Simon Pegg has never been shy about sharing his opinions. As much as he’s a geek icon, he’s also shown a willingness to be blunt and honest, even if that opinion pisses off part of his fanbase. And honestly, I have to respect that. What’s the point in becoming famous in the first place if you then have to filter every comment through five publicists and a legal team before you can answer a simple question? What sort of simple question? Well, just for instance, what Pegg thinks about the Trek fans who recently voted Star Trek Into Darkness the worst movie of the franchise? There’s no way all those publicists would have let him respond with the a hearty “Fuck you!”
While out promoting The World’s End, The Huffington Post told Pegg about the Trek poll, and Into Darkness’ ignominious ranking and asked what he thought? Pegg’s response begins pretty diplomatically, suggesting that Abrams’ version of Trek is suffering blow-back from longtime fans both because the recent movies have brought in people who didn’t care about Trek before, and because — for good or ill — it’s a very different Trek than the traditional breed. It’s not long before the “indie band makes it big” metaphor come out, and as Pegg continues, you can tell he’s got little patience for the naysayers:
Is that part of it? That it ‘used to be for us and now it’s not’?
A little bit. I think it’s like when you tire of an indie band that you love because, suddenly, they get a number one single. You don’t necessarily start disliking their music, but you stop liking them because you’re pissed off that they’re famous, or whatever. Star Trek Into Darkness is the most successful Star Trek movie ever made. It is, in terms of what it took at the box office and how many people went to see it. More people saw that film than any iteration of Star Trek that existed before. That is probably slightly annoying to some Star Trek fans — which I totally understand.
So it’s like the Pearl Jam ‘Vs.’ album?
Possible, yeah. And you know what … it absolutely isn’t the worst Star Trek movie. It’s asinine, you know? It’s ridiculous. And frustrating, as well, because a lot of hard work and love went into that movie, and all J.J. wanted to do was make a film that people really enjoyed. So, to be subject to that level of sort of, like, crass fucking ire, I just say fuck you. Not you, but the people who said that.
I can’t help but feel for the guy. It’s never any fun to be on the sharp end of a rabid fanbase convinced the thing you helped make is worthy of nothing more than tarring, feathering, and a quick boot out of town. And frankly, he makes some very good points. No matter how mad anyone gets, the rebooted Trek isn’t going anywhere soon. Not when Into Darkness pulled in half a billion dollars worldwide. It’s not the Trek we grew up loving, and it’s not going to be. It’s Trek as a dumbed-down action movie. If you can accept that, great, you might enjoy it; if not, don’t buy a ticket. But the notion that Into Darkness is the worst Star Trek movie? The absolute worst? Removing all arbitrary, bandwagon-jumping, knee-jerk hatred of J.J. Abrams and anything he touches? The absolute nadir of big-screen Trek in a world where both The Final Frontier and Insurrection exist?
I’m with Pegg: that’s a crock of horseshit. (That said, Galaxy Quest is totally a better Star Trek movie than Into Darkness. But then Galaxy Quest is a better Star Trek movie than quite a few of the actual Star Trek movies.)
This isn’t the first time Pegg has invited Abrams-Trek haters to go violate themselves in a vulgar manner. It was only last May, around the time of Into Darkness’s theatrical release, that Pegg dismissed anyone who was still wheeling out that most tired of internet Abrams complaints, the lens flare joke. More specifically, he said, “To the detractors, I offer a polite fuck you and suggest you find a new stick to beat us with, if being a huge, boring neggyballs is necessary for your personal happiness.”
Comments like that are no doubt going to earn Pegg a legion of angry online commenters, but kudos to him for not caring about that one whit. Also, bonus points awarded for his use of the phrase “huge, boring neggyballs.”
What do you think? Is Star Trek Into Darkness really the worst Trek movie ever made, or is it just a so-so Trek movie that’s the victim of blistering hatred of J.J. Abrams? Sound off in the comments; I’m sure we’ll have this debate definitively sorted in no time…