Why Trekkies ruin everything.

The following is a fan rant that should only be taken half seriously, as it’s author, Simon Miraudo, wrote it in a state of semi-consciousness and madness, not unlike Daniel Day Lewis in the final twenty minutes of There Will Be Blood.

J.J. Abrams wildly entertaining Star Trek reboot opened last week, collecting a massive $76.5 million in the U.S alone. The film picked up an impressive $1.014 million on its first day of release in Australia. Audiences loved it; the critics loved it; I loved it. But some won’t be happy about this massive opening weekend haul. And by some, I mean the ridiculous Trekkies that make the rest of us sci-fi fans look bad.

A petition was lodged online to boycott the opening weekend of the film, unless Paramount Pictures pledged to donate a significant portion of the film’s grosses to a non-profit space exploration program. Please enjoy this abridged quotation:

“In 1966 Gene Roddenberry gave us his optimistic vision of the future with Star Trek, and millions of people fell in love with his vision. Designers, engineers, astronauts, scientists, and doctors by the thousands all have stated that Star Trek was the spark which set them on their career path. And Paramount has benefited greatly from our love of the franchise.

The technology which Paramount uses every day to run its business, owes at least a portion of its existence to those who were inspired by Star Trek. Paramount’s hoping that we will continue to flock to this latest incarnation as we have to the others. Well, enough is enough. If Paramount’s going to expect us to pony up money for this, then we want something in return:

We want Paramount or J. J. Abrams to agree to donate at least a portion of the box office receipts for opening weekend to one of the various non-profit (and Paramount will get a nice, healthy tax deduction for this) organizations dedicated to the exploration of space. Their artists will use the images beamed back from space as basis for future film scenes, the technology spun-off from those missions will enable Paramount to make bigger (and hopefully better) films of all types, and we know that shortly after commercial spaceflight becomes possible, someone at Paramount will hit upon the idea of shooting a film in space.

Since it is the opening weekend results that drive so much of Hollywood’s thinking, our staying away will hurt Paramount’s bottom line and not the theater chains.”

You can read the full petition here. A couple of notes I’d like to make. First of all, according to this petition, Paramount are the bad guys for spending the last five decades creating countless television series and 11 films based around the Star Trek universe. Now the fans “want something in return”. Damn you Paramount! How dare you attempt to appease the sometimes maddening requests of a bunch of fans who are literally never happy! Thanks for nothing!

Secondly, the author of this petition actually believes a movie filmed in space is a good idea. Look, never say never. But come on; this will NEVER happen. Maybe in a thousand years, when the fuel consumption for a trip to space doesn’t cost billions of dollars, and when it isn’t impossible to insure a bunch of untrained actors to be shot into the great beyond. A studio gets nervous about a film that costs more than $100 million. I doubt many executives would approve a film with twenty times the budget, and the constant possibility of the crew bursting into flames and hurtling back to earth.

I don’t want to come across as a cynic of humanity’s ability to break new ground. On the contrary; I believe we as a species can accomplish almost anything, which is why science fiction films are so fascinating. Their prescience is often spooky, and more often than not inspiring. It is true that Gene Roddenberry’s vision of space travel has influenced the way technology has been devised. But do you know why we haven’t seen a science fiction film in which the ultimate goal is to launch ourselves into the stars and make the first-ever movie outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Because it’s a really stupid idea.

What is really annoying about this petition is its complete disregard for the new Star Trek. Yes, I know it’s silly to feel sorry for the people involved, as they are destined to make hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming weeks. But it is so rare to see a studio blockbuster that is so entertaining and so thoughtful. It’s a real tragedy to see the people that should love it, turn their back on it for reasons that are beyond ridiculous.

OK, so J.J. Abrams didn’t help matters by continually stating that this Star Trek was not made for traditional Star Trek fans. That probably upset a lot of the people that made the series such an iconic piece of pop culture. But when mad Trekkies make statements like the above, I turn into Bones McCoy and just want to scream “Damnit Jim, it’s because of petitions like this that make people embarrassed to say they’re Star Trek fans.”

Trekkies (and I apologise for using the term in a derogatory sense, but I feel it’s apt in this situation) are completely unwilling to share their beloved Kirk with anyone else, and for this they should be ashamed. After all, the popularity of Star Trek has always been about the devoted community of fans, which over the years has mutated into hateful, canon-obsessed petition-writers.

Paramount and Abrams have helped breathe life into a series which was close to death. If it’s true that Trekkies boycotted the opening weekend of Star Trek (which, let’s face it, is unlikely), then the opening weekend grosses prove that the series really doesn’t need them. If they genuinely didn’t like the film, fair enough. Complain away. But to claim that they are “owed” something? Well, no fan should ever feel they are owed anything. They should be thankful, enjoy the gifts that have been made especially for them, and then get on with their life.

One Response to “Why Trekkies ruin everything.”

  1. Star Wars fans should get an apology from George Lucas for the mess that was/is and will always be episodes 1,2 & 3. Seriously, the new Star Trek movie is awesome. It is what Star Wars should have been. That's a big statement.

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