With the merger of CBS and Viacom becoming a reality, a Captain Pike feature film is the perfect way to test Star Trek’s viability on the big screen.
On Tuesday it was finally announced that CBS and Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, were going to merge into ViacomCBS. The move will bring all of Star Trek back under a single umbrella for the first time in over a decade and position the franchise to take on the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars.
Ironically, while both Star Wars and Marvel have done incredibly well at the box office, both have floundered a bit when it comes to television. In the case of Star Trek, the opposite is true. While Star Trek: Discovery has been a huge hit for CBS All Access and fans are practically hyperventilating in anticipation for Star Trek: Picard, the film side has been a bit of a mess.
The merger, which should be finalized by the end of the year, should go a long way towards fixing that. But the question then becomes how does Paramount and Alex Kurtzman, the man in charge of the growing the Trekverse, get Star Trek back on the big screen in a way that fans will enjoy and support while trying to keep budgets under control?
Two words: Captain Pike.
Ever since Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck showed up in the second season of Discovery, fans have been begging to see more of them. There have been petitions and social media campaigns and borderline harassment at conventions in an attempt to convince Kurtzman and crew to give the fans more Captain Pike.
Those fans got their wish somewhat with the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con that they would be featured in three new Star Trek: Short Treks episodes, but that isn’t going to be enough and everyone knows it.
So the answer is obviously to send the USS Enterprise back to a theater near you.
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With the Kelvin Timeline all but dead and Quentin Tarantino‘s Star Trek project still a huge question mark, sending Pike and friends to the big screen would be an easy way to test the waters and see how fans and the general public will react to a new version of Star Trek.
I mean, CBS (and now Paramount) have all the sets built, the costumes ready and the effects on Discovery are already as good if not better than what you see in movies everyday. This would be a film that could be made for a controlled budget that could be an almost guaranteed money maker.
In addition, Pike and company are a sliver of Star Trek canon that is familiar enough to be known to a more general audience but not so much so that continuity becomes an issue. And the obvious James Kirk connection would be a big plus. That, and it returns the franchise to theaters and lets the movie going public know that yes, Star Trek is back.
Fans really want more Captain Pike. ViacomCBS will need a way to test the waters and bring Star Trek back to the big screen that won’t cost a fortune. This could be a win/win for everyone.