Friday, April 19, 2013

Born A Trekkie, Dead A Star Wars'y

I've seen all the promo material for the new Star Trek movie and I still don't know who the villain is. Since I was a child I've been submerged into the mythos of the series in an odd second hand sort of way via my dad's collection of Star Trek movies, dating from the mid to late 80s. I have a good idea of what the universe has to offer, and also know characters like Khan and Q and such, but still I have no idea who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing.

The Star Trek universe to me has always been a little boring. I say this because the philosophically heavy atmosphere kind of weighs down the credibility of the worlds that are explored. Is the universe only filled with bipedal, anthropomorphic creatures? Or is it more like Star Wars, where there is a diverse plethora of creatures waiting to be explored and discovered. I tend to think the latter. Star Wars is by no means a "brainy" microcosm inside science fiction's grander corpus, but I tend to believe that because it is more expansive, it is more immersing as well.

On the subject of film, I find that the trailer is becoming my latest, and also greatest, adversary in the enjoyment of franchises.  This summer will be a fantastic line up, but after seeing the third Man of Steel trailer a couple days ago I am a bit let down by my curiosity. Superman is, and has always been, a string of iconic moments tethered by epic dialogue and visual spectacle. Seeing, Jor-El holding Kal-El as an infant is an iconic moment, and seeing that in a trailer is tantalizing, but I feel robbed now of the ability to enjoy the principal visual experience offered by the theaters.

The Iron Man franchise has been smart about this. When you market something these days, the idea is to market an experience, not a product. The assumption is that everybody wants something, now the company just has to show the people that is will change their lives. That's why Apple has been successful. So with Iron Man, the marketing has been about the substance and thematic drama of the film, not necessarily the content. This is great because all it does is drive speculation in the product. Tony Stark is deposed? By who? His near death experience is creating a conflict in his character?


You have my attention.

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