Let me start off by saying that spoilers suck. Sure there are many websites that have no problem writing spoilers but I think reviews can be written without spoiling major plot points.
That being said sometimes I need to go back and examine some aspects of the films that I didn’t cover in the review. So let’s have a
conversation Khanversation about JJ Abrams newest film Star Trek Into Darkness.
So as you no doubt know, Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in the film was not John Harrison but was indeed Khan. While his performance was OK it brings up one question. Why even bother?
Over the past few years’ people have debated weather the second film would deal with Khan. Myself I was hoping for something different, but I wasn’t asked to write the film.
What we got was a descent and enjoyable film that borrows from not only Space Seed and Wrath of Khan but may other Star Trek movies and episodes.
Despite the movie being good, it just leaves me wondering why they did it?
Sure Abrams has admitted that he went back and starting watching Star Trek after making the first film and I’m guessing he really liked those episodes but I think he missed one of the redeeming qualities of Star Trek as a whole.
Star Trek, at times, told some of the best original sci fi stories of all time. The key word in that statement being original.
Sure Voyager was…Voyager and Enterprise seemed to take glee in screwing with the time line of the franchise, they would tell some good original stories from time to time (less times for Voyager).
Star Trek into Darkness felt like a retread of old ideas with the frame of an original story.
The beginning had some interesting ideas, such as the concept of terrorism in the Trek universe, but over the course of two plus hours these ideas drop off into retelling Wrath of Khan.
Some of the theme’s used in this movie were even recycled from the last film, such as Kirk having to earn his captain’s chair. I thought he did that when he blew up the Romulan ship at the end of the first movie. They had no problem with promoting a guy from a trainee to captain then, but now it’s seems to be an issue for some reason.
However the real issue is Khan.
While I did find a number of the redone troupes enjoyable (such as Kirk having to save the ship instead of Spock) it wasn’t done as well as the original.
When it comes to remakes you should try to make it better than the original, or else you end up with a product like New Coke (which I’m too young to of actually of tasted but still make fun of).
For examples of better remakes I like to talk about the Ultimate Spider-Man Clone Sage.
The original Clone Saga was as mess (and that’s being kind) the remake was much better because they what was wrong with the original and fixed it with the remake.
Both Wrath of Khan and the Star Trek Original Series episode Space Seed are loved and are known as some of the best in the franchise. So they were setting themselves up for a fall from the beginning by using these stories as a jumping off point.
What they need to do was try and come up with something original.
We have a universe that is familiar to original Trek fans but updated for modern film fans, would it have been so hard to write a new story about the Enterprise having to fight Klingons or Romulans?
However, I don’t think the films writers were given a chance to write an original story. Paramount Pictures probably pushed them into remaking Wrath of Khan.
While the last film was a financial success, there’s always a longing to make more money as the franchise progresses. So reusing the character was probably seen as being an idea to score more money.
Star Trek works best when the writers get behind an interesting story idea (i.e. Best of Both Worlds, Balance of Terror, The Doomsday Machine).
It isn’t a bad thing to take from the past but this film needed to separate itself from the original by working on something different. This time the film missed the boat on that all together.
So do you agree or disagree with me? Pleases feel free to comment and start your own Khanversation.