Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Underwhelming Star Trek 50th Anniversary

I know I know - I'm a few days late. It's a big anniversary - or at least it should be. So far it feels pretty underwhelming. How many TV shows/movies/book series/IPs in general have a continuous 50 year history? Not many? Even non-fans are at least aware of Trek, and quite a few of them think favorably of it. Your grandmother probably knows about Star Trek and has probably seen it at some point! How many have generated 5 separate TV series? How many have spawned 10+ movies? Star Wars. Superheroes. The Wizard of Oz. Monster movies. These are the only things close, and in terms of "content" as we all like to say nowadays, I would bet there's more trek than any other single IP out there now.

Fifty years. So what do they do to celebrate it? Well ...

  • They made a movie they were going to make anyway. There was nothing specifically "50th" about Beyond.
  • They announced a series for ... next year. Impressive.
  • A concert tour. Alright. 
  • An existing computer game got an update. OK.
  • A Facebook video. A Facebook video! A weak facebook video!
  • And of course the fan films got slapped around. That was nice.
It's just seriously disappointing. If you want a general sense of what I mean then ask yourself this: How do you think Disney would have handled it if they owned Star Trek?

I think it would have gone quite differently myself.

This guy says what I feel in more detail in this article. I think it covers the rest pretty well. 

Underwhelmed. Disappointed. This could have been used to pump a burst of energy into the whole thing. Instead it feels more like "oh yeah, we have that. we should do something. Nothing too big though." It's like they were afraid of annoying the neighbors. 

In spite of all this I am hopeful for the future. It would be nice to show the kids an active, interesting Trek show that's on TV right now while they're still kids. If the new show is good then I'll still get to do that. If not, well, maybe the new RPG will be good at least so we can make our own.


Kelvin Green said...

When Doctor Who hit its fiftieth in 2013 it was everywhere. There was the anniversary episode itself, but also loads of extra programming and events, including worldwide cinema showings of said episode. It was a big deal.

I can't imagine that the BBC has more money and resources than Paramount, so it just looks like the Star Trek owners don't care, and that's a shame.

Blacksteel said...

Yeah the last few years have seen big anniversaries for Doctor Who, D&D, and the Ford Mustang among many other things. I thought D&D's could have been better but the other two were pretty well done in recognizing the importance of each to the company and pop culture. It doesn't seem like it should be all that hard and, much like your own kid's birthday, it's not like it's a surprise!

Stu Ordana said...

BBC America ran a marathon of the old Star Trek episodes with the updated visual effects. I watched a few episodes. And I did pick up a Star Trek 50th Anniversary magazine.

But yeah, overall a very underwhelming Star Trek 50th Anniversary. The BBC did much better with the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary.

Star Trek Beyond did not impress me. And what little I have seen or heard about the new series is not encouraging.