4. This ain’t your pappy’s Star Trek. Noticing anything else unusual about this image? Like how it’s not in space? A unexpected amount of Abrams’ first Star Trek took place on Earth, but Trek is fundamentally a sci-fi saga set on starships warping through the vast reaches of outer space — not a disaster tale located on terra firma. This poster could be Abrams’ sly way of expanding the audience for his film, pulling in people for whom the words “starship” and “warping” and “vast reaches of outer space” remain a major buzzkill — whereas devastating one of the greatest cities on our planet makes the drama’s stakes feel more, well, earthbound.
Speaking of devastation, I’m also struck by how grim this image is. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of our future was one of basic harmony and understanding, where we’d renounced petty jealousy, greed, and bloody war in the service of bettering ourselves. That is not the future I see in this poster — nor is it the one presented in the film’s official synopsis released last week that suggests the wreckage in this poster was caused by domestic terrorism. In 2009, Abrams and his collaborators proved that they could update Trek for 21st century audiences without losing the innate qualities that have made Trek one of the most durable and celebrated storytelling universes of the last 50 years. I have no reason to believe they won’t do so again, but from what we’ve seen so far, they also seem willing to boldly go where no Trek has gone before.
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