Final Frontier Fortnight: How to… Make a Star Trek Movie

There have been many different Star Trek movies with a lot of different cast and crew. The films have now covered “classic 60s,” The Next Generation and the rebooted series. With this many movies you’d think there would be a large amount of variety, and for the most part there is, however when watching them through closely you can begin to see a trend or a checklist, of the features required if you are to make your own Star Trek movie. Here are some of them below;

Introduce the Enterprise and Crew like it is a school reunion


Star Trek films are events and we don’t have a continuing series to give the audience their weekly fill of Starfleet. This means that each new movie should begin with a a reintroduction to the crew. If it is “classic” series, they should meet and greet like it really has been two years since they’ve seen each other, The Next Generation should be separate, all promoted but finding themselves coincidentally on the same ship for the new adventure, while the rebooted version are always mid-mission but inexplicably, one person is at the center of that mission…

Always place the Captain in danger

All of the Captains of the Enterprise missed the part of their management training on delegating responsibility. Rule one of any chain of command, all the way up to The President of the United States himself, is that all the most important people shouldn’t be placed in danger together. That doesn’t seem to apply to the captains of the Enterprise, who each investigate inevitable danger themselves and most of the time take all the most important people with them.

Throw people across the room

When they are on the ship, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe. You can’t have a Star Trek film without The Enterprise being attacked and the action being viewed from the perspective of the Starship’s Bridge. To show-case this, first of all shake the camera and have the crew react accordingly. If you really want show danger and threat, blow up the controls and throw unknown, stunt-trained actors across the room. Or be the first person to install seat belts in The Enterprise.

Have the problem solved with technobabble

Star Trek is at the forefront of science and technology. Warp Drives, Photon Torpedoes and Transporters are just some of the different, futuristic elements which the series have introduced. Of course, this is also perfect for any Star Trek writer. It means when they have written themselves into a corner, placing The Enterprise and the crew in danger that seems insurmountable, just have one of the characters talk “science” confidently and have the rest of the crew agree, brace themselves and look relived when the “solution” worked!

Destroy something or kill someone important

You really want your movie to be remembered, have someone or something be lost. So don’t be afraid to kill a regular member of the cast (if it is the reboot, you can bring them back later anyway) or even use the death to start the plot of the next movie. If you have exhausted your crew deaths, go for The Enterprise itself. The ship has been destroyed so many times they started to name each after a new letter of the alphabet (I think The Next Generation got to E!).

Finish with that monologue

The TV show started each episode with the monologue. It is the one about Final Frontiers, 5 year missions and split infinitives. To buck the trend, have someone who is not the captain deliver it. Leonard Nimoy has done it at least two to three times while in Star Trek Beyond, the whole crew had a line each!

Overall, these are just some of the essential steps needed to make your Star Trek movie successful. Following the rules won’t guarantee success but could give you a clear starting point. If, like some of the movies, you want to change these rules, then that is fine but not all of them… that would be illogical!

Make your Star Trek film different, but not too different…

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