The trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness is breathtaking: A terrorist attacks occurs at the very heart of London’s government; a mercurial hero exchanges philosophical rhetoric with a stoic colleague; a near-omniscient villain outwits a technologically-advanced society; moneys-shots of dripping action; and a lot of attractive characters looking constipated with deep frowns.
Wait? That sounds like the plot of the last James Bond movie!
In fact, the shot of the USS Enterprise seemingly roaring to its destruction has already been done in past Star Trek ventures (like in The Search for Spock). And there is the brief scene with Captain Kirk having a verbal-duel with the main villain (played by the amazing and probably misused Benedict Cumberbatch); by Spocks’ Prozac, that seems straight out of the interchange between Loki and Nick Fury in The Avengers. In another scene of the preview, we see a couple (Spock and Kirk) leaping off the majestic view of a cliff. Come on! How many times has this been done before in cinema?
It seems Geekdom has officially plunged into the undead state of irrelevance, piloted to cliché-destruction by the living archetype of modern geeks: JJ Abrams. Just like the USS Enterprise (again).
This is no surprise, since Geekdom (like the Internet) has long become a shambling shill for corporate interests, an incubation lab for tech-exploiting yuppies, and a Caucasian temple of doom for the godless (and by “godless,” I mean a lack of awe and reverence for the mysterious, a belief in loyalty over curiosity, and an insistence that any art form be realistic rather than convincing).
In the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, Abrams was able to balance nostalgia and novelty (and exploit them, of course), which camouflaged mediocre writing, acting, and directing—and it ultimately spawned entertaining escapism. Oh, and there were a lot of lens flare effects in case anyone got suspicious about quality, the classic mark of bad, bloated sci-fi filmmaking. But nostalgia and novelty never work in sophomore attempts, leaving the Emperor of Geeks wearing no clothes except maybe for the crusty thong of auteur self-satisfaction.
But Abrams is just the stench-symptom of the putrefaction of Geekdom, a black plague extending to vapid conventions and nerd-paparazzi blogging sites. He is both the poster boy and Savior of an already-zombified movement, killed by the Midas contagion of self-importance. It’s a long way from the Eden days when speculative fiction was meant to be meaningful and not eventful; when cheap special effects and psychedelic sensibilities, along with existentialist speculation and benign nihilism, allowed for the alchemical transformation of the human imagination—as seen in the mythos of Dr. Who, Star Wars and, of course, Star Trek.
Now have we Abrams, with his redundant and pre-packaged plots, and a lot of lens flares. With him at the helm of the next Star Wars debacle, Geekdom will surely turn from a sad zombie into a mutant of mental-masturbation, further injected by the T-virus of corporate money.
I say let real geeks and sci-fi devotees skip Star Trek Into Darkness, even if it’s good (although it probably isn’t, as recent reviews confirm). Let Abrams sweat from now until he begins shooting Harrison Ford in depends. Let the taste of his morning ostrich eggs and avocado cereal become as stale as his creativity. Let him understand the Khan-like wrath of true Geekdom.
And then let him quit as director. Abrams can then focus on getting the perfect pair of horned-rimmed glasses for his next photo shoot, maybe chase Ritalin-addicted cosplay girls who, like him, never saw an entire episode of Star Trek on television.
Let Star Wars and my people go. Let Star Trekgo. Don’t even think about a Dr. Who movie or Battlestar Galactica re-reboot with Walter Bishop as a meddling guest.
What is rotting cannot be salvaged—it must be cast in the sewers of forgotten genres. Let Geekdom die the true death (and take Sookie Stackhoue with you, please!). Let’s cut off the walker head named JJ Abrams. Let us start at the beginning again, wanting to be convinced with meaning.
With no lens flares and some cheap special effect.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free and JJ Abrams will not rape you if you join, and you can opt out at any time.