Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh No – Not Star Trek Too!

Being a writer-type I am always dismayed by the lack of creativity in the industry. Writing involves more than just stringing sentences together, it involves imagination.

That’s why I am so offended when I hear of the dreaded prequel.

Sequels are bad enough, but if done right, and not for too long, can be worthwhile ventures to continue a successful story of well established characters.
Prequels for the most part are just laziness. They did a prequel in Star Wars and now Star Trek is coming out with its own storyline, prior to the original show’s conception. The story line for the latest Star Trek movie occurs at Star Fleet Academy, where Kirk and Spock meet. This is long before they serve together aboard the starship Enterprise.

Problem is, when you have well established histories spanning decades of constantly moving forward storylines, creating something which is supposed to have taken place prior to these storylines blurs the line of reality, and throws out that history.

There are bound to be continuity errors in these prequels – there always are. It is impossible to catch all of them during production. But with the overzealous fan-base globally for Star Trek, just as happened with the Star Wars prequels, these will become big sore spots eventually.

I never got into the whole Star Wars phenomenon. But Star Trek – STAR TREK – that’s something I’ve followed since I was a little boy, lying on the rug on Sunday’s at my grandparent’s place, watching Kirk and Spock make Star Trek history.

And history is what this is all about. Writing a prequel is about coming up with a story based on an established history of events, one which should eventually lead up to those events. Problem is, it is human nature to spin the yarn, and come up with new events, which couldn’t possibly match exactly to the way things were before the prequel.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, or maybe I’m just an experienced writer, knowing full well what tragedies occur when stories of before, are written well in the after.
Either way, I am troubled by the whole notion of a prequel. Good things move forward, not backwards. Technology improves, and we as a race move improve too. Writing prequels is taking a step back, and so too, I fear, will the quality and continuity of the Star Trek universe.

Some cynics say all the great ideas ever created have already been created. I disagree – because the day we stop inventing new ways to do things, is the day we die.

I just hope the Star Trek universe doesn’t die because of a poorly written prequel.

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