What Do We Mean When We say New Trek Isn't Really Star Trek?

Gordian Knot

Being deviant IS my art.
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
506
One of the major criticisms of the first reboot (and this new movie as well) was that, whether you liked it or hated it, a fair criticism was that it just wasn't Star Trek. I agree with that assessment, but when I ask myself "What do I mean by that?" I'm having a tough time coming up with a concrete explanation.

I do have some thoughts but before I go into those, I would be interested in other's opinions.

Why isn't Abrams Star Trek - Star Trek. Or do you think the New Trek is Star Trek. And if so, why?
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
23,118
Location
Highlands
Well, I think a key problem is that there's no continuity at any level.

The events that occur completely contradict storylines in the TV series.

And there's almost no connect between the technology used in the original series and that used in the films.

The names are the same, everything else seems ... different.
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
7,307
Location
Scotland
Well, I think a key problem is that there's no continuity at any level.

The events that occur completely contradict storylines in the TV series.

And there's almost no connect between the technology used in the original series and that used in the films.

The names are the same, everything else seems ... different.
But should we really be surprised? The whole point about the first film was to create a plausible reboot. What we are seeing now is a kind of parallel universe Star Trek and not the Trek we saw on TV.

As for Star Trek not being Star Trek...well the same could be said between the original and TNG. How many times did Picard get his shirt ripped battling aliens? How many times was he asked the question What is kiss Earthman? Where did the Klingons get their crinkly forehead?

I'm not a big fan of reboots (or even remakes) of pieces of work that have become iconic. And I would argue that Star Trek has reached that status. However, in this instance, I think they've done a pretty decent job.
 

PTeppic

Reetou Diplomatic Corp
Joined
May 31, 2001
Messages
3,337
I'm pretty sure the non-crinkly Klingons were "successfully" ret-conned in the Tribble episode of VOY. As for reboots, I agree, I thought the first one did a pretty fair job of "justifying" the completely different timeline/universe.
 

Dave

Custom title not found
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
18,885
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
Where to start?

It is a re-imaging of something that doesn't require it. I'd still rather watch the TV series.

They are actors imitating the roles of previous actors. They are not re-interpreting the characters and so it is a pastiche.

And the reason is simply that JJ Abrams never watched Star Trek. He admits that he never got it. He doesn't understand it. He was never a fan.

So, no stories that are too cerebral, no morality tales about what it is to be human, or dilemmas over the Prime Directive, or explorations of Roddenberry's future where everyone is an atheist and better for it, and science and technology usually win out unless it is an evil computer controlling society.

Instead, we get catchphrases, nonsensical science, nods and winks to a Canon that he doesn't even know. It is, like many recent films, full of action packed scenes with little plot, but grand space battles and shoot-them-ups. Its Star Trek, but not as I know it!
 

Gordian Knot

Being deviant IS my art.
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
506
Gotta agree with Fox on this one, Brian. It was made very plain in the 2009 reboot that we were in an alternate timeline and it was done on purpose so they did not have to be concerned with any original Trek story lines.

As for the Klingons and their wrinkly foreheads, this was beautifully and I thought very successfully explained in the fourth season of Enterprise.

But getting back to the main point. For me the difference is this - the original series was about ideas wrapped in an action package. Abrams Star Trek is about action wrapped in an action package. That is the closest I can come to answering my own question.
 

Gary Compton

I miss you, wor kid.
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
3,247
Who cares? They were both good films IMO! :)

My suspension of disbelief is in a box under the stairs, Overtinking things GN in my humble opinion.:D
 

alchemist

Be pure. Be vigilant. Beware.
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
4,063
Location
Ireland
Everything Dave says is true!

We're missing exploration, of space and the human condition. It's still entertaining but it might as well be a loosely-SF version of 24.
 

steve12553

The Enigma of Steel
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
1,292
Location
Moved my books to the deep south. I have a loft/li
I'm on the fence on this one. Kirk and Spock are in their eighties. McCoy and Scottie are dead. There is no more original Trek. Start over from the beginning. What a great idea. All new stories. Different outcomes. Wonderful.
My only problem is the fascination of modern directors with special effects. So many effects that at times I lost track of what was going on. No subtlety, no nuances. Just hit you in the face with so much you'll never know what's going on half the time. I enjoyed the new one only because of the old Klingon Proverb: Star Trek is like pizza, when it's very good, When it's bad, it's still pretty good.
 

Huttman

only differs in your mind
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
522
Location
Phoenix. Or is this Tatooine?
I was going to write an answer but Dave beat me to it....except for one thing. Where did you get in Star Trek that everyone was Atheists? There are several original episodes that have heavy Christian influences in them. Even Roddenberry, who was raised a southern baptist until he had enough of their...zeal, later declared himself agnostic (believing there is no evidence either way). Most of the quotes from the man seem to show his disdain for much of religions effects, which have not been good.

So I get the feeling he was not completely opposed to, just had not found a suitable answer. That is my impression, but the fact remains he did include elements in TOS, at least.

As for the reboots, I will chime in and say I wonder if any enjoyability I get for these films is based on the nostalgia for the originals. These movies seem lacking in the heart department, although the scenes in the (2009) film with young Spock were done well. Then they blow up the planet (and then don't find a way to fix it!).
 

PTeppic

Reetou Diplomatic Corp
Joined
May 31, 2001
Messages
3,337
So, no stories that are too cerebral, no morality tales about what it is to be human, or dilemmas over the Prime Directive, or explorations of Roddenberry's future where everyone is an atheist and better for it, and science and technology usually win out unless it is an evil computer controlling society.
The entire pre-titles of ID relates to the Prime Directive. I also misread the above, and was about to add that the reboot and ID were all just setting up the fabled "Its 5 year mission, to go boldly..." (and grammatically) which can now begin in earnest in the next (if commissioned) movie...
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
7,307
Location
Scotland
I think it's always worth remembering the reboots/remakes are normally an attempt to engage a new generation of viewers in an old idea. The fact (and I agree) that this reboot is less cerebral and successful says more about us as a viewing public than anything else.
 

clovis-man

Prehistoric Irish Cynic
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
2,406
An old fart's take:

I watched Star Trek TOS when it was new and I was a college student. I have to admit to being imprinted at that time and consequently, extreme changes in the scenario can be difficult for me.

However, that being said, I see the "reboot" as a good way to get the movie episodes going again. No worries about getting into situations that don't mesh with "film history". But, taking the current flick into account: (spoilers)

I see it as just plain wrong to do away with Christopher Pike. Too much of ST history is invested in his character. So you make up for it with a British Carol Marcus (with an American Admiral Robocop for a father) and a British Khan?? Sorry. Just simply lazy. And revisiting The Wrath of Khan with almost verbatim quotes from the old film doesn't show much originality either. So I guess I'm being critical of poor use of the reboot opportunities.

Rant over. Now back to your originally scheduled program.
 

JNorris

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
15
You know what would be the perfect story to do for the next movie, and would completely knock all this into unexplored territory?

If they adapted "The Menagerie" into a modern screenplay. :)
 

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
21,192
Location
England
Where did the Klingons get their crinkly forehead?
It's a very long since I watched the film, so I may be wrong, but didn't they first appear that way in Star Trek: The Motion Picture?
 
Top