The big behind-the-scenes news yesterday was that JJ Abrams, creator of TV show Lost and director of "Mission Impossible III" (May that film franchise burn in Hell!), is to produce and direct the 11th Star Trek film. This was according to "Daily Variety".
The film - set for release in 2008 - will focus on the early days of Captain James T Kirk and Mr Spock and will tell of their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first outer space mission.
Personally, I always thought it had been established that Spock was several years older and thus farther ahead of Kirk in his career with Starfleet, including his school days. But this might work to the plot's advantage - have Spock act as sort of a mentor to the younger Kirk who might be at first resentful for having the Vulcan "half-breed" watching over his shoulder.
Abrams will write the film with his "Mission Impossible" (May that film franchise burn in Hell!) co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Continuing the connection with 'Lost', the film will be co-produced by Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk.
The decision to revive the 'Trek' franchise comes a year after the cancellation of spin-off TV series Enterprise, which was axed after four seasons due to poor ratings.
Rumours that the film series would continue in a different form have been circulating since 2003. For instance, Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of 'The Next Generation') told ITV1's 'This Morning' earlier this year that there was "interest in bringing the 'Next Generation' cast together with actors from different 'Star Trek' series".
Being all for the blending of the 'Trek' spin-offs, I'd like to see this happen. I think the story should be centered around the space station Deep Space Nine and focus on the worm-holes of Bajor. Starfleet should be making the attempt to rescue Captain Benjamin Sisko from his exile among "the Prophets".
Besides the various cast members to be used, there could be plenty of work for some special guest stars who could play assorted Bajorans, "Prophets", and maybe even Vulcan emissaries who accompany a very ancient Vulcan matriarch named T'Pol, who suffers from Bendii Syndrome which brings her into spiritual contact with the "Prophets" and thus kicks off this mission.
(One casting suggestion for playing an alien guest star? Get Ethan Suplee, who plays Randy Hickey on 'My Name Is Earl', to be one of the dim-witted Pakleds.)
Among the cast members from the various shows to be used, I'd refrain from bringing back Odo, who should remain among his people, the Founders of the Dominion, and Data, who was destroyed at the end of the last 'Trek' movie, "Nemesis".
And perhaps the participation by Whorf, Riker and Dr. Crusher could be avoided by having them remain on active duty on other vessels. Whorf would have gone back to the Klingon empire; Riker would be helming his own ship; and Dr. Crusher might be either in charge of a medical vessel as was seen in alternate future in the finale for 'ST: TNG', or she could be visiting with her son Wesley.
In fact, now that I think of it, Wesley could be brought in to use his newly blossoming powers to make contact with Sisko in that alt. dimension where he's supposedly trapped and bring him home. But in the process, Wesley is lost there instead.
That would make a lot of Wesley-haters in the audience very happy. They'd be walking out of theatre, cheerfully humming the theme music.
Most of the 'Deep Space Nine' cast should be brought back, as the space station would still be their base of operations, Kira Nerys in command of the facility. For medical emergencies during the episode, not only would you have Dr. Bashir (with his Trill wife Enzi Dax by his side) but also the holographic medical program downloaded from the returned 'Voyager'.
Captain Janeway, who knew Sisko, could be the front-line leader of the search and rescue, while Admiral Picard would be have overall command of the operations. And Seven of Nine could lead the expeditionary force that enters the particular wormhole that might lead to the whereabouts of Sisko.
Jake Sisko would be there out of concern for his father; and Mr. O'Brien would be working in conjunction with Geordi LaForge to keep the unstable, experimental equipment being used from blowing them up Real Good.
Via the wormholes, they might even come in contact with Neelix and the colony of Talaxians again. Or they could travel through Time (which had no meaning to the Prophets) to go back in Starfleet history to meet the original surviving members of the first 'Enterprise'; to find out what Dr. Phlox knew about the mystery of the "Prophets".
This might be where T'Pol comes in; where her ancient self could meet up with her younger self.
And during their down-time, the characters can get better acquainted and rested up at Quark's bar.
Ultimately, who would be the hero of the adventure?
As for this movie to be made about Kirk and Spock as undergrads at Starfleet Academy, the movie should end with Spock being assigned to the Enterprise, leaving Kirk behind to finish his studies. That way we could meet younger versions of Captain Christopher Pike and Dr. Piper.
Finally, one suggestion: please guys - and I'm referring to Mr. Abrams, Mr. Lindelof, and Mr. Burk, - PLEASE find a way to work in the numeric sequence "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42". Maybe even a connection to the mysteries of Rambaldi.
Your fans will go crazy for those types of link!