It’s taken me a while to really take a look at this updated Star Trek that J. J. Abrams has done, and I’ve come to a final realization.
Abrams Star Trek shows none of the progressive steps that Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman attempted to do with the different television series. Star Trek at one time took great strides to tell stories in a sci fi setting that mirrored the real world. The first black commanding officer with Ben Sisko. The first female captain with Janeway. The story about torture that was played out in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The stories about family as a whole.
The new Trek is gratuitous amounts of action, and with the latest installment, a lot of sexism it seems. The new female character spent more time in a bikini than actually in a uniform, played up mostly for perverted, junior high school like fan service if nothing else. And then, completely all male fan service. Because the character was viewed as an object, not a character. Not like Kirk or Picard or Sisko or Janeway have been in the past.
Abrams has managed to take a very storied universe and step it back to 1950’s ideology. Women aren’t characters in this universe; they’re just sex objects and we must be serviced by them. That was sarcasm, by the way. But Abrams has managed to take every aspect of ideology that Roddenberry and Berman attempted to bring forward, tear it all down and leave us with nothing but sensationalism. Let’s do this ’cause it’s cool and they did it in the original series but we’ll do it better.
I’m really not sure what this new series is, but it sure as hell isn’t Star Trek. It may look like it, there may be a lot of terminology used that was in Trek, but the characters and how they act are far from Trek. A lot of what we’ve come to know from Star Trek was tossed aside in this new offering. This brings me back to my complaint about rebooting a series. Why reboot it, when you can do something new? Why was it so important to recreate the crew of the Enterprise when you can just make something new that comes after Voyager, after the last Star Trek movie. Is it that risk factor that fans won’t go see it because it’s not familiar? Sorry, that’s a lame excuse. This is Star Trek, fans will go see it. The franchise is, more or less, mostly risk free.
So, let’s toss out progressive story arcs, showcasing different character types, expanding on an incredibly diverse universe. Let’s just make as much sensationalist stuff up that we can. Oh yeah, and call it a reboot and recast the original crew. Because that’s innovative. No, actually, it’s not. It’s just lazy.