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To Boldly Go…Where?

May 14, 2009

Let me go ahead and get this out of the way. I loved the new Star Trek film. I loved the reenvisioned Enterprise and the way the production team managed to integrate everyday grittiness among the sleek futurism (main engineering, the wear and tear on the shuttles…). I loved the boom the ships made when they jumped to warp, and the use of phasers for point defense. But more than any of that, I loved the characters. Even with the new cast, something about the whole affair was as comfortable as slipping on an old pair of shoes. Kudos to J.J. Abrams and everyone involved – they really managed to capture the spirit of the original series.

Having successfully rebooted the franchise, the question now is, where does the Enterprise crew go from here? What form will their next adventure take?

At first glance, Khan seems the obvious choice, and the interwebs is already chattering with who should be cast in the role. I know I felt a brief shiver at the mention of Javier Bardem…but the more I think about it…the more I dislike the notion of bringing Khan in so soon (if at all). Why? Because Khan has already been done so brilliantly that it would take a reimagining on par with the Joker in The Dark Knight to top Space Seed and The Wrath of Khan. Unless Abrams and the writers have the balls to truly embrace this alternate reality they’ve created and deal with Khan in an offhanded way, like, say, having him take over another Federation ship that Kirk destroys in the first fifteen minutes of the next film, I say let him lie.

But if not Khan, then what? Or who? 

The Klingons? Again, they seem like an obvious choice, but the challenge would be creating a story that’s not a giant Cold War analogy. And to be honest, after the events of this last movie, any threat the Klingons could bring would be lame by comparison, unless we’re talking all-out interstellar war.

I’ve seen a few people mention the Borg, but, really? I suppose maybe, but in my opinion The Next Generation already beat that hive-minded horse into the ground, and from what I hear Voyager dug it up to beat it some more.

The idea of a plague or disease has also been raised, and indeed, the whole “infection aboard the Enterprise” was a common theme in the original series, but I don’t see Abrams and crew going that way. There’s just not enough opportunity for pew pew.

If it were up to me, I’d love to see them revisit The Doomsday Machine. It remains one of my all-time favorite original series episodes, and reimagined, I think it would be entirely possible to really up the stakes. For those who’ve never seen the episode, the machine in question is a giant cylindrical-shaped ship-thing with a massive maw at its front. It breaks up and consumes planets for fuel, and is made of a substance that’s impervious to every weapon in Starfleet’s arsenal. Change around a few of the surrounding story elements, set the doomsday machine on a course for earth (how cool would it be to see it eat Jupiter?), and bam, you could have one awesome villain. And this time around, the effects could be so much better than a windsock covered in concrete.

Or…hell…J.J. Abrams is the dude who came up with LOST and Fringe. Surely he could think up some awesome, original mind-bending adventure for Kirk and friends…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2009 7:41 pm

    KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!

  2. May 17, 2009 5:08 pm

    Javier Bardem as Khan? Uh yeah, MAJOR chill factor. That’d be rad.

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