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Will ‘Star Trek 2’ Look To Today For A Futuristic Story?

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A recent Hero Complex blog over at LATimes.com has revealed a somewhat minor (and fairly predictable) bit of news on the inevitable Star Trek 2. And no, it doesn’t involve a retread of The Wrath of Khan or the Borg…

JJ Abrams and Star Trek co-writer Robert Orci were asked about their plans for the sequel’s storyline, and they acknowledged that the first film’s main goal was to (re)introduce the characters but that the follow-up would have a very different mission.

[The sequel] needs to do what 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. We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.’ We’re trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what’s going on today as possible. So that’s one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today.”

I’m kind of torn on this… I realize that social and political commentary is a common thread throughout the Star Trek universe and in science fiction in general, but I worry about the potential to go too far (and too far to the left… this is Hollywood after all). Future worlds and times will have new issues and conflicts… do we need to continue rehashing the same problems over and over? Will the crew of the Enterprise discover that dilithium crystals are a non-renewable resource and that the universe is running low? Will Starfleet battle a looming healthcare crisis? Will Sulu get himself in trouble at the VMA’s by dissing a white woman in favor of an Asian goddess? I don’t actually expect any of these to show up in the sequel, but any of them would be preferable to a storyline about torture and the treatment of prisoners of war… god, can you imagine how dated and obvious that would feel?

Orci was asked if the sequel might “see Starfleet grappling with the ethics of torture or dealing with a rising terrorist threat or perhaps a painful, politicized war with the Klingons.” His response? “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.”

Well shit…

What relevant topic from today do you want Star Trek to tackle? Or should they avoid commentary and just give us more action, sexy shenanigans, and Tribbles?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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