Alright, I want to talk about the recent Star Trek movies, and what I think a good next sort of plot would be. To do so, I think spoilers will be unavoidable, so I just wanted to throw that out there now. If you haven’t seen Star Trek: Into Darkness yet, go forth to the movie theater and do so. Then come back and you can read on.
There have been a couple of different plot sources so far, so while there has been some reaction against their source in the second one, I want to point out that there was something different in the first one. And that means we need to move into spoilerville. Onwards!
What they did with the first two movies
Alright, so for all the people who say that using Khan in the second movie is just reusing the content… think back to the first movie. It was set in the future of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, while also in the past of the Original Series. The villains came from the future of the series, going back to screw with its past.
And then they got away with it.
And they owned it, and were direct and honest about an alternate reality being created. I love the joke at the end as Spock talks to his older self, and Leonard Nimoy says that he told Kirk about terrible paradoxes if he mentioned that he met old Spock. They have a hearty Vulcan laugh at this.
And also great, then, when young Spock calls up old Spock for advice in Into Darkness. And Spock basically says, “Now, while I said I wasn’t going to tell you anything about the future… let me tell you about Khan.” And they say Vulcans don’t have a sense of humor.
So while yes, there was a bit of reused plot and characters in Into Darkness, they did it by taking a known character and doing something new. And in the first film, they did something totally new. So really, they’ve hit on new and old, and can do anything they want now.
What I want to see in the next film – The Future is Now
Maybe it’s just as a Next Generation fan, but there are definitely some amazing plots they could do in the third film that could pull from the future of the franchise, threats they know are out there when writing and can pull in.
For instance, something they came up with that was a part of all of the later parts of the franchise – The Q Continuum. Q makes an appearance all over the place, judging, meddling, and generally being fun. He also hasn’t made it into any of the films as a plot, and could be a big part of this new timeline. For instance – does Q know that this isn’t the original timeline? Would he want it to go back to how it was? Would he want to change it more?
We also know that the Klingons end up friends with the Federation, and they keep hinting at doing something with this. But they have the opportunity for this to go a different way. For instance, the peace could happen far sooner, with a little direction from Spock. Or it could not happen at all, with the changes. After all, the aggression from the first film led to them building super weapons to fight the Klingons and other threats in the second film.
Meanwhile, is there anyone left in the Federation high command? The fleet got blown up in the first film by Nero, and a bunch of captains died in the second film. Vulcan is gone. The fall of the Federation would actually be a possible thing. The next film could be the return from the five-year mission, only to find the Federation in shambles – and they have to save it. Any number of alien races could have moved in, like the Cardassians, or the Romulans, or the Klingons.
However, there’s one specific plot that I would personally love to see in the next film.
What I want to see in the next film – The Planet Killer
One of my very favorite books is Vendetta, by Peter David. I have mentioned Peter David before, as my favorite author. And maybe my favorite Peter David book is Vendetta. This book is the sequel to The Best of Both Worlds, the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’ve thrown a lot of “favorites” and “bests” in there, so you can maybe see what I like this book and think this would be a good idea. But – unless you’re now sold that you want to read it, which I recommend – let me lay out some plot for you.
The Borg cube in The Best of Both Worlds was only the first of several Borg cubes coming to attack the Earth, and more are coming. However, a weapon is also found – the Planet Killer. The one from the original series was a prototype, sent out automatically on a trajectory towards Borg space to fight the Borg. A much larger one is on its way to fight Borg, and epic battles ensue.
So I would say that this would be an interesting plot to work with, because it would combine the Original Series and the later series. Maybe there’s nothing to stop the Planet Killer this time – maybe Commodore Decker died in one of the attacks I mentioned above. Maybe the Planet Killer is encountered at an entirely different time, and the Borg get involved, and Kirk and Spock and company have to figure out the Planet Killer, and the Borg, and it could be amazing.
So, if you’re reading this and have the power to make it happen, I’d be happy to help with the next Star Trek movie. Oh, and you can hire Peter David, too, that would be fantastic.