So, JJ Abrams has made the film of the year. Oh yes, he has...
The cast have signed on for two more and original writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and co-producer Damon Lindelof are working on the story for the first - with a 2011 release planned to chime with the show’s 45th anniversary.
Orci has promised the second Trek will “deal with modern issues” and Abrams himself has stressed the need to drill deeper into ground barely skimmed by the first movie.
Depressingly, top of Abrams’ checklist appears to be ‘Hire A Big Lorry, Fill It With Money And Dump It On William Shatner’s Porch.’
(“The fun is that the destiny of the characters isn’t constrained by pre-existing films or TV series. Whether it’s Shatner or Khan, it would be ridiculous to not be open to those ideas.”)
That’s Khan - the late Ricardo Montalban’s genetically engineered, Nietzschien ubervillain, last seen forcing Spock to sacrifice himself for the good of the Enterprise in the second-best Star Trek film, 1982’s The Wrath Of Khan.
Today, what would Star Trek 2 have to draw on? At the edge of a new decade, world affairs feel stuck in a wait-and-see holding pattern: post-Bush, pre-Obama (jury still out), with the key powers too focused on paying the bills to engage in anything conveniently cinematic.
How about a big, bold bad guy - a sly nod to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad - who plans to use secretly acquired weapons to hold the world to ransom? Already covered in the first movie.
A newly assertive Russia doubling for the warlike, adventurist Klingons? Even that’s off now - with Obama’s recent nixing of European Missile Defence.
The steady drawing back from Iraq and Afghanistan as the basis for a barnstorming storyline set on a stricken planet, overrun by civil war, whose leaders beg the visiting Enterprise crew to stick around and call in Federation reinforcements? Too dry.
Abrams now has the opportunity to do for sci-fi what Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight did for comic-books: subvert genre prejudice by taking a well received redux deeper and darker. More adult, less adolescent.
And definitely no Tribbles.
What are you hoping to see from Star Trek 2? Would you be happy with a checklist of series regulars or must JJ try harder? Or maybe you hated his version anyway...
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