Upcoming STAR TREK Video Game Is Canon and Will Serve as a Bridge to STAR TREK 2

by     Posted 2 years, 285 days ago

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Video game tie-ins tend to be a losing prospect.  They’re cheap, they’re half-hearted, and tend to exist as simply another piece of merchandise that will end up in a 70% off bin six months later.  They’re are exceptions: GoldenEye 007 and Spider-Man 2 come to mind, but quality tie-ins are few and far between.  Whether the upcoming Star Trek game will be good as a game remains to be seen, but executive producer and screenwriter Roberto Orci says it will function as canon.  Orci goes on to say, “It’s going to be a story that fits into our movies, and fits into between the first two movies.”  That’s a dangerous prospect.  Hit the jump for quotes from Orci on the game and why I think this could seriously backfire.

roberto-orci-imageSpeaking to GamePro [via Bleeding Cool], Orci explains,

We would not allow a game to go out if it was not somehow a part of the continuity.

I thought that was a decision that rested with Paramount, but okay.  Orci, and I assume the “we” are co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, and director J.J. Abrams, could have that level of control over a video game tie-in.  Orci continues:

What’s great about the game is that it gets to show that middle step. You get to see Kirk and Spock in a way you’re not going to in the movie. They’re becoming friends; they’re going on adventures you’re not going to see in the movies. The game is giving you new insight into who they are.

See, this is where I gets problematic.  If you’re going to add external media that is also canon, it cannot be crucial to the overall story.  Star Trek 2 should be able to exist on its own and other media shouldn’t detract from the movie.  If you transplant character development between Kirk and Spock into another medium, does that end up depriving the movie of those elements?

We want to make sure that in a way the game is its own movie. I don’t want to give away who the villains are, but the people in the game might be people who end up in the movie. I like to think of the game as a movie we’ve might have done. We treat the game with the same respect. I can say that the villains are very much in canon.

Again, that’s a problem.  Prior to 2009′s Star Trek, there was Star Trek: Countdown, a miniseries of comics that served as a kind of prequel to the film.  I spoke to some people who were confused by certain elements of the movie’s story and thought there were some serious plotholes and weak storytelling.  Defenders then pointed to Countdown as an explanation.  But no one should have to read a comic or play a video game in order to better understand a movie.  It should augment the world rather than become a crucial element of understanding the main storyline’s narrative.

We want to make sure that we’re true to what happened in the universe. The things I want to see a lot of the same things that happened in Star Trek, a lot of the same scenarios but I want see them in a new way. In the original series they met the doomsday machine. What would happen if they met it now?

This is where I can get on board. If it’s just another story, something inconsequential but lets the player take a spin in Abrams’ Trek universe but won’t deprive those who skip the game from fully enjoying Star Trek 2.  We’ll see how it all comes together when the game comes out next year.




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  • Grimcicle

    The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay for the original Xbox is probably the best movie game ever developed.

    • Matt1

      Agreed.

    • Kevin

      100% agree. I played it on PC, it’s just as great.

  • aaronsullivan

    This Star Trek game sounds above average from what I’ve read and I don’t see why you can’t develop the characters in the game without detracting from the next movie. Few movie series show us every experience the characters have since the moment they meet. We often meet them in a sequel already changed by time and experience.

    I’m not wild about how the comic book thing was handled for the first movie though. I DID read them ahead of the movie, but the movie still had a responsibility to explain the villain a bit more thoroughly, imo.

    Also, if you were digging some of the Brosnan series of Bond movies, Everything or Nothing was a great game, too. Not as outstanding as Goldeneye was in its day but ambitious and fun for my wife and I.

  • The Train!

    Matt, you wrote: “But no one should have to read a comic or play a video game in order to better understand a movie. It should augment the world rather than become a crucial element of understanding the main storyline’s narrative.”

    I guess my question is, why?

    Another question is, what does “understand” mean in this context?

    If I see Kick Ass, I can follow the plot. But if I want to “understand it,” I may need to be familiar with years of pop culture history, including other superhero movies and maybe even Adam West’s tenure as Batman. Because most of us have this knowledge in common, it doesn’t seem like it requires much, but it actually does.

    In fact, this applies to anything. Any of the upcoming Frankenstein adaptations may be understood sufficiently to be satisfying to many moviegoers. But there is no doubt that being familiar with the original novel and the cinematic history of Frankenstein will deepen one’s understanding of the movie.

    Even understanding the original Star Trek movie does not presume a lack of awareness of the franchise. That awareness is shared by many people across the globe. The difference here is that people will actually have to do a little more work if they want to get all of the references in the next movie.

    Is that really a bad thing? To ask audiences to work a little harder? Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher, but I’m glad that audiences will have to work a little harder to get everything. Furthermore, we live in such a time of media saturation, and it’s not going to change. I imagine this will become more frequent because there are fewer barriers to accessing the different contents. I just wish that people had to read a little in addition to watching movies and playing games.

    • The Train!

      i just want to add: since ST2 will be a sequel, it presumes knowledge of the events in ST1, correct? so why is it required that the information necessary to understand a movie come only from the same franchise in the same medium?

  • sloan

    there you go being negative again, Matt

  • KLM

    It sounds cool! Plus the guy never said the game would be crucial to understanding the second movie. He said it would be part of canon and helpful, a “bridge” between the movies. I really doubt they expect everyone to run out and play the game in order to “understand” the second movie, just like I don’t think they expected everyone to read those comics you mentioned. It was a bonus for those who did, and didn’t ultimately matter if you didn’t.

    Star Trek 2 is probably going to be great regardless!

  • Aiden Rush

    Most ambitious was probably the Matrix video games.

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