As an avid Star Trek fan who grew up watching the various Star Trek series of the 80s and 90s (e.g., Star Trek The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and so on), I have been dissatisfied with the way in which Star Trek has been represented in feature films. Specifically, I feel that the Star Trek feature film franchise would be best served by a return to the roots of Star Trek in exploring the unknown.
Star Trek has always focused on exploration, whether it is a new planet, a new race, a new civilization, a new moral dilemma, or a new political conundrum. However, the Star Trek feature films have gotten away from Star Trek’s roots in exploration. Instead the Star Trek movies have focused on Starfleet and the Federation as good guys versus some alien race or foe as bad guys.
For example, the Star Trek (2009) feature film relied upon conflict with time-traveling Romulans for its action and conflict. Previously, Star Trek Nemesis relied upon an evil clone of Captain Picard intent upon destroying Earth. The bad guys in Star Trek Insurrection were an alien race who were okay with permitting parenticide for the sake of obtaining their planet’s fountain of youth properties for themselves. Star Trek First Contact depicted the Borg attempting to assimilate Earth by time travel to the past. In each case, the noble crew of the Starship Enterprise comes to the rescue and saving the literal or metaphorical universe.
My wish is that the next Star Trek feature film would focus on a combination of scientific discovery and exploration of some unknown region of space. A first contact scenario, a universe-changing scientific discovery, or a moral dilemma about the Prime Directive are all good candidates for subject matter that I would like to see in the next Star Trek movie. The presence of these story lines in the various Star Trek television series accounts for the popularity and longevity of the Star Trek franchise in general. It is a mistake for the producers of the Star Trek films to lose sight of the exploration component of the Star Trek universe.
It could be argued that equally essential components of Star Trek are moral or political allegory, which is using the science fiction setting to tell stories that provide commentary on social and political issues that are relevant to our own society. However, such allegories can be told equally well in the context of exploration as they can be told in the context of an action film filled with conflict. In conclusion, while I will see any Star Trek film on any subject matter, the type of Star Trek film that I would most like to see is a Star Trek film about real exploration and discovery of unknown worlds, civilizations, or scientific discoveries.