When I wrote about the first of these J.J. Abrams movies, I never thought I would be watching the second one – but there it was on TV, during the Oscars, and I kept going back and forth between the two channels. I was absolutely dumbstruck.
Earth looks just like Coruscant. Kronos looks just like Zion in the Matrix trilogy. The gunfight on Kronos looks like a game of Lasertag. The evil Admiral who wants to start a war with the Klingons – that’s rather old. The secret prototype starship with cutting-edge technology – been there, done that.
It all made me realize something major. We’re not going to have movies anymore; from now on, we’re only going to have copy-pasted rehashes of the classics we know and love. Yes. A hundred years from now there’s gonna be so many versions of Star Trek, so many Batman origin stories, so many Darth Vaders, so many Aragorns and James Bonds... Just like it is with the Arthurian mythos. Really, why do you think we got so many confusing iterations of that thing? Simply because those characters were “popular” back then, and various authors kept retelling the same story over and over again, with slight differences every time.
The book of Saint Kentigern stipulates that Merlin died in the Tweed river, pierced by a spike. But Thomas Mallory says Merlin was forever entombed in a magic cave. Which is it?
Cicero wrote that the goddess Aphrodite was a daughter of Uranus and Hemera. But Hesiod has said that Aphrodite appeared when Cronus cut off his father’s testicles and threw them into the sea. Again, which is it?
Matthew wrote that Jesus on the cross said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” But Luke wrote that Jesus on the cross said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” What did he really say, boys?
Tim Burton introduced a Joker who’d become what he is after an accident at a chemical plant. But the Gotham TV show now gives us a street performer / orphan Joker who died and was resurrected in Arkham...
With Roddenberry, Spock dies after replacing the warp core by hand. With Abrams, Kirk dies after having kicked that damn warp core back on...
Redux and remake – with no clear end in sight. Beloved characters don’t have a choice anymore: they’ll live forever, and they are doomed to transform endlessly.