ByWilliam Avitt, writer at

Unlike Star Wars, Star Trek is much more of an acquired taste. That has long been one of the biggest criticisms of Star Trek, that it is too exclusive of a fandom, and I can't really disagree with that. Star Trek fans tend to be much more snobbish than fans of other types of fandoms, and I really don't even mean just about their beloved Trek, but in general. Keep in mind, I say this as a Star Trek fan of 28 years. Star Trek isn't for everybody, nor should it be. The simple fact is, not every has the capacity to appreciate the finer things in life (see? There I go being snobbish).

It's rather funny that when J.J. Abrams was first given the job of directing and rebooting Star Trek in 2009 that the fans went ballistic. J.J. was very vocal about not really being a Star Trek fan. I mean, how dare they get someone who is so vocally not a fan of our beloved Trek to do something as sacred, and many would say sacrilegious on its face, as to reboot Trek and to recast our treasured original series? I mean, wasn't this just a slap in the face to us fans and a sign that the material would be treated irreverently? I mean, he wasn't going to make this movie for us, he was going to pervert it, alienate us true fans, and all for the sake of bringing outsiders into our thing! Well, no, actually. The two greatest Star Trek movies of all time were directed by someone who was very vocally not a Star Trek fans, and guess what? The two worst Star Trek movies of all time were written by guys who were members of the inner circle.

Ask any Star Trek fan which Star Trek movie is the best and odds are just about everyone you ask will say Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The question of which would rank next, well, that's a little more variable, however a good many people would tell you Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and still a good many people may also say Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. All three of these movies, that in some combination are almost guaranteed to be the top three of just about anyone you talk to, have one thing in common: a very vocal non-fan named Nicholas Meyer. Meyer directed STII and STVI and wrote STIV, and before getting the job to direct TWOK, he never really gave much thought to Star Trek. In fact, when his agent brought him the idea of directing the picture, Meyer asked, "Is that the one with the guy with the ears?" That statement alone would disqualify you to have anything to do with Trek in the eyes of most fans, and yet this man had a hand in the three best movies in the catalog.

Then we have the two worst movies, according to an almost unanimous consensus: Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek Into Darkness. The former was written by John Logan. John Logan broke into Hollywood as a writer with a spec script called Any Given Sunday. His very next movie after Sunday was Gladiator, followed by The Aviator. This is a very talented writer by any standards. And then he wrote Star Trek. John Logan is a life long Star Trek fan. He lobbied to get the job of writing a Star Trek movie and even pulled a few strings (being very good friends with Brent Spiner). The film he turned in, and which ended up actually making it to cinemas, was full of tropes, cliches, and continuity errors all over the place. How could a self-proclaimed Star Trek fan make these mistakes? How could a member of our beloved inner circle do this to us?

In 2009, when everyone was scoffing at this pathetic Star Wars fan named J.J. Abrams, who was going to be destroying Star Trek for the next few movies, he kept touting his token Trekkie, Roberto Orci, to give his new Trek legitimacy. This is going to be ok, he assured us, because we have one of you in our ranks. J.J. made it clear that he would be doing his own thing, but that he was not cutting out the core fans who had been with the franchise for their entire lives. It was J.J. who decided that they needed to do an in-continuity reboot, to show fans that they were respecting the established canon and not just tossing it out an airlock. And they did a pretty good job. 2009's Star Trek was a pretty good movie. Is it perfect? No. Is it Wrath of Khan? Well, what on Earth ever could be? But it was good. It was much more reverential to the original and to the spirit of Trek than anyone ever expected and it gave us something that even Trek fans were wanting: exciting storytelling. Trek is insanely cerebral, which is what makes it an acquired taste, but that doesn't mean it can't also be fun. Star Trek is lots of fun, and some of the episodes of the various series (especially Deep Space Nine) could be downright white-knuckling, however, as far as the films went, even the most exciting didn't really have all that much action in them. J.J. made a fast-paced, heart-pounding Trek, and no one really cared that the villain was one-dimensional and not that exciting. Yes, Star Trek (2009) did something every good movie can do, it made you not really think about its flaws (and it has many) until well after the credits rolled. As flawed as it was, Abrams' first outing in the Trek universe was successful, and it made people want more. We wanted it badly! It only took four years, but eventually we got more. Was it more of the same? Well, yes and no. It was definitely everything that Abrams had established in the first movie, but there was something wrong. This time, Abrams allowed his Trek fan a little too much input. The inmate was in charge of the asylum.

Orci, whose talent as a writer is up for debate anyway, made many of the same mistakes writing Into Darkness as Logan did when he wrote Nemesis. I think any time you have someone who is a life long fan of Trek, you're going to end up with this issue. Star Trek fans can't write for Star Trek. Quit hiring us. We shouldn't be working on Trek, we should be at home watching it with everyone else. When you let a Star Trek fan actually write Star Trek, we turn into slobbering retards and what we turn in suffers from the same issues as fan fiction. Fan fiction is horrible, and Star Trek has some of the worst. Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek Into Darkness both suffer from many of the same failings as fan fiction. Seriously, no one but a fan would ever dare to retread on a character like Khan. Only a fan would do the Spock death scene from TWOK verbatim, but switch out Kirk and Spock and think it's clever. Only a fan would make Spock an emotional little bitch and neglect the fact that you could never leave Spock Prime alive at the end of Trek09 because he would never in a trillion years ever allow that flawed, altered, and utterly wrong timeline to continue to exist. No, after defeating Nero, Spock Prime would stop at nothing to commandeer the Enterprise and do whatever necessary to correct the timeline. Only a fan would think of something like having the away-team find a prototype of Data, while completely ignoring the fact that we already had Lore. Only a fan would write a Star Trek rape scene, involving a telepathic alien. Oh, and worst of all? Only a fan would write in a relationship between Spock and Uhura. There are things that, looking from the outside as a professional writer, no one would ever make, and at least Logan was an extremely talented screenwriter, but for some reason when you let a Trek fan write for Trek, you end up with the worst Trek imaginable. So, Paramount, I plead to you: please stop hiring fans to do these things. All they do is ruin it for the rest of us.


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