Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Revolution

Except for George Takei (who in fine Takei fashion wonders where Sulu is in this story), no one from Star Trek’s past has yet been quoted responding to this announcement. Nor have any of the new team commented on their plans (and are unlikely to, until after MI3 opens.)

But the first statement or press conference or interview from J.J. Abrams will tell a lot. Will he do or say anything that creates meaningful continuity with Star Trek past, with the Star Trek fan base? Will he hire anyone from past Star Trek productions in any meaningful positions?

He could chose not to, and risk alienating the most activist of fans--an increasingly fractious group—and relate instead to the vague fondness casual fans have for the old Star Trek, with its Tribbles and phasers, its warp speed and beaming up, its Vulcan salute, Klingons and Borg.

There’s one element of this story that perhaps does bode well for the future of this project: it was a complete surprise. There were no rumors preceding it. Arguably the many months of rumors and discussions over every element of Nemesis really harmed the prospects of Star Trek X.

But if this team does not include someone that brings continuity with past Star Trek, it will be the first such complete break in Star Trek’s history. When Star Trek went from a TV series to movies, it had Gene Roddenberry in charge (at least for the first one, and later for guidance) and the original series actors. When Star Trek added an entirely new cast in a new future, GR was the executive producer, and he created a culture of continuity that the Berman regime pretty much followed, enforced by a powerful fan base.

Now so far there’s nobody connecting Star Trek past to Star Trek future. The first press conference or interviews that the new team gives will be crucial in learning whether there will be any continuity of personnel, or how faithfully continuity will be followed, and above all the spirit, the soul of Star Trek.

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