I have been a huge fan of both sci-fi franchises ever since I was a kid. I have been around long enough that I was able to see the Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi during their original theatrical run in the early 80’s. I’ve seen every Star Trek Movie in the theater since Star Trek II Wrath Of Kahn.
In late 2012 George Lucas announced he was selling his Lucasfilm LTD along with all the rights to the Star Wars franchise to the Disney Company. Disney announced that same day they would be releasing new Star Wars movies beginning in May of 2015.
For me personally I found this news exciting. Not that Mr. Lucas was selling his company, but knowing there would be new Star Wars films back on the big screen.
While reading all the articles that quickly filled the web about Mr. Lucas and Disney. I was surprised by the amount of comments upset that Disney would be making new films and some how Disney would screw them up.
Skip ahead a few months to Disney and Lucasfilm announcing they have hired J.J. Abrams to Direct Episode VII.
Now bear with me for a moment and let’s go back in time to 2009. Paramount releases its first New Star Trek movie in seven years. Paramount hired J.J. Abrams to resurrect and put new life into a Star Trek franchise that didn’t leave a lot of its fans happy with the 2002 film Nemesis and Enterprise the last series to run on television.
Abrams and his producers took the Star Trek franchise in a total new direction by deciding to return to the Original crew all Trek fans were very familiar with. Abrams and his Bad Robot team sent Nero and eventually Spock (Leonard Nimoy) from the late 24th century back to the 23rd century. In doing so it changed the lives of the Original crew creating and alternate time line.
Doing this gave Abrams, his producers and Paramount a virtual clean slate in the Star Trek universe to take Star Trek wherever they wanted without having to worry about upsetting fans and leaving the original time line untouched. For the most part the majority of fans were very accepting of the actors portraying legendary characters and the film itself.
Even though most were accepting of what Abrams did I know of some who thought it was an abomination and actually walked out of the movie after the first twenty-minutes.
Fast forward to 2013. Paramount and J.J. Abrams are releasing the sequel to their 2009 film with “Into Darkness”.
With the release of new Star Trek film “Into Darkness” and everyone knowing Abrams next movie will be Episode VII in the Star Wars franchise a lot of people have been sounding off.
Some feel Abrams has ruined Star Trek and even gone as far as to say his 2008 film and the one soon to hit the theater, even though they haven’t seen it yet, can only be considered “fake” Star Trek and any “real” Trek fan can not consider these two films part of the Trek cannon.
This leads me back to Star Wars. We have some out there complaining that Disney and Abrams will do the same to Star Wars what he has done to Star Trek and that Episode VII will be worse then the “Prequel” trilogy. (Episodes 1-3)
Having said all of this I wish to point out a few things concerning both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises.
For me personally I didn’t have a problem with Abrams and his writers coming up with the “alternate” time line. I found it a much better solution then trying to create an origin story and leaving it on the original time line. If they hadn’t I believe they would have upset a lot more Trek fans. By creating the alternate time-line they’re not constricted in the stories they can tell and they don’t have to worry if it will affect any part of what is considered Trek Cannon.
Abrams did a nice job in brining Star Trek back to the masses, but yet some still aren’t happy! Some I don’t think would have ever been happy no matter who would have written or directed a new Star Trek movie. Some will always be resistant to change.
To those people out there who seem to be unhappy with Disney in charge of the Star Wars franchise and with the choice of Abrams directing consider this.
- Would you rather have George Lucas directing another trilogy?
- At least Disney has been smart enough to this point to go out and get Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carie Fisher to return to Star Wars.
- They have hired an Academy Award winning screenwriter to write Episode VII
- Disney also owns Marvel and it seems every one is going out in droves to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers movies and yet I can’t find anyone complaining they are ruining that franchise.
- A script hasn’t been finalized, actors hired or one second of Episode VII filmed yet and people are already saying because of Disney and or Abrams its going to be crap. Seriously?
- Would you rather have Jar Jar back or Abrams??
I realize everyone has their own opinions, but let’s be happy that we are getting the chance to see new films being put out to the theater by people who love and have their own ideas about both these sci-fi franchises.
I’m looking forward to seeing Star Trek Into Darkness and when Star Wars Episode VII comes out I will see it as well. Two iconic sci-fi franchises that I have loved since a kid and still enjoy as an adult.
Change doesn’t always mean worse, just means different.