Let’s face it, the majority of the Star Trek canon is pretty bad, and it has been from the beginning.
Any viewer that (metaphorically) sets foot on the Original Series’ USS Enterprise, with its cheesy sets, pajama-wearing crew, and overacting captain, and decides to stay is truly dedicated.
Even when the Enterprise warped off to the big screen, and its increased budgets, there was still a lot to endure.
There were plots that didn’t just require fans to suspend disbelief, but to murder it, dissolve its body in acid, and dump the residue in the Gowanus Canal. Remember the sentient mass of space junk known as V’ger (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)? Or the alien masquerading as God on a planet at the center of the galaxy (The Final Frontier)? What does God need with a starship anyway?
Then there were the terrible attempts at comedy, like the one that led the main cast to spend an entire movie looking for whales on 20th century Earth (The Voyage Home), or the time Kirk and Spock sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” around a campfire (Final Frontier).
Star Trek: The Next Generation brought more believable special effects and the gravitas of Patrick Stewart to the table, but even this honed and refined series had its missteps.
Remember the tim Dr. Crusher accidentally de-evolved the Enterprise crew (“Genesis”)? What about the time she fell in love with a ghost (“Sub Rosa”)? Every time she yells “The flame was plasma-based!” at the end of that episode, I die a little inside.
Then there were Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. All good series in their own ways, but never in a position to make up for the sins of the ones that came before.
So even if Into Darkness is the worst movie to air this year, it could still be among the best Star Trek films ever. It will definitely be better than Nemesis.
Over the years, Star Trek fans have demonstrated the same faith and patience that an actual five-year mission of space exploration would require. They’ve endured some pretty terrible schlock because the core ideas of Star Trek appeal to them.
That demonstrates the staying power of Gene Roddenberry’s vision for a future where people live in harmony and fulfill humanity’s potential. Or that people really like seeing movies with pointy-eared aliens. Either way, I can’t wait to see Into Darkness.