Star Trek to World: I’m Not Dead Yet

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I can’t quite get my mind around the fact that J.J. Abrams now basically owns the entire Star Trek franchise. After the success of Alias Paramount handed him the whole thing, like a Hummer or a couple extra points on the back end. Star Trek is a living, breathing cultural entity. You can’t just give it to somebody.

Except you can and they did. Abrams cleaned house, ousted all the old franchise stalwarts, and last week he told EW that his plan for Star Trek XI will focus on the early post-Academy years of Kirk and Spock, and that he’s got a complete script in hand. Quote: ”On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying,” says Abrams. ”For people who’ve never seen it or know it vaguely, I think they will enjoy it equally, because the movie does not require you to know anything about Star Trek. I would actually prefer [that] people don’t know the series, because I feel like they will come to it with an open mind.” Lots of good intel and linx here.

Playing oddsmaker feels a little ghoulish — I’m like a Roman soldier shooting dice at the foot of the cross here — but it’s worth noting the following:

— Abrams was also handed the Mission Impossible franchise to revitalize. He made MI3. Boo.
— The track records of the screenwriters are awful (incidentally the co-screenwriter is Alex Kurtzman, not Alex Christian, as EW reports)
— on the other hand, he could take the franchise in a darker, crueler, grittier direction, the way Bond went this year. Let’s hope Abrams was taking notes when he saw Casino Royale.

At the very least I think cleaning house was a necessary first step. I’ve been on Trek strike since Insurrection, when the rot really set in. (Really, Jonathan Frakes, how could you light Gates McFadden so unflatteringly?) Someone is going to make Star Trek XI, there’s too much money to be soaked out of eternally hopeful Trekkers. If there’s a nuclear holocaust, and only cockroaches survive, those cockroaches will make Star Trek XI. I don’t see how Abrams can do worse. Let’s light this candle. Less talk, more synthohol.