Will Wheaton on Star Trek

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I generally had favorable things to say about the new Star Trek movie by J.J. Abrams but also wish that he hadn’t created an entirely different time line. While some hard core Star Trek fans vow to hate the Abrams Star Trek universe, I see no problem with both liking the movie and having qualms about one aspect of it. Some Star Trek fans oppose the movie both because of the way Abrams changed the time line and because they see him as a Star Wars as opposed to a Star Trek fan. Will Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation (but don’t hold that against him) responds to both of these criticisms.

Wheaton sees the value (which I have discussed ) in creating a new universe without caring about the downsides (which I have also discussed). He also interprets some of Abrams’ comparisons between Star Wars and Star Trek in a different way than others have:

…even though he doesn’t love Star Trek as much as we do, he surrounded himself with people who did, and listened to them when he made his movie.

I could be completely wrong, of course, but I think the story in Star Trek supports this: Spock Prime says, “Listen, I know that I’ve messed with the timeline in your universe, and things are never going to be the same. But the universe that existed before I traveled through time is still there, and now it’s up to you to explore this universe.”

It’s like JJ is simultaneously telling us, “I respect you. I respect the people and starships and adventures and universe that you’ve loved for 40 years. I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to tell you that you were wrong to love it, and now it’s all gone because I have shiny new effects and actors. It’s all there, and it’s yours to continue exploring as long as you want to.

“But I do have this new starship and a new crew, and we’re going to go explore some different places where no one has gone before. If you want to come along with us, you’re welcome to aboard. If not, bon voyage. If you treat her like a lady, she’ll always bring you home.”

This is the fundamental difference between what JJ Abrams did with Star Trek, and what George Lucas did with Star Wars. Lucas told us, “Hey, you know all that stuff you love so much? That stuff that’s been a huge part of your life? Well, you’re stupid for liking it because I didn’t mean it. These are my toys, always have been, and now I’m taking them back. Ha. Ha. Ha. Fuck you, now give me more of your money.”

I hope that Star Trek‘s legacy is two-fold. I hope that it leads to more movies with these actors and this creative team, and I hope that it encourages more studios and film makers to follow the example laid out by people like JJ Abrams, Zack Snyder, and Peter Jackson.

I mean, can you imagine Michael Bay’s Star Trek?

Sorry. Sorry. That was cruel, and I shouldn’t have put that image into your head. According to some quantum physicists, though, just thinking about that created a universe where it happened, and I’d like to apologize to everyone in it.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Toy4Kids says:

    Star War Collection: Will Wheaton on Star Trek – Liberal Values – Defending Liberty and …:.. http://bit.ly/gvdap

  2. 2
    John Lunt says:

    I think Star Trek has come alive as a great myth now or some kind of literature.  It’s being reinterpreted by another generation while maintaining the “truths” of the original incarnations. 

    I think of it like Shakesphere.  Yes it’s all from the source material, but it’s reinterpreted – reinvented many times over.

    Someone suggested it was like the Arthurian legends.  There are several versions and variations.  This is what Star Trek has become and it’s great.  I can play in both the old version and the new.

  3. 3
    Toy4Kids says:

    Star War Collection: Will Wheaton on Star Trek – Liberal Values – Defending Liberty and …:.. http://bit.ly/gvdap

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, people might agree or disagree with some things Abrams did but the important thing is that he has brought Star Trek back to life.

    One mild example: Yesterday I was at Amazon’s site, which is set up to prompt visitors with things they think might sell. A page with lots of Star Trek toys came up. This included things on the market and items which they say will be available soon. It has been a long time since this type of item has been promoted other than at really obscure sites.

    One of the things I did like about Star Trek was that it did present a coherent view of a future universe (with multiple contradictions which we could tolerate). I would have preferred that Abrams had stuck to this. Just as old Star Trek did have some contradictions I would give Abrams some leeway as opposed to expecting exact adherence to every item of canon, but I wish he hadn’t made a change as radical as destroying Vulcan which forces all future incarnations of Star Trek to choose between the Roddenberry and Abrams universes. Despite this objection, I am glad the movie has been made and Star Trek has been brought back to life.

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