I’m fairly convinced that the new Star Trek movie is going to suck. I’ve established that already. There is, however, an interesting alternative, for those who need their Star Trek fix.

Star Trek: Phase II is an independent effort to recreate a full year’s worth of Star Trek episodes, that takes place where the original series left off. It is completely free to stream or download. I find it to be very entertaining, as much more emphasis is placed on story, because they don’t really have to keep up with special effects. The goal of the show is to continue the Star Trek universe, not to create a new sleek, futuristic image that conforms with the commercial ideal of “cool.”

I would’ve really liked to see the new Star Trek movie embrace the retro aspects of Star Trek at least to a small extent, but Star Trek: Phase II definitely suffices.

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My love of Star Trek is probably one of my “nerdier” characteristics, but I honestly believe that Star Trek conveys a deep message of hope in the future. Humankind in the Star Trek universe has really ascended to a higher plane of thinking than our society. There is a well-known story of someone asking Gene Roddenberry why Patrick Stewart’s character was bald, claiming that by the 24th century, a cure for baldness would have been invented. Roddenberry’s response was, “By the 24th century, nobody will care.”

I feel like that statement really sums up what makes Star Trek great. If our society turns out to be anything like the Federation in Star Trek, I think we will have done well.

I found out today that JJ Abrams, writer of such classic movies as Armageddon and Mission Impossible: 3, would be directing a prequel to the original Star Trek series. JJ Abrams is also the main person behind Alias, the incredibly sub-par “Chick Spy” show, and The Fringe, a combination of CSI and The Twilight Zone (no, that’s not a good combination).

The first images I have seen of the Star Trek prequel are definitely disturbing. It appears that JJ Abrams is trying to do a Gap commercial / Scifi crossover film now.

Also, I’m pretty sure they are just flying around in space while inside a gigantic iPod.

Now, I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but come on. Pretty much everything that JJ Abrams does is pretty mediocre at best. He is making a half-assed career out of turning science fiction into something that is about a cool and stylish future. We need to worry about real societal issues when looking toward the future, not about what we’ll be wearing. While Gene Roddenberry meant for Star Trek to contain some legitimate commentary on the future, JJ Abrams is simply using it to showcase “cool looking shit” and special effects.

At least there’s Battlestar Galactica.