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Is Star Trek 2009 Not For Trekkies?

KelisThePoet

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POSTS: 636

Report this Dec. 15 2010, 8:41 pm

I recently re-watched the TOS episode "Journey to Babel" and reflected that the newest Star Trek movie is in conversation with this episode, in more ways than one.  The writers of the new movie clearly know the episode well, and I'd even venture to argue that their Star Trek is as much a response to "Journey to Babel" as The Wrath of Kahn was a response to "Space Seed."


So I wondered again why several people I know who don't consider themselves Trekkies (or whatever label you prefer for a Trek fan) gushed about the new Star Trek as a movie made especially for them, more so than any other Star Trek.  And by contrast, why do some Trekkies speak like it's a given that the movie was not made for them, that it was only intended for new audiences and for mass audiences?


Obviously, the new movie experimented with a new look and some new kinds of material, and it marketed itself to demographic groups previously less interested in Star Trek.  But the Star Trek movies with the original cast look radically different from episodes of the original TV series, in everything from production style to set and costume design (Indeed, in terms of the costumes, at least, the 2009 movie looked more like the original series than any other iteration of Trek).  The other Trek TV shows again looked different from everything we'd seen previously, if not as drastically so.  The stories were also different, if comparable.  Enterprise experimented with quite a different approach from previous shows, particularly in terms of the visual look of the show.  They didn't even put Star Trek in the title of the show, at first.  Whatever they were trying to accomplish with that choice, they were presenting the show as something different.  But for all the problem with Hollywood copying and playing it safe, I don't think anyone tries to do exactly the same show over and over again.


Now, I either wasn't around or can't remember how most other Trek was marketed, but I'd be willing to bet no one ever marketed a new movie or series solely to its existing fanbase.  And it makes some sense to focus on new markets.  I do know from watching DVD interviews and such that the makers of Star Trek IV bragged about making it accessible to mass audiences, as did the makers of First Contact.  And how something is marketed isn't a complete reflection of how it was created, anyway.


I'm not arguing that all Trek fans should like the new Star Trek, or that all Trek fans should appreciate how the new Star Trek used what came earlier.  Nor am I arguing that you have to be a Trekkie to like the new movie.  What I am suggesting is that the new Star Trek wasn't exclusively made for people who don't know or care about Star Trek, no more so than any of the other shows were.


(I should qualify my above categorical statement by admitting that I have not gotten a chance to see Insurrection, Nemesis, or Deep Space Nine, yet, but I doubt those shows were made solely for fans and to recycle old material.)

UNTRugby

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Report this Dec. 15 2010, 9:35 pm

I think your opinion would change if you saw nemesis or insurrection as those were pretty much made solely for existing TNG fans. I would say this new movie is mostly to attract new fans as it is the only one not backed up by a series and the style in which it was done and how little knowledge of trek is needed to understand whats going on. They really had no choice but to make it a general audience movie.

Matthias Russell

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Report this Dec. 16 2010, 4:38 am

I'm with rugby, insurrection and nemesis had good story, if they weren't so dependant on you being a follower of the series, they would have been truly great.

As to st09, I'm of the camp that it betrayed fans and the franchise and that the reset button was unnecessary. However it was true to the essence of trek and had many easter eggs, cameos, and dropped names as gifts to the fans. I found it less insulting than the ent finale.

Vger23

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POSTS: 6799

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 5:16 am

I think 2009 did exactly what it needed to do:

Re-vitalize a dying franchise by exciting the moderate and casual fanbase, pleasing general audiences and critics, and polarizing the over-the-top impossible-to-please portion of the fanbase. Like any long-lived enterprise (pun intended), Trek needed to evolve to continue growing and thriving. When you evolve anything in business, you sacrifice (product lines, customers, employees, etc...some percentage of these things are going to be left behind). It's natural and necessary.

I for one am extremely happy with all of the results Trek 09 has created, INCLUDING the fact that some fans feel "betrayed." It needs to happen. There are elements of the fanbase who need to be shed and discarded. I'm sorry, but it's an ugly truth. If those fans had their way, we'd still be stuck in 1988 with stuffy technobabble, nerdy dialogue, perfect characters, utopian viewpoints, and endless heavy-handed preaching. Those fans can't agree on anything in terms of what the franchise should be about, what makes "good Star Trek," etc...so you can't cater to them any longer, because catering to a group that's split 100 different ways and can't agree on anything isn't a logical or viable approach to the franchise. Instead, they targeted a broader audience, and that broader audiecne LOVED what they saw.

The audiences have evolved beyond the sappy, preachy, static mentality. Some fans say "but that was INTELLIGENT Star Trek" but I disagree entirely. That was trite, contrived, cliched Star Trek. INTELLIGENT science fiction is stuff like Solaris, 2001, Blade Runner, etc. Star Trek at it's most common was entertaining adventure stories set in outer space. Occasionally, you find an INTELLIGENT piece of science fiction woven in the mix, but for the most part, it's cowboys and indians in outer space. Trek fans have read too many of their own press clippings about how INTELLIGENT they are and the show is.

And, to Rugby's point, Nemesis and Insurrection WERE aimed much more strongly at existing fans, and that is exactly why they bombed so magnificently at the box office. The fanbase was splintered (some hated, some loved, some didn't care) and the general public heard very quikly that these movies were not for them. Again, it illustrates perfectly why what was done NEEDED to be done. In fact, the splintered and divergent (and often hurtful and hateful) reactions you see on this board sometimes illustrate perfectly why what was done NEEDED to be done.

The franchise is more important than any single fan (cue: THEY OWE IT TO ME! WE KEPT THIS THING ALIVE response from angry delusional entitled fans). The franchise must constantly refresh itself, which means alienating some to add more.

I AM KEE-ROCK!!

Ghostmojo

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Report this Dec. 16 2010, 5:44 am

It's enjoyable whilst being irritating at the same time. Good to see original Trek back - but boy what liberties they took!

to boldy go where no man has gone before

UNTRugby

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POSTS: 1212

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 7:07 am

Insurrection and nemesis failed becuase they had bad scripts and low budgets. Nemesis also had competition problems with so many franchises rolling when it came out. trek 09 benefited from the best movie year in history. 05-08 $300 mil movies went from 12-17 then busted up to 22 in 09 and they are back down to 14 so far for this year. Had trek been made in 08 or 10 it could have been very different. Trek need some change but one this radical can only go badly. The only reason trek is what it is, is becuase of a comparatively small but fiercely loyal fanbase. If they continue to alienate them them to add more general audience all you will ever have of trek is these bond in space movies every 3 years. In case you were wondering there arent a lot of james bond conventions.

KelisThePoet

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Report this Dec. 16 2010, 8:37 am

Well, like I mentioned, I haven't had a chance to watch Insurrection or Nemesis yet, but if those were made exclusively for fans, I think that was not only a bad marketing idea but a departure from what Star Trek did in the past. I don't think, for instance, that you need to know any more about Star Trek to watch The Wrath of Kahn than you need to watch the new movie (and, by contrast, just as there are some cool nods to the original series in The Wrath of Kahn for those of us who do know, so there are in this movie).

In some ways, actually, the new Star Trek is shockingly the same as its predecessors. The basic plot of all the movies with the original characters (and a good chunk of TOS) is: Kirk should be in command of the Enterprise/Kirk needs to get back command of the Enterprise, and Spock, while an indispensible sidekick, just isn't the captain.

While I don't think new Star Trek should set out to alienate fans, I don't think its creators should be so concerned with pleasing everybody that they can't take risks, do new things. If I don't like this or that new version of Trek, as a fan, I'll wait for the next development to come along and hope for the best.

Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

KelisThePoet

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POSTS: 636

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 8:40 am

Quote: UNTRugby @ Dec. 16 2010, 7:07 am

trek 09 benefited from the best movie year in history. 05-08 $300 mil movies went from 12-17 then busted up to 22 in 09 and they are back down to 14 so far for this year. Had trek been made in 08 or 10 it could have been very different.


Possibly. It's also possible there were 22 great movies (by popular standards) in 2009, and only 14 this year.

Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

jamesspock1

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POSTS: 461

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 9:38 am

The new Trek did well at the box office, mostly because of promotion and puplic awareness which it was given, and 3 times the budget, had nemesis or any other Trek movie been given effort to put on the market, it would have had the better result.
It was not New Kirk and new Spock that made the film a success or a reboot of the franchise.
The new audiance that did not know Star Trek went to this movie to see an action movie and special effect, if given them a post Nemesis movie, or a prime universe movie it would have been just as efficient dollar wise.

UNTRugby

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POSTS: 1212

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 10:01 am

Quote: KelisThePoet @ Dec. 16 2010, 8:40 am

Quote: UNTRugby @ Dec. 16 2010, 7:07 am

trek 09 benefited from the best movie year in history. 05-08 $300 mil movies went from 12-17 then busted up to 22 in 09 and they are back down to 14 so far for this year. Had trek been made in 08 or 10 it could have been very different.
Possibly. It's also possible there were 22 great movies (by popular standards) in 2009, and only 14 this year.


heres a list of some 2009 $300 mil movies and their rotten tomatoes %

a christmas carol 53%
ice age 45%
the proposal 44%
night at the museum 43%
2012 39%
x men wolverine 37%
angels and demons 35%
gi joe 34%
terminator salvation 32%
fast and furious 28%
twilight 27%
alvin and the chimpmunks 20%
transformers 20%

iBorg13

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POSTS: 1944

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 12:33 pm

2009 was the first Star Trek movie I'd seen, but I'd already seen some TNG and TOS and ENT. I really enjoyed 2009 but after seeing the other movies, it ranks at about 6th. It was a fine movie and though I may disagree, I do UNDERSTAND the hate toward it.

Kdbtrekkin

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POSTS: 3648

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 4:35 pm

to original poster: Nicely put.


"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty." Frank Herbert(Dune)

___Lucifer___

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POSTS: 1142

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 4:47 pm

It's for this Trekkie...I walked away happy and I've seen the movie many times again since. Not everyone will be happy of course; there will always be some overzealous fanboys who will find things to complain about. Fortunately these tossers are outnumbered by less fanatical Trek fans who don't wear rubber foreskins on their head and can enjoy a fun movie when they see one.

Kdbtrekkin

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POSTS: 3648

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 4:49 pm

OT: to original poster, You gotta see DS9, those other movies can wait, they don't really bring much to that universe, but DS9, oh yeah, gotta see, at least IMO.


"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty." Frank Herbert(Dune)

Vger23

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POSTS: 6799

Report this Dec. 16 2010, 5:59 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

I regard TNG as different from TOS as Star Trek 2009 is from the rest of the Star Trek. Sure a lot of things are the same, you know like Romulans, the name of the ship, transporters, phasers, shuttles etc but the details are different. Isn't that whats happened with Star Trek 2009? It was made for the 21st century, TNG for the 80s, ENT for the 90s and TOS for the 60s. Star Trek 2009 was as radical and betrayed 'Star Trek' as much as TNG did to TOS. And I don't think they made TNG for the TOS fans, they made it for a general audience. Was there anything wrong with that then? And what kind of movie would make the entire fanbase happy anyway?


So, so, SO true!

I remember the first few years that TNG was starting up. The fanbase was divided, there was hate and discontent...and even the TOS actors would subtly badmouth the new show at conventions (I saw Koenig, Nichols, and Takei all separately between 1988 and 1990).

What you have here now is the same reaction. History repeats itself.

I AM KEE-ROCK!!

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