Story Ideas for the Next STAR TREK Movie


J.J. Abrams announced that a sequel to his hit remake of Star Trek may not hit movie theaters until the summer of 2012. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are starting work now on the script. There is no word yet on whether or not Abrams will direct the film or hand over the reins to someone else.


The movie, (which sparked a debate among my friends and I), rejuvenated the Trek franchise, adding a fresh perspective for new audiences and including a lot of classic references to appease many fans of the original. So what will they do for a follow-up?

They likely will come up with a brand new story, but since the characters will still be the crew from the original series in their alternate timeline, there are plenty of opportunities for inspired references to Star Trek canon.

Here are some of my ideas which Abrams and his gang at Bad Robot Productions can use free of charge. (If, however, they wish to hire me as a writer or as an actor on the next film, I am open to negotiations.)

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you still haven’t seen the latest Star Trek.

1. Reboot Gene Roddenberry’s first Star Trek story. The first pilot for Trek was called “The Cage” and featured Jeffrey Hunter as Christopher Pike, Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Footage from that episode was reused as flashback scenes in a great two-parter called “The Menagerie.” Bruce Greenwood played Captain Pike in the new film. Now that history has been changed thanks to Nero’s screwing around through time, James Tiberius Kirk has become Captain much earlier than in the original timeline. So, Abrams and his writers can explore the adventure on planet Talos IV and the illusion-generating alien inhabitants with Kirk as the protagonist instead of Pike. Maybe Pike can still be a featured player as Kirk’s mentor. It would be great to see a re-imagined version of the radiation accident that crippled the character in the original story.

2. Retell Roddenberry’s second Star Trek pilot. “Where No Man Has Gone Before” is one of my favorite episodes, with Kirk’s friend Gary Mitchell (played by Gary Lockwood) gaining god-like powers that corrupt him and threaten the crew of the Enterprise. I would love to see a retelling of this tale and discover what Abrams and his team come up with.

3. If more time travel is necessary, use the Guardian of Forever. The portal entity from the classic episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is a great device to traverse the span of time (and maybe even alternate realities). The producers might have to probably pay a fortune to writer Harlan Ellison for the rights, but that’s a small price to pay for what could be an excellent tale and another blockbuster film.

4. Visit another alternate reality, the Mirror Universe! Another great storyline from Classic Trek is the episode, “Mirror, Mirror,” where the benevolent Federation of Planets is a fascist Empire populated by twisted, evil versions of the characters we know and love. This could offer up a lot of possibilities to tell some mind-tripping stories with lots of Easter eggs for fans.

5. Bring William Shatner on board. The last movie had Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, serving as the perfect connection to the old series. The only thing that could be more perfect, if that were possible, would be to have Shatner reprise his iconic role as Captain Kirk in some plotline that would connect the new Trek universe with the original. Maybe Spock-Prime might figure that since time has been fudged-up so badly he might as well try to go back to the future and save the life of his old friend Jim (who was killed in Star Trek: Generations by Malcolm McDowell’s Dr. Soran).

6. Offer lots of cool cameos. If the central plot turns out to be something original with nothing to do with classic storylines, at least insert lots of characters from the original series in the next movie, however briefly. I’d love to see the Gorn, the Klingons, Harry Mudd, Nurse Christine Chapel, Yeoman Rand, and others. How sweet would it be if the final scene of the next movie was the Enterprise discovering the Botany Bay (Khan Noonien Singh’s ship) drifting through space?

That’s what my geek mind can come up with off the top of my head. I don’t expect to see any of these ideas brought to life on screen, but I hope the filmmakers can continue to blend fresh ideas with some nostalgic stories and characters, satisfying old fans and continuing to build new ones.

Comments

How about not retelling any of these stories and do something completely different? I detested Star Trek (2009) for trotting out the two most tired elements of Trek storytelling Time travel and the revenge seeking villain looking to destroy Earth.

This version was sold as "not your father's Star Trek". Fine. Then do something original instead of going to your father's well of tired ideas.

I don't fault the recast actors, they did the best they could with a horrible script and Nimoy's performance was shockingly tired and disconnected. He was for all intents and purposes "Basil Exposition" from Austin Powers and Nero might as well have been the bad guy from Star Trek Nemesis.

I won't go into what an abomination the Enterprise is.
Nick said…
I agree about Nimoy's over-exposition. That one scene when he tried to explain how the time alteration happened was brutal.

But overall, I did enjoy the new Star Trek film. My favorite moment, actually, was the very end -- the final shots in space with the nostalgic music from Classic Trek playing. I think the movie would have been even more successful if they kept a little more of the retro look from the original television series -- sort of a 1960s-retro-chic vibe. The Enterprise bridge set, for example, was pretty blah, in my opinion. (I didn't particularly like the bridge's redesign in the earlier Trek films either.)
I agree with you that the bridge from movies 1-3 were not all that great either. I loved everything about the refit Enterprise except the bridge. The bridge from Star Trek 5 and 6 were the best of the movies.

In the current film, set design upset me every bit as much as the script. I won't even try to go into the kind of detail it would require.

A friend of mine who is a Gulf War era veteran hated the movie from a military point of view. She found her beloved TOS characters had been rendered completely unbelievable not only on the Enterprise but at the Academy as well. I thought that was interesting since the original creators of Star Trek were mostly WWII vets.

After my original post I found the link where you and a friend who hated it had an exchange of viewpoints. I agree with your friend. I had never left a movie theater as heavy hearted and depressed as I did Star Trek 2009. Never had I wanted so much to like a movie and could not.