Star Trek: Into Darkness holds a distinction not shared by any other Trek film to date. It is the most successful of the 12 Star Trek movies as far as box office is concerned – It has been praised by film critics and voted by most of the professional entertainment journalists as the second best of the lot – and, Star Trek fandom, better known as Trekkies or Trekkers, depending on your generation, have panned it as the third worst of the Trek films right after Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek X: Nemesis.
The tally of fan feelings can be summed up into two basic categories: The older fan base feel J.J. Abrams and company have strayed too far from the foundational-Roddenberry concepts that made the franchise such a success for nearly 50 years and the newer viewers are happy to see it become less cerebral and more action-packed.
I purpose there is a third middle ground. Myself and many in that camp believe the future of Star Trek will comfortably settle into this middle place once it finds its footing and real home again off the big screen and back on television; the perfect marrying of weekly action with well reasoned story and character development among crew members that has depth and chemistry. These are the elements that made Trek the successful monster it has become, however, except in rare circumstances (Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country and First Contact) this kind of in depth meshing of story and character elements is almost impossible to accomplish with lasting meaning in a two-hour action-packed movie. It can be hinted at but needs a season of hour-long episodes to make it meaningful and have lasting impact on the viewer now and for future generations.
Star Trek, to last another 50 years, will need to find its home back on the small screen and be returned into loving but also insightful hands that understand it nearly as perfectly as its original creator but in light of 21st Century technological possibilities for showcasing it.
Are the genius’ at Paramount and CBS wise enough yet to realize this? One can only hope someone there has the vision and decision making power to make it happen so this beloved franchise doesn’t truly go Into Darkness.