In an interview with the Radio Times, Star Trek Original Series actor George Takei has criticised the new JJ Abrams-produced films for lacking “that Gene Roddenberry element” of making the stories reflections of present-day issues.
“With Gene Roddenberry’s shows you can see beyond the surface action-adventure, the surface humour and entertainment,” Takei reminisced. “You were able to also guess at ‘Oh, that’s what they’re talking about: it’s the Cold War or it’s climate change’. Star Trek IV [The Voyage Home] was not just about our flashing back in time to San Francisco in the 20th century, it was about the key role that whales play in our environmental chain.”
“That is what made Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek so enriching and so challenging – you look for that additional dimension. With the rebooted films, it’s just that surface entertainment.”
Takei has been increasingly vocal against the New Trek films, despite the filmmakers paying tribute to the actor by having his Original Series character Sulu come out as gay in Star Trek Beyond – a tribute that the homosexual Takei called “unfortunate”.
His comments miss the very evident science-fiction parables within the New Trek films. Star Trek Beyond was a mediation on post-traumatic stress, while Star Trek Into Darkness had a strong undercurrent of drone warfare. And the celebrated 2009 reboot of course dealt with the very real and timely threat of conflicting timeline continuities.
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