Star Trek has had an unusual road to its fandom. It began as a short-lived television series, and yet it’s a highly influential and long lasting franchise that has spawned four sequel series and thirteen motion pictures. These two formats can be incredibly different, both in terms of tenor and tone, despite taking place in the same universe with the same casts. It is, to quote Mr. Spock, “fascinating.”
With the latest Star Trek film, Star Trek Beyond, set to open this weekend, I took a look back at the Trek film franchise. Some make the case that this is a story that deserves to be told on a cinematic canvas, while others argue that Trek is best served as an episodic series. Some pay great homage to the feeling of the original series, while others feel like they should have aired on television. It’s a rich, diverse film franchise where even the failures are intriguing.
So let us boldly go, and start with the weakest entry in the series thus far: