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Star Trek Sequel Will Reflect Contemporary Political Issues

by
September 16, 2009
Source: LA Times

Star Trek

By now we all know that a sequel to Star Trek is on the way, but we're going to be waiting until summer 2011 to see it. There haven't been any official script pages yet, but we do know that director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof (of "Lost" fame who has also been added to the writing team) have been tossing around some potential story ideas for the follow-up to the box office behemoth that has grossed over $383 million to date. The LA Times sat down with Abrams and Orci where they divulged a little bit more information regarding where the Enterprise crew will boldly go next.

Here's what Abrams had to say about what they really need to accomplish with the Star Trek sequel:

"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. The first movie was so concerned with just setting up the characters -- their meeting each and galvanizing that family -- that in many ways a sequel will have a very different mission. it needs to do what [the late Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story. 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."

So dealing with our current political climate, it seems issues would need to circle the tense war times, the ethics of certain war strategies (interrogation, torture, etc), and the dilemma one has using violence to stop more violence. LA Times' writer Geoff Boucher equated these touchy issues to that of a conflict that might erupt between Starfleet and the Klingons in the Star Trek universe and Orci was all about that exact idea:

"Well yeah, those are the kind of issues we're talking about. Wow, you're good! But seriously that's the way we're thinking, that's an approach. So if you have any ideas…"

Well now we're starting to get an idea of just how Star Trek will use this generation's culture to craft the world inside of this science fiction series. If there's one thing I love about motion pictures, it's the message that soaks through them because of the climate of the times in which they were made. Especially because when a film stands the test of time, you can tell that a filmmaker really honed in on the human factor of a story, and it can hit on a personal level with everybody. Certainly I hope that the political messages in Star Trek aren't over-zealous, as it's supposed to be fun, too. But I know Abrams won't steer us wrong at all.

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  • Keith
    May 2011 can't come soon enough!
  • Calibretto
    Gonna suck like the first one.
  • Calibretto, What didn't you like about the first one?
  • Sabes
    The first one was great. Can't wait to hear more about the second!
  • Hack
    Orci/Kurtzman - one of the worst writing duos in cinematic history.
  • 1-7
    LOL! The new Star Trek franchise exploring "relevant political issues". That's like Uwe Boll making a good movie. The last Star Trek movie was the most empty Star Trek film yet. Lame plot, lame villain and significantly devoid of subtext.
  • OCP
    The first was the best yet, cant wait for the second. #2 go troll somewhere else
  • Spider
    Awesome flick! I sure hope the sequel is worthy of the series and extends farther beyond what the 1st one established. :)
  • cat
    we all hope the sequel is awesome but don't screw it up by getting political!
  • DiR3ct
    #7 - He can voice his opinion, I agree with him as well.
  • Brandon
    Can't wait!
  • Silver
    a little off topic but why was star trek a decent flick but transformers 2 was a god awful unholy abomination? was it the writers strike or something?
  • esophus
    #5 I fucking agree with you...fucking HACKS!!!!!
  • Jonathan
    #12--they started shooting Transformers 2 without a script. They just shot action scenes. The script was written later during shooting to accomodate the action. That's why it sucked.
  • bracomadar
    I hope they aren't gonna try to get Klingon's "Universal" health care.
  • zibo fricka
    I've been a fan of star trek for almost 40 years: the haters are full of hot air and out the lunch. This Star Trek movie rocked. And racists that try to hide behind 'slogans' - We can all see you, see right through you, and know that you aren't just wrong...your harmful.
  • Alfredo
    #14: is that the real reason? hmm, I didn't know that. Ever since I watched the mess that was TF2 I've been wondering how the dynamic duo was able to write such an interesting story with Star Trek, and mess up soooo badly with Transformers.
  • Ryz
    @17 One person Michael Bay did you notice the comedy in TF2 was bad but ST had great comedy.
  • You guys are forgetting that they had three weeks to write a rough draft script then the writers strike happened! And they already had a release date, so they tried to do what they could with the time. Not to mention HASBRO wanted certain bots in the movies for toy selling. You guys need to start doing some simple research. Stop blaming Bay!
  • Fritz Blaze
    Want a good Trek political movie? Rewatch "The Undiscovered Country." I do have hope that Trek 2 will be as good as the first which, I might opine, was one of the best Trek movies ever.
  • dave13
    Undiscovered Country? Try The Journey Home instead. lets hope they actually bring life to the sequel, and perhaps not have Spock kissing and being all emotional all the time?
  • sleepykid
    Trek political subtext? Do they mean meeting alien cultures and teaching them the American way?
  • Tra la la la la di da
    First off, the topics described aren't political, that's why Abrams sucks and his projects are bad when he is personally involved. If it's just his studio or he's producing with little influence, you can tell a difference. Never the less, Star Trek was political once, but in a manner so that people could still enjoy the movie. Hollywood has no concept of subtlety these days which is why when they get political, it all goes down hill.
  • germs
    I don't like this idea of forcing a movie to be relevant to the times. If it happens naturally or develops during the scripting process, fine by me; but to be the foundation of which you have building a story sounds wrong. I think directors and writers overestimate moviegoers concern over "contemporary political issues" in their blockbusters. I don't want the same duds that wrote Transformers 2 to be giving me any political allegory in a movie.
  • Pete
    Political messages or themes in movies disguised as "relevance" is a sure way to chase away half of the fans. Hollywood is there to entertain us, not to make up excuses to push their own political agendas.
  • Antioch
    HORRIBLE idea. Hasn't Hollywood figured out that people don't want to see political commentaries? They usually alienate at least 1/2 of their audience. Dumbass move.
  • Felix
    "I think directors and writers overestimate moviegoers concern over "contemporary political issues" in their blockbusters. I don't want the same duds that wrote Transformers 2 to be giving me any political allegory in a movie." "Political messages or themes in movies disguised as "relevance" is a sure way to chase away half of the fans. Hollywood is there to entertain us, not to make up excuses to push their own political agendas." "Star Trek was political once, but in a manner so that people could still enjoy the movie. Hollywood has no concept of subtlety these days which is why when they get political, it all goes down hill" ..........WORD!
  • Al
    25 has it right
  • Vold
    The original Star Trek was very political. That was one of the things that made it so relevant. I don't mind if they do that again. So long as they FIX SPOCK!
  • harrison
    will earth elect a klingon leader?
  • moif
    What ever the next film is, it won't be improved by people talking about it like it means anything. 'Political' is just another way of pandering to the crowd. If they really wanted to challenge the audience, they'd boldly go where no Star Trek story has gone before. I liked the first of the new films, but thats probably because I didn't have any expectations nor preconceptions. I just wanted to be entertained, and I was.
  • l.21
    If they write one about war and violence, I hope they don't get all "liberal" boo hoo war is bad and peace and love and hemp are the "true" way.
  • CJ
    Ok Summer 2011 is going to be ridiculous. May • Spider-Man 4 - 5/6 • Thor - 5/20 • The Hangover 2 - 5/26 June (Details) • Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom - 6/3 • Green Lantern - 6/17 • Cars 2 - 6/24 July (Details) • Battleship - 7/1 • Transformers 3 - 7/1 • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two) - 7/15 • The First Avenger: Captain America - 7/22 • Smurfs (in 3D) - 7/29 TBD Summer 2011 • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides And now Star Trek 2 is in there. WOW

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