Star Trek XI (11) (0) (Zero) (2009)

I admit it. I have no idea what to really call this movie. If I call it Star Trek, people will think of The Original Series (more familiar to me as TOS perhaps), if I call it Star Trek XI, people won’t associate it with the movie posters, or the idea of the movie, being a prequel, and the younger internet generation will likely think I just added some kind of skull and crossbones smiley after Star Trek because I want it to die . . . or have some sort of a necrophiliac fetish for J.J. Abrams. Some are calling it Star Trek Zero, but that won’t do, as my mouth still rings with the aspartame solution of Coke’s latest failure.

All of this is quite beside the point that I’m trying to reach here, though. What I want to talk about it set design. Some pictures have finally surfaced, and the trailer will be coming out soon (a real one, not just another teaser), although the movie has been pushed back to the summer, demonstrating the studio’s confidence that this one has the possibility to be blockbuster, and not just a Christmas sleeper. In these peeks, we have seen a drastically different view of the future tech of star trek. The starships are slightly more angular and have a greater amount of small details. They look vaguely more militaristic, and the bridge looks like the lounge in an Apple store. And the kids are not happy.

Okay, I suppose that there is some sort of twisted sanctity to the Original Series (TOS, of course), and that the set designers back then had some great ideas, but the fact is that the design of those sets was entirely dictated by the Salvation Army budget they had available. They were extremely limited with what they could do, but they did the best they could with what they had, and created a vision of the future as accurate as they could. But here we are now, with a multi-million dollar budget, and a much clearer vision of design in the future (that we can think of. 75 years from now they will likely have an entirely different concept of this once more). The fact is, if things don’t look like what the general audience sees as being futuristic, it will not be believable (yes, even being science fiction in the first place). And the whole point of star trek is to resonate with current culture. And to make out with aliens.

So what do I say? As long as the characters remain largely consistent, the intent remains the same, and the struggles of the characters and humanity as a whole remain timeless and relevant (sorry, M), it’s all good in my books. And I can’t wait.

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5 Comments

  1. Bryan Helmig said,

    November 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I am waiting impatiently for this movie. My teenage son wants to see it with me so I can’t wait. A son who wants to spend time with his Dad! Star Trek: The Beginning has a nice ring to it, but that would negate the show Enterprise. One thing I would like to see is the 60’s Klingon’s back. Thanks for reading. Live long and prosper.

  2. riphoudouso said,

    December 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I’d have to admit the teaser looks really awesome, but, then again, so did the Nemesis trailer. “You cold blooded vulcan, Syler…Spock.” They did get pretty good actors for this new one – Patrick aside, TNG actors, well, were weak. Did I see in the trailer something about a “bad robot”? Maybe Star Trek: Bad Robot?

  3. Wes said,

    December 7, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    “Bad Robot” is JJ Abrams’ production company. Which means it’s the company making the movie.
    And are you saying that Michael Dorn is not the most fantastic actor ever? I mean, you really can’t say that he isn’t, because he is the very definition of a Klingon now. Any statement contrary to his acting is trumped with “well, that’s just what a Klingon is like.” If you think that other Klingons are not like this, then those are the ones who are poorly acted. Or you are indeed mistaken.

  4. riphoudouso said,

    March 16, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I saw the trailer for this and I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty good. It looks like Spock might be a bit emotional and something happens to him, so that he seeks the path of logic and all that with a renewed fervor. However, I could have been just imagining that. If you’ve read a script or know what really is happening, don’t tell me.

  5. truth9 said,

    May 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Okay, now it’s out. What did you think? I assume you’ve already seen it.


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