Is a 14th film in the works or will we be left in the drifts of space?
The current count is set at the most unlucky of numbers, with 13 films in the Star Trek franchise being produced.
These cover the original crew, the crew from the Next Generation and the latest crew to grace the silver screen, the Kelvin timeline crew.
The latest film was released in 2016. It was a great film and one that I would love to see a sequel too but is it feasible given the loss of Antony Yelchin?
A sequel to Star Trek Beyond has been planned for years. This is if the rumours are to be believed but would this feature the crew from the Kelvin timeline or a new crew?
Reboots of franchises are so commonplace that all you need to do is wait long enough and you will be treated to a version of a franchise that you do approve of. It is a symptom of the 21st century in the fact that there are few original ideas available to the public. We are instead treated to multiple interpretations of the same film. Just look at the three generations of Spider-man.
The production has faced many issues, from the loss of momentum, the tragic loss of Anthony Yelchin and subject matter for the film, a deadly virus. It is a concept that has been circulating for the four years since Star Trek Beyond’s tepid release.
“Star Trek 4 has had quite the journey already and it’s not even been close to filming yet with doubts over whether it actually will.
First there was news that the movie had been “shelved” after the underperformance of Star Trek Beyond, as well as doubts over the return of Chris Pine as James T Kirk, but then it was officially back on track after several months of uncertainty for fans.
However, earlier this year, Simon Pegg had already been pouring cold water on such rumours by saying that he thought the series had “lost momentum”, following the tragic death of Anton Yelchin and the underperformance of Star Trek Beyond.
Whatever it was, it was reported in August 2020 that Hawley’s movie is no longer a priority at Paramount, apparently because it revolved around a devastating virus.”
Star Trek 4: Cast, release date and everything you need to know, Digitalspy.com
A Victim of Timing
From the multiple reasons listed within digitalspy.com we can assume that the film has been hit by multiple negatives. It seems by that token to be a victim of timing. Every time it takes a hit, it goes to the back shelf and the subject matter, that of a virus, is something that is frowned upon now. It is deemed a little insensitive given the global situation.
It feels to me to be a film that has been passed around the ‘office’ at Paramount. It is a task similar to those we all face at work. One of those, it will be amazing when we get it going but with each set back it is pushed back, to the point where other easy wins have appeared to take priority.
The sensitive nature of Anthony Yelchin's death, as well as the global pandemic, mean that the subject matter will change in my eyes. The crew and being available for filming, alongside the desire to reunite are two elements that may need to be forgotten about. A fresh start is what I feel will come from all of this.
In 2009 we were introduced to the Kelvin timeline through a new cast and crew. It was a breath of fresh air and one that the ageing franchise desperately needed.
Star Trek will never be as mainstream as Star Wars, but this was a film that opened up the veteran sci-fi franchise to a new generation. It lit a spark under the offices at Paramount and set Star Trek on its path towards a successful future.
Within the film, we were provided with a reset. Leonard Nimoy’s, Spock character jumped from one universe to another, setting his alternative self on a new path with the same crew. We were treated once again to the partnership of Kirk and Spock, but without the constraints of the past.
It was a good move to clean the slate here, as it provided the opportunity to mix nostalgia with change. It kept the old skool fans happy, whilst also providing something new to the franchise. This was a good move until we were treated to the re-launch of Star Trek as a TV series, with Star Trek Discovery.
- Is Discovery in the Kelvin timeline?
- Does it take place in the Prime timeline?
I am not sure as to the answers of the questions and so here is what I do know:
- Star Trek Picard exists in the Prime universe
- The current film crew exists in the Kelvin timeline
- The Discovery crew existed in a universe and then jumped to an alternative future.
All of these facts emphasise the convoluted nature of the Star Trek arc, and with this in mind, would another reboot be possible?
A Change of Subject Matter
With the convoluted state of affairs that is the Star Trek timeline, I would change one of my earlier hypotheses. I would suggest that the most logical step for the next film would be to wait two years. After this time people will have given up on getting a new film.
During this time you concentrate on crafting a new script, or proceeding with the original, as by then interest in virus-related films will have come back. We, as humans are obsessed with the end of the world scenarios and so if you wait until the world has recovered from COVID-19, then you will once again have an audience.
The Walking Dead has endured as it is an established entity, but it was taken away from our screens for a few months. The Last of Us Part 2 was delayed due to the pandemic and so we do have to acknowledge that there needs to be a level of sensitivity in the world. On top of this, there is the knowledge that we will never escape the perverse end of the world curiosity that we all have.
A Final Thought
I want to see a fourth Star Trek film with the existing cast but I am willing to wait.
Good things come to those who wait and I believe that if we wait long enough then we will have a new film arrive. This will have the Kelvin crew within, as rebooting on another timeline would be silly. It is convoluted enough as it is. Whilst Star Trek and every sci-fi out there touches on time travel, it is not solely focused on it.
A new film a few years down the line when the world has moved beyond COVID-19 is the most likely outcome. In the meantime, we have two television shows and others being created. It is a good time to be a Star Trek fan and I look forward to what the future brings.