MTV’s Larry Carroll offers some advice to director J.J. Abrams now that it’s been revealed that Star Trek XI will be an origin story of the young James T. Kirk and young Spock (I guess in the spirit of Batman Begins or Casino Royale). What’s up with this recent cultural obsession with the pathos of origins, anyway?
Make ‘Em Badass. As we’re seeing with Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale” and Gerard Butler in “300,” reinterpreting old stereotypes with a ’70s-style tough-guy approach is a really, really cool idea. So don’t be afraid to let Scotty come up out of the engine room and kick some butt, or allow Uhura to make like the Bride in “Kill Bill.” Look at Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” if you need inspiration on how to balance tough-guy sensibilities with the Gene Roddenberry sense of noble exploration.
Don’t Make It A Prequel. Prequels suck and we hate them. If you’re going to reboot the franchise with “Star Trek XI” (by the way, please don’t call it that), actually reboot it. Remember how we said that Roddenberry’s characters aren’t like Bond? Well, they’re not — but that doesn’t mean the aesthetic of your movie can’t be. As silly as it might sound for a movie set in space, the grittier, more realistic approach would do wonders for this particular franchise. Remember how the engine sputters when Han Solo tries to turn the key on the Millennium Falcon? Imagine if George Lucas (circa ’77) had brought such ideas to the U.S.S. Enterprise.