The Case for a Second Star Trek Franchise

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When I was younger I was under the impression that everyone needed to pick a side with genre movies. I was late to the “Harry Potter” game, a franchise that ended up being my favorite of all, because I chose “Lord of the Rings” and I couldn’t betray my friends from Middle-Earth. The same goes for the space feud. I refused to commit to any of the Star Trek shows or movies because I was a “Star Wars” fan through and through. I still fall on that side of the galaxy, but JJ Abrams’ Star Trek films definitely have me sporting my Spock ears when nobody is looking.

Star trek first contact

Star Trek: The Next (Next) Generation

With Abrams headed to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” there are a lot of questions regarding the probable follow-up to Star Trek: Into Darkness. My bet is Kirk and co. will be back before we know it, but why should we stop there? There are other Star Trek titles primed and ready to be brought back to the masses. I’m not going to go too crazy and say the world needs a Star Trek: Voyager reboot. Paramount isn’t stupid. The logical next step to expand the title is a Star Trek: The Next Generation film.

I already hear the complaints in my head. Patrick Stewart looks exactly the same as he did when “Nemesis” came out in 2002. He can keep playing the captain! Well, yes he is physically capable, but he shouldn’t. We accept Zachary Quinto as Spock; we can do the same for the “TNG” crew. In the same timeline as the Abrams films, this new series would be set in the future and draw from the original source material while being fresh and different.

So who would play these beloved characters you ask? I have no idea. You’ll have to tell me. But the possibilities are endless with the talent pool of actors out there. After my introduction about being team “Star Wars,” I know my credibility in Star Trek circles is severely limited. I take responsibility for that. But what I do know is film and Hollywood trends. The mega-franchise is the strategy of choice for studios at the moment. “Harry Potter” and “The Avengers” have changed everything. Trilogies aren’t enough anymore. So a few months off of the announcement that Disney is looking to have a “Star Wars” movie released every single year, you can bet that the holders of other franchises are going to try and do the same. Enter Paramount with the other Star Trek titles.

We are not as far removed from Star Trek: The Next Generation as we are from the original series, which is probably why this idea hasn’t gained more traction. William Shatner is currently 82 years old, so it’s obvious he shouldn’t be playing Kirk anymore. We’ll just ignore the continuity holes that would make. But Patrick Stewart’s days as the in “TNG” should probably be over too. He’s 72, but admittedly was a much older captain than Shatner during his run. No matter how you look at it, Star Trek: The Next Generation is a dead franchise currently, so the idea of a reboot should excite fans.

After all, “The Next Generation” was the highest rated of all the “Star Trek” titles. It received an Emmy nomination for Best Dramatic series and is overall less mocked publicly than the original. Moving forward on such a motion picture reboot would be smart for Paramount. It won’t make as much money as “The Avengers,” but before Abrams, Star Trek was a niche sci-fi series and now it’s on the verge of becoming a perennial powerhouse at the box-office. Should Star Trek: The Next Generation be rebooted? Who would you have play the leads? Sound off in the comments section.