Thursday, May 21, 2009

Star Trek: Three out of five ain't bad

From Ward Sutton's Village Voice cartoon about Star Trek.
Throughout this year, I'm posting older material--like non-Blogspot posts from a few years ago, unpublished writing I've kept buried in my computer and transcripts of interviews from A Fistful of Soundtracks' terrestrial radio years.

In the summer of 2007, Cinematical was looking for some new bloggers. One of the posts I submitted to them was a list of things I hoped to see in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek film. Cinematical didn't hire me, and I never posted that Trek wish list--until now.

From 2007, here are "Five things that ought to be in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek flick." It's amusing to see which wishes came true (#4, #5 and #1--I was surprised by how well the movie pulled off #1) and which ones didn't (#2 and #3). I'm posting this never-before-published article word-for-word and without any revisions or changes.


The advance one-sheet that gave Trekkies a nerdgasm in 2007.
Batman Begins brought new life to a moribund movie series, as did Casino Royale. Will J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot do the same for a franchise that's been marred by illogical big-screen installments (any Next Generation flick except First Contact) and bland spinoffs (Enterprise)? As we await the Christmas 2008 release date, here's a wish list of things I'd like to see in Abrams' Trek.

1. Uniforms that actually look like uniforms. The Starfleet shirts that William Ware Theiss designed for the male officers on the original series always bugged me because they don't look like uniforms made for a futuristic space Navy. They look more like softball ringer tees. I keep expecting to see Spock run out a bunt.

The advance one-sheet hints that Abrams is retaining the gold/blue/red color scheme of the old uniforms. The Dick Tracy-colored shirts would look better if they were worn under a badass single-breasted jacket, like costumer Robert Fletcher's more cinematic-looking (and fat-friendly) Wrath of Khan uniforms.

As for the sexy miniskirts Theiss created for the female officers, I've always been a leg man, so those can stay.

2. No time travel. Trek's most overused plot gimmick doesn't need another rehashing.

3. Exploration of strange new worlds. When was the last time anybody did some exploring in these movies? Well, First Contact showed the Vulcans discovering Earth, and...that's about it.

4. Genuine chemistry between the new Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Who cares how the Enterprise's nacelles will look, fanboys? I'm more concerned about whether or not Zachary "Sylar" Quinto--the new Spock--and his two not-yet-cast co-stars will be able to sell the friendship between these characters like William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley did.

5. A great balance of action, science and character development. If the film is all action, you wind up with something like Nemesis, which tried to recapture the excitement of the starship battles in Nicholas Meyer's Trek installments but had none of the tension and wit Meyer brought to those sequences. Too much science and Treknobabble and the film turns into the tedious Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment