What Next for Star Trek?

It’s been a week since I watched Star Trek Into Darkness. I’m planning to see it for a second time in the next few days but I’ve been thinking about the film a lot over the past week. I still have a few qualms with certain elements of the story but I’m intrigued by the possibilities they left open for the next film. I consider myself a bit of a Trexpert so I’m going to outline a few ways into which the franchise can boldy go. Obviously there will be spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness, so if you haven’t seen the film yet go watch it right now, then come back and read this (and check out my review).

1 – Khan

I told you there would be spoilers. I apologise if this did spoil you but you should have followed my instructions and watched the film! Anyway, so Khan isn’t marooned on Ceti Alpha V but he is put back into suspended automation. I wasn’t too enamoured by the use of Khan. I think that because they took so much effort to establish this new continuity it opened the world up for brand new stories and it seemed a shame to revisit Khan in the very next movie, of course sometimes it is fun to encounter familiar things with new twists. I think my main disappointment is that they cribbed almost an entire scene from The Wrath of Khan, which took away a lot of the emotional drama. 

 However, Benedict Cumberbatch was awesome as Khan. He had such a powerful, chilling presence that you just want to see more. I think now he has more of a reason to seek vengeance against Kirk (or perhaps his wrath will be directed more towards Spock) than he did in The Wrath of Khan. But I wouldn’t like to see him in the next film. There’s a tendency for laypeople to elevate Khan as Star Trek’s main villain, but prior to this movie he was only in one episode and one movie. Out of 700+ hours that isn’t much. I’d rather not see the focus of the movies narrowly stick to Khan so while I’d like to see Benedict Cumberbatch return as Khan I hope it isn’t for the next movie or two at least (assuming they get that far). 

2 – War with Klingons

Admiral Marcus seemed to think war with Klingons was inevitable. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s proved right. They haven’t featured much in the new films but I loved the little bit we did get. They’re always an intriguing race and are a huge part of the fabric that makes up Star Trek. Outside of Deep Space 9 there haven’t been many huge fleet battles. The closest we’ve come in the movies is in First Contact. The budget and special effects could do such a battle justice and I’m sure it would be an incredible sight on the big screen. Also, the landscape of this Alpha Quadrant has changed with the destruction of Vulcan, and I think the Klingons may be willing to press for war. Let’s not forget too that in The Original Series it was only the Organians that prevented an all-out conflict between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. 

Having said that, it risks turning Star Trek into Star Wars. If they do go this route I hope there’s a lot of drama and context to give the war depth rather than just ‘kewl space battles pew pew pew’. I would like to see some proper ship-to-ship combat though. So far the Enterprise has gone up against two vastly superior ships, so I’d like to see a ‘Balance of Terror’ situation, which would help flesh out Kirk’s character as we get to see a side of him that has gone explored – the strategist. 

3 – Borg

This is one idea I am completely behind. I know they appeared a lot in Voyager and they lost a lot of their menace but The Borg have the potential to be one of the most scariest antagonists. I’d love to see what the Bad Robot team would have in store for a redesign of The Borg, and hopefully they would be Queen-less. And, aside from the books by William Shatner, Kirk has never faced the Borg and it’s something I would love to see. I fear though it would be a bit of a retread of the “Earth is in peril from a badass ship” story though, so perhaps they would be best saved for a fourth film (Borg Khan?). 

4 – Space, the final frontier…

Perhaps my favourite moment from the film, I loved the last scene where the Enterprise warped off on her five year mission, with the voiceover by Kirk, something we hadn’t heard since The Original Series. Part of what I love about Star Trek is the exploration, and with such a big galaxy to play in I think it’s better to get away from Earth and the surrounding area. I think it’s important not to forget about the ‘Trek’ part of the title so it would probably be wise to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilisations etc at some point. 

5 – Re-vamp existing episodes

So they’ve gone back to Khan which has had a mixed reaction but what if they took an existing concept which didn’t quite work the first time around? There could even be an in-joke where Spoke gets Sylar’d and loses his brain! Or we could have an updated version of Lazarus, this time with a consistent beard! The possibilities are endless… 

I’m half-joking there, but as I said earlier it is nice seeing new twists on familiar things. So it might be cool to see an updated Doomsday Machine, or a Salt Vampire, or the organism from ‘The Immunity Syndrome’, or the Talosions, or an encounter with Balok, or the Horta.

I really want to re-watch The Original Series now. 

4 is my preferred option, possibly combined with 5 but if the teaser for the next film is just a red laser shooting out from the distance I will be extremely excited. I hope there’s no time travel though. 

– Man of Yesterday

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