There has always been a friendly rivalry between the fans of the various Trek series. One fan will argue that Kirk will always greatest of the captains, another will talk your ear off about how Deep Space 9 is brilliant and underrated. But for some long-time Trekkies, the rivalry between Classic Trek and J.J. Abrams’ version isn’t friendly at all. But based on the comments of one beloved Trek actor, Abrams isn’t exactly making things any easier for fans who have difficulty accepting his brand of Trek.
In an interview with the Toronto Sun, TNG actor LeVar Burton recently called out J.J. Abrams for comments he allegedly made about his version of Star Trek. Burton says:
(Abrams’ Star Trek) was a great movie, and he brought a whole new generation to Trek. But I’m a little disquieted by things I hear coming out of his camp, things like he would like to be remembered as the only Trek—which would discount everything before he got there.
There’s ‘breaking the canon,’ which he did (by re-inventing Star Trek‘s timeline). But there’s also honouring the canon. And to pretend to be the only one is really egocentric and immature.
I just came from a conference in San Francisco with Advanced Micro Devices, and they’re working on technology towards building a holodeck. That was Next Generation. And that’s part of what Star Trek has brought to the culture. So when JJ Abrams says, ‘There should be no Star Trek except the one I make,’ I call bulls—, J.J.
While it’s unclear where/when Abrams is purported to have made those comments, something has obviously rubbed LeVar Burton the wrong way. Abrams has admitted he wasn’t a fan of Trek before accepting the reboot gig, but he’s never come across as quite so flippant or dismissive about Trek‘s long legacy. But perhaps LeVar Burton knows more than us.
This isn’t the first time a Trek icon has sounded off on Abrams in recent months. William Shatner once called the geek director a “pig” for hoarding both Star Trek and Star Wars, and said his movies are “great rides” but lack emotional heart. (To be fair, in context the “pig” comments were seemingly meant jokingly.) There’s just something about J.J. Abrams that rubs the Star Trek old guard the wrong way.