idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Star Trek had been crap for a really, really long time. The reboot is an actual attempt to cut out the aspects of the series that were consistently destroying it from within. Sure, most of these features were ones that had been a staple of the series since the 60s. But that's the point. They had been staples of the series since the 60s.
I'm curious what aspects you're referring to. While some of the original series was certainly aged, they'd done a pretty good job bringing the universe up to modern times with TNG and the accompanying series.
For the most part, the movie did a great job of paying homage to the aspects of ST that it was leaving behind. Remove the action from the movie, and you still get a deeply political film about cultural clashes, the effect of power, and what personhood means.
You and I were watching different films then. To me, it was more about bringing it to an audience with a short attention span, easily distracted into thinking that overdoing character traits is good, and no real care about anything resembling a decent plot or story.
And the action was actually handled extremely well. Nearly every bit of "action" in the movie actually had specific purpose, and was scaled to the actual level of intensity for the situation. The one exception I can think of is the chase scene on Delta Vega... which was put in as an homage to the campy style of the original series.
You're kidding, right? The film was full of "action for actions sake". Far far more than any of the previous films. What was missing was any sense of people making intelligent decisions, replaced with "charge into action, do stupid things which should kill us, but because we have plot armor, we don't". The entire drop onto the drill platform thing was not only unnecessary, it was actually stupid from a plot point of view, highlighted later when instead of doing something like that, they simply shot the damn chain. The film was chock full of really really poorly placed action choices IMO. Placed there, I'm sure, with the assumption that most moviegoers wouldn't stop and ask "Hey. Why'd they do that instead of <much smarter choice>?".
And let's just go ahead and remember that this gives them the perfect opportunity to rectify the absurd retconning of scientific concepts within the ST universe. Warp and time travel, in general, being big ones. The inconsistency with the Romulan Empire being another. I could keep going, but I want.
And you think this film did that? A film that included time travel, incredibly variable warp travel times (far worse than any previous), transporting across light years onto a ship traveling at warp, and a complete fail when it comes to grasping basic physical facts about the universe (which don't change just because you rebooted the series btw). Oh. And they did it with a character that is representative of one of the worse "where the hell did that come from" aspects of their treatment of the aforementioned Romulan Empire. The whole subspecies that no one had heard of before introduced in ST:Nemesis was a stupid idea and frankly was so poorly received (in addition to numerous other problems with that film) that it's what killed the series off. So they decided to make one of those Romulans the lead villain in the reboot? Why? Oh dear God, why?
It's like they brought with them all the worst
problems from the original, and then added in some more really poor things to boot.
Star Trek's biggest problem, as a series at least, has consistently been failing to pay due diligence to its own story.
So the solution is to not even bother to try to write a good story? I guess that does solve the problem, but not very well.
That said, I actually DO mean if they manage this properly. There's plenty of potential for them to seriously mess this up. Getting too close to the typical ST tropes, or getting too far from them, will destroy the reboot if done this early.
Honestly? If they can stay away from the "villain of the week" mentality, and instead focus on building a consistent and well defined universe, they'll do alright. Problem is that they chucked those parts of it out (that was honestly the one big strong point the original ST had IMO), and went with something new. Which gives them the opportunity to re-write things a bit, but they need to be really careful or they'll run afoul of exactly what killed the franchise the first time around. Instead of coming up with good stories to tell within the existing framework, they got lazy and just started trying to introduce "new things". Voyager worked (sorta) because they were traveling somewhere far away. You could introduce totally new races and whatnot without causing problems. But then they did Enterprise, and I think they wanted to do the same thing, but realized that in a prequel they were still bound by the stories that would happen later on. So they did something stupid, and instead of writing what the fans wanted (stories about the formation of the relationships between all the races and people we knew), they decided to send them off "somewhere else" (that had never been mentioned or heard of before) to fight bad guys. That killed the series. Sadly, the last season was fantastic because they finally did what the fans had been waiting for. But it was too late and the series was already slated for cancellation.
The films made the same stupid mistake with the whole "new race of Romulans" thing. Totally unnecessary. Fans wanted to see things that fit into the world, not see the existing world ignored so that some writer could place his stamp on it. Yet time and again, the folks running the franchise kept insisting on introducing "something new" and in ways that increasingly stretched believability. You can tell a good story without having to make something brand new every damn time. The best ST films did this if you stop and think about it. ST2 brought back Khan. ST4 had time travel (always good). ST6 had Klingons. ST8 had the Borg. What did the ones in between have? ST:tmp had vger (something "new", even though it was retelling of an old story). ST3 honestly just sucked for a variety of reasons. ST5 introduced "God" (and a magical barrier around the center of the galaxy, which they could get to in a few hours, and which had never been mentioned before). ST7 had plot holes the size of planets (and introduced the "nexus"). ST9 introduced a couple new species and some planet with magical abilities or something. ST10 did the whole stupid Romulans existing for no reason other than some writer wanted Romulans to be like Klingons and wedged it into the world (again for no reason at all) See the pattern? When they go off the "write a good story within existing world" template, things go poorly. Doubly so when they insist on jamming something "new" into the world in a way that quite obviously doesn't fit.
What they can do with this is explore new relationships and decisions forming over time as a result of the changes they've introduced. What they can't do: Invent new races. Completely change races. Invent new tech. Completely change tech. Change the past prior to the point it's supposed to have changed. I could probably list a lot more, but I expect them to violate some or all of them, if for no other reason that they already started off doing that.
If their intent was to clean things up, they started off really really poorly. The world they've made is far more messed up and we only have one film so far. I don't expect it'll get better. In fact, I fully expect they'll just ignore consistency and focus on action and drama and hope no one notices. But who knows? I might be surprised. Hell. I'd love to be surprised. But if the first film is any indication, they're going to just keep piling more inconsistency and write increasingly less believable stories, not because that's what they planned going into it, but because that's what the film media tends to push franchises into. I'd love to be wrong, but I don't think I will be.