by John M. Curtin
Special to NFP
Last week marked 45 years since the first airing of the original "Star Trek" sci-fi series. With five television series and 11 feature films, it has become an epic franchise, cultivating one of the largest fan networks in the world. With the success of the 2009 movie, director and producer J.J. Abrams has embarked on creating his second movie, slated for late 2012.
Since the first mention of a possible new movie shortly after the 2009 film's release, there has been much speculation as to its nature. The most commonly accepted belief is that it'll be a sequel of the 2009 film. However, in an interview with MTV this past August, Abrams explained that the new film will stand on its own.
"The odd thing about the first one is that it was already a sequel in a weird way. It was a reboot, but kind of not. I think the most important thing is that it doesn't matter if you have seen the first one or not. It doesn't matter what the first one was in a way," he said.
The first 10 movies followed "Star Trek's" timeline, which was dually illustrated with the five series. In the 2009 movie, however, the evil Nero traveled back through time, creating an alternate universe. Abrams told MTV that this is why this next movie can be a "reboot" of the "Star Trek" universe. It wouldn't need to follow the timeline followed by "Star Trek" up until 2009. This entire idea has the potential to possibly create new series and films following this new timeline, which would be maintained as not our own.
Many fans have questioned what will happen next in the standard "Star Trek" universe, besides the alternate one Abrams is creating. The movie prior to Abrams utilized the crew of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
A new type of continuation to the "Star Trek" universe came out several years ago, called "Star Trek Online" - a massive online role-playing game. Although it required a monthly subscription, its owners have recently announced that it will become a free game in late October.
The 45th anniversary of "Star Trek" was celebrated with a convention in Las Vegas on its anniversary date, September 6. With new developments concerning the 2012 movie, and the interactivity that fans can enjoy with "Star Trek Online," it is clear that the franchise is far from reaching its final frontier.
For local fans who couldn't make it to Las Vegas for the convention, there will be a "Star Trek"/sci-fi/anime convention in Rochester on Sept. 24. The famed Klingon Chancellor Martok (J.G. Hertzler) from "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" will be present. More information can be found at: http://rochesterscifianimecon.com.