Before JJ Abrams Star Trek’s Prequel Was About Kirk’s Ancestor In An Earth-Romulan War

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

battleIt would have brought its own problems to the table.
Star Trek: The Beginning is an action-packed adventure that would have introduced a worthy new character into the canon in the form of Tiberius Chase. But it also would have suffered from the same problems damn near every prequel does, from Enterprise to the most recent Star Wars films. Namely: the stakes can only be so high when you ultimately know that things will work out. Sure, if the Beginning trilogy had come to fruition, it could have made us fall in love with its characters and then pulled a Whedon and brutally murdered some of them, but since we’ve got decades’ worth of Trek canon that takes place after it, we know things can only get so bad. The Romulans aren’t going to destroy the Earth or exterminate the Vulcans. We know both sides survived that war, which led to the creation of the Neutral Zone. The stakes are inherently limited, simply by virtue of when the story takes place.

It’s also worth pointing out that many fans decried Abrams’ films because they jettisoned Trek’s more high-minded themes in favor of high-octane science fiction action more in the vein of Star Wars. While there are other valid criticisms of Abrams’ movies, I don’t know that fans would have anything less to complain about on that front if The Beginning had been given the greenlight. The Beginning is very much an “action-first” script, and you won’t find much of the later series’ thoughtful meditations on mortality or the nature of our role in the universe here. It’s very much a “they’re trying to kill us, so let’s kill ‘em right back” situation. And that’s fine, I think the adventures of Tiberius Chase would have been fun to see on the big screen, but this was definitely going for adventure and action first and foremost.

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