Does The 'Star Trek' Sequel Have To Have A 'Message'?

Written By: Ken Hulsey

Many of the greatest sci fi films have contained 'hidden' political, and social, commentaries. Films like "Planet of the Apes", "Godzilla" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" all had subtle 'messages' and scenes that dealt with current events linked to the time period in which they were produced.

"Godzilla" dealt with "The Bomb", "Planet of the Apes", racism, and "The Day the Earth Stood Still", the cold war and man's war-like nature. You get the idea.

One of the main reasons why J.J. Abrams reboot of "Star Trek" worked so well was because it was just good old-fashioned fun loving sci fi. That may not hold true for the film's upcoming sequel however, because Abrams, Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman all want the film to have the kind of timely relevancy contained in the above mentioned films.

To make it simple, they want "Star Trek 2" to contain some kind of 'message' that pertains to modern political or another relevant current event or events.

Abrams explains, "The ambition for a sequel to 'Star Trek' is to make a movie that's worthy of the audience and not just another movie, you know, just a second movie that feels tacked on...There needs to be relevance, yes, and that doesn't mean it should be pretentious. If there are simple truths, truths connected to what we live, that elevates any story, that's true with any story."

Orci echos, "We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.' We're trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what's going on today as possible. So that's one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today."

Here is my question, how many fans out there really want a too overly cerebral "Star Trek" movie? I mean really, do we really want Abrams and company to over-think this?

Granted, a "Star Trek" story aimed at morons isn't the answer either.

Subtle commentary normally works best.

I don't know about you, but I go to the movies to escape modern issues. Just make it fun, that's all I ask.

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  1. Here you and I may differ: I enjoy theatre because it is like reasoning out loud, it is like imagining your scenarious and solutions, and playing through the game of it to see if it will work. For me a good movie has a fractal nature, the overall story having that same structure as the smaller stories and the component parts of those, even in absurd situations like Godzilla vs Hedora, there are human dramas, questions posed and most important, solutions proposed. I like a film that slyly educates me and then spins around and makes me think about it.

    And to be historically accurate, which of the Original Series Star Trek movies did not carry a topical subplot? That was part of the joy, on one hand this utopian (meaning nowhere) vision where there is equality and infinite resources available freely to everyone, and on the other hand there are still human situations and dramas to solve. Yeah, I'm an old geezer, but to me a key flaw with TNG and the Treks that followed was partly them taking societal issues over the top, and partly the opposite, producting golly-gee fluff.

    Every episode of TNG, on the other hand, simple and fx primative as it was, maybe left us with more questions than answers, but still offered answers.

  2. oops, I meant to type, "Every episode of TOS, on the other hand ..."


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