Remember That STAR TREK: THE BEGINNING Movie Which Went Missing?? Merrick Found It...
”Penelope, I am going where so many have
gone before - to the place where all
paths lead, and all journeys end. Please
know, my love, that if I do nothing
else...that at least...I go there boldly.”
September 18, 2159
D-Day Minus 1
A few months back...on September 8th...we marked the 41st anniversary of STAR TREK. It debuted at 8:30pm Eastern on NBC, and its coming looked like this:
If you’re taking the time to read this article, you already know the impact STAR TREK had (and continues to have) on millions of fans, on entertainment, and on society…so I’ll spare you a lengthy summation.
And, if you’re reading this, you probably already know what eventually happened to STAR TREK; how NEMESIS (the most recent theatrical film in the franchise) underperformed both fiscally and artistically. How ENTERPRISE…TREK’s most recent television incarnation…failed to keep the attention of fans or find new viewers - and was jettisoned four years into its projected seven year run.
This conjunction of unfortunate events left The Powers That Be in a quandary. Clearly, STAR TREK had the potential to continue generating a great deal of revenue for all involved. And, just as clearly, the current style & vibe of STAR TREK were not being embraced by the masses.
What to do? What to do?
One proposal came from (then) TREK overlord Rick Berman & a production team which included Jordan Kerner and Kerry McCluggage. They considered a STAR TREK variant that was part re-launch, part prequel, and maintained established franchise continuity while exploring a period of TREK lore that had previously been spoken of only in broad strokes.
The result was a project tentatively titled STAR TREK: THE BEGINNING. I’m assuming this name would’ve changed…it’s a crappy title. Scripter Erik Jendresen (HBO’s BAND OF BROTHERS) was brought in to develop the concept, which resulted in a first draft screenplay that ran 121 pages long.
This project was ultimately scuttled; word is it was ditched due to a dramatic regime change at Paramount.
JJ Abrams was subsequently brought in to re-launch STAR TREK in an entirely different fashion, and THE BEGINNING slipped quietly into history…forgotten by most, and understood by precious few.
Let’s change that.
What follows is a detailed write-up about the screenplay for Erik Jendresen’s STAR TREK: THE BEGINNING. For a variety of reasons I need to be exceedingly clear about what this is:
THIS IS NOT THE UPCOMING JJ ABRAMS PROJECT!!!
THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT AN ABORTED PROJECT THAT IMMEDIATELY(?) PRECEEDED THE JJ ABRAMS REBOOT, AND IS COMPLETELY UNRELATED (TO THE BEST OF ANYONE’S KLNOWLEDGE) TO ABRAMS’ UPCOMING STAR TREK FILM!!!
This is, simply, a geeky exploration of STAR TREK history; a (hopefully interesting) insight to a TREK that might have been…not dissimilar to an article I posted earlier this year about Harve Bennett’s defunct STAR TREK: THE ACADEMY YEARS screenplay (a piece you can find HERE).
And, even though this project has been canned and will almost certainly never be made, please know that...
THERE BE HEAVY SPOILERS HERE!!!
With this in mind, let’s get started…
First off, I'd like to offer a huge, heartfelt, hug of a thanks to Nasty Nick for making this article possible. Deeply appreciated.
WHAT KIND OF STORY IS THIS?
To put a pretty fine point on it, this is very much a classic War story set in the STAR TREK Universe. This is a sprawling tale…its structure evoking countless World War II films in particular.
THE BEGINNING takes traditional war genre structures/clichés and applies them to STAR TREK; a formula we’ve never seen before. For example, there are (literally) love letters written between characters…read in voice over…as one character heads off to battle, and the other sits at home worrying and waiting. THE BEGINNING is about a group of folks newly graduated from the United Earth Stellar Navy who are forced to go their separate ways in a time of great upheaval. Some head into war, some find other purposes, while all hell is breaking loose around them.
In structure, the story very much resembles STARSHIP TROOPERS mixed with the madness surrounding Pearl Harbor. As a whole, the script is extremely military in nature. How extreme? In one sequence…during a crisis…an Admiral orders two guards to stand down from their positions. The first guard receives a set of instructions from the Admiral, ending with “I’m ordering you to leave your post.” The first guard scurries off. The Admiral gives the second guard his orders, but the guard doesn’t budge. The Admiral then remembers to tell him “I’m ordering you to leave your post” – only then will the guard stand down.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE SETTING…TREK’S GETTING KINDA CONFUSING!
It begins on Earth during August-September 2159 (this would place it between ENTERPRISE and ORIGINAL SERIES continuity).
The human race has a lot going on: the United Earth Stellar Navy (UESN) is a military attempting to find its place in the changing political landscape, and hone its interaction with a recently formed Coalition of Planets. Earth is changing…politics are changing. Extraterrestrials are becoming accepted and common members of our society, but this is also altering the way humans think, and the way things are done.
There’s talk of UESN merging with Starfleet, which would essentially militarize the exploration-based Starfleet. “Peace is too important to be left to politicians” intones one Commodore.
The NX-Omega is ready to fly – the first Warp 8 capable ship ever built (Warp 8 was the maximum warp stated for THE ORIGINAL SERIES Enterprise).
And…oh, yeah! There’s that mammoth Romulan attack fleet approaching Earth using a trajectory which conceals it behind Earth’s moon.
SO, THIS IS THE ONE WITH NO ESTABLISHED CHARACTERS IN IT… RIGHT?
There’s one character we’ve seen before in TREK - it’s Andorian Commander Shran. He’s the blue dude with antennae played by Jeffrey Combs in ENTERPRISE.
Another character we’ve heard about (but never seen) also appears. Skon. Who is Skon? There’s a line in STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK in which Vulcan High Priestess refers to Sarek (Spock’s dad) as “Sarek, child of Skon…” Skon appears here as a Vulcan Ambassador to Earth. I.e. Spock’s grandfather is a principal character in THE BEGINNING.
The NX-02 (Columbia) – also seen in ENTERPRISE - appears twice in the script. It’s in an orbital shipyard and gets blasted pretty thoroughly.
References are made to Archer & Enterprise being at Risa (TREK’s “pleasure planet”). Figures; they’re as ineffectual as always.
Denobluans ( Dr. Flox’s species from ENTERPRISE) are seen, but don’t play a critical role.
MACO (Military Assault Command Operations – the supertroopers introduced in ENTERPRISE) are present, and do play a role.
Tellarites (the pig guys) appear.
There are several allusions to the future TREK universe, which are mentioned below.
OK…THEN…WHO ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?
This is principally the story of Tiberius Chase. He’s the UESN’s best pilot but can’t get into Starfleet because of his family’s bad rep. He has the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet. He’s extremely talented and highly ambitious, but he’s being held back in life because of his family name. The Chase clan, it seems, is associated with a para-military militia here on Earth who fear for the purity of the human race…they feel our gene pool will be contaminated because too many alien species are coming to Earth.
I.e. they are Terran isolationists, who’ve fashioned a cult-like community in the Muhlig-Hoffman Mountains in Antarctica. They found a place once used by Nazis who escaped to the remote locale after World War II. There is Nazi tech around them – like prototype aircraft shaped like saucers. Tiberius left this funky bunch…his urge to see what’s out there…to grow and expand…was too strong to resist. Despite this defiance, many around him still will not trust him. They’re all about embracing new life and new civilizations, but aren’t sure what he’s about.
Tiberius is in love with Penelope Gardner, an Admiral’s daughter. Penelope is “a school teacher from Iowa”. For those who don’t remember, James Tiberius Kirk is from Iowa. There’s a lot we can infer from the above few paragraphs. My conjecture is that these are Jim Kirk’s ancestors, and that the “Kirk” family name may have been adopted to escape the shadow of the Chase legacy. Could be wrong about this, though.
Tiberius rides a Harley Davidson Aero-Bike.
Other characters include (but are not limited to) Lieutenant Jaxx. Skal – the Vulcan who designed the NX-Omega’s warp engine. Admiral Gardner (Penelope’s dad – who struggles valiantly to marshal Earth’s defenses against the Romulans). Ensign Ogg (Maori from New Zealand), Otto (Tiberius’ father).
OKAY, SO WHAT’S THIS THING ABOUT IN BROADSTROKES??
Tiberius has graduated UESN academy but his efforts to get into prestigious Starfleet are being stonewalled. He occupies his time by courting (and banging) Penelope (the Admiral’s daughter) while the NX-Omega Warp Tests are being conducted at the Saturn Flight Range (Chase was expected to fly the mission, but got canned from that as well). He’s a little lost, and finds himself increasingly lacking in purpose: he’s deeply devoted to a system which does not view him with affection.
While hanging out one morning with Penelope, Tiberius can’t peel his eyes from the sky. There’s something different about the sky this day…he’s not sure what it is. Then he sees the tiny speck of light, an odd star in a clear morning sky. But the star unleashes beams of death towards Earth: Romulans are attacking us, wrecking full-scale devastation in very short order!
But this isn’t even the PRIMARY attack force, which (we learn via Vulcan intelligence) is a little over two weeks away. At this point, segments of the movie are identified by superimposed titles (i.e. “D-Day Minus 3”, “D-Day Minus 2”, etc.)
Attacks on Honolulu, Beijing, Moscow, Athens, Cairo, London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Lisbon Power Station are either referenced or seen. A mammoth, ongoing space battle between Earth forces (UESN and Starfleet), factions who rush to Earth’s defense (Tellarites, Andorians under Commander Shran, Vulcans) ensues. The line against the Romulans is being held, but barely. Think TREK space conflict on the scale of a George Lucas film (the opening of EPISODE III comes to mind).
UESN and Starfleet facilities swing into action globally. We see Subterranean Facilities (SUBFACs) in Victoria, Paris, and China assembling munitions, churning out fighter craft, processing war supplies, etc. – action is set in several of these facilities.
What do these damn Romulans want? Our surrender. Why? Seems those green blooded bastards have been engaging in ethnic cleansing across the galaxy – they want to ride the universe of their wussy Vulcan offshoots once and for all. They’ve been moderately successful thus far, but Earth won’t surrender its Vulcan population (a defiance for which the Romulans were thoroughly unprepared, hence the need for the second wave of ships). Earth’s response to the Romulan demand for surrender? “Nuts”.
But…the truth of the matter is…we’re slowly, and certainly, losing & don’t stand a chance when the other Romulans get here. Reinforcements won’t reach us quickly enough. And Tiberius Chase doesn’t like to lose…
He hatches a plan…a foolhardy, dangerous plan no one will listen to: he wants to fly to the heart of the Romulan Star Empire and wreck havoc there before the primary Romulan attack fleet arrives “offshore Earth”. He wants to fragment the Romulans’ war making capability from within.
The higher-ups will not listen to him & summarily dismiss him. But a few folks are willing to embrace his glorious madness.
Chase and his bizarre, make-shift crew (including Skal – the Vulcan Warp Engine designer mentioned above) acquire a nuke from the Antarctica isolationists, then hijack a small ship called the U.S.S. Spartan - forcibly staffing it with hostages taken at its Saturn Drydock anchorage. Some of these hostages are confined to quarters, as they’re unwilling to participate in such a direct violation of orders. Others begin to understand that even a desperate, crazy, final hope for victory is better than no hope at all – and become willing crew members (and accomplices).
The brave little Spartan and her misfit crew leave our solar system with its nuclear bomb on a lonely trek to Romulus – where danger, uncertainty, and probable defeat await.
WOW! WHAT THE HELL? THAT SOUNDS REALLY DIFFERENT THAN OTHER TREKs WE’VE GOTTEN!
One of the most interesting elements of THE BEGINNING is how it knowledgeably and consistently embraces the tenets and principles of STAR TREK, but tells its story in a decidedly Un-STAR TREK way. This is a formula I’ve championed for quite a while – whenever people say TREK is “tired” and should be allowed to “rest”. My contention is that there’s nothing wrong with the TREK franchise in essence…and there’s still plenty of juice to be found in it. The problems its currently experiencing lie in the way TREK was telling its stories, and in the stories it was telling. It has lost the edge and vibrancy which drew audiences towards mythos to begin with.
Jendresen addresses these issues from its opening sequence: it’s comfortably TREK, but clearly told through very different eyes – through which see the TREK universe in a decidedly different style.
Is THE BEGINNING perfect? No – not by a long shot. There is a TOP GUN vibe running through portions of the script (Academy graduation material & how space fighter combat is conducted) which could’ve worked…but would probably register as a little too jarring in the final product. The young heroes call each other “bro” on several occasions – I get the modern informality they’re going for here, but…you know…
The last quarter of the script (the anti-alien anarchist having a nuclear weapon that Chase drags off to Romulus) seemed a little too convenient & over-the-top…but there’s a funky, Verhoeven quality to it that, if directed right, could’ve been rather amusing (deliberately).
Finally, I don’t know if Chases’ desperate plan actually makes a whole lot of sense.
Obviously, it would’ve been feasible to address all of these issues in future drafts (again, this was the first & only draft written).
BUT…WOULD IT HAVE WORKED?
It’s hard to know when such a radical reboot is in play. Whether or not they liked the story’s rough-and-tumble, balls-to-the-wall, semi-retro vibe…I think fans would’ve appreciated the heart of this story, as it picks up on one subtlety that often defines the most successful TREK stories:
TREK is, essentially, a duality…a contradiction. One on hand, it’s about heroes bringing values and their definition of “civilization” to societies and worlds who do not yet think like we do. Which is, at its core, a bit imperialistic. On the other hand, our heroes often achieve their objectives…even their survival…by bucking the same standards they attempt to spread, and by doing things their own way. It’s not that the system is “bad”, necessarily…it’s just not always the best means to an end.
This conflict is very much at the core of THE BEGINNING, evidenced by one single comment by Chase in a message to Penelope:
”…I will still, and forever, wonder how one can go boldly and follow at the same time?”
Jendresen’s script understood the heartbeat of STAR TREK, which is more than can be said for much of the TREK we’d seen in the years before it.
THE BEGINNING doesn’t exactly end. It partially resolves, but also promises TO BE CONTINUED. Where Jendresen’s macro story would’ve headed is unknown at the moment – although I’m told the tentative arc called for three films.
Given Berman’s track record throughout the franchise, especially towards the end of his tenure, it seems dubious that the right style would’ve been brought to THE BEGINNING…the right sense of wonder, abandon, or roughness. Berman’s work was too homogenized to make room for such profound changes in artistic approach.
None the less, Jendresen’s script is an imperfect-but-hugely tantalizing glimpse into a STAR TREK that might have been. And, some may argue, a tasty sampling of what it should become.
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Oct. 31, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST
by THE KNIGHT
You love star trek!
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST
Because no one else will.<br> <br> Oh, and TREK is dead -- long live TREK!!
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST
I'll pass on JJ's Trek Babies however.
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST
Living by some Nazi saucers? Dude. This is all sorts of cool and messed-up in one bag. I love it.
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST
Wow. This sounds extremely different - and for the better! While rweading the description, I could clearly visualize how this would look on screen and I really like what I see. How could one get a hold of this script???? And more importantly, how can we get a polished draft together and produced?!
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:52 p.m. CST
by Pound Sand
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:56 p.m. CST
sounds awful. Yes, Trek needs a re-boot, but that doesn't sound like the right property, "Bro". I'm glad they dropped it. I hope JJ nails it...
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST
Still better than trek babies, though.
Oct. 31, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST
I've never been a big fan of Star Trek. I always felt it was too clean and polished, too nice and unwilling to tell a very brutal story. Everything seemed "reroute the tachyons and reverse the polarity" bullshit. It's why I always considered Star Wars better since it seemed feasibly realistic in it's approach. People venturing the galaxy as bounty hunters to earn cash, slavery, mobster type families, and a religion that spanned the universe. The universe that everyone lived in was hectic and imperfect, and showed that everyone was against each other but at the same time accepted each other. However this story sounds what I'd love to see in a Star Trek story. Flawed characters and a practical world. Too bad this wasn't made.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST
That sounded outstanding. It sounded like the writer had been a huge fan of Babylon 5 and taken a lot of elements from the Membari War and meshed them with Star Trek, which is awesome. I wish this project came to light under some new creative team, heck make it a mini-series for TV on the SCI-Fi channel.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:12 p.m. CST
by Johnny Law
Is that this is TOOO SOOOON!!! Okay - I know, had to be done, but seriously - science fiction ebbs and flows. Star Trek's triumphant re-launch must be timed right for it to be a success. Hopefully the Abrams movie will rock. If it fails, Star Trek will be done for at least 20 years.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST
by Abominable Snowcone
I'm just here to say I like Star Trek. Not a trekkie, but I like the Trek. They should have AvP:3 on the Enterprise. Have Spock mind-mild with a Predator: "Captain, he's says you're one ugly motherf*cker."
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:22 p.m. CST
by Madines Sideshed
The world will turn upside down if soon we only got Star Trek at the movies and Star Wars on TV. WTF! Trek needs to be back on the box. I'm not sure about this one though...it may sound good to some folk but for those of you who hated Enterprise I think this is a lot closer than you realise...
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:24 p.m. CST
by George Newman
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST
by George Newman
That would be fun and engaging <p>unintentional pun
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST
This just sounded like a mish mash of other stories. I'm still not convinced about JJ's take on it either but at least we can get the beginnings stuff out of the way and on to other story lines afterward. Thanks for the bringing it to light though.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:29 p.m. CST
I think I may be one of those people who does not realize they are a trekkie, or for you more PC people trekker. I would have loved a new type of narrative about the beginnings of Warp Flight and Star Fleet in general. TOS was a great series because it embraced humanness, even if it did play (awfully) with the known science and physics of the day. After that, the other iterations lost in PC crap. Everybody plays nice, everything is solved, no real emotions- high or low, no passion, just another trip to see whatever other rubber-faced humanoid freaks they meet. Enterprise could have been that show if Braga and Berman had died together, previously in a fiery car crash.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:37 p.m. CST
by Valin Kenobi
...it sounds outstanding but will never be made. Instead we get Starfleet 90210 with Shaun of the Dead, some dork from Heroes, and Harold of White Castle fame? Could they pander more obviously to what they think is the target audience member? Give me a break.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:37 p.m. CST
by Valin Kenobi
I can't be the only one who got fucking chills from the quote at the beginning of the article.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:38 p.m. CST
First of all, Berman & Co. hadn't produced quality Star Trek since the end of TNG (and even their TNG tenure was hit-and-miss, with the best part of it arguably due to people who left before VOY/ENT ... I don't count DS9, since it was run by a different crew, and even there, when Berman did bother to get involved it was usually to sink a good idea, like the original plan for Dax's death). Every time they started something new, right up through the horrific "Nemesis", they claimed it was going to be somehow fresh, relevant and new. They'd bring in this screenwriter, or that director, or this great actor. And it always turned into a soggy, insipid mess. (Yes, I realize First Contact is popular, but I am not a fan of that film either, for reasons that are too numerous to list here.) Second, this plot summary raises many questions of story-logic that I wonder if they were going to be successfully addressing. The initial, ineffectual attack that does just enough to piss humans off and give them time to mount a defense/counter-offensive, for example. "Enterprise" did the exact same thing with the Xindi, and I thought it was stupid then. I realize one might draw comparisons to Pearl Harbor. Perhaps Jendersen could have sold it and made it convincing. There's also the question of whether the Romulan Empire, a massive military power, would call off an entire armada on account of a single nuclear warhead, which SOMEHOW made it somewhere vital. I guess I'd have to read the script. Oh, and was the stolen ship supposed to be super-fast? It'd have to be to make it to Romulan space before the Romulan fleet made it to Earth. Time/distance logic has never been a strong point of Trek, with people showing up pretty much when and where the plot needs them to. Anyway, in one sense it's a shame we don't have the finished version of this movie to compare to whatever Abrams turns out. Merrick is absolutely right about nothing being wrong with the Trek concept as a wellspring of great stories, and that the problem lay chiefly in the choice of stories and the way they were being told. But like I said, I'm extremely skeptical this particular project could have flown.
Reminds me of a cross between Starship Troopers with a little Top Gun thrown in. Probably could have been awesome if they dropped most if not all the 'bro' dialogue in the script.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:48 p.m. CST
Sounds to me like they were just co-opting the S:A&B model--WWII epic meets Sci-Fi series thing. Surpirsed no one's mentioned the similarities yet.
Oct. 31, 2007, 1:50 p.m. CST
I'm not a hard core Trekker/ie but would've loved to see this made. One of the problems with Trek as I see it was that throughout all it's years it presented a singular emotional/intellectual perspective on what should be an infinitely broad, deep and complex universe so every "new" iteration just felt like re-tread. It's sort of why people loved the Borg, Q, Jem-Heddar(sp?), Klingons etc that presented a different taste of the potential of what Trek could be. They all represented different take/philosophy of the things going on in the Trek Universe just not from the Federation's perspective. Abrams' Trek will probably be a fun, fast, roller coaster ride type non-stop action flick but this deeper Band of Brothers-esque take might've made for a better film. Too bad.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:02 p.m. CST
by Mullah Omar
It either needs that title of STAR TREK BEGINS to be considered for greenlight status in Hollywood these days. No wonder this went nowhere.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST
I just hope that JJ Abrams can do something great with this franchise! There is so much potential in Star Trek. I just watched Star Trek 2,3, 4 and 6 over the past few weeks. Good stuff (especially #2). I hope that Abrams can somehow embrace the well-thought philosophical undertones of #2 (and the Kobeyashi Moru/Tale of Two Cities beginning and end references). We'll have to see!
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:13 p.m. CST
It sounds so much better than Enterprise or a sequel series! It has that BSG feel -- but with a history of which SciFi fans are aware! Good stuff!
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST
Despite all the bizarre clap trap we've been hearing about time traveling Romulans and crap like that, JJ is just going to combine the above two scripts into a young kirk movie that plays coy about whether or not it's a prequel or a reboot. I imagine J.J.'s movie will go a little something like this:<br> <br> Newly-graduated Ensign James T. Kirk, (who had to suffer the indignity of having his name misspelled on his diploma as "James R. Kirk") is at a crossroads of his career. Though graduating from the academy with top honors, his assignment prospects are depressingly slim, because he's associated with a family that's part of a human xenophobe movement located out of Iowa, a sort of futuristic KKK. Kirk still gets funny looks about this, despite the fact that his best friend is the Vulcan Spock. Spock is discouraged too: his father and his people see him as a minor traitor, and now even moreso that he's associating with a member of the infamous Kirk family.<br> <br> So, while Kirk bides his time banging an Admiral's daughter, (one Carol Marcus, an up and coming Biology student,) The Klingons decide to stir some shit up and attack earth. Now, the federation is embroiled in a Klingon war it may not win, So Kirk remembers that his Dad keeps an Atom Bomb in the basement. They steal that, and Kirk and Spock hijack the USS Enterprise, an old War Horse of the Federation, and draft the cadet trainess aboard it into his crazy plan to attack the Klingon home world. The cadets aboard include Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, and Scotty, with a medical student in Sickbay named Mccoy.<br> <br> Kirk gets nervous about crossing the Klingon boarder, especially since he cheated on his Kobayashi Maru test. As the enterprise Crosses, 3 Klingon ships appear, forcing Kirk to confront the Kobyashi Maru for real. <br> <br> Then we see "To Be continued" and Abram's director's credit.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:22 p.m. CST
The other two guys were already working on the project with Paramount without Berman's involvement for some time. Then Berman managed to glom onto the project as a way to maintain his position as Paramount's default Trek producer. Every issue of ST Communicator during this period would feature a quick interview with Berman about the status of various Trek projects, and for a good while he only referred to this one as an outsider. Then, without explanation, suddenly he's on the team. Hey, with Enterprise failing he was trying to make sure he had a job. Can't blame a guy for that...
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:22 p.m. CST
The only thing I find disturbing in the suggesting that Kirk's ancestors were isolationist hate-mongers is that, like everything Berman promulgated, he was stealing from other established Trek canon. Remember when the native americans claimed Picard's ancestor was a native-slaughterer? Same idea. That being said, the script is not the worst idea in the world, and if we can get over Berman-banging for just a minute, we could see that a reworked script could work well--and here's my pitch--as a miniseries. Let UPN put it together after JJ's launch. Any thoughts?
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:24 p.m. CST
This franchise has a long history of holier than thou preachyness that any thing new is DOA.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:25 p.m. CST
It may very well be an enjoyable film. However, the fact that it is a reboot puts it on the level of the SW Extended Universe for me. Once again, there was nothing wrong with the original Trek that merits it to be reset.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:27 p.m. CST
Especially with the laughably forced pseudo-military jargon! The BEGINS script is essentially an "Enterprise" do-over without Berman admitting it. If BEGINS was actually greenlit, I seriously doubt he would've abandoned the techno-babble and force a time-travel plot or holodeck sequence in there somewhere.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:33 p.m. CST
And no one from this site will report it. Why???? <BR> <BR> http://tinyurl.com/37loxz <--- click here for article.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST
@Diagnostic Star Trek: DOA... hmmmm, load up a starship full of overly-busty women pulling off improbable martial arts moves...
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:44 p.m. CST
I really dug the Jendresen-scripted episodes of "Band of Brothers" and was long wondering what happened to his "Star Trek" screenplay. Thanks for sharing, Merrick.<p> I like the hardcore war scenario "Beginnings" introduces. Actual war drama... wow. Star Trek has never dealt with any real, goosebump-inducing conflict on this scale before. And it still won't. Oh well.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST
by The Moseph
Rick Berman is an ass. The guy thought, apparently, that he and his writing team could do no wrong and obviously couldn't care less for continuity or what the fans thought. He blatantly disregarded any established continuity whenever it suited him, often for the sake of nothing more than a "clever" line or scene which is pathetically sad. He asked Leonard Nimoy to participate in Star Trek: Generations. After reading their script, co-written by Berman himself, Mr. Nimoy offered to rewrite it, giving himself a beefier role rather than simply sitting on the bridge of the Enterprise B and later noting Kirk was gone and even offered to direct the film which as we all know would have been most interesting given his track record highlighted by The Voyage Home. Berman declined, Nimoy moved on and the rest is, sadly, history. Whoever at Paramount chose to let Berman go deserves a bonus. It was the single smartest move they've made regarding the franchise.
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST
by dr sauch
Oct. 31, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 3 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:03 p.m. CST
also a part of the OS
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:05 p.m. CST
thats what i thought enterprise would be.
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST
chinks in spaaaaaace!
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST
Any 'pre-trek' Trek that insists on using the Romulans because of some percieved cool badass quotient is pretty much a non starter. I'm pretty much a big fan of Trek (wiithout the slavering fanboy slant) but it irritates the hell out of me when writers (like those of Enterprise) can't try to actually be *creative* and acknowledge that the Romulan's don't/shouldn't/can't appear as a force until their encounters with Kirk. Trying some lameass, "and then we all forgot about it because it was 'classified'" BS is just that BS. Write about the Eugenics wars...write about how Starfleet really got started...write about real 'unknown' alien encounter stuff that doesn't have to take a big dump on an existing history. If you can't I suggest you piss off and go write for whichever lame project Berman ever get's to head up again. A quick note for all the posters who are all over this need for a 'Rad' or 'Hard Edged' ...that's not the fucking point! Trek's vibe has always been about that bizarre, hopeful future where co-operation and conflict live hand in hand...where humanity already has it's shit together. If this doesn't suit you go watch Battlestar or B5 or 'insert frikkin name here'. It's not what Trek is about.
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:21 p.m. CST
Where's the story on this site? <BR> <BR> http://tinyurl.com/37loxz <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The original Capt. Kirk is disheartened he won't get to boldly go anywhere with his old pal Spock in the new "Star Trek" movie. While Leonard Nimoy is reprising his role as the pointy-eared Vulcan in next year's science-fiction flick, William Shatner is not on board as Kirk. <BR> <BR> "I couldn't believe it. I'm not in the movie at all. Leonard, God bless his heart, is in, but not me," Shatner, 76, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "I thought, what a decision to make, since it obviously is a decision not to make use of the popularity I have to ensure the movie has good box office. It didn't seem to be a wise business decision." <BR> <BR> Director J.J. Abrams announced last summer that Nimoy would reprise the role he originated opposite Shatner in the 1960s television show and played again in six big-screen adventures. <BR> <BR> Abrams said Shatner probably would have a part in the film, which is due in theaters in December 2008. But while Shatner said he had a couple of meetings with Abrams, nothing came of it. <BR> <BR> Abrams' "Trek" film, whose plot is being kept under wraps by distributor Paramount, recounts an early adventure for the crew of the starship Enterprise, with Chris Pines as the young Kirk and Zachary Quinto as the young Spock. <BR> <BR> The cast includes Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, Simon Pegg as engineer Scott, John Cho as helmsman Sulu, Zoe Saldana as communications officer Uhura and Anton Yelchin as navigator Chekov, roles respectively originated by DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig. <BR> <BR> Past "Trek" films presented an obstacle to the revival of Shatner's Kirk, who died at the end of 1994's "Star Trek: Generations." <BR> <BR> But in science fiction, you can never truly say die. Spock was killed off in 1982's "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" then resurrected in 1984's "Star Trek: The Search for Spock," with Nimoy's Vulcan living on to co-star in three more films, two episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and now Abrams' new movie. <BR> <BR> "I've got a lot to do," said Shatner, whose current work includes the TV show "Boston Legal," narration for the Christmas spoof "Stalking Santa" due on DVD on Nov. 6, and the prequel "Star Trek: Academy Collision Course," a novel chronicling Kirk and Spock's first meeting. <BR> <BR> Shatner says of "Star Trek": "Having been in on the creation of it, I was hoping to be in on the re-creation."
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST
Really? And the Lone Gunmen really died? WTF. I've gotta lay off the Lighter Fluid Martinis.
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST
by Wed Vid Guy
Ummmmm, he fucking DIED in the first TNG movie! And I would add that his death scene was horrible to boot. "Oh boy" indeed. Good riddance. Still his "get a life" speech on SNL is classic!
Oct. 31, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST
and not just becuase Berman was involved. Anything that is shorhorned into "post Enterprise-pre TOS" era is going to have major problems because Enterprise was so off in continutity it seems like an alternate universe. Good Riddance.
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:02 p.m. CST
by Stunt Vocalist 709
ST: Enterprise was by no means perfect. But there was a lot of good in it. Long story arcs that included trilogies and season-long stories. Characters actually doing what was necessary, instead of the way-too-convenient-out-of-nowhere alternative. (Archer getting information by using the airlock comes to mind) Ineffectual? That was a bit harsh and ignores the series. Cheap shot, really... Seems like Archer and crew were usually effective - saving the world at least a couple of times. When they weren't successful, it made sense, and gave more value when they were. Enterprise had characters that were actually interesting. (not all of them, but hey) There was a lot of potential left. I still believe that the only reason the series couldn't get the needed ratings was because it was on the Paramount "Network" which was on maybe fifty stations around the country. And of those, the reception was good in about twenty. I'm exaggerating a little, but I remember making tapes for friends around the country who couldn't get it. And I couldn't have been the only one doing that. If Enterprise had been on a "real" network, it would have gotten the numbers it needed to go on a few more seasons. I have found Enterprise to be far more re-watchable than TNG. I diligently taped all of TNG, and have only been able to finish watching a handful of episodes since.
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:10 p.m. CST
Too bad they green lighted the Abrams story. It's waaaay too soon to reinvent the Kirk crew. And I personally love Lost but haven't drank the JJ Abrams Kool - Aid yet. Why do we think he'll do it right? They should have played around with this script!!! Or moved the series forward, rather than back to the past.
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:24 p.m. CST
So a rag-tag crew of zealots attack vastly overwhelming forces in a desperate attempt to hold off the main attack long enough for reinforcements to show up. Remind me again: what was the plot of 300?
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST
Why did he get hired? He's awful.
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:33 p.m. CST
Nice reference!<p> http://startrek.wikia.com/wiki/Lisbon<p> The global power distribution center was located in Lisbon, and was the target of sabotage by Red Squad in 2372 under the authority of Admiral James Leyton. (DS9: "Paradise Lost")
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:40 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:43 p.m. CST
Also, I will not accept any ST that involves "Enterprise" or JarJar Abrams.
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:46 p.m. CST
by Turd Furgeson
sounded very grand, and primal at the same time..... I could dig it.. I certainly wouldnt have been worse than what we've been subjected to since DS9....
Oct. 31, 2007, 4:47 p.m. CST
by Turd Furgeson
Oct. 31, 2007, 5:02 p.m. CST
by I Hope You Die
Every moron thinks the way to "fix" Star Trek is to make it more militaristic. The beauty of Star Trek was its utopianism. Utopianism takes balls; making yet another dark militaristic sci-fi B-movie takes none. The inherent conflict in Star Trek is in the characters trying to live up to their own high moral standards. That's harder to write than blowing shit up, which is why every spin-off (post-TNG) has become more militaristic. From Voyager's atrocity-happy captain to Enterprise's WMD hysteria.
Oct. 31, 2007, 5:48 p.m. CST
I think if Berman hadn't been working on this it might have had a chance. But from everything I've seen Berman was just given busy work by the Paramount suits until his contract expired, at which point they dumped him and hired JJ Abrams. So this never really stood a chance of being made.
Oct. 31, 2007, 5:53 p.m. CST
Remember, they changed Enterprise to have a similar conceit; one where the entire season was a race against time to stop the aliens from nuking the earth once and for all (they already destroyed Florida)...I don't see how this script would have been all that original in light of that.
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST
by Valin Kenobi
Fair enough point, but remember that this story would have taken place in a frontier era well before the "proper" Star Trek milieu so the tonal shift is justified: this would be the Civil War or the Wild West, TOS would be the Cold War (i.e. Klingons), and TNG would be our own modern day pre-9/11. ...Also, on a baser level, people get a little tired of the navel-gazing and preachifying after a while and just want to see stuff explode.
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:23 p.m. CST
WTF. The moon? You mean the one that goes up and down every day and orbits around the earth constantly? How exactly would you hide behind a constantly moving satellite? Romulans are idiots.
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST
by Fried Gold
has quite a few military action oriented episodes during the Dominion War stuff. So it's not neccessarily a new thing...Not that'd it would've matter under Berman. The Beginning would've come across as Voyagery as Enterprise was.
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:30 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:45 p.m. CST
when it takes place after Enterprise? And would anyone want to see a Star Trek film where the Enterprise stayed off camera?
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:48 p.m. CST
Since the same side of the moon always faces the Earth, all you have to do is maintain a geosynchronous orbit on its far side. Piece of cake.
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:55 p.m. CST
I'd DEFINITELY watch it. Star Trek is more "Love Boat," when it SHOULD be "Das Boot."
Oct. 31, 2007, 6:59 p.m. CST
Star Trek started out as Roddenberry's political soapbox. Roddenberry was very liberal to the point of "quazi-socialist" (Federation has done away with money?!), hence the utopian and "preachy" aspects of both TOS and TNG. While that sold for a while (in no small part due to the fanciful sci-fi/epic nature of the series), the novelty eventually wore off, and the fact that these high standards, and assumptions in the series were unrealistic turned off views, hence the turn to a more militaristic starfleet (star trek 2 and after in TOS, DS9 and after in TNG universe). It's why Battlestar Galactica is doin well and Star Trek is off the air. Conflict sells. Star Trek was all about promoting insane ideals through stories written to shine a positive light on those ideals. Battlestar Galactica takes ideals and slams them into the neccessities and realities of the real world. Star Trek: human nature is "perfectible". Battlestar Galactica: human nature has an equal capacity for both good and evil
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:07 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
Sometime in the last week or two Hercules claimed to have inside information that William Shatner would be is Star Trek XI. He said something like " Don't believe the hype about Shatner not being in the film" and when questioned he claimed that "he knew more about the film than we do" Since then Shatner has denied that he has been offered a role. While ST writer Roberto Orci claims that the writers and producers are still trying to work Shatner in and that "we may start filming without closure to this (Shatner) issue" So what's up? Does Herc know what he is talking about or is he talking out of his ass?
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:26 p.m. CST
Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum in INDEPENDENCE DAY - a major plot point from another big sci-fi movie.<P>However, I agree with the earlier post about being too militaristic. Combat in good Trek is not typically the sole focus, but usually a by product of an exploration or mission-based adventure. Despite the wars/battles in DS9, the station was purpose was not military, but as a jumping off point for a new quadrant of space (i.e. Picard's speech to Sisko after DS9 discovered the worm hole).<P>BTW, thanks for the article.
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:29 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
Herc, don't leave us hanging. Please fill us in on what you know. Is there a script with Shatner in it as you hinted at last week?
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST
he would have had the Borg show up and wipe out the Romulans in a way where they weren't seen by anyone, so it would be "in continuity". the man has lost his sense of vision and viewed Trek as a cash cow and nothing more.
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:40 p.m. CST
I hope JJ's movie has similiar elements. wow
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:54 p.m. CST
Bring on the spoilers for the new film. Set photos , concept art, what does the Enterprise look like???anything!!! WTF??? They start shooting in November where are the goodies???? And where is Shatner???
Oct. 31, 2007, 7:55 p.m. CST
Hiding behind the moon? With spaceships flying back and forth from Earth and no one noticed? That's a plot hole you could fly a Romulan war fleet through. Thank god this didn't get greenlit. Trek needs a looong rest, then Ron Moore can reinvent it once this Abrams version flops like a fat man falling from the high dive board. Honestly, audiences have had it upto here with this stuff.
Oct. 31, 2007, 8 p.m. CST
the bomb to another planet thing was also a point in Travolta's magnum opus Battlefield Earth. Ugh, I feel ashamed that I know anything about that film.
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:03 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:30 p.m. CST
...but I'm not yet sober. What the fuck? Um, but this Star Trek WWII prequel seemed pretty awesome. Ummm...yeah.
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:32 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:34 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
I could be wrong but I didn't think Herc was joking around.
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:41 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST
I'm not really a Star Trek fan, but I read it a year ago and was pretty intrigued about where this would go if it were produced. J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5 and many other things) and Bruce Zabel (Dark Skies) had some mighty grand ideas in mind, that would have not only re-invigorated Star Trek but would have kept it true to its original concepts too. You can check it out at http://bztv.typepad.com/newsviews/files/ST2004Reboot.pdf
Oct. 31, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST
You are not alone in your shame. I'm almost ashamed about remembering Picard's DS9-Gamma quadrant speech to Sisko. But hey, that's why we come to AICN! :-)
Oct. 31, 2007, 9:37 p.m. CST
I wish they were making this movie instead of this "reboot" that JJ has in mind. I've always wanted to see the Romulan War on the big screen.
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:09 p.m. CST
The B-man would've fucked it up.<p>Star Trek Babies is all we got.
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:50 p.m. CST
You're a load that should have been swallowed if you honestly did not realize the "nuts" comment was was based on the response from the Allies when asked by the Nazis to surrender during the battle of the Ardennes (known as the Bulge), or that the nuke run on Romulus was an analogy to Doolittle's raid on Tokyo. I can forgive you not knowing history, but did you not even stay awake during "Pearl Harbor"?
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:53 p.m. CST
Did I say I didn't realize that? No, I didn't. The comment is also featured prominently in JERICHO - used in the same context.
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST
Just wanted to 1) get a rise out of ya, and 2) drop a funny rip : )
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:27 p.m. CST
I think it's absolutely classic that Shatner whining like a baby drew more attention to the JJ project than anything prior. That tells me two things: first, as he said, Da Shatz still has drawing power. More importantly, I don't think he would have whined like that if he wasn't really going to get a part. I think part of the whole thing was publicity because why else would Shatner, who is now dead and 10 years or so older and fatter than he was in his last screen appearance as Kirk, even bother to make a stink about all this? He had his extra movie (under the sad tutelage of Berman, who since co-opting Gene Roddenberry's moniker "Great Bird of the Galaxy" has been to me referenced as the Great Dodo Bird of the Galaxy.
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:30 p.m. CST
anyhoo, the Great Dodo Bird of the Galaxy screwed up Star Trek: Generation Gap. But Spock's character, who ages more slowly than humans, has a built in presence in post-TOS/TNG timespans. Obviously Spock COULD exist, whereas Shatner has no reasonable explanation or expecation that Kirk COULD exist, UNLESS Kirk (meaning OLD KIRK) was being resurrected somehow OR Shatner played an ancestor. Bottom line. Shatner has a role in the movie, either as Kirk or as an ancestor who sold transparent alumnium door to door, and his whinyness was a well-executed publicity stunt. Mark my words. He will live long and prosper.
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST
if I was wrong about shatner's comments being a publicity stunt, then why hasn't Paramount come out with a response politely wishing Bill the best of luck?
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:44 p.m. CST
It never is a Star Trek unless it alludes to Kirk (past or future). The First Romulan War is about the only left over alluded to story that sets up the Star Trek universe so it would make sense that Abrams will make some effort to keep it in some way.
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST
As bad as it was that was Star Wreck actually had an interesting plot and who wouldn't want to see the Babylon forces vs the UFP?
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:48 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:49 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:50 p.m. CST
by uss cygnus
Please. For the love of all that is decent and holy. No more.
Oct. 31, 2007, 11:58 p.m. CST
"One on hand, it’s about heroes bringing values and their definition of “civilization” to societies and worlds who do not yet think like we do...On the other hand, our heroes often achieve their objective...by bucking the same standards they attempt to spread, and by doing things their own way." And here we come to one of the major problems of the later Trek: constantly trying to split the difference and ending up in the wishy-washy middle. By the last two series, Star Trek could never be TOO idealistic, but it could also never be TOO pessimistic. It just festered more and more in this boring, tedious, moderate bland zone where people sort of violated codes of conduct, but really didn't. It was good to be a rebel but it was also good to follow rules and so on and so forth. Voyager and Enterprise kept making gestures toward shaking things up, but never went so far as actually, you know, shaking things up. It just got tiresome. TNG worked, once it got its rhtyhm, because Picard actually had a pretty hardcore idealism. It might get corny sometimes, but it worked. Deep Space Nine played with moral ambiguity successfully, particularly toward the end of its run, because it forced some of its characters, like Odo and Sisko, to take actions like genuinely murdering people to meet a greater need. But Voyager and Enterprise always seemed to be about something that was going to happen... and never did. They were like tepid bath water that wasn't either hot enough or cold enough to satisfy anyone. That "Beginning" storyline, above, sounds a lot like it might have some of those same problems.
Nov. 1, 2007, 12:27 a.m. CST
No question. They fucked it up and diluted it. They ruined it. They ripped apart continuity, contradicted Roddenberry's writing and original ideas, and turned Trek into bad soap opera dramedy. <p> Voyager SUCKED. Enterprise SUCKED. DS9 sucked about 3/4 of the time. The Next Generation movies all pretty much sucked, too. <p> Personally, I think the new one is just what Trek needed- a new point of view from a producer and director who aren't casting people just because they want to fuck them, and writers who don't use technobabble to resolve their story.
Nov. 1, 2007, 12:38 a.m. CST
by Valin Kenobi
Couldn't have said it better myself. Picard's idealism/faith in humanity/etc. seemed a bit naive at times, but at least it was genuine and it did work for the era TNG was set in (both real-world and in Trek continuity).
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:39 a.m. CST
It started with real promise despite the bad feelings but it pissed that all away with 3 seasons of tedious Voyageresque mediocrity. There were moments that harkened to this sort of epic Romulan war Federation founding arc in teh first few seasons but they were few and far between. The fourth season of Enterprise is one of the finest seasons of any Star Trek and really brought the Romulan war arc to the boiling point. Imagine season 7 of Enterprise with an epic war between Earth and Romulus, a desperate last stand with Vulcan and Andorian allies that results in the slimmest of victories. Earth and Vulcan are laid to waste and the The Federation is founded. These are the dreams of a depressed and idealistic Trekkie
Nov. 1, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST
Nothing else matters. It's all about Kirk and should always center on Kirk. <br> <br> All the other captains and shows were written in because Shatner was getting old, demanding more power/money, and Paramount needed to spin off a show while TOS cast prepare for retirement. <br> <br> No disrespect to Trek spin-off actors, but Trek needs to be all about Kirk, and Kirk needs to be in Trek. Young actors for new movie? I ain't got no problem with that, as long as the kid acts like young Shatner. <br> <br> Oh, yeah, by the way, FUCK STAR TREK GENERATIONS FOR KILLING KIRK. <br> <br> BERMAN/BRAGA-DESTROYERS OF THE SAGA, WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU GUYS THINKING BY KILLING KIRK????????- FUCK BOTH OF YOU FOR NOT HAVING THE BALLS TO DELIVER GREAT KIRK TREK STORIES!!!!!!!! <br> <br> There, I said it.
Nov. 1, 2007, 4:07 a.m. CST
Casino Royale. Take a loved franchise and apply an edge to it. I would love to see this in the star trek universe.
Nov. 1, 2007, 4:39 a.m. CST
Any other convenient, weak ass McGuffin devices I missed that you could bring up from the ST universe? Trouble with ST is that there's always a gadget that solves everything, which is dull. This franchise needs a rest and you trekkies need to get over it. Or is it trekkers? Ah, who gives a stuff.
Nov. 1, 2007, 5:02 a.m. CST
That was a new invention of theirs in the classic episode Balance of Terror. Rick Berman fucked up on Enterprise when he showed Romulans with cloaking devices.
Nov. 1, 2007, 7:46 a.m. CST
Nov. 1, 2007, 7:47 a.m. CST
God, that sounded awful. If you don't understand that ST fans are essentially conservative about the way the stories are told, you don't understand a goddam thing about Star Trek. No fan has any real interest in 'telling the story another way.' Star Trek is more like a target where you're trying to shoot the arrow into the center. Outside of that kind of storyt-telling, no one has any 'interest' in the goddam 'Star Trek universe.' It's charm is, always was, in its incompleteness, what it hints at, not what it shows. Show it, and kill it.
Nov. 1, 2007, 8:03 a.m. CST
Just you watch..... The new Enterprise will be shaped like Dr. Evil's rocket in Austin Powers.... "It's a....."
Nov. 1, 2007, 8:06 a.m. CST
There's tons(!) of potential here, even if it's not perfect. Is the script available to read in full form? Great synopsis. Would love to read it sometime.
Nov. 1, 2007, 8:25 a.m. CST
Stop trying to re-invent something that doesn't need re-inventing. Just becuase the TV and Movie aspect of ST has become tried and floppy isn't a reason to change the Trek Universe. There's nothing wrong with the one Gene created and you should respect this. There's loads of great writers and loads of great Trek books out there which don't try to do a BattleStar Galactica re-imagination stint at Star Trek. This idea, I'm glad they ditched it. Don't get me wrong it sounds like a good idea for a Sci-FI movie but it's not a Trek movie. Mixing Band of Brother with Star Troopers is cool and I'd probably watch it but as a Trek film it simply doesn't fit. JJ at least sounds like he's trying to make a Gene Roddenbury style Trek movie, this just isn't it.
Nov. 1, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST
Hell no is was a racist. He was a lover of the universe.
Nov. 1, 2007, 10:45 a.m. CST
And I agree Time travel in starTrek albeit vital in all of the series is way over played.
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST
...And he may have bagged her at the Khitomer Conference After Party. Verdict: Kirk is not guilty!
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:34 p.m. CST
That is a pretty sweet plot outline. If that ISN'T the plot, it would be pretty interesting nonetheless! I have high hopes for this film! IMHO, none of the subsequent Star Trek films were nearly as good as Wrath of Khan. The greatest mistake was in letting Nimoy direct Search for Spock. The story was good -- but not great. If Spock returned, it should have come in a later, more realistic story. The Star Trek films went from revolving around Kirk into revolving around Spock. Khan was great, and Nicholas Meyer's idea for Trek 3 was much better than Nimoy's (similar "Remember" storyline, but without a rapidly aging Spock). I hope that Abrams will resurrect this film like Nicholas Meyer resurrected the series with Wrath of Khan!
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:34 p.m. CST
by Abominable Snowcone
Remember that one ToS episode where he told Uhura, "Look, I like you, we're practically family--but all the same, you need to drink out of the 'colored' water fountain."<br> I lost lots of respect for him instantly for that, and only their jungle fever kiss partly made up for it.
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST
by Abominable Snowcone
Uhura's snappy comeback to Kirk's racist remark: "But sir, I'm the only black person on this ship." <br> To which he replied, "Yes I know--it's a problem I've been working on for some time. Scotty's going to retool the transporters to beam the black out of you."
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:40 p.m. CST
by Abominable Snowcone
will take elements of "Generations"' nexus and combine it with "Matrix" material. The crew of the Enterprise will travel back in time through this "Maxtrus" and stop bullets from killing pivotal historical figures. Except for Kirk, who instead of preventing Wilkes Booth from killing Lincoln, shoots the president himself and cries out, "There! Now the Enterprise will forever be the whitest ship in Starfleet!"
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST
...he just hated the militant Klingon terrorists -- just like we hate American Branch Dividians, German Nazis, Vietcong torturers or the Arab PLO. It's not a "racial" thing -- it's a hatred for those who perform mindless acts of violence in the name of a cause.
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:43 p.m. CST
...put he got the job done! ;-)
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:46 p.m. CST
by Ye Not Guilty
I find it ironic that this script is only being reviewed now that this project is officially dead. I wonder how long AICN has sat on this script before publishing this review. Various contributors to AICN have claimed that they have tons of scripts of in production projects that they just don't have the time to review. If in fact Harry and the others really do have these scripts that they claim to have, they should find a contributor who has the time to review them and start a script review section of this site. Waiting until a project is dead before reviewing the script is BS. Yeah, and this script sounds like it blows, too. Making a Trek prequel with no recognizable characters and making it into a cliche war movie is a crap idea. It's even got the old "I gave you a DIRECT ORDER, soldier!" cliche in it. Crap crap crap. It's a good thing this project is dead.
Nov. 1, 2007, 1:58 p.m. CST
by 5 by 5
Utopia is boring. Hence, drama and conflict. The best Star Trek is where the good guys are beating the bad guys. Does this translate into militaristic? Probably, since we're dealing with a fleet, an organization, that explores the universe, and this organization has acknowledged the need for weapons.
Nov. 1, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST
by 5 by 5
TNG was too pc, Deep Space Nine was too, the one with the female captain (I don't even remember it's name it was so crappy) was too pc, and the last series was too pc. Bring back the "space cowboy" feeling of the orignal series, and the audience will come back.
Nov. 1, 2007, 2:13 p.m. CST
Is there a list of parameters anywhere?
Nov. 1, 2007, 2:26 p.m. CST
Next Gen era of Trek sucks (DS9 was pretty good though) thank god Berman and his pussy ass wanna be cerebral,overly PC, Bland, asexual, x-mas orniment looking neon lit ships, children on Federation Flagship, Whoopie Goldberg, tea sipping, flute playing, asking the ship shrink opinion on battle strategies, techno babel filled, fat android, only can be intimate on a holodeck, poetry reading, ultra left wing, version of Trek is dead!!! Bring on Kirk, hot chicks, good fistfights, comradere, cool space battles in ships that look tough, thought provoking stories wrapped up in a fun action, drama, good comedy, Kirk balling his brains out, hot chicks wearing barely anything, nerve pinches and Scotty fussing about his engines and Kirk pointing his finger in a demigods face and explaining why it is wrong!!! Bring on real Star Trek other than DS9 and Undiscovered Country we have not really had it for 20 years!!! Fire Fucking Phasers and set them to Kill!!!!
Nov. 1, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST
I think he caught it from that green chick. What was her name... Batgirl?
Nov. 1, 2007, 2:57 p.m. CST
Picard's Enterprise_D got whipped by a 75 year old ship. Kirk's ships got hit close range and even had a photon torpedo smash through its saucer section. Enough with the flute playing....!
Nov. 1, 2007, 3 p.m. CST
That episode were they found out that warp travel was evil just exemplifies the degeneration of Trek.
Nov. 1, 2007, 3:02 p.m. CST
...than the Enterprise-D.
Nov. 1, 2007, 3:10 p.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
Dear God -- this sounds silly.
Nov. 1, 2007, 5:05 p.m. CST
by 5 by 5
picardsucks and DarfurOnTheRocks
Nov. 1, 2007, 5:30 p.m. CST
Fleet 'cause that would make a whole lotta "StarBlazers" sense.
Nov. 1, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST
A lot of you have made some good points about the pros and cons of this one but i disagree about the military aspect not being suited to Trek. The Utopian ideals of Star Trek were born out of the politics of the 60's as was the horribly outdated science which the foundation of the show was founded on. Now because of this, Trek will always, in it's heart, be "anchored" to that era. It will never be ultra realistic like 2001. There will always be a slight "camp" feel to Roddenberry's universe. You can downplay it (DS9) or bring it more in focus (Enterprise season 4). Personally, i like either take. However. time marches on and the idealistic, "let's all hold hands and end war" 60's philosophy starts to make that star trek future look pretty unrealistic so what do you do? It's established continuity so you have to deal with it. What the new writers did was brilliant. They strengthened the original intention by slowly revealing what Earth had to go through in order to become such a paradise. Remember that MAD MAX court scene in Encounter at Farpoint? How about that fucked up San Fransisco from 2050 in that DS9 episode? I love it. Basically what there saying is, the shit had to hit the fan before John Lenon's wet dream could be realized. I buy that a lot better than a bunch of space hippies building a perfectly functioning future society and not getting there asses handed to them by the first hostile alien race they come across. The Utopian preaching, smiley people of star trek aren't the wussy pacifist they appear to be. The human race depicted in Trek is tougher, smarter and now wiser than we are. They got beat down but they got back up, wiped the blood off there nose and said to themselves, "okay, i get it. From now on i promise to play better with others". Humanity essentially fucked up big time and learned from it's mistakes. This is what First Contact started to explore: the aftermath. The dusting yourself off part. I love that they have the balls to give an actual death toll for world War 3 (600 million I think). Enterprise seemed like an examination of the next step: The transition. The transition from that fucked up MAD MAX future that turned Zefram Cochrane into a raging alcoholic, to that wonderful Starfleet utopia. Archer seemed to exemplify this. His character in the first season came off as a metaphor for humanities state of mind: someone who's gone through hard times and been fucked with but is in the process of rising to the occasion, becoming more than he once was but still smarts enough to distrust the benevolent race that's offering them a kind hand. Everything talked about in the script seems to be attempting to finish what Enterprise and First Conact started. The last stage in the transition and the inevitable Romulan - Earth War that the series was clearly getting ready to tackle with in it's fifth season. I love the clash between the military service and starfleet. This is the old earth ways comming up against humanity's new direction and it also helps explain why Starfleet seemed so militarialistic even though they're constantly claiming to be a peacekeeping exploration organization. As far as breaking continuity with the romulans showing up before the "Balance of Terror" episode, who said their are Romulans on those ships? Star Trek has a tradition now, of using elements intoduced in the movies and exploring them further in the tv shows. Hence the Remans in Nemesis. Yes the movie sucked but we're only talking about a plot element here. The Romulans obviously created the slave race of Remans as an army to fight there wars for them while they sip their Romulan Ale back home. That's how they would have gotten around it in the show. You never would have seen the Romulans in the script I bet. Just some mysterious ships. As far as the war goes though, it has benn done on Trek. Big time. On DS9, they had the entire Starfleet attacking giant armadas of alien battleships. There were times were Trek looked like the third act of JEDI. It was impressive and it lasted over the course of seasons. To dip into that well again might be overkill but i guess that's were that new format comes in. I love it. I love seeing the Trek universe from the point of view of someone not on the Enterprise or in Starfleet. i think it's also appropriate to bring in strong links to Kirk and company since the original series is pretty much what happens next. Also, i think some of you are right about this being better for a mini series format rather tahn the big screen. The reality is, the movies will only draw an audience if it's about the OS of NEXTGEN crew. Any story dealing with, say, the DS9 crew would be great on TV as a movie or series of TV movies and i think it would definately draw an audience. Same goes for this kind of one off- anciallary characters-story. Star Trek is like Star Wars. It's a large, diverse universe that deserves to have it's nooks and cranies explored. I would love to see more material from this time (Col. Green anyone?). Hell, I want to see the really fucked up MAD MAX TREK full forcxe with those crazy, drugged up soldiers from Q's court with the poor folks quietly dreaming of that Starfleet future they'll never live to see. Now, as far as JJ Abrams, I don't need to see young Kirk and Spock. you guys are right. A reboot isn't needed. Aside from the past stuff this script covers, Star Trek should still be moving into the future. How about a show in the 28th century or something? To ignore that obvious direction is to do disservice to Roddenberry's original concept.
Nov. 1, 2007, 6:09 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
Sign this petition to bring back Kirk.
Nov. 1, 2007, 8:15 p.m. CST
No matter how potentially good that screenplay might be, with Rick Berman and the old guard involved, imagine bland sets, blander actors, white noise for music, and a straight-to-video vibe. Star Trek had style for a long time as well as substance. It usually overcame the fact that it was cheap looking, but somewhere during the Voyager years it started to look more and more lame despite them having more money than ever. By Nemesis, there was no getting over the fact that the franchise had a very dull visual style and wasn't pushing any boundaries either of story telling or production. I'm sorry to say that in the current media world we're in, you need visual style as much as substance. Trek grew stale in both realms, and to be honest I still cannot get excited about more of it and I was a HUGE Trek nut in my teens. This Beginning series/movie/whatever sounds like it was about 10 years too late. They should have delved into that kind of territory rather than bothered with Enterprise. Frankly I think they should have avoided Voyager too, but there are some people who still haven't sobered up to how bad that show was. I'm not really expecting Abrams to save anything either. I didn't like Mission:Impossible 3 (although I think it worked better than 2 overall), and I think Alias went downhill after a strong start. And lest we forget the crap that was the Superman screenplay that Moriarty reviewed. I just don't know that Trek will ever be for me again, and I doubt Abrams is the one to change that.
Nov. 1, 2007, 9:54 p.m. CST
by Red Giant
This is the typical sanitized and convenient b.s. that makes me hate Berman-esque Trek. Why would they even think that they could hope to get anywhere meaningfully even within days *after* the Romulans arrived at Earth, let alone *ahead* of them? BSG does all of this waaaay better than any trek spin-off ever could or will.
Nov. 2, 2007, 12:10 a.m. CST
Nov. 2, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST
Took the words right out of my mouth. Well, we'll always have Deep Space Nine. And Red Giant, you're right. Berman and BRAGA were always doing that shit.
Nov. 2, 2007, 12:44 a.m. CST
I bet he would have had a really half assed moko too.
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