Star Trek - News Review

Yesterday evening saw the premiere of the first teaser for Star Trek XI on at least one website as broadcast the first glimpse of the film due for release on Boxing Day. By definition the teaser betrayed little but subtle hints in its construction appeared to hint at the direction in which J.J. Abrams is looking to take the revitalised series.

The tagline ‘under construction’ appears to confirm what many people knew, or suspected they knew, for a long time; that this is, essentially ‘Star Trek Begins’. Abrams is apparently looking for a fresh new start for a series which last graced the big screen under the guise of the disappointing Nemesis in 2002 and seemed to have finally died with the cancellation of the Enterprise TV series in 2005.

Someone at the studio, however, seems to have at least speculated on the reason for the franchise’s gradually diminishing audience; relevancy. Whether it is Abrams or not is debateable but it is not as if he hasn’t had similar input on projects before, making the monster movie acceptable again for the noughties with the innovative Cloverfield. The sound-bite of the moon landing and launching of the U.S. Shuttle attempts to drag Star Trek back into the more grounded reality of space travel and belies an admittance that it cannot simply rely on ‘Trekkies’ to turn up for this one; it needs to suck-in new fans who currently only recognise Shatner as the bloke who advertises World of Warcraft.

Of course no article on the re-invention of a series would be complete without the mention of that dreaded work, ‘darker’ and despite best efforts this one will be no different. There’s no doubt that the trailer shows real grit (who would of previously thought that The Enterprise was hand-welded together?) and the one tantalising close-up of an apparently anonymous worker hints at the human cost of the legendary vessel. If this is the direction Abrams is taking however then it begs the question where does Simon Pegg fit into all this? While the re-invention of a series into darker more contemporary matter has worked for the likes of Bond and Batman they had the benefit of mopey Daniel Craig and moody Christian Bale, rather than a specialist comedy actor playing a character (Scotty) who has had his fair share of unintentionally hilarious moments in the past.

Whatever the end produce of Abrams’ most ambitious venture to date the anticipation is certainly building and at the moment is believed to be hovering somewhere around warp factor 5.

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