If you missed the Gene Roddenberry-ish social message in the most recent J.J. Abrams movie, then rejoice. On the other hand, if you're already tired of Bush-era "war on terror/torture" allegories, then the latest Star Trek 2 reports may disappoint.
Oh, and there are obviously spoilers in this post.
The L.A. Times caught up with director Abrams plus co-writer Roberto Orci, on the set of their TV show Fringe, and both Abrams and Orci hinted that the biggest difference between their first movie and the upcoming sequel would be the socially conscious message. Says Abrams:
The first movie was so concerned with just setting up the characters — their meeting each and galvanizing that family — that in many ways a sequel will have a very different mission. it needs to do what [the late 'Trek' creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story. There needs to be relevance, yes, and that doesn't mean it should be pretentious. If there are simple truths — truths connected to what we live — that elevates any story — that's true with any story.
So okay, that just means that they're going to make sure it has some kind of a messagethat reflects "simple truths." Doesn't necessarily mean we're going to get a full-on allegory for today's challenges. But then here's Orci:
We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.' We're trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what's going on today as possible. So that's one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today.
The L.A. Times reporter asked if this meant the next Trek could deal with terrorism, the ethics of torture, or a long-running, painful war with the Klingons. And Orci acted as though the reporter had just read his mind.
A painful war with the Klingons sounds like a great backdrop for the next movie — allegories about terrorism and torture, though? Sound a bit too 2005. What do you think?