For a franchise that has been around for nearly a half century and has had a remarkably consistent (though obviously imperfect!) history, it seems like very few people have cried “foul!” when an upstart director decides to toss the entire history into the garbage dump and says, “That’s all stupid. This is what should have happened. I know, ‘cause I’m young and as we all know, ‘Old Is Evil And Doesn’t Make Boatloads Of Money Anymore And Youth Is, As It Has Been, Always Right’.”
I know we call it a “reboot”. I KNOW Kirk and Spock are old – they’re the same age as my dad! I know “the times, they are a changing”.
I also figure it must take an incredible level of arrogance to throw out a canon and declare that you have a personal and superior vision.
However, what amazes me more is that none of the faithful have said “boo”. No one has challenged the usurper.
It reminds me of an experience I had when I was 19.
I was in my second year of college, at a place called Golden Valley Lutheran College. A friend of mine and I both lived off campus and not far from each other. We were taking a class called The Philosophy of Non-Christian Religions. Pastor John Gronli was teaching the class. He was a remarkably open and thoughtful man, not full of dark pronouncements against the faiths of others, he led us to look at the philosophies of faith other than Christian openly and honestly, while still maintaining his own strong faith in Christ.
Mike and I wanted to do something really different and outside-the-box. We found the house “church” of the religion invented and promulgated by the Korean Reverend Sun Myung Moon. The “mission” in south Minneapolis was new – “In 1975, Moon sent out missionaries to 120 countries to spread the Unification Church around the world and also in part, he said, to act as ‘lightning rods’ to receive ‘persecution.’”
We visited, playing the part of seeking teenagers, and got a copy of Moon’s book, THE DIVINE PRINCIPLE in which he lays out his plan for the world; as well as a good interview. We then got busy reading.
What was supposed to have been a seven page paper turned into a 35-page theological treatise comparing Moon’s claim that TDP was a “new New Testament”, and that it was a completion of the “old New Testament” of the early Church. While we found that it was no such thing and the Unification Church went on to become a multi-billion dollar enterprise, we were convinced that the Moonies had simply adopted the parts of Christianity that were acceptable to the masses, gave the fatherless (of which there were a growing number) a real Dad (the Reverend Sun Myung Moon) and spoke of whirled peas…er…World Peace during “a 120-city world speaking tour. At each city, Moon delivered his speech titled ‘God's Ideal Family – the Model for World Peace’” in 2005.
Abrams has done much the same thing with the Star Trek “reboot” and we’ve swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. I am as guilty as the next Trekker (I’m not a Trekkie as I have no Spock ears, uniform or phaser (I do have a tribble, a Worf doll, a model of VOYAGER and ST:TOS ENTERPRISE, as well as the most recent addition to my ST collection – ST:TNG Pez® candy dispensers from my son and daughter-in-law) as I lined up for the movie premier with my dad, son and best male friend; as I will line up to see “Into The Darkness”.
However, I have FINALLY spoken out to express my true feelings. I HATE the new Star Trek. Then again, maybe no one will notice and assume that, like everyone, I have remained silent like sheep because this is the only Star Trek fix we’re ever gonna get and we’d best keep our mouths shut and shell out the plastic – or they’ll take the bastard child away from us…