When I heard the news a few years ago that a new version of “Star Trek” was coming out, I was a little skeptical. For starters, the recent wave of remakes on the large and small screens had, for the most part, been poorly done. The comic book movie wave produced vehicles for young, and mostly untalented, actors, and I won’t get into CGI crimes committed by George Lucas or the abuse of explosions by Michael Bay. I doubted J.J Abrams heavily.
Sure, he did “Alias,” a show that had promise until it was written off the rails. I watched a few episodes of “Lost,” but lost interest when I saw the magical island equipped with a weapons cache, a cloaking device and a time machine. When I heard he was running “Star Trek” and that it was a reboot, I said “Great, yet another time travel movie. Can he do anything else?” In fact, the only reason why I gave him half a chance was because he brought in Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, two writers I’d known and relatively trusted since the days of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.”
Needless to say, all of my worries were unfounded. “Star Trek” was the breath of fresh air the franchise needed. Abrams hit all the right notes to make Trekkies squee. The cast was spot on, though I’m still not a fan of that Spock-Uhura thing. The new Enterprise was sexy, even with the curved nacelle pylons. CGI was used properly (I loved the camera glare to make it feel more “real”), and explosions were kept to their logical places. For the time being, Gene Roddenberry’s legacy was safe, and a sequel was guaranteed. Problem was, I had heard more than a few rumors that Khan would be making a comeback. Big mistake, if this happens.
First of all, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” is the end all be all for modern sci-fi (I don’t care what George Lucas or Jimmy Cameron says). It was the first movie ever to have a completely CGI scene, namely the Genesis effect (it should be noted that the group who created this effect would later branch off Lucasfilms to form Pixar). And unlike Lucas’ intended set of three, Wrath of Khan began an UNINTENDED trilogy. Kirstie Alley got her major start as an actress here, and James Horner broke through with a BRILLIANT score, setting himself up for life. All of this for $5 and a waffle ($11 million in 1981 compared to Star Trek: The Motion Picture for $45 MILLION IN 1978). The act of rebooting it in and of itself is sacrilege.
Secondly, Ricardo Montalban is dead, as are DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Merritt Butrick and Bibi Besch. Don’t disgrace their memories by risking a half-assed remake. Third, Chris Pine is good, but no one other than Bill Shatner himself should be allowed to scream “KHAAAAAAAAN!” ever again, nor should any man other than Ricardo Montalban, rest his soul, ever say: “He asks me, and I shall have him”; “Buried alive!”; or “Full power, damn you!” Fourth, as much as I hate the show “Heroes” and would love to see a scene where Zachary Quinto dies, having Spock die twice is unoriginal.
And there’s the moral of the story kiddies, the Titanic effect: movies are a lot less appealing the second time around.
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