Like it Or Hate it, Quentin Tarantino is the Only Hope for the Future of “Star Trek” Movies

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Paramount)

It’s been announced that Quentin Tarantino’s “Star Trek” movie will be written by Mark L Smith, who penned “The Revenant”.

This is probably a big deal for the eight people who actually remember anything about “The Revenant”, other than that Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for his portrayal of a really cold, hungry guy.

It seems that the ball is actually rolling forward on the gritty, superviolent, R-rated Tarantino “Star Trek”, despite this sounding like the weirdest possible parody of an actual movie.

All of this leads us to an unfortunate truth: whatever happens with this movie, it’s probably going to be the last chance that “Star Trek” has at engaging with an audience on the big screen for the foreseeable future.

“Star Trek” as a movie brand has not been doing too well. While the first film was reasonably well-received, things started to go haywire when JJ Abrams tried his hand at making a sequel. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” is a bad movie; one that makes very little sense, messes with longtime fan favorite characters, and borrows scenes shot-for-shot from superior “Star Trek” movies.

“Star Trek: Beyond” isn’t much better, and the film certainly didn’t win over audiences. As much as Paramount eagerly began talking up a sequel featuring the return of Chris Hemsworth as Captain Kirk’s dead father (we never did get a valid explanation as to how this would work), it seems pretty clear that there was never actually much effort put into trying to make this film happen.

Star Trek Chris Hemsworth
Source: Paramount

“Star Trek: Discovery” has proven popular (or, at least, financially lucrative) enough for CBS to order a second season, so “Trek” definitely isn’t leaving our televisions – well, our online streaming services – any time soon.

As for “Trek” on the big screen, though, it feels a little like Tarantino’s movie is a last-ditched attempt to save a brand.

Let’s face it: the only reason why the 2009 “Star Trek” ended up being so popular was because there weren’t any new “Star Wars” movies during that era of film history. Now that Abrams has jumped ship to switch phasers for lightsabers, there’s very little need for “Trek” as a big action franchise.

One option would be to make a “Star Trek” movie that really appeals to the fans; a low-budget affair with all the diplomacy, rational thinking, and engaging character moments that shine through from the first two “Star Trek” TV shows.

That’s a risky premise, though, so it makes sense that Paramount is far more interested in knocking out another big action movie, especially with Quentin Tarantino attached.

While it’s looking like this movie is going to be classic R-rated Tarantino fare, it almost seems as if the director is trying his best to save the “Trek” franchise by getting involved. It’s within his power to create a movie in this franchise where nobody else can get permission, so he’s going to use that to make sure that “Star Trek” doesn’t entirely die out.

Star Trek Spock
Source: Paramount

If this is the case, we’d better hope that the movie is a hit. A good, solid “Star Trek” film could open the floodgates for more, similar stories. If this film tanks, that’ll probably be the end of risky blockbusters set within this universe.

So if, in two years’ time, we’re all forced to endure watching Kirk and Spock travel to the planet of the sexy foot monsters for a bloody battle against an expletive-yelling alien with a samurai sword, we’ll just have to grin and bear it.

This might be all the “Star Trek” we’ll be getting at the movies for a long time to come.

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