Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just in case you were wondering if the next "Star Trek" film was going to be any good,

you now have your answer: no. The basic problem with the franchise is that we continue to get people with, basically, no clue about how "Star Trek" is supposed to work. For example, consider these remarks made by Zachary Quinto, who might be playing Spock in the next film:
Quinto, who was also present [at the ComicCon "Trek" panel], said he was excited about recreating the character of Spock with Nimoy's help and blessing. "It is pretty incredible to be part of something so iconic," Quinto said, "and to be doing with the support and involvement of the man who created the role is a true honor. I certainly intend to bring my own spin on it and working with these guys I am sure we will find that."
Anyone who knows anything about Spock knows that the whole point of the character is that you don't get to put your own spin on him during your portrayal*. The character is not supposed to have emotions or an ego. You don't get to play the "young, hip Spock". Vulcans aren't hip, even when they're young. Their entire culture is devoted to rooting out the last little bits of hipness that they have left and making them not-hip.

For more evidence that the cluelessness goes straight to the top this time, we move on to remarks made by writer/director J. J. Abrams:
No Kirk, young or old, has been cast, though Abrams exhibited a strong desire to find a way to bring William Shatner into the film. "We are desperately trying to find a way to put him in this movie," Abrams said of Shatner. "The truth is: it needs to be worthy of him – it needs to be worthy of you – it needs to be worthy to the movie. We cannot just shove him in."
A movie role has to be worthy of Shatner? Shatner's role in a movie needs to be worthy of us? Obviously this Abrams guy is from the parallel universe where the William Shatners are revered for their dramatic acting and the Laurence Oliviers do the dog-food commercials.

Update: In case anyone connected with "Star Trek" ever encounters this post, let me state for the record that there is only one actor with the power to "save" the franchise. Only one man has the presence, the will, and the drive to carry the franchise into the future. That man -- more Shatner than Shatner himself -- is Kenneth Branagh.

* The only exception is when Spock gets separated from his katra. Anything goes after that.


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