Star Trek Fans & Storytelling…
The reports about the Star Trek sequel over the last couple of weeks have generated a lot of discussion across the web and here at TrekMovie.com. As he does from time to time, Bob dropped by the site today and made a comment about the chat, this time a short blurb, but with important implications. See more below, plus my thoughts on the latest debates. [NOTE: Article discusses potential spoilers]
I’m really not sure why this is such a hard notion to grasp, yet for the online Star Trek community, it really seems to not be in their ability to comprehend. Writers can, and often do tell completely different stories, while using already used characters. Firstly, this takes place all the time, in what we tend to term “series”, yet more germane to this topic, the universe of fiction, both in the novel, as well as in movie, and telvision have examples of already used characters in NEW SITUATIONS.
Off the top of my head. The Looking Glass Wars, is a new take on Alice In Wonderland. Nolen’s Dark Knight movies are a complete revamp of Batman, and provide a new take on The Joker. Oh, and on TV of course Ronald D. Moore‘s Battlestar Galactica is hardly a rehash of Glen A. Larson‘s original series. Sure it has many connecting elements, but the new series was its own story.
Which brings me to JJ Abrams Star Trek 2 (can we get the films full title soon?).
Robert Orci, and JJ Abrams can very easily have a film involving Khan Noonien Singh without it being a rehash of “Space Seed“. The first film in truth provides many obvious (to me) avenues for setting this up.
Here, let me tell you how I’d write it if it were up to me…
Let’s begin with Nero, the Romulan miner from the first film. There’s a giant gap in what Nero was up to after he got thrown into the past, and created the alternate timeline. The movie makes it clear that our dear homicidal miner, with his planet killing ship is well aware of Federation history, and James T. Kirk‘s past in particular – oh, and he has a special hate for Spock…
Realizing he is in the past (it’s never clear if he knows its become an alternate timeline) with knowledge of what is to come, and a great deal of time on his hands while waiting for Spock Prime to show up with the red matter, Nero has ample opportunity to set up chaos, as well as find power mad allies.
Many might be aware a whole Klingon story was removed from the first film, as well as Nero’s prison break from a Klingon planet. This is good, since it provides for a gap for a larger story to be told with what Nero was doing with his free time. Nero had to know about Khan, and that he and his augments were alive, but asleep aboard the Botany Bay. Our mad Romulan also is aware that Spock Prime dies essentially at the hands of Khan Noonien Singh. If I wanted to include Khan in this sequel, I would have Nero find him (in the movie this would alluded to as back story, and you don’t need Eric Bana to do), and bring him to the Klingon Empire – we know Klingons are going to play a major role in Star Trek 2, and have Khan usurp the Empire for himself and his fellow augmented humans, who as we know from Enterprise were every bit a match for Klingon warriors.
This is a perfect setup to introduce Khan, as a new, even stronger threat than he has been before. Khan Noonien Singh – with an empire of bloodthirsty Klingons at his command, who are more than willing to use Earthers for target practice. And oh, this scenario is completely new, and degrees away from both “Space Seed” and “Wrath of Khan”.
Now, I’m not saying this is going to be circumstances of the film, what I layout here is simply how I’d go about telling a new story with Khan (whom seems confirmed to be the villain) in the Abram’s Star Trek ‘verse. Clearly there would need to be more to it then the setup here of how he got unfrozen, such as what would Khan’s goal, and motive be? None of which I’ve given much thought to, since its not my job. My purpose is to show you can introduce Khan into the alternate timeline easily following from the first film, and do so in a story that would stand apart from the two times (to hear some Trek fans talk, you’d think Khan was an ongoing bad guy or something…) he has canonically appeared before.
*An alliterative take on the above: Simply have a Klingon ship stumble on Botany Bay, and trigger Khan’s awakening sometime, months, or years earlier due to the ripple effect of change brought on by Nero’s incursion into the past. I have a feeling a Klingon commander would be much more easily manipulated by Khan and his cohorts, who would not be fully aware of The Eugenics Wars. The result would be the same, Khan gets an empire to command. Perhaps his motive could be just as simple, wanting to reclaim Earth. I don’t think he regards 23rd Century humans all that well.
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