Remakes. The final frontier.
Next year they are re-launching the Star Trek franchise with a movie that will feature new actors playing the classic characters from the original series. When I first heard the news I was outraged, horrified and mortified. The idea of someone else playing Scotty, Spock or Bones is bad enough, but someone playing Captain Kirk besides William Shatner is downright sacrilegious.
Why do they keep remaking old movies and TV shows? Did we really need a new Willie Wonka or an updated Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
Then I heard that this movie will include an appearance by Leonard Nimoy. He is playing the old or future Spock. From what I hear, he goes back in time and speaks with young Spock to warn him about something, possibly of some kind of Romulan plot. (Kind of like Austin Powers in The Spy Who Shagged Me.)
The young Spock is played by Zachary Quinto, Sylar from Heroes. This then passes the torch to the new cast, and I guess they will go forward as an alternate reality Star Trek or something. I’d say it’s ridiculous, but since I have rolled with countless Star Trek plots involving time travel and alternate realities, I guess I should cut them some slack.
After seeing a few stills from the production, I was still skeptical. Some things looked great and other things looked shaky. Finally, last week, an extended trailer debuted on the internet and I got my first good look at this thing in motion. The Enterprise looks good. The uniforms look like the classic show, with a tad of modification to bring them up to date. Spock looks dead on, and the action looks ramped up. Best of all, Simon Pegg, from Shaun of the Dead, plays Scotty. He definitely brings a certain amount of clout to the production for me.
Also, the buzz on the movie is pretty good from sources that are pretty trustworthy. For instance, Kevin Smith has seen some of the new movie and claims it is good. He’s a geek, so his opinion counts for something.
Okay, they got me. Damn it.
I’m still very leery, but who am I kidding? I’ll be in line on opening night to check this thing out.
To be honest, the more I think about it, the more this reboot might make sense. I grew up loving Star Trek, but I have to admit, the old TV show looks slow and outdated to today’s audiences. And of the follow-up Star Trek shows, only The Next Generation really captured a mainstream audience.
The franchise was looking like it had finally come to the end. No one is really interested in new Starfleet adventures or crews. But, they may be ready to embrace the classic characters that have ingrained themselves into the culture of America. If a remake of Star Trek can revive the franchise and give us a new set of adventures with spectacular special effects and clever writing, maybe it will bridge the gap between the old generation of Trek fans and the new generation that hardly even know what a Tribble is.
Think about it, it worked for James Bond and Batman. Maybe it could work for Star Trek.
So I will go in with my phasers set on low expectations, but I’ll also have high hopes and an open mind.
I really hope they nail this. This may be Star Trek’s last chance to live long and prosper.