My name is Thomas Marrone and this is my art blog. I'm a UI Artist at Cryptic Studios working on Star Trek Online, though I'm more likely to post concept art and personal art projects here.
I also do a lot of stuff for David Weber's Honor Harrington novels, so if you're a fan of the Honorverse you should keep tabs on me as well!
I really liked Into Darkness, but I think it’s interesting the wide range of reactions the movie has had from other die-hard fans. Some loved it and some hated it, and some really hate how Abrams and his team has approached the franchise as a whole.
Partly that stems from the way Abrams has spoken about Star Trek in the past. He’s said things like “I never liked Star Trek” or “It was just too philosophical for me.”
Inevitably, this chestnut always drops: “We didn’t make a movie just for Star Trek fans!”
It’s a common refrain from Abrams, and indeed, from almost every actor/director in a press junket surrounding a Star Trek movie in recent memory. This tone seems defensive, like they’re almost ashamed that they made a Star Trek movie.
It’s dismissive of and certainly feels disrespectful to the die hard fans. It’s no secret that a film studio wants to target as broad an audience as possible, but the language that pops up in these interviews tends to marginalize those of us who have supported the franchise for almost five decades.
I wish that one of these times when someone asks Abrams or whoever directs the next Trek movie if they were a Star Trek fan or if you have to be a Trek fan to like their movie, the conversation would not be about circumventing some Star Trek stigma. It has endured for decades. It is an important cultural icon. Yeah, it’s a Star Trek movie, and that’s why it’s going to be good.
I would love of these interviews to really embrace what’s important about Star Trek and come at the question unapologetically. I would see it going something like this:
Interviewer: So, what’s your history with Star Trek?”
Director: When I was growing up I had a lot of friends that were fans, but it never gelled for me until I started working with the people on the team who were really into it and started looking at the history of the franchise. I realized these were timeless stories about morality and friendship, and began to understand why this franchise has endured for so long.
Interviewer: So, will I like this movie if I’m not a Star Trek fan?”
Director: Absolutely. Star Trek at its best is about discovery, about perseverance, about friendship and diversity and about bringing out the heroes in each and every one of us. We worked very hard to make a movie about those things, because they are universal things that everyone can relate to. I think - and hope - that if you go into the movie and you’re not a Star Trek fan, you’ll walk out of the theater when the movie is over and say to yourself “That was Star Trek? That’s great! I get it now!”