With the major motion picture version of Star Trek at a crossroads, it may be time to decide which version of Star Trek will boldly keep going.
Odds are that the next time you go to see a Star Trek movie at your local cineplex, things are going to be vastly different.
Due to budget somewhere north of $185 million, Star Trek Beyond was considered a financial disappointment despite earning $343.5 million worldwide. As a result, Paramount decided to try to rein in costs when it came to Star Trek 4, which would see the return of Chris Hemsworth’s George Kirk in a time travel adventure.
Unfortunately things went south pretty quick as both Hemsworth and Chris Pine walked away from the project when Paramount tried to renegotiate their contracts. The dominions continued to fall as director S.J. Clarkson, the first female hired to helm a Star Trek film, also left to work on the Game of Thrones prequel.
That leaves the long gestating Quentin Tarantino Trek project as the only hope for fans to see Star Trek on the big screen any time soon. And who knows if it will ever actually see the light of day.
Taking all that into consideration, it is safe to say that the film franchise is in for some changes. Exactly how big those changes are depend on a couple of factors.
If a deal can’t be worked out with Pine, then the Kelvin Timeline Star Trek will have lost its James Kirk, unless recasting him is an option. Then there is the fact that Viacom and CBS may become one happy corporation again and as a result, Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman will likely take over stewardship of the films.
And if that happens, what will befall the Kelvin Timeline? Will it be quietly put out to pasture in favor of a Discovery feature film? Could Discovery: The Motion Picture become a reality?
Because the odds are that Paramount and CBS will have to make a decision which version of Star Trek will go forward, at least in theaters. Releasing films featuring both timelines is possible, but also highly unlikely.
Prime or Kelvin? Which should it be?
When it comes to movies, the choice is clear: continue the Kelvin Timeline and leave the Prime version for television.
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The reasons this makes the most sense are many, but the bottom line is that continuing the Kelvin Timeline in films gives the filmmakers the most freedom to tell any kind of story they want. One of the reasons Discovery gets so much hate from a segment of the fanbase is because some fans can’t reconcile where it fits in Star Trek continuity. It irks them to the point they can’t enjoy the show.
Now imagine them trying to figure out where a major motion picture would fit in. They’re heads might explode.
By continuing the Kelvin Timeline you don’t have those issues. Any writers and directors are free to create a new Star Trek without the chains of canon hanging around their necks. They could kill off Kirk if Pine won’t come back. They could introduce the Borg or the Founders or pretty much any other element from the entire scope of the franchise they chose.
It will also leave the entire Prime Timeline the exclusive domain of CBS All Access, which considering the number of series hitting the streaming service over the next few years is for the best. It will allow for tighter continuity between the shows and less headaches for fans.
The Kelvin Timeline belongs on the big screen. It’s best for the fans, best for the franchise and best for Paramount. Now we just need the studio to figure out the best way to ensure more movies get made.