My good friend, Fer and I have coined the term "Ultimate Trek" in anticipation of the reimagining of the Star Trek by Alias and Lost creator J. J. Abrams in a film being released in theaters this May. Relating it to Marvel Comics' Ultimate Universe, we have tried to think of it that way and prepare ourselves for a reboot despite rumors that it would indeed respect the continuity of the original series. We figured if we prepared ourselves for the worst and kept an open mind that we just might be able to enjoy this film.
I'm not going to give anything away for anybody because I hate people who do that to me so no spoilers here I promise. But my worst fears are indeed all true it seems. All I can say is that from what I know there is very little retained from the original continuity at all. I saw a review of four scenes that were previewed for some British reporters which is how I've gathered this intel. Now, I'm not just talking about things established in print in stories or technical manuals or encyclopedias or widely accepted assumptions by fans, oh no, it does contradict all that and many things definitely established onscreen. All of that contradicted in just four scenes. What about the rest of the movie! Yikes!
Granted, the franchise does need a fresh start. I would have started with a completely new characters myself but then I'm obviously not in control. This may indeed appeal to a much broader audience and it may win over a bunch of converts from the old series. But it HAS to do that to succeed because I can't see any way they aren't going to alienate a huge portion of their fanbase with this film. I've already heard talk from Trek fans about banning the film. But then, considering the cost of the film is over $150 million dollars reportedly, even if all the fans loved it it won't be enough so maybe they are doing the right thing from a financial standpoint. Paramount seems to be immensely confident in it, almost overconfident. I hope that confidence is not misplaced because they are positioning the film's release date between two movies which are almost certainly going to make a lot of money, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is released the weekend prior and Angels and Demons the prequel to the DaVinci Code is released the following weekend. That's a lot of competition for a struggling franchise that is quite possibly going to nearly completely alienate its fanbase.
On the plus side, it is getting a lot of positive reviews so it may indeed appeal to a different audience. If you don't like Star Trek but if you are more of a fan of Star Wars, Alien or the Terminator movies this film seems to be more for you than it is for us old Trekkies. I do like those films a lot so maybe there is hope I'll enjoy this yet.
So, reprogram your brains and forget what you know, Trekkies, Trekkers and Trekites, we are in for a total and complete reboot. Fer and I have got to repeat "Ultimate Trek" to ourselves a lot more before it hits theaters.