Day 19 - How did the Star Trek reboot affect you?
It sent me on my most recent (as in, several years ago) TNG, DS9 and Voy rewatch binge. Which sounds as if I didn't like it, but actually I did. Not without complains, but that's certainly true for any ST incarnation. I enjoyed the first movie, and while I had some problems with the second, I didn't hate it the way a lot of vocal online fandom seems to have done. (My original reviews of the reboot movies, each written before I read anyone else's review, are here
. ) I like the new cast, and since ST is an old hand in going for the multiverse concept of time lines - i.e. there isn't just one - when Nero and Spock Prime arrive in the past, a new time line starts, but the old one still exists, and isn't blotted out of existence - , I thought the reboot concept as done in ST IX was a clever way of on the one hand avoiding the decades of continuity burden for new watchers without, on the other, insulting old ones by declaring the stories they've been following and are attached to don't exist anymore.
However, one thing the reboot movies reminded me of and clarified for me was that Star Trek
, as a concept, simply works best on tv, and isn't really made for the cinema. A tv series doesn't have to end in a big space battle or a hero/villain showdown of another type in every single episode. In a movie, unfortunately, producers seem to believe this has to be the case. (With the glorious exception of ST IV: The Voyage Home, where the big dramatics at the end are they save the Earth by having saved the whales.) In a tv show, you can give the spotlight to different characters in different episodes. You can switch between dark episodes and comedy episodes, and in a 90s onwards series, you can do long term character development, not within two hours but within many more. There are some villains show show up for dramatic showdowns, yes, but recurring ones don't have to be defeated in a final way 90 minutes after they've shown up, and you can even investigate their pov thoroughly. All of this is quintessential Star Trek to me.
The movies - and here I'm not just talking about the reboot movies -, otoh, are going for the big Defeat The Bad Guy/Save The Planet/Federation formula in every installment, with the above mentioned exception (oh, and also ST: TMP). The reboots are reasonably good in giving all ensemble members something to do at different points (just compare how poor Beverly Crusher fares in the TNG movies!), but there won't be a Chekov and Sulu centric reboot movie. There can't be. There'll never be a movie equivalent to a "day in the life" episode like Data's Day
, or a "breath of air before the storm/feel good" episode like In the Cards
. What's more, the demand for dramatic combat scenes at least in executive minds has grown rather than lessened, so I doubt something as charming yet utterly ST like as whale saving will be on the agenda of any Reboot movie any time soon. And then there's the part where the production team all have a Star Wars complex: Star Trek is different from Star Wars, and should be. (There is room for both franchises.)
All this being said? The first reboot movie got a lot of people watching who never were into Star Trek before, and this in turn led to a lot new fanfiction. It revitalized some old school fanfiction writers, too. And I loved reading a lot of those stories - one about Uhura and Gaila, Lunch and other Obsceneties
, immediately became one of my favourite ST stories. And, as mentioned earlier, the reboot inspired a massive rewatch on my part, which led to posts on various episodes, which led to discussions with other fans. So as a fan, I definitely benefited from the reboot in various ways. ( The other days )