JJ Abrams may be in charge of the Star Trek franchise, but in the past he’s said flat out, “I’ve never been a fan of Star Trek”. He was pretty willing to admit that in the past, confessing that he “didn’t get it” and that he thought Star Trek was “silly” and “campy” before he took the directing gig on Star Trek in 2009. At the time his view of Star Trek was that, “there was a captain, there was this first officer, they were talking a lot about adventures and not having them as much as I would’ve liked.” So he took the gig, and used the characters to make something different from the Star Trek he wasn’t really fan of, something that was more about adventure and shooting things than people talking and exploring. His movie succeeded and I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that.
Or there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that if the success of that movie didn’t mean that JJ Abrams now had a stranglehold on the entire Star Trek universe. He’s in charge now, not just of the next movie but of pretty much anything Star Trek. Brian Fuller, who tried to team up with Abrams to bring Star Trek back to television, confirms as much to EW when calls Abrams “the guardian of Trek right now”. And if you’re wondering why no one has gotten moving on a new Star Trek series, then look no further than the franchise’s guardian.
When asked when we’ll get a new Trek TV series Fuller admits, “I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens.”
So let’s review what’s going on here. A man who doesn’t really like Star Trek is now in complete control of the Star Trek universe. And he’s blocking future Star Trek projects, outside of anything directly done by him.
Look, I liked the 2009 movie quite a lot, but this seems like a worst case scenario in the making for Trek fans. Nicholas Meyer, who directed two of the most successful Star Trek movies of all time in Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country also wasn’t much of a Trek fan. But he made great movies anyway, and that was fine. But everyone had the good sense to limit his powers to making movies, and didn’t also give him the keys to the entire kingdom.
Letting Abrams make more movies is a great idea. Giving him the last word on an entire universe, a universe which outside of his one movie he doesn’t even really like, seems like a really bad idea.