bill-swift - February 15, 2013
Well, no, he is. And although as you can see above he was most likely just kidding around, he's not entirely wrong. Sporting a snazzy new hairpiece haircut and giving an interview (which you can watch above) for an animated movie called Escape from Planet Earth, which apparently is a thing that exists, the Shat Man said that he believed JJ Abrams was a 'pig' for accepting directorial duties on Star Wars: Episode VII on top of having already taken over the Star Trek franchise. And you know what, for the first time since Shatner accepted the role of TJ Hooker, I agree with him.
Star Wars and Star Trek aren't supposed to be the same thing. That was sort of the whole point and also why nerds across the globe were able to leave their parents' basements and have arguments across a restaurant table with the dates they met on geek2geekdating.com when they learn that they actually have the tenacity to choose Han Solo over Mr. Spock. Star Trek was never an action franchise. It was about the wonder of exploration and the slow burn of a chess match. The movies were, most of the time, social allegories for complicated times that needed simple metaphors. And even Wrath of Khan, which doesn't seem to be more than a revenge movie is, at heart, about mortality and the fear of growing old. Serious ish, y'all.
Sometimes it was about the environment, or the Cold War or even about coming face-to-face with God. But at its core, it was a series about broadening humanity's horizons. The franchise had long lost its way by the time bloated and bearded Jonathan Frakes('s stunt double) was fighting some Romulan on a catwalk at the end of Nemesis. And there was nowhere to go but a one-way ticket to Reboot-ville.
Now don't get me wrong. I love the Star Trek reboot. It's fun, and bright and actiony and whiz bang whatchamacallit. But it's not a Star Trek movie. And Into Darkness looks even less like one. What it looks like, is Star Wars. Which is of course one of the reasons why Abrams got control of the new movie in the first place. I get that. But the two franchises always provided a good counterpoint to one another. And encompassing both under the JJ umbrella will meld them even closer together, leaving serious science fiction fans with nothing but old episodes of Farscape they taped off the Sci-Fi Channel on VHS back in 1999 to remember the bygone era of science fiction.