A bunch of Star Trek related news hit this week, as you might expect from the 50th anniversary year.
And on a related note: Wow, Paramount is blowing this anniversary, aren’t they? Compare what they’re doing with how the BBC handled the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Paramount is doing (as far as I can tell) a single retrospective TV special later this Fall, a new installment in the JJ-Abrams-Reboot film series (with no ‘anniversary’ implications) and they’re not even launching the new series until NEXT YEAR. What the fuck, Paramount? Did the calendar sneak up on you?
Speaking of the new series, CBS showed a teaser during their Upfront presentation to advertisers this week:
Not much there, but what is there is interesting — especially “New Crews.” Plural. That lends some credence to the rumor that this show is going to be an “American Horror Story”/”True Detective”/”Fargo”-esque anthology series, where each season is a different story with a different set of characters. I’m looking forward to finding out more about it as 2017 approaches.
It appears that CBS/Paramount wants to pivot into creating stuff for fans to be excited about, rather than suing them in court — at a Trek fan event held last night, JJ Abrams told the assembled crowd that Paramount would be dropping their lawsuit against the fan film “Axanar.”
Axanar Productions definitely crossed the line. Not in their acquisition of a studio space, which they admit will be used for for-profit ventures outside of their film (shady, but not line-crossing, IMO), but in paying themselves 5-figure salaries. Plus, the producers are, bluntly, jerks, who have basically been swaggering around clothing themselves in borrowed glory — practically daring Paramount to sue.
I’m glad to see the lawsuit dropped (although I’ll wait until an official announcement from Paramount — how wild would it be if JJ Abrams said this in order to force their hands, because he saw the PR hurting the forthcoming Abrams-produced film?) — because of the chilling effect this was having on other fan films.
Star Trek Continues (my favorite), does it right: Registered as a non-profit, books available for audit on-demand, volunteer labor, and not trying to present themselves as a source of new, modern-day Trek, but specifically emulating the look, feel, and sound of the 1966 original. Their 6th episode, “Come Not Between Dragons” debuts later this month.
UPDATE: A Buzzfeed reporter tweeted an official response from CBS/Paramount, confirming the dropping of the case, and the additional news that they’re working on a set of fan film guidelines:
And, lastly: This morning the second trailer for the new J.J. Abrams-reboot Trek film, Star Trek Beyond, was released:
I think I’m going to have to view the reboot films the way that I view pizza outside of the Northeast. The stuff you get may be perfectly tasty for what it is, but it’s not actually pizza.
I actually was excited by the potential unlocked by the first film, but then they blew it with “Star Trek Into Darkness.” I don’t have high hopes for this one. Looks like a generally acceptable blow-em-up-real-good space opera spectacle, though.
Throughout my life, I’ve been a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek — but I have to admit, that right now, I am far more excited about what’s coming for Star Wars than I am for anything Trek-related. I’d love it if CBS/Paramount would take a page from Lucasfilm’s post-Disney-acquisition playbook, at least as far as transmedia brand management goes, but I’m not holding my breath.
How great would that be, though?