ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

As a creator, Simon Pegg is a strange figure in modern nerd culture, and one we should probably get used to. No longer do fans just attend conventions and buy the t-shirts. Turns out, if we work hard at our own material, meet the right people, and apply ourselves carefully, we can end up wielding the very franchises we were once able only to complain about. Simon Pegg has managed to carve the chance to write Star Trek 3 mostly by being in tune with the more vocal fan community that defines modern media consumption.

Now, JJ Abrams, who directed the first two Star Treks and is now working on that OTHER sci-fi franchise people apparently liked one time, also identifies as a fan at his roots. But JJ Abrams never appeared doing this.

It seems strange that Pegg can this brazen and outspoken about Star Wars, then a few years later, be perfectly pally with the arbiters of it's resurrection. Of course, Spaced is just a show, but just by writing that kind of brash nerd rhetoric, you'd expect to be barred from future projects of any kind. Apparently not anymore. If you're right for the job, you're right for the job. So what about Simon Pegg makes him the right (or wrong) man to pen Star Trek 3?

For: He's a Fan

He even dressed up. How cute!
He even dressed up. How cute!

Most of the time, someone being a fan, or at least having a decent dedication to a franchise, makes them a good candidate to helm any further projects. It still makes me angry to think that the last we saw of the Next Generation crew was in Star Trek Nemesis, directed by Stuart Baird, who had not seen a single episode of Star Trek TNG.

In this sense, Simon Pegg seems like a promising choice. He's familiar with the original series, and more importantly, he likes it. Pegg has stated that he means to treat the franchise with respect, and will avoid filling it with stuff people will recognise from single episodes they've seen. Considering how Star Trek Into Darkness turned out, that's a big departure for Star Trek 3!

Against: He's a Fan

While I've mentioned that a lack of engagement with something can damage a franchise, making it pandering, watered down and stale, the same can happen when someone overly keen is in charge. Such is the case with nerd culture's approach to "fixing things". So many times, we've heard fans of something decrying "this is wrong, that is wrong!", yet we never wonder how boring it would be if everything was right. Pegg intends to "respect the rules and do right by the original series", yet might that only result in Star Trek 3 being very tempered sensible fan fiction? Surely an element of risk is where spontaneous brilliance is forged. Besides, Pegg's intentions to tread lightly on Star Trek canon seem almost funny when his predecessors literally blew up Romulus!

Pictured: A subtle, careful approach to Star Trek
Pictured: A subtle, careful approach to Star Trek

Speaking of his predecessors...

Against: Orci and Kurtzman

I don't wish to condemn Simon Pegg's part in Star Trek 3 just because he gladly accepted his working alongside Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It's just that when Pegg so publicly valorised the then Orci (who was then set to direct Star Trek 3), I could only suspect that a degree of Orci's crazy might seep through. And let's get this straight, Orci's is some potent crazy. We've seen enough magic blood with Into Darkness and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, so if Simon Pegg can ward off Orci and Kurtzman's desire to solve everything with magic blood, we should be fine!

Magic blood? Really?
Magic blood? Really?

For: He's Simon Pegg!

Simon Pegg isn't some magical writing force that can do no wrong. Paul was pretty underwhelming, and I went to see Run Fatboy Run on a date that completely failed so that was clearly his fault. What I'm suggesting is we be grateful that Star Trek 3 is being written by a notable figure, who's personality and tastes have been made plain for so long in generally good works. We're not seeing some apathetic exec sneaking in through the back door to get Star Trek finished; we have someone with a passion and dedication to the Star Trek brand, who's voice we can hopefully see on screen. Whether Star Trek 3 turns out good or bad, at least we will have something to grasp on to. That combined with a significant lack of lens flare genuinely makes me think Star Trek 3 has a chance of being the best film since rebooting!


Is Simon Pegg the right man for the job?


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