Beyond Distraught

I received an early Christmas present several days ago with the release of the trailer for the new Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond.  The trailer is HERE if you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.  My first reaction to the trailer was…well…not positive.  Ok, I didn’t like it.  For the first time ever, I didn’t like the trailer for a new Star Trek movie.  I even liked the trailers for Star Trek V and Star Trek: Nemesis, neither of which turned out to be great movies (But I will defend Star Trek III forever!).

Not liking this trailer caused a bit of an existential crisis for me.  I’m not looking forward to a Star Trek movie.  I’ve watched every single episode of every incarnation of Star Trek including the animated series.  I’ve spent years writing my own comedic Star Trek fan fiction series.  I am by all accounts a die-hard Trekkie. 

My internal dialogue went something like this: “I didn’t like that.  I really didn’t like that.  It’s Star Trek and I didn’t like it.  What the hell is wrong with me?  I don’t know who I am anymore!”

So maybe I overreacted a little bit.

My issue, though, was that the trailer I watched didn’t feel like Star Trek.  Instead I got a fairly generic action movie with lots of stuff going boom.  This movie just happened to be set in space.  Other than one good McCoy scene, there were no real character moments.  Instead I got pounding rock music (The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” in a call back to the 2009 Star Trek film) and lots o’ explosions. 

Even worse, they trashed the Enterprise…AGAIN!  It may even be destroyed, which seemed like an awfully major plot point to reveal in the first trailer.  We’ve barely had a chance to get to know the ship, and you’re already blowing it up?  Really???

As I said, I wasn’t a fan of the trailer. 

It turns out, though, that I wasn’t alone.  Reaction online has not been all that positive.  Corinne helped talk me down when I told her about my dislike of the trailer.  She said, “Don’t feel bad.  It just means your love of Trek is sound and intact.  Because that’s not Trek.”

Even Simon Pegg, who cowrote the film and costars as Scotty didn’t love the trailer.  Seriously.  His exact words were “I didn’t love it.”  You can watch him saying exactly that HERE.  He also discusses how the marketing folks who create these trailers focus on the action to try to draw in as big of an audience as possible.  His promise that the movie contains a lot more of what he calls “Star Trek stuff” made me feel a bit better.

And then THIS far more thorough interview calmed my concerns considerably about both the new film and Pegg’s take on Star Trek in general.  I’ve said for a long time that one of the main differences between Star Trek and Star Wars is that Trek is science fiction while Wars is more science fantasy.  Pegg says the exact same thing! 

In any case, I’ve reined myself back in.  This was only a trailer.  I’ve seen great trailers for bad movies.  Hopefully this is just a bad trailer for a great movie.  Or at least a good one.  I know better than to jumped to conclusions based on almost no information, particularly when that information is being provided by marketing folks.  As Sherlock Holmes said, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”  I shall just sit back and wait for the film.

But, Simon, we’re all counting on you here.  Please make it good!

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter