by Gene Turnbow
There aren’t many groups of fans in science fiction fandom older or larger than those who call themselves Trekkies – fans of the famous television series created by Gene Roddenberry which originally premiered on NBC in 1967. We thrilled to no fewer than ten motion pictures between 1979 and 2002. Though admittedly the quality of the films was uneven, they still retained the essential spirit that made them part of the Star Trek legacy.
In 2009, J. J. Abrams took up the challenge of recreating Star Trek for the big screen, rebooting the franchise by creating an entirely new timeline. This allowed him to work outside the canon established by all the television shows and the previous films, using the parts he liked and discarding those he found inconvenient. This film was well enough received that a new film is now in production. There is no title for the film yet – it will be subtitled, following the convention of all the films since Star Trek: Generations, so as to sidestep the problem of having a second film called “Star Trek II”.
Filming began about a week and a half ago, according to Zachary Quinto, who told E! Online that the cast had not seen the script until about four weeks prior because they were still working hard on “evolving” it. This is Hollywood speak for “we’re making it up as we go along”, which happens more frequently than one might care to imagine. It’s especially troubling for such a venerable property as Star Trek, but Quinto seemed happy with the situation. He also stated that Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller and Alice Eve have been cast in various roles in the film. “All of them have folded in so beautifully and brought a whole new level of intelligence and sensitivity,” Quinto said.
J.J. Abrams, however, has denied a report that Benicio Del Toro will be playing villain Khan Noonien Singh.
Abrams admitted that he was never obligated to direct the sequel. “I was always hoping to, but until I read the script it was hard to be able to say definitely,” he said. “So it was great to read it and get that feeling that you hope to get when you read a script.”
We hope that some of the more annoying problems will have been taken care of with this new film. The engineering section of the Enterprise should not look like the Anheiser-Busch Brewery in Chatsworth, California with a few stage dressings hastily stuck on (which is what it was). The danger is that Abrams and company will take the Enterprise a bit too far into the the unknown. There seems to be no chaperone on this voyage, no Keeper of the Flame to make sure it stays solidly and and reassuredly Star Trek. The Star Trek purists have a very strong sense of what is and is not Star Trek, and will not tolerate too much experimentation with what has become one of the archetypal stories of our generation.
It’s hard not to look forward to the new film with anticipation, however. Who wouldn’t want to boldly go where no one has gone before? The sky beckons.
Star Trek Online 2nd Anniversary Celebration
In related news, February 2 marks the 2nd anniversary of Star Trek Online, and four days of celebration will take place in honor of the event. The events will run from around 10 AM PST on Thursday, February 2, through the same time on Monday, February 6. The master of ceremonies will be Q, and players are encouraged to “log in each day” to “seek out Q at Earth Spacedock or Qo’noS,” where he will find “silly things” for humans to do. Those completing Q’s tasks will win fun prizes.
Two new ships will be released in honor of the celebration. Starfleet command will commission a new Odyssey class cruiser starship. Players who are level 5 or above can obtain one of these ships by completing a mission on a shakedown cruise. The Klingon Defense Force will also launch their own ship, a Bortas (vengeance) class starship at the same time.
According to Star Trek Online, “These two ships will be free to everyone during the event, regardless of level or rank. The ships require you be level 50 to fly them in combat, so characters of lower level will find an item in their inventory that they cannot use until they reach level 50. After the event, these two ships will no longer be obtainable for a while. We have not finalized details yet on when they will return, but we will announce the details once we have them.”