When Variety announced yesterday that Roberto Orci is going to be the director of the 3rd alternate timeline (or nuTrek) Star Trek film I had mixed feelings. First off I just want to say that at least Orci is a self proclaimed Trekkie. Unlike J.J. Abrams who admitted that he was always more of a Star Wars fan and could never really get into Star Trek– yet still he said “yes” when asked to direct them. It might be a nice change of pace to have a true fan direct a film rather than just co-write it. That being said, my 2 favorite films of the TOS era came from a director who was also not a big Star Trek Fan. Nicholas Meyer directed both Wrath of Kahn and The Undiscovered Country from an outsider’s perspective. He brought a refreshing naval feeling to the Enterprise and arguably saved the franchise. One might say that Abrams did the same thing in 2009 by bringing a more “Star Wars” action packed energy into the franchise.
So where does that leave Orci? He was a big part of the team that created Abram’s 2 Trek films (Abrams is also producing the 3rd) so one can assume that he’s a safe choice to bring us more of the same. The problem comes when you look at his resume. He’s never directed a movie. So the fans are understandably worried about putting our baby in the hands of someone with no experience. Add to that the fact that Orci’s past fan interactions haven’t always been positive and we’re even more worried.
I’m a mix of emotions on this one. So I decided to re-watch Star Trek Into Darkness today as I considered the situation. What I found was that despite its flaws, I love this movie. It gets my heart pumping, my tear ducts open and it makes the fan-boy inside of me very very happy. If Orci’s Star Trek 3 can do that– I’m ok with it. And maybe a 3rd successful film on the 50th anniversary of the franchise will convince the CBS/Paramount that a new Star Trek TV show would be profitable. That’s all we need to make that happen. 😀
So– final decision– am I upset at the news of Roberto Orci directing Star Trek 3? No. I am, however, as worried as I always am about the future of the franchise. But this news doesn’t make me any more worried than I was in 2008. And that turned out ok. I like the new movies and am happy that they co-exist with the rest of the prime universe cannon.