Star Trek Into Darkness was a somewhat polarizing film when it was released in 2013. It was the sequel to a very refreshing and inventive Star Trek reboot from 2009, so expectations were on an all-time high for the follow up. Unfortunately, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof just delivered the same thing from the reboot, only goofier and with more references to other Star Trek movies.
While some directors might shy away from fan criticism, J.J. Abrams seems to embrace and accept it. He is fully aware of the fan reaction to Star Trek Into Darkness and his movies overall. He even tries to make up for his misgivings with his next film, but he’s not above admitting that he miscalculated what he thinks fans want.
Over the weekend, J.J. Abrams and Stephen Colbert were featured in a two-hour “celebrity nerd-off” during the Montclair Film Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. While Colbert asked Abrams about the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the late night talk show host also touched upon Star Trek Into Darkness. According to Jordan Hoffman from Rolling Stone, Abrams admitted that Star Trek Into Darkness had a number of problems, namely that there were too many homages and references to The Wrath of Khan. Hoffman writes:
“Abrams is aware that “we got in trouble on the second Star Trek film with some of the fans,” and admitted. “There were too many nods to The Wrath of Khan. I’ll cop to that.” (Full disclosure: I, the author, was the gentleman who led the now notorious fan panel at the 2013 Las Vegas convention in which we, the aggrieved dweebs of the Trekkie community, declared that Into Darkness was the worst Star Trek film of all time. Very sorry, J.J.) Whether a proposed third Trek film from the Bad Robot crew will serve as a corrective or not remains to be seen, but he acknowledges that the nerds were indeed heard.”
One of the big problems surrounding Star Trek Into Darkness was it seemed more concerned about paying tribute to The Wrath of Khan than actually trying to find its own identity as a movie. Instead of focusing on telling a good story, J.J. Abrams put so much fan service in Star Trek Into Darkness that it was so difficult to focus or get into the sci-fi film. The end result just upset fans because it wasn’t as good as the first reboot and its moderate box office take reflects poorly.
Additionally, Stephen Colbert also asked Abrams about his penchant for lens flares. It’s no secret that Abrams is notorious about including (sometimes unnecessarily) a number of big, bright, and distracting lens flares in all of his movies. It’s actually a popular Internet meme anytime Abrams announces a new project. The director is well aware of the number of lens flares he used in the past, but affirms that he reduced the filmmaking flourish for The Force Awakens. From Jordan Hoffman:
“There’s a directorial flourish and then there’s self-parody — and Abrams promises he’s easing up on his signature stylistic tic of shining lights directly into anamorphic lenses to create flares. He could explain it away in the Star Trek films (“the future is so bright!”) but admits he has no excuse for Super 8. He recalled how one shot in Star Trek Into Darkness was so overrun by lens flare his wife shouted that she couldn’t see Alice Eve. He made an effort to tone it down for The Force Awakens, and when he spotted his lighting crew bringing large spotlights onto the set he would joke “these aren’t the flares you’re looking for.”
It’s good and quite funny to see J.J. Abrams admit he has a problem when it comes to lens flares. It’s also refreshing to see that he has a sense of humor about it too. But fans will react negatively to The Force Awakens if there are a lot of lens flares throughout its running time. In fact, if you watch any of The Force Awakens marketing materials, such as trailers or TV spots, you can plainly see there will be at least some lens flares featured in the new Star Wars. Hopefully, they’re not too distracting to enjoy The Force Awakens, but you know someone out there is going to count each and every one while watching the movie.
The next Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond, opens in U.S. theaters on July 22nd, 2016.
Source: Rolling Stone