Professional crazy person and inventor of the excessive gunshot effect Quentin Tarantino wants to make a Star Trek movie. I’m choosing to believe everyone assumed he was joking, as I would hope this being a legitimate proposal would have elicited universal condemnation. After exactly zero announcements that he changed his mind, it turns out he’s totally serious and he’s actually doing this. This idea of his has prompted no outrage whatsoever, because life is meaningless and no one gives a fuck about anything. As mistakes go, this lands somewhere between Independence Day: Resurgence and putting a skillet in the dishwasher, but injustice to sci-fi anywhere is injustice to sci-fi everywhere.
I should preface this by saying I enjoy most of Tarantino’s films. Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, and Inglorious Basterds are among my favorite films. The man has a distinctive style which, while ideal for westerns and crime dramas, is not conducive to recreating one of the most beloved sci-fi series of all time. For all its qualities, one thing that Star Trek has lacked throughout its existence is grit. The normally campy franchise has its dark periods, but considering there has never been a Star Trek movie rated higher than PG-13, one can’t help but wonder in what direction Tarantino intends to take it. Is he deviating from his reliable “Men Have Profane Conversation And Then Murder Everyone” formula, or are we destined to witness an 18 minute scene of Uhura explaining the etiquette regarding the usage of the n-word to Spock? Are we at least getting a scene showing Sam Jackson berating the absolute shit out of Chekov for reasons we won’t fully understand? If he chooses to employ it, the Red Shirt trope promises an opportunity for some outrageously gory death scenes. If you’ve ever wanted them to paint the walls of the Enterprise with some tertiary dipshit, you have reason to be excited. Imagine the scene in Galaxy Quest where the monster gets teleported and ends up being turned inside out, except all the time and for no good reason.
Star Trek has been retold and reimagined numerous times, and the only iterations that seem to be positively received are those that are true to the original spirit of the show. If Quentin Tarantino deviates from that and applies his signature style, it is unlikely to be recognized as Star Trek at all. If he intends to be loyal to the lineage, what are we getting that is new? When revisiting existing material, it is always fair to examine the director’s motivations. Why do this now? Is he a fan of Star Trek, or did he simply develop a brand-new itch for space stuff that he must scratch under any circumstances? My worry is that, given Tarantino’s aversion to sci-fi, we would be wise to expect a derivative grindhouse shitshow. I have no doubt he could deliver a sensational sci-fi flick, I just doubt Star Trek is the right source material for him to build upon.
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