Even if you enjoyed J.J. Abrams’ first two Star Trek films, there was one thing sorely lacking: that whole “boldly going where no man has gone before.” I mean, sure, saving the galaxy from crazy, vengeful Romulans or crazy, vengeful genetically enhanced sociopaths is important, and certainly lends itself to epic big-screen action, but Star Trek is supposed to be about more than just action. We have yet to see this young, alternate-reality crew of the Enterprise truly head out into the galaxy to see what they can discover. According to Star Trek 3 co-writer/director Roberto Orci, however, that’s about to change.
That’s right, apparently Star Trek 3 will see Kirk, Spock, and the rest finally setting course for deep space to see what’s out there. Orci, who was a co-writer on the first two Abrams-directed Trek flicks, will be taking over the director’s chair for the third installment, as well as co-writing the Star Trek 3 script with hot new screenwriters Patrick McKay and John D. Payne (who also penned a new Flash Gordon script). Speaking on the Humans From Earth podcast (and spotted by Badass Digest), Orci said that, now that nobody’s actively trying to blow up the Earth, the Enterprise crew can actually begin that five-year mission that was the focus of The Original Series. Orci said:
In [Into Darkness] they set out finally where the original series started. The first two films — especially the 2009 [Star Trek] — was an origin story. It was about them coming together. So they weren’t the characters they were in the original series. They were growing into them and that continues on in the second movie. So in this movie they are closer than they are to the original series characters that you have ever seen. They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space.
It’s about damn time. Sure, it’s true that the best Star Trek movie of all time centered on a singular villain and a revenge tale, but this new breed of Trek has already done that sort of story twice in a row. It’s time to seek out strange new worlds and new civilizations. It’s time for some mystery, some exploration, and hopefully a pervasive sense of wonder.
Assuming Orci can pull it off, anyway, which certainly isn’t a sure thing. Abrams has often said he was more of a Star Wars fan than a Star Trek fan, so it’s not surprising that his vision of Trek was action-focused adventure more in the vein of George Lucas’ franchise. Well, Orci is a self-professed lifelong Star Trek fan, but he’s also responsible — along with former partner Alex Kurtzman — for writing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Cowboys & Aliens. Even with the elements of the new Trek that I liked, there’s no question that the biggest problems with both of those films came down to the screenplay. Should we hope that Orci will prove to be not only a competent director, but also a better writer this go-round? Hopefully the new Flash Gordon guys he’s working with will force him to raise his game. Of course, there’s also the issue that Orci hasn’t exactly had a stellar reputation of interacting with the fans…
One way or another, Star Trek 3 is expected to arrive in 2016, to tie in with Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. We’ll keep you posted.