They’ve lost the Star Trek identity
When did The Beastie Boys become so necessary in Star Trek? Car chases, motorcycle stunts, and Fast and Furious nonsense are not Star Trek. It was acceptable in Star Trek 2009 because it was the opening scene and didn’t do much to affect the overall tone of the film, but in Star Trek: Beyond, Justin Lin literally made the Beastie Boys a key plot in their defeat of the swarm. Sure, it felt like something out of Guardians of the Galaxy and some fans loved that but that’s the point.
Star Trek isn’t Guardians of the Galaxy.
Star Trek is supposed to deal with ethical debates that aren’t clear or obvious. They’re about finding resolution at all costs, and when peaceful resolution fails, then finding a way out while doing the honorable and noble things becomes the norm. It’s about embracing the idea of right and looking at these men and women as heroes.
Flying around listening to Beastie Boys? That’s not Star Trek at all.
The need to water down these characters is part of the problem. They don’t need to be one-dimensional Marvel characters, they’re deep, complex, and interesting. They’re the driving force of these films, not the special effects or even the plot.
Yet, when J.J. Abrams came in, he brought a tone and focus shift from the original films. Super polished sets that felt completely impractical and the unneeded use of lens flares made these films feel decidedly less than Star Trek. Big stunts replaced great conversations and frankly, Star Trek 2009 is just Star Wars: A New Hope.
Yup, the man remade that movie twice.
Gone are the debates and in are sword fights. Gone are the moral quandaries and in are obvious and easy to root against villains. This isn’t to say that the films aren’t good to a degree, or even great. Personally, Star Trek: Into Darkness is a great film. Yet, it’s not a great Star Trek film. Its a film that needs to be cool instead of compelling, and it’s so obvious.
Star Trek isn’t obvious.