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I check more than once a day, so I am nuts too. And I have to hand it to the producers of the new Star Trek movie for doing brilliant fan outreach. But it doesn't mean anything. What if I told you the new Star Trek movie involved the following?

The studio said do whatever you want as long as it's cheap.

The creator was being kept at arm's length.

The director (and final screenwriter, uncredited) had never seen Star Trek prior to the job and basically felt no allegiance to anything in it he thought was bad.

There would be stock FX and existing sets and props used wherever possible.

The supporting cast has little to do except for one of them (almost by chance).

The hero and villain never meet face-to-face.

The composer, until recently, was working for Roger Corman.

Oh yeah, they will kill off a major character.

You would probably be pretty worried, right? And yet that's Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, now put on a pedestal as the best Star Trek movie.

And here I am, checking more than once a day, where the producers and screenwriters give lengthy interviews praising the fans and explaining the great reverence with which they treat the institution, to the point of creating (tongue-in-cheek, I hope) a "supreme court" where they decide which story issues are "canon."

Remember the last time the creators felt such reverence for their subject matter in a big "franchise" film? Superman Returns—a $250 million fan film. And it stinks.

This doesn't guarantee that the new Star Trek will be anything, bad or good. But it's good to keep in perspective.

I do assert one thing: if the current filmmakers were making Star Trek II, it would end with Kirk and Khan having a fistfight and Spock dies saving Kirk in that fight (rather like in Star Trek: Generations). The entire movie would be engineered for this ending...and it probably would be pretty bad.

We'll see if the new film ends with Kirk and Eric Bana's character having a fistfight and Spock does something to save Kirk at the last minute (probably based on human-centered advice Spock learned earlier in the movie from Kirk).

If you want to discuss this, please see the message board thread.

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Today in Film Score History:
October 20
Adolph Deutsch born (1897)
Frank Churchill born (1901)
Lucien Moraweck died (1973)
Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Booby Trap" (1989)
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