Star Trek Beyond Nerd Rage

| December 14, 2015

So, this morning, Paramount gave us our first taste of the third Star Trek movie in the reboot series and, don’t worry nerds, Brad, your resident Star Trek aficionado, is here to ease you through what is most likely a difficult time (based upon my glimpse into the comments sections of the trailer. Always a mistake.)

Look. I’m, most likely, the biggest fan of Star Trek among the three of us, so when the franchise churns out another installment, I have the biggest investment in it. When they rebooted the franchise, I accepted that the Trek I knew and loved had moved on because Paramount is in the business of making money, not fan service. Classic Star Trek is almost 50 years old. The studio needed to attract a new generation of fans to keep the revenue flowing for the next 50. I get it.

And as you’ll see from this handy BoxOfficeMojo.com chart, us classic fans weren’t giving enough money to Paramount to keep classic Trek viable.

Star Trek Into Darkness $228,778,661
Star Trek $257,730,019
Star Trek: Nemesis $43,254,409
Star Trek: Insurrection $70,187,658
Star Trek: First Contact $92,027,888
Star Trek: Generations $75,671,125
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country $74,888,996
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier $52,210,049
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home $109,713,132
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock $76,471,046
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan $78,912,963
Star Trek: The Motion Picture $82,258,456

For 20 years, across 7 films, Star Trek attracted about the same domestic box office revenue, the anomalies being ST: IV peaking at almost $110 million in 1986 dollars, and flaming out around $5o million between ST: V & X in 1990’s dollars. Everyone’s favorite Wrath of Khan isn’t even the top earner of the franchise. Remember, Paramount is still in the business of using film to make tons of money and, as we well know, higher box office revenue doesn’t equal higher quality films, just more films. So, to make more Star Trek movies, Paramount needed a blockbuster. They did that by rolling the dice and reaching out to the new audience and wildly succeeded. They filled their coffers, attracted new fans, and did it again four years later (well, maybe not the fans part).

All of this is to say, I’m not that shocked by the Star Trek Beyond trailer. It’s certainly different, and blatantly a strategic marketing effort targeted at the Guardians of the Galaxy/Marvel audience. But that’s where the money is! Young audiences pay for explosions and dark rooms to send texts to their friends! Fuck all us old fans with the tight wallets! Go buy Next Gen on blu-ray and binge watch old Trek if you love it so much! (said some Paramount exec. Probably.)

The reboot movies are still entertaining, the cast has been charming and evocative of the characters, and I want to see more anything written by Simon Pegg, so I’m still in. But for everyone else who is afraid of this Fast & Furious-coated Star Trek Beyond trailer, let me show you how easily music manipulates your perceptions! I layered the Giacchino Star Trek theme over the trailer’s visuals and lowered the Beastie Boys song (as much as I could without the source assets) and it’s back to feeling like a Star Trek movie:

^ Star Trek Beyond re-edited with Reboot Theme

So let’s try not to get so worked up about trailers that we junk up comment threads with our useless opinions from now on, okay?

Brad

(Commence junking up this thread)

About the Author:

His earliest memory of nerdiness is discovering the Star Trek motion pictures when his parents (presumably) accidentally rented the first one on laser disc. He attended his first convention at the age of 12 and has been to many Star Trek conventions since, as well as SDCC, NYCC, and E3 twice. He’s also an avid TMNT fan who has each of the first four issues of the original comic book signed by Eastman AND Laird. Brad also favors Batman and loves Nintendo so much he still plays his Virtual Boy from time-to-time. When he’s not immersed in nerd media, he’s out competing at bar trivia or working on several creative projects like podcasting, producing short films, publishing books, and drawing cartoons. His favorite film of all-time is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie and with over 600 DVD’s and blu-rays in his collection, Brad is surely a Reel Nerd.
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8 Comments on "Star Trek Beyond Nerd Rage"

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  1. Rick Cross says:

    Love your version — but I’m in either way. I’ve truly enjoyed the new series. It’s the same old TREK, told in a new way, and I think Roddenberry would be delighted. May it live another 50 years!

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