This is a topic I’ve been considering for a good while. Well, ever since it was announced of course.
I have not made it a secret how much I am not a fan of Star Trek 11 (aka. JJTrek). There’s really only three things I enjoyed about it: Karl Urban’s “Bones”, Simon Pegg’s “Scotty” and Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack.
What I dislike about it also falls into three categories: over emphasis of action, absolute lack of any real character development and an abandonment of everything Star Trek was supposed to represent.
I could fill pages with my dislikes of Star Trek 11, just sticking to why the Enterprise was horrible. However, this article is about the man that brought this to us originally, JJ Abrams and the announcement that he’ll be the one directing Star Wars Episode 7.
All joking about lens flares aside, Abrams will undoubtedly do better with Wars 7 than he’s done with Trek. This is primarily because he has openly admitted to being more of a fan of Star Wars than Star Trek. This fact is highlighted by how much more of a resemblance to the Star Wars movies Star Trek 11 was than to anything remotely Star Trek.
In all of his projects, Abrams has proven himself to be much more of a visual/set piece director than a character/story director. This ability is actually a perfect fit for Star Wars. Much more than it was for Star Trek.
Let’s face it, Star Wars has NEVER been about deep, engrossing character development or story lines. It is an epic space opera. It is about as basic of a mythological story as you can get. It’s popcorn sci-fi. It always has been. This is not a bad thing at all.
I have grown up an equal fan of Star Wars and Star Trek for as long as I can remember. Loving both sagas for different reasons. Wars for the ships and action, Trek for the ships and characters (sensing a pattern here?).
I’m still going to see Episode 7 when it comes out. This has always been certain. It still stands that Episode 3 was the last film in the saga and no one wants it to go out on the pathetic piece of celluloid THAT was. I will also be seeing Star Trek 12, despite my absolute loathing of the pun title they gave it. I shudder every time I say it, so it will not be written here.
What ultimately concerns me about JJ, though, is that he’s taking on the two of the biggest franchises in film/television history. The man is going to be making both Star Trek 13 AND Star Wars 7 over the next two to three years. I wouldn’t wish such a task on my worst enemy. I’m also afraid that this lack of focus will also lead to a greater loss of quality.
It all comes down to right now that Abrams is trying to become the next Spielberg/Lucas/Cameron. I know he won’t be able to do that by riding solely on the back of established franchises like he’s been doing. But I don’t think he can coast along purely on pretty visuals. Although that HAS been what Michael Bay’s been doing. But he’s stuck in Transformers hell right now.
My primary concerns right now with these two sagas is the way movies like these have been trending lately. Inspired by Nolan’s Batman series, movies, especially superhero movies and now Star Trek are trending towards the dark, brooding anti-hero-type characters. This is evident in both the latest Superman and Star Trek trailers.
What I find most humorous about this situation, though, is that these two franchises have LONG been vehicles for a degree of hope and optimism. Trek for the future and Superman for the present. Both have been twisted into this dark and brooding mythos that I don’t think we really need as a society right now.
But I digress.
In short, the ultimate point is that I think Abrams will do much better with Wars than he’ll EVER do with Trek. I just heartily wish that he had gotten Star Wars first so that he could have left us without the current Trek saga that we’re going to have to sit through until at least 2015 when the last in the trilogy comes out.
Maybe then we can get someone in there who understands Star Trek and can give us more Wrath of Khan and less Attack of the Clones.