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Star Trek: the Force Awakens

By Bert Ehrmann

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Fort Wayne Reader

2015-06-20


A few months back the second trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens movie was released and, like most of my fellow geeks of the world, I was immediately enthralled by what I saw on the screen. From the downed Star Destroyer to new characters on exciting adventures and even familiar faces making a new appearance on a stage they left more than 30 years agoÖ all those old feelings I had as a kid when I saw the original Star Wars came flooding back.

Then I thought for a moment about how Iíd felt the same way about another beloved sci-fi franchise rebooted for modern audiences that I couldnít wait to watch after seeing its trailer; Star Trek (2009).
That movie took the characters from the original 1960s TV series, recast them with fresh faces and set the story in an alternate universe so this new Star Trek could have some unexpected twists all its own. Unfortunately, the story the creators of that film decided to tell was cliched and certain elements of seemed to exist only to get the characters from point ďaĒ to point ďbĒ and didnít seem to flow in any logical manner.

I disliked the first Star Trek so much that I have yet to see the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) even though Iíve had many chances to do so. After the first movie watching the second seemed like a waste of time.

In fact Iíd all but written off covering anything Star Trek movie related until I saw the trailer for The Force Awakens and started feeling all those feelings for the new Star Wars Iíd felt for the Star Trek remake again. And the fact that both movies were/are directed by J.J. Abrams made me take pause for a moment.

Will The Force Awakens be yet another disappointment like Star Trek was? For the most part I think not, that the situations those movies were created under are so different that the two films really canít be compared. Abrams didnít write Star Trek but he is writing The Force Awakens, some of the people involved in the original Star Wars films are involved with this new one but werenít with Star TrekÖ

But a small part of me is worried that The Force Awakens just might be another disappointment like Star Trek was.

With Star Trek it seemed like Abrams and company were more interested in mining the ďgreatest hitsĒ of the original Star Trek series as it were, remixing elements and telling a slightly different abet updated versions of them. Which they did. But instead of their creation turning out to be something new and interesting it was a bloated, confusing mess.

And though Iíve only seen the two trailers for the upcoming The Force Awakens adding up to just a few minutes of screen-time in total, Iím just the slightest but worried Abrams is making all the mistakes he made with Star Trek again with his new Star Wars movie.

Like with Star Trek, it looks like the story of The Force Awakens isnít telling a completely new story and Abrams has again brought back most of the characters from the original set of movies and has remixed things a bit to tell a new, modern story.

Still, itís probably too early to start worrying about the quality of the finished The Force Awakens movie since weíre still months from its release. In this new movie the characters ARE back but theyíre being played by the same actors from the original. And while the story might not be completely original it is telling a continuation of the story from the previous six films.

Right now Iím nothing but excited about the new Star Wars movie. However, Iíve wanted to be a fan of Abrams for a while now but it seems like everything heís created from Lost to Alias to Mission Impossible 3 to Super 8 have been in one way or another ultimately disappointing to me. Iím just hoping that Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens will be the first Abrams project in a while to attain some sort of lasting greatness. Visit me online at DangerousUniverse.com.

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