I should be taking a victory lap.
Roberto Orci, the writer/producer, has apparently been kicked off Star Trek 3 – a movie he was originally signed to both co-write and direct. Me and Mr. Orci, well… we have a history. His heated and condescending response to my TrekMovie editorial “Star Trek is broken” resulted in a tremendous amount of bad press for him, and it also resulted in my op-ed piece being read by far more people than would have done so otherwise.
When Orci was announced as director, I was critical and contributed to the very vocal #StopOrci2014 twitter response… a response that probably made no difference whatsoever in what happened, but gave fans a chance to vent.
I don’t know what has happened behind the scenes, but Devin at Badass Digest writes that Orci was kicked off the film, almost entirely – Orci initially responded to these rumors with a “not true, I am still very much involved” comment (again, on TrekMovie) but he finally stated yesterday that he was a producer only and was no longer writing the script (his script for Star Trek Into Darkness is one of the major points of criticism I and many others had with the film).
Like I stated, I should be taking a victory lap… but I’m not. Mostly because I see very little to celebrate.
Star Trek is STILL broken, because the direction the series has taken doesn’t look to change. They have brought in Justin Lin, the director of the Fast and the Furious movies, to direct the next Trek film. While he is quite adept with character moments and action beats, is he the right man to direct Star Trek? I don’t know, but other rumored directors (Duncan Jones!) could have brought a much more intellectual take at the material.
Trek is not action movie material… Trek is about the human adventure, the undiscovered country… as I pointed out (adeptly, IMO) in the article that pissed off Orci in the first place. Since the universe prides itself on irony, we have seen two great examples of what a Trek movie should and could be just this past year. Gravity and Interstellar are both provocative SF stories that I could see under the Star Trek label (and yes, I know both films are flawed). Hell, even Guardians of the Galaxy had more “exploration” than the last Trek film had.
So no victory lap for me, because I don’t take pleasure in Orci’s ouster… OK, to be completely honest, I do take a LITTLE pleasure. I am human, after all. As they say, pride goeth before a fall, and Mr. Orci was (and is) a very proud boastful little man. So to him I say: Good luck with that.
Now, to finish (and to reinforce the title of this missive): I’m kinda done with Star Trek.
I’ve gone (and spoken at) Trek conventions, I’ve written thousands of words on the subject, and I look back in fondness at the hours of entertainment the series and the films have given me. But with Trek now an “action adventure” franchise, the Trek that is being produced now is bringing me more pain than pleasure.
I also think that I have written all I have to say on the subject: I have nothing else to add to the discussion except the same arguments I have made already, and a few have (legitimately) criticized my Trek writing because of this. Since I don’t want or need to belabor my points, I’m out.
Finally, there’s plenty of other people writing about Trek out there… people who are still excited and passionate about Trek – many of them much better writers than I am – and I wish them well. I’m just not that interested in doing so anymore (especially when half the comments are people “white knighting” Orci and NuTrek – sorry, life is too short to deal with online debates waged in comment threads).
So, to my Trek friends… live long and prosper. I will be writing about and viewing other things. I may see the third film… eventually. But even with Orci gone I have no confidence that there will be a course correction to Star Trek anytime soon.