in the future, that they lived and worked on space ships; that's all just incidental to the story. Abrams doesn't get it, just like Rick Berman doesn't get it. If anything, TNG was the antithesis of "us vs. them", and TOS was was never "science vs. emotion". It was about discovering new things about ourselves while living our lives in conflict, which brings about change and understanding like nothing else.
More concretely, Abrams says that as a kid, "Trek" was "always my favorite when it was a little bit scary, when they would deal with beaming something on the ship that was an incredible mystery or there was a clear threat.

"All of these things I loved about the series is what we're working to incorporate into the story for the movie," he says.

Ugh, just stop it. Everyone needs to stop trying to recapture things lost, because it can't be done. Gene Rodenberry is gone, and the Trek he created is gone with him. Stop and think for a minute about what you are doing here. Gene didn't look to shows past and say "I want to recapture that thing they had, that moment, that vision."

Gene went out and did something new, something different. His vision, his passion. If he were alive today, I honestly believe he would be the first to tell people that the key to Star Treks success was trying something new and interesting, while still telling stories that explore us from the inside out, as playwrights have done for ages. Don't go back to that well anymore, move forward. Stop being cowards and literally go places that have never been seen before. (read: Stop telling stories only about about Starfleet)

I also must say that I am not very keen on Abrams nepotism. Bringing in a hot shot like Abrams that's not even a Star Trek fan to direct and co-write is like a thumb in the eye to many, but also dragging in his producing and writing friends -- most of whom aren't fans of the franchise either -- that's more like a lit cigar in the eye.

Rick Berman has been working on Trek since before Gene died, and Brent Spiner helped write Nemesis, which as far as I know was an absolutely terrible movie (as have been just about all from my beloved TNG cast.) And they were actual fans for christs sake.

Berman should have been relieved of his duties a long time ago. Abrams is the wrong choice. This new movie is too soon, what happened to the extended break that Paramount said was needed for the franchise? Abrams will fail and his celebrity image will take a serious hit in the process; Paramount will become even more gun shy about letting the franchise out of the box, and all the people who can see so blatantly why things are continually screwed up will be let down once again.

This is not the way it should be.
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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.