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The Future of the Future 25.06.2009

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Star Trek Stuff.
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Dear Kirstie Alley’s Fake Eartip Collector,
Now that the buzz for New Trek is winding down — well, until the DVD/Blu-Ray release — it’s time to start thinking about the future of the franchise.

It seems pretty easy to stop Will Farrell from making a funny movie, but Jon Favreau was a master at it.

It may be pretty easy to stop Will Farrell from making a funny movie, but Jon Favreau was an early master of it.

Let us all just admit that the sequel, Star Trek XII (2011), will be a palpable hit. I’m not saying it will be good or even pirate DVD-worthy. But there is plenty of precedence for sequels’ being as good or better — and higher-grossing — than their predecessors, from Goldfinger (1964) to Superman 2 (1980) to Spider-Man 2 (2004) to TWOK (1982)! With origin told or premise set, the second movie often has more room to develop character and story, and maybe even a slightly bigger budget. But in general, people who like the first movie are going want a little more, like when you go back to TGIF for the Chipotle Grilled Steak Sandwich you enjoyed so much the previous Friday. While there is always a chance of a Quantum of Solace-level disappointment, the writers (who are milking their popularity now, no doubt hoping that people will ignore the fact that the wrote the shitbomb Transformers 2) wisely seem to be thinking about resurrecting some TOS plots. Trekkies will love this, and everyone else is an idiot and won’t notice.

[On a sidenote, let me just say I think Iron Man 2 is gonna suck more than Nathan Lane when Sarah Jessica Parker is out of town. Jon (“Thank Satan I Finally Have Another Movie to Talk about Besides Swingers (1996)”) Favreau lucked out with a reasonable script, a charismatic star, and a decent budget. Now my gut tells me, with trendy car-wreck Mickey Rourke unwisely in tow (Hello, Double Team (1997)!) as one of Iron Man’s dullest enemies, IM2 will remind everyone unhappily of Zathura.)]

But with movies, as with any high-calorie meal, there is a law of diminishing returns. Whether it’s budget cutting or a different “chef” that night, the third time is the not the charm. The examples are legion. The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978). Return of the Jedi (1983). Look Who’s Talking Now (1993). Beverly Hills Cop III (1994). The Matrix Revolutions (2003). It’s a pretty safe bet that Star Trek 13 is going to a mediocre actioner with returns that will  make studio execs seriously consider canning the franchise — again. Or making Star Trek vs. Predator.

Then maybe someone will think about starting another Trek TV show, where smaller stories and real character development can happen, where Trek can fulfill its best destiny as a teller of metaphors rather than of its current incarnation as a common hawker of bad beer and Burger King.

All the best,

Ricardo Montalban’s Wig Restorationist

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Comments»

1. Dr. Whooter - 29.06.2009

“is gonna suck more than Nathan Lane when Sarah Jessica Parker is out of town”

don’t get me wrong, they both suck. but what the fuck does that mean?

2. Commodore Mendez - 08.07.2009

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