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Trailer: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

The teaser trailer for the next J.J. Abrams installment of the Trek franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness has been released. I’ve embedded it here for your viewing, assuming you haven’t already seen it 10 times.

There was a time, back in my college days, around the time that First Contact was released, that I knew a ton about a Trek movie months before it even came out. Those days are long gone, and I haven’t followed Trek XII‘s production much at all, beyond knowing it was being made.

But I was informed today of the release of the teaser trailer for next May’s upcoming Trek film, which based on the title and trailer, seems like it’s going to be pretty, well, dark, I guess. If you’re going into darkness, I guess it’s going to be dark.

Please, no spoilers here. If you know way more about this movie than I do, don’t feel compelled to share. I’m going to go into it as oblivious as possible.

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82 comments on this post

There is no spoilers…
This is all we know. Haha

Well, it does look overly ‘Dark Knight-ish’ to me, right down to the teaser poster (Just compare the Dark Knight Rises poster to the Into Darkness poster, for God’s sake. The similarity between the two is so striking it’s not even funny.) This could be a very good movie but I’m worried that they’ll sacrifice Trekkian optimism and ideals for loud, impressive action/CGI to appeal to mainstream moviegoers. Can’t say right now; I’ll suspend judgement until I actually see the movie. On the one hand, my heart will always be with bright, optimistic, Star Trek TOS. On the other hand, I like the darker, contemporary approach of the new BSG series, too.

“Dark” or just “lots of stuff blowing up”?

Abrams has never been one to include anything cerebral or topical in any of his movies. He was the wrong fit for this franchise to begin with.

The only thing I will say about this trailer was that it didn’t feel like “Star Trek” to me. Of course it’s only the first one so we’ll see what happens, but if they are turning Star Trek into a action thriller with a lot of things blowing up, I’m not going to like it.

@Greg M
they already have done that! and yes the trailer doesn’t feel like Star Ttrek at all. It is not a surprise to me but it makes me sad.

the previous post was mine!!

I couldn’t agree more. I call JJ Abrams contribution: “Vin Diesel Trek”–meaning mindless and substance free with ultra slick effects to gloss it over for most people to even care.

If you took JJ Abrams name off the directing credits and replaced it with Michael Bay, could you tell the difference?

I’ll give contemporary Trek a look again if they put it with a showrunner like Joss Whedon or Aaron Sorkin (a guy can dream, can’t he?)

In this era of widespread pessimism and endless “dark, gritty” reboots, I would love to see a new Star Trek which captures the inspiring optimism, sense of exploration and warm, humane interpersonal relations (even with a Vulcan!) that we saw in the Original Series. Not more lens flares and scowling.

So are you Abrams skeptics saying that Trek 2009 wasn’t in the spirit of Star Trek? I thought it fit the mold just fine, even if the action at times felt somewhat obligatory.

Same universe, supposedly same ideas, zero exploration of them.

XI was in the spirit of Star Trek the same way Taco Bell is in the spirit of Mexico.

I am so extremely excited. I haven’t been this excited for a Star Trek film since First Contact.

I think Abrams is doing a fine job (although, having said that, Patrick’s mention of Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin got my wheels turning with possibilties). The thing is, Trek movies have seldom been particularly deep – they often have important themes such as time and death in Generations or aging in Wrath of Khan, but I don’t think the grander philosophical musings of Trek have ever made it to the big screen. They probably wouldn’t play well there either.

The great, well known Trek episodes like The Inner Light, The Visitor or In The Pale Moonlight are terrific TV episodes but they are for that particular medium, I don’t think they would make great movies. That’s one of the reasons why I love the television medium, it has the space to tell those stories. Whenever Star Trek has the money and the timing, they usually do The Way of the Warrior (also a good story, mind you, but not very introspective) before they do The Inner Light.

Undiscovered Country, surprisingly, might have been the closest they got to using sci-fi to tackle topical issues in the real spirit of TOS. Anyway it’s probably better to aim somewhere between naive optimism and cynical pessimism, I think either extreme is a problem.

Yes jammer as an abram’s sceptic i don’t think that the 2009 trek was in the spirit of star trek. Star trek was mostly about ideas (moral, scientific etc) not action.

The reboot was more or less in the spirit of what Star Trek is/was IMO though I did miss a bit of the cerebral qualities of what made past stories so great. I just chalk it up to Star Trek Action AdventureTM done right as opposed to, oh I dunno, the Action Adventure Bad Guy Alien of the Week that Voyager/Enterprise did so often.

Seeing this trailer I can say that, yes, am a bit afraid that JJ Abrams is going to steer it towards a mindless spectacle but still have hopes that he won’t make it so.

I have these hopes because I do know better when it comes to Abrams and no absolutely NO he does NOT churn out Michael Bay crap. Except for Cloverfield (and even that was pretty good) none of his movies have been mindless big-action. Hell a lot of his shows are fantastic and have a lot of great storytelling and character building. Lost, Fringe, Alias, etc. all great stuff.

Though that being said, Into Darkness could unfortunately (hopefully not) be Abrams’ Michael Bay tribute.

Also of note and a response to an earlier post – tv shows and movies do need to tell their stories differently, so yes definetely agree that a movie would need to up the ante and get to the point within 2 hrs. Whereas a series can obviously stretch things out and realize a myriad of ideas.

Despite this I can assuredly say that a good percentage of us have seen mindless action series and movies. And great storytelling series and movies. And any number of combinations thereof. Collect the whole set!

Regardless of how Into Darkness turns out, we will always have the universe we know and love to play in and pass on to others.

star trek 2009 had much hate and that was not the result of it being a movie and not a tv series. Some people may not have a problem with that but hate is not star trek

Please define what you mean by “Star Trek 2009 is hate”. ‘Cause I’m not seeing it. I’m not seeing anything much different from what it portrayed and what the classic series portrayed (albeit much shinier).

Look i’m tired to discuss this movie with people who liked it.Every time i tried it it seemed that we have seen a different film. If you can not see the hate in kirks and spock’s actions in this movie then perhaps we didn’t see the same movie. Anyway and with all due respect i’m not interested any more in convincing what i call abramstrekkers.

I liked Star Trek ’09. It was by no means Classic Trek in terms of it’s plot and themes, but it did a great job rebooting the characters and their interactions. It’s a very good reboot, given the mess it could have been. The new movie looks like it’ll be a very good sequel, and likely even a very good movie period. Does that mean it’s great Star Trek? No. It does indeed seem to be paying only passing reference to Star Trek core aspects. It will probably be a good movie. It may even be a great movie. I expect I’ll enjoy it. But not as the crowned prince of Star Trek. I really do think this new reboot movie timeline will on the whole be very good, but at the same time it has me lamenting its success because that success and quality kill any chance a new tv series or movie or whatever has to be True Star Trek.

So I’m very conflicted. Star Trek is delivering quality material…. but this material alone isn’t what I want or expect from the franchise.

Now I wouldn’t call myself an “Abrams-trekker” clever term as it is. I will always refer to my love for Star Trek as a whole as pre-reboot. Especially by far DS9 though every series had its ups an downs. Movies were mostly good to great. As far as reboot goes I’m just saying they did quite well. Read comment directly above from Occuprice…pretty much hit the nail on the head for me.

I enjoyed the reboot. I am looking forward to this film. Stop worrying

I agee with my namesake above (Dan). I have every faith this will kick arse.
Who wasn’t impressed with seeing the Enterprise come out of the ocean?

The Trekkian optimism of classic Star Trek went out the window the second Vulcan blew up in the previous movie. I can’t imagine Gene Roddenberry would’ve signed off on that under his watch. That being said I enjoyed Star Trek 2009 very much, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

I watched TOS as a kid, TNG as a teenager and DS9 in my late teens/early 20s. I was never a huge fan of Kirk, I loved TNG for the characters but found the supposedly topical stuff preachy and simply not as cerebral or intellectually engaging as some Trek proponents present it to be – in TOS I usually found it silly and in TNG the execution was almost always sorely lacking (even and especially when I’d agree with the principle and the sentiment, due to the LOLallegory! treatment). My favourite Trek by far is DS9, probably the least Trek of the series, not least because it does best IMO at being smartly topical instead of just well-meaning.

For me, Abrahams’ 2009 Trek captured the excitement of what I liked best about TOS, without being as smug and smarmy about it as I always found Shatner’s Kirk to be. Yes, it’s an action adventure without any ambitions to be more, but then some of TOS was – and while TOS was a trailblazer in terms of topicality, in practice there are very few topical episodes that hold up all that well without a lot of “well, it was the ’60s” allowance or nostalgia goggles.

All these people claiming to remember TOS as a brainless action adventure…I don’t remember that at all. I remember topicality and allegory in droves from that show.

Every show and franchise has its bias if it has ideas. Just because you don’t agree with the original ideals of Star Trek doesn’t mean they’re invalid. DS9 had its own bias: that religious faith is positive trait and that idealists are ignorant. That’s fine and good, but it’s just as preachy and smarmy in its own way as TOS/TNG were in promoting Gene’s philosophy. At the very least, all the Trek series (save one) had ideas which drove the plots. This new franchise has none. It is commercial schlock. Big goopy, post-Titanic shlock. I have heard the argument that ’09 was purposefully playing it safe in order to appease the studio so that the subsequent films could explore deeper subject matter, but I have yet to see the evidence for it. I will see “Into Darkness,” but am not optimistic about it. I think redlettermedia has it right: most people are idiots and that means movie-makers have to aim for the middle, double-digit IQ, emotionally and intellectually unchallenging fluffy escapism of films very much resembling Abram’s Trek.

Is it a coincidence that most niners (although not all) liked abram’s movie while the trekkers who think THG was the best trek series disliked abram’s movie? i think not.

i meant TNG

@karatasiospa I haven’t seen the divide quite like that, at least not in these comments anyway.

Further up where I was talking about the differences between the movie and television mediums, I meant that but I was also getting at the fact that the classic movies realised this as well.

– Interestingly, TMP was quite philosophical from memory (though I haven’t seen it in a very long time).
– Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock were pure adventure I’d say. Like I mentioned above there are certainly themes of aging and moving on, or the power of friendship, but I do see them as more themes than the central conceit of the story.
– Voyage Home, with its conservation message, could be seen as philosophical…or at least it had an ideal, it was making a comment about something rather than adventure for the enjoyment of adventure…I don’t think it’s what people are talking about though. Conservation fits neatly into Trekkian ideals but I don’t think it’s exactly what people have in mind?
– Final Frontier. We never speak of this film.
– Undiscovered Country, like I was saying above, in being an allegory for the end of the Cold War initiated by the whole Praxis/Chernobyl explosion might actually hold closest to classic TOS ideals, of using sci-fi as a vehicle to tackle topical issues.

I won’t go through the TNG films or this post will get even bigger. My point is I think it’s telling that Star Trek started out on television and has to adjust its methods to make the leap to film. My point is maybe an Abrams-created TV Star Trek would have the space and time to do these sorts of stories. There’s a reason if I could write for any medium of my choosing, I’d choose television even though it’s not considered the highest of artforms (though the reputation is improving)…because I think it genuinely is a better place for telling certain stories. Six Feet Under is my favourite show of all time, I have no idea how you could make that a movie and have it have the same impact.

I think I understand what people are saying in that the 2009 movie was adventure for the sake of enjoyable adventure, it wasn’t being used as a vehicle to actually say anything about…well, anything. But, to sum up, I think all Star Trek films have suffered from this problem.


i was not speaking for the comments here, at least not only for them . It is something that i saw many times in various forums and sites.

@Elliott – I want to shake your hand.

Give Abrams credit for the creativity and lateral thinking in his movie, but the 9-minute prologue alone is enough to make me “WTF”. Kirk and McCoy wearing mere robes to infiltrate an alien society, instead of plastic surgery? The Enterprise hiding underwater instead of just staying in orbit? Obviously JJ is still throwing common-sense plotting to the wind in favor of “cool visuals”.

And I might add, JJ never showed a single sign of wanting to do otherwise, let alone being capable of it.

Hey look, everybody: It’s an apocalypse movie wrapped in the skin of science-fiction. Boy, what an original idea – I can’t wait to miss this one.

All sarcasm aside, with the possible exception of Mission Impossible 2, Abrams’ stories have no allegorical value to them whatsoever. Oh wait – I just fact-checked myself on IMDB: the MI2 story was Ron Moore. Abrams did MI3.

I rest my case. This guy has got to be the single most derivative hack in Hollywood. He’s very good at it, mind you (being derivative that is), but I prefer originality, thank you very much.

I hope this movie tanks, and that Paramount hands the franchise over to someone who knows how to provoke thought. Shoot, give it to Moore – he’s definitely earned his chops. Come to think of it, for all the people Abrams imitates (Spielberg, Emmerich, etc.), Trek 11 was pure BSG, just without the engaging storyline.

David –
Six Feet Under was AMAZING! ^.^

Anyway going back to an earlier post of mine…no Abrams is not in the business of doing pure shlock. Yes a cpl movies of his movies were shiny high adventure (most certainly not all of them) but even those had a bit of soul to them. Especially compared to mindless crap spewed out of Michael Bay on a regular basis. And most of his (Abrams’) series have been good to great with well defined characters and fantastic storylines.

Look, Star Trek to me will always be about pre-reboot era. But I see reboot as not killing old Trek with an action adventure flash in the pan trilogy but more as a different way of viewing what we grew up with and having it done (so far) quite well. Would I have rather seen Moore or Whedon at the helm? Maybe. Does it matter when it comes down to it? Not really. Just saying things could be worse…not that this is bad by any means.

At least we don’t have Uwe Boll with the torch.

Warning: beware of viral marketers trying to keep Trekkies from disrupting word of mouth for the movie’s release. I remember the resistance of BSG fans to the new BSG series and the tricks the viral marketers had to pull (especially trying to get everyone to accept Starbuck’s gender change). Ultimately, the BSG fans ended up being right as the new BSG show was a ratings disaster after the first season.

Paramount is very worried about the Trekkies ‘messing up’ the social marketing for the new film. When you go to Trek or sci-fi message boards, watch out for these marketers. I guarantee you they will be swarming around trying to diffuse any criticism or skepticism.

Anyway, the original Star Trek movies were made in the emulation of an opera (especially II and III) with IV being a comedy. Does anyone think we’re going to get an opera with this upcoming movie?

Star Trek was heavily influenced by the Horatio Hornblower novels. Enterprise is the name of the most famous naval vessel after all. I don’t expect the movie to be inspired by the Enterprise vessel or Horatio Hornblower. The teaser gives me the impression that the movie will be like a comic book with the Evil Villain and Kirk and Spock acting like Super Heroes. I’ll skip watching it.

Not sure where you got the BSG ‘ratings disaster’ thing. Seeing as the premiere was one of the highest viewed premiere episodes in SciFi Channel history and the show continued with high viewership and huge critical acclaim throughout its run.

What’s the point of preserving the “pre-reboot” era if we never see it again?

It seemed to me that the original BSG was little more than an embarrassing Star Wars ripoff which never really had much of a fan base at all. If you’re looking for an example of a “ratings disaster after one season,” BSGTOS would be a much better place to look than the reboot.

Still, I’m curious about this viral marketing conspiracy you speak of. I was shocked by how enthusiastic the general reception was to Trek 12’s utterly formulaic trailer. I’d swear I’ve seen this trailer about a billion times, and yet here’s Confused Matthew, among many others, going on and on about how excited he is by how potentially innovative this new film could be.

Maybe I just live in a cocoon or something, but I see nothing in this trailer to make me anticipate anything new about Trek 12 whatsoever. I must enjoy some kind of immunity to this virus you speak of, but I’m happy to call it a virus. It’s the only explanation I can come up with at the moment for all the rampant enthusiasm, since it can’t possibly be based on any objective assessment of the trailer itself.

Here we go again with this tired “debate” over what is and what is not Star Trek. Can we all agree that there is no universal definition? “Star Trek” for 45 years has been, in its various incarnations, a blend of action (see, e.g., Star Trek First Contact), humor (see, e.g., The Trouble With Tribbles), exploration (see, e.g., “Who Watches The Watchers) and philosophy (DS9’s “In The Pale Moonlight”). Trek has often been better at telling action stories than philosophical ones; indeed, some of the “philosophical” ones have been incredibly heavy-handed and anti-profound (“The Mark of Gideon”, “The Cloud-Minders,” yes, even “Arena”) while some of the best action Trek tales have succeeded splendidly on their own terms (I don’t remember people carping about the eighth Star Trek film for not containing enough moralistic blustering as they did for the elenventh film not containing enough of same. It is as if a secret group of fans get together before each Trek telling and collectively decide how much content of Vitamin Action, Vitamin Moralize, and Vitamin Humor the next product must contain, only to keep that list to themselves until after the telling has happened, only to THEN scold the film or television-makers for not providing them with the proper mixture). Enough already! The latest “James Bond” movie shows how pernicious this tired exercise in accounting has become. Was “Skyfall” the best “James Bond” movie? What does that mean? For those who say “no,” was it insufficiently sexist, insufficiently equipped with bad puns, or insufficienctly equipped with ridiculous gadgets introduced never to be employed against villains intent on carrying out prepsterously megalomaniacal schemes? One person’s “For Your Eyes Only” minimalism is another’s “Spy Who Loved Me” extravaganza, and there is nothing wrong with preferring one or the other, as both contain elements of what people traditionally have gone to see Bond movies for. The indictment against “Skyfall” is almost the reverse kind of squealing we are hearing about this latest Trek movie being allegedly deficient for not having enough philosophical posturing: Sykfall tried to be an emotionally resonant movie with a theme (how far should we go in the name of security) that is relevant and topical. Some people have decreed that because it attempted to do that is not a James Bond movie. This is written where, exactly? Maybe Skyfall wasn’t the best Bond movie, but to anatomize what constitutes what makes a good Bond movie one would have to take such an unimaginative and pedestrian approach (how many stars out of 5 do I give the Bond girl? The title sequence? The villain? The villain’s henchman?) as to turn an exercise in reviewing into filling in a checklist. Skyfall may not have been great “Bond” but it was a great movie. Would people who post on this site rather see a “great Star Trek” movie (one where you can give a 5 of 5 for Kirk’s speechifying, 5 of 5 for how well McCoy’s skepticism bounced off Spock’s logic, 2 for 5 for how thoroughly a society was explored – did we forget to survey a forest???) or a great movie that simply captures some of what has historically made Trek entertaining for these people to watch? I know which I’d rather see.

Please, for those of you who believe there is a definition of what Star Trek does or should feel like, I would like to hear it. I would like to see proof that Star Trek IS about moral, scientific or philosophical ideas rather than about entertainment that contains those components. I will then show you how the movies or episodes you recite as part of your definition fail your own definitional test – at least, that is, if you believe at least a shred of that definition should include the notion of “entertainment value”.

P.S. One poster has said, “If you took JJ Abrams name off the directing credits and replaced it with Michael Bay, could you tell the difference?” With all due respect to that person, I believe the answer is, um, yes… And by the way, even Michael Bay made some movies that had some decent entertainment value (The Rock, the first “Transformers”. Perhaps those were supposed to be cerebral as well, especially the first one, because, after all, there was so much of “The Rock” backhistory to mull over in deciding what “The Rock” really historically had been about, that it should have been OBVIOUS that “Rockdom” was or was not about philosophy as opposed to action).

David –

You said, re: the last Star Trek movie, “It wasn’t being used as a vehicle to actually say anything about…well, anything. But, to sum up, I think all Star Trek films have suffered from this problem.” I don’t agree. I think Star Trek Insurrection had something to say about… least one thing. But I didn’t suffer from its not having had anything to say. I suffered from having to sit through it

@Dan L

JJ Abrams is indeed probably better than Michael Bay (I can’t say for certain since I’ve never seen a Michael Bay film), but if such is the case, he is only better than Bay in the same way that Adam Sandler is better than Rob Schneider. Surely we could do better than that…

All I ask rom my Trek is that it give me something to think about. Insurrection was bad, but at least it tried. Trek 11 was a great piece of filmmaking in many ways, but it was a total brain-suck; I could actually feel my brain cells dying while I was watching it.

I don’t like walking out of a film feeling stupider than when I went in, thank you very much.

Despite Dan L.’s incoherent ramblings…oh wait. My bad. Actually your post was well said. I gives it 4 turtles out of 4.

Turtle love for everyone!

Bit of a sidenote…was just thinking that maybe Abrams for Star Trek is lesser than Star Trek for Abrams. If you think about it, he has a love for time manipulation and alternate universe stories. Star Trek is a perfect medium for that. He just may not be perfect for Trek. But definetely not bad.

Just a thought. (:

the point of preserving the pre-reboot era is that paramount and cbs can make more money out of it.

@Dan L. – Here’s your proof: a list of the most memorable, enduring, and frequently cited episodes in any “Top Ten Trek Episodes” list, along with a few other personal favorites of mine:

1. “The City on the Edge of Forever”, TOS: During a mission to reverse damage to the past that has erased Starfleet from existence, Captain Kirk falls in love with a woman from 1930’s Earth who is destined to die in the original timeline. Presented with information that this woman, a peace advocate, may be responsible for keeping the United States out of WWII and allowing the world’s takeover by Nazi Germany, Kirk is faced with an agonizing choice: save the woman he loves, or preserve the galaxy he knows.

2. “The Best of Both Worlds”, TNG: Riker finds himself in a midlife crisis, waffling over the prospect of stepping out on his own and becoming captain of another ship. He suddenly finds himself yanked out of his comfortable trappings and taking over the Enterprise when Picard is kidnapped and assimilated by the Borg, who use his knowledge of Starfleet tactics and technology against Riker and force him to reinvent himself and his strategies.

3. “The Visitor”, DS9: Jake Sisko’s father is killed in an accident, and Jake has trouble letting go of his father emotionally. He finds this occuring literally when, just as he’s preparing to move on, his father reappears next to him and continues to do so sporadically every few years. Jake realizes that his father isn’t dead but trapped in subspace, connected to Jake through the accident and being dragged through time by him. Jake starts sacrificing his career, marriage, and health in an attempt to bring his father back, caught between his own sense of loss and his father’s desire to see Jake move on and have his own life.

4. “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, TNG: A starship from the past, also named Enterprise, appears out of nowhere in the present time and triggers an alternate universe where the Federation is losing a war to the Klingons. The older Enterprise was supposed to be destroyed in combat 22 years earlier in defense of a Klingon outpost, impressing the Klingons into making peace with the humans. Our heroes are faced with a staggering choice: face a losing war, or send the older ship back into the past to its certain death in the name of averting the war and restoring the natural flow of time.

5. “The Measure of a Man”, TNG: Data, the android crew member, is ordered to submit to disassembly and study by a Starfleet cyberneticist. His crew comes to his defense, starting a legal battle over Data’s individual rights and the definition of life and self-awareness.

6. “The Inner Light”, TNG: Picard is rendered unconscious by an alien probe and awakens on a strange planet with a wife, children, and the quiet life of a scientist. Unable to awaken on the Enterprise, he goes along with his new life and starts enjoying all the things he secretly desired but could not experience on the Enterprise. As his new planet starts heating up and dying, he realizes that he’s actually reliving the experiences of a long-dead civilization, who are preserving the memories of their people by transplanting them into Picard.

7. “Projections”, Voyager: The holographic, computer-controlled Doctor suddenly finds himself with a heartbeat, pulse, and experiencing pain while everyone else around him seems to have transformed into holograms. The bizarre twist of reality leads to a mysterious confrontation that suggests he is actually a real person and that his memories of a holographic existence are faulty. He is challenged to deactivate the malfunctioning holodeck that he is supposedly on, appealing to his secret desire to BE a real person freed from the confines of holographic life.

8. “Hard Time”, DS9: O’Brien is wrongfully charged with espionage by an alien government and forced to submit to an artificial memory implant that makes him believe he’s spent 20 years in prison. He awakens after just a few hours of therapy and returns to rebuild a life and family on the station that feels like he hasn’t experienced in an eternity.

Only two of those episodes had any action to them, and that action would be considered stilted, talky, and boring by today’s standards. Yet the top six episodes, despite having nothing to them in the way of action, have far more substance, emotional resonance, “what-would-you-do” fascination, and staying power in the collective consciousness than anything Abrams has made so far. That, not “The Cloud Minders”, is proof of what’s good television in my view.

My problem with AbramsTrek isn’t that it doesn’t meet some prescripted proportion of thought and philosophy. My problem with AbramsTrek is that it has none at all.

you could also add Darmok, Children of time, Tuvix and many others

I’ve already addressed the BSG: B&C question: Probably will write something; not sure when or how much.

Isn’t it a little early to write off Abrams Trek based on one movie? And while Abrams did not run “Lost” or “Fringe” for long after they launched, don’t you think his involvement in those shows (which have character development as well as a philosophical point of view) is worth something?

It’s NEVER too early to write off JJ Abrams, and it’s never too late either, by the way. Lost and Fringe are perfect examples of why we should do so. Both of those shows eventually choked on their own sloppiness, and in my view, they were doomed to do so from the very beginning. Abrams is the ultimate “find them, feel them, frak them, forget them” filmmaker. Like a 21st century Casanova, he draws us in with stunning visuals and promises of fantastic story development, and when it comes time to deliver on those promises, he skips town, leaving us to raise the kid on our own while he devises his next scheme. I just don’t trust this guy anymore.

I hope I’m wrong about Trek 12, by the way. But if I am, I’m happy to run the risk of missing opening weekend and suffer the disgrace of not having been there when it all happened.

“Lost” and “Fringe” hint to me that Abrams might be capable of far better work in a televised version of Trek, yes.

BUT – and you yourself have expressed this in previous writings, Jammer – “Lost” wasn’t really an exploration of philosophical themes. It bore a promising Lord of the Flies element in the first season, but after that it degenerated into a collection of unconnected quasi-philosophical mini-puzzles and unresolved mystery plot threads that teased significance and then evaporated.

Credit Abrams and Lindelof (“Prometheus” suggests it was more Lindelof) for realizing that Google was a terrific ready-made Trivial Pursuit game just waiting to be harnessed to keep viewers hooked; great commercial move. But when it comes to real themes or imagination, it was all mostly borrowed and never led anywhere. That’s Lindelof’s reputation now, and Abrams has kinda gotten lumped into the same “unoriginal” category. He seems better suited to character development than allegory or imagination.

@karatasiospa – For the record, I’m a ‘DS9er’ and I didn’t particularly like Trek 2009.

Re – Optimism in TOS: I think the only thing that was particularly optimistic about TOS was the basic premise.

@John the younger
i said MOST NOT ALL.


i quote @Brandon because i totally agree with him:
““Lost” wasn’t really an exploration of philosophical themes. It bore a promising Lord of the Flies element in the first season, but after that it degenerated into a collection of unconnected quasi-philosophical mini-puzzles and unresolved mystery plot threads that teased significance and then evaporated.”
There were no philosophical, moral or whatever themes in lost even less in Fringe. There were both incoherent and some times even nonsense stories (with the exception of Lost’s 1st season perhaps). In the case of Lost mixed with a little religiosity and an abundance of fantasy (fantasy not science fiction) cliches.

But it is true that both series were very good at character development and in Lost they were successful on creating a feeling of suspense. So if you want a star trek which will have only character development and perhaps a feeling of suspense then perhaps Abrams is the right man for you.

@John the younger
which TOS episodes were not optimist? And since star trek is not only TOS Thereis also TNG which was definitely optimist. The same is true for voyager, Even DS9 was not pessimist in the end although it was darker.

Fringe actually struck me as good sci-fi, though still stuck in Abrams’ fascination with alternate universes.

Fringe for me is just gimmicks. They are just inventing new tricks every time they don’t know what to do with the story. The problem with time travel and parallel universes is that they can be easily used either for great stories or as gimmicks


I will grant that most TOS episodes have ‘happy endings’. But a lot of them aren’t what I’d call upbeat and optimistic. Eg. Arguably the best episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

I remember watching it as a kid and thinking it was kinda weird and spooky.

@John the younger
optimism doesn’t mean that everything will bee happy and easy, Optimism means that things (human society for example) will become better but not neccesarily without some sacrifices, In the episode you mentioned kirk had to make a sacrifice so the “good” version of the future will continue to exist.

I dunno, I think that kinda backs up my point.

Either way, we can both agree that with Abrams at the helm, neither of us are expecting a masterpiece; whether it follows Trekkian lore (whatever that is) or not.

@John the younger

Perhaps you could explain what you mean with the term “optimistic”?

JJ is just directing. Kurtzman and Orci (one of which, can’t remember who is a massive Trek fan) are writing them as the 2009 film.
You can blame JJ for the lens flare and direction but if the story is not Trek then blame the writers.

Stange no one had a problem doing that with B&B during Enterprise.

While the 2009 Star Trek was a fun action romp and well made, it wasn’t Star Trek. There was no meaning, no exploration of a philosophical message. At least Nemesis had an interesting philosophical idea.

I’d like to see somebody closer to TNG or DS9 write a script and have JJ Abrams execute it. Imagine if a movie like Nemesis had been done well!

Star Trek 2009 injected a much-needed dose of fun and adventure into the movie franchise, following the previous two Trek films which were stale and unexciting. The reboot was clearly an attempt to broaden Trek’s appeal to the masses – it had action, humour, inter-personal conflict and cool cinematography, while still having nods to continuity to keep the core fans happy. I think a movie has to try and appeal to a wider audience, compared to a TV show which only has to keep the steady number of niche fans engaged in order to survive.

I think The Undiscovered Country and First Contact are the only Trek films which truly try to convey that positive message that Trek is so often characterised by. To be fair, that message was really expanded upon and reinforced in TNG. Yes, TOS had its share of allegory and idealism (not least in the casting), but it certainly had a more cavalier and Wild West approach to situations. It was also significantly focused on Kirk and Spock. It’s not surprising that the rebooted franchise, which is based on TOS, has adopted a similar attitude so far.

Appeal to a wider audience all you like. I don’t even mind if you forget the much-ballyhooed message (well, yes I do, but I won’t lambast for it). I just want some depth to Trek. Resonance, imagination, truth, something.

The Trek movies may not have been all about the “Roddenberry message”, and they may have had varied degrees of success in conveying their ideas, but at least they were about something. Friendship and loyalty for II and III, time and regrets in VII, a massively macrocosm’d metaphor of the classic intellect/emotion debate in I, integrity and conscience in XI, identity and destiny in X. They tried to carry an idea that drove the plot. XI? Takes perfunctory stabs at – I dunno, what was it about? Daddy issues? – before rushing on to the next explosion/plot shoehorning.

I would rather watch any of the first ten Trek movies than Abrams’ vapid fan service. Yes, even V. I’m not even exaggering for the sake of my point. At least V had a couple of fleeting moments that made me ponder.

“Integrity and conscience in IX” is what I meant to type.

I think JJ Abrams is a creative guy. But I get the feeling he was the kind of guy who used to take his GI Joes apart and reassemble them after mixing all the peices.

Everytime he plays with someone else’s toys he changes them around a lot, and I think Star Trek is no exception. I thought his first ST movie was amazingly cast, but it did not have the heart of ST. They did not boldly go where no one has gone before. They did not explore the human condition.

I’ll see the new trek, but probably not until DVD, unless I hear some great things from the hard core nerds.

Disney just hired Abrams to direct Star Wars 7.


Oh well, give him credit for knowing how to navigate Hollywood, at least.

Abrams is a far better fit for Star Wars. He actually might do very well there.

The new Trek certainly does not feel like old trek. I will miss the old Trek style and hopefully we’ll see its return someday. That said, I’ll watch the new Trek movie and I know I’ll enjoy it.

Based on this, I’d say people are getting a little crazy over this movie already

I’ll probably see the new movie, under the old adage “the proof in the pudding is the eating”.

Wow, almost 3 months since the last blog post.

Is Jammer even alive at this point?? O____O

Jammer is alive, but has had some things going on which I will elaborate on in this space shortly. Also, I have the last new reviews on the way for the end of TNG’s seventh season. Several of them are already written. Stay tuned.

Shock! =D

Glad to hear from you, I feel like asking if something bad happened, but I’ll just wait for the blogposts, then.

It just felt like a bad omen you’d disappear so close to finish not just all TNG reviews, but also the totality of every single episode of Star Trek released so far.

I’ll stay tuned, anyway. 🙂


Glad to know you’re still around. I found it odd that you stopped with only 6 more episodes of TNG to go. I know the seventh season isn’t as good as the prior seasons (I still liked it) but there are some great episodes still to be reviewed like Pre-emptive Strike and of course All Good Things…

Looking forward to the end of your TNG run, but it will be bittersweet. With TNG coming to an end, this whole review site might have just ran it’s course. Yeah you might pick up another series to review (Or the animated series and attach to your “Star Trek” reviews, but the whole review thing will pretty much be done. 13 years coming to this site (I’ve been here since I think the end of Voyager) and no more reviews to look forward to. That’s sad. 🙁

Nothing bad has happened to me. On the contrary, all is very well. It has just sort of been a scheduling issue for the past couple months. I’ll give more details when I get a chance to do a proper blog post, which should be pretty soon, actually. And like I said, I’m THIS close to having those last six TNG reviews done.

My word, some people here really have it in for JJ Abrams. I was no fan of Lost or any of his other work, but as a fan of TNG, DS9 and some of Voyager (plus bits of TOS that I’ve seen and most of the movies), I thought ST ’09 was pretty good. Yes, it had a lot more action in it than TOS. So did The Wrath of Khan and First Contact, as well as Insurrection and Nemesis. I’m not sure I see the point. Likewise, the lack of any kind of theme is being picked up on as a weakness, whereas I can think of a few off the top of my head – the importance of individual choice in shaping one’s destiny (Spock choosing to go to Starfleet, Kirk choosing to kick himself out of petty offending), a person’s actions having sometimes profound consequences (Spock’s failure to reach Romulus in time setting events in motion) and perhaps even the theme of new beginnings (Kirk leaving his past behind, McCoy leaving his divorce behind and perhaps even the whole reboot). Granted, they’re not spelled out in pontificate-like fashion and they do at times take a firm back seat to the special effects – but that doesn’t mean it’s a brainless merry-go-round. I hate films like that. I’m in agreement with Jammer – before denouncing him as the worst think in Trek history, let’s see what he comes up with this time around.

No mention here yet of “Super 8.” That was J.J. Abrams channeling Steven Spielberg all the way, but it’s a very nice sci-fi adventure yarn that, like vintage Spielberg, saw the world through the eyes of 12-year-olds and had tragic, substantive underpinnings and some tough emotional situations that made the kids real characters and not just placeholders for a brainless summer action movie.

I myself do not buy into all the Abrams hate. In today’s Hollywood, Trek frankly could use a high-profile director to go along with its profile and pedigree. I don’t think Trek 2009 was the best ever, but given the need to balance characters and Trekkian substance with the lowest common denominator expected of today’s summer blockbuster, you could do far, far worse. If you think Abrams is half as soulless as someone like Michael Bay, you haven’t been paying attention.

jammer will you be interested in Defiance?

I must confess to have never heard of Defiance until this very moment. I just Googled it. No, I won’t be watching it.

The problem with this Trek movie -based on the trailer at least- is that Trek used to be about exploring the universe, seeing what’s out there, and finding adventures somewhat by accident along the way. The ideal of exploration in spite of danger and risk. This new movie is not about that. It’s about the Earth, not the universe, and heck, just about San Francisco from the look of it. It’s not a movie about the exploration of anything except how afraid people can be. In other words, it’s just like modern terrorism themes except wrapped in a Star Trek wrapper. It’s a movie designed to make you look at tall buildings and worry that someone might bomb them, instead of a movie that makes you look at the stars and wonder.

This is a terribly sad sort of movie to make. It’s not about hope and potential and the maybe of the future. It’s about how you can never escape dying at the hands of a terrorist -and I for one am sick of that crap. There is more to life that inspiring fear and more to life than allowing yourself to BE afraid, and that’s all this movie is about. Fear.

Churchill was right about fear, you know. If we ever actually want to inherit the stars, we are going to have to get the hell over our fears and over making stuff like this.

The other reason to doubt this movie is just by looking at who wrote it. The same idiot who wrecked Prometheus and turned what might have been a decent film into junk. Pretty, but junk.

You guys do remember that Gene Roddenberry in addition to creating Star Trek and inspired Andromeda, helped create “V” and directly influences “Earth Final Conflict”. Despite idealism that the 60’s Star Trek was known for, he went dark in later years, long before most of America even thought about the ramifications of terrorism.

Before people start reciting Trekkian values and themes, let’s not forget that Gene was extremely dark on the concept of humanity. V and EFC were both basically based around extremists humans, who were armed to the teeth and could be considered terrorist to the authorities of their universe. Sure the aliens wanted to invade, but they used coercion and humanity itself for a powerbase.

The missing part to the Star Trek formula is in the darker exploration of human issues, something that is not blindly idealistic. Abrams at least is trying to explore the thread that Gene did in his later life, so why shouldn’t we as Trekkies embrace it as well?

Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if
you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble
finding one? Thanks a lot!

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