It seems we’re on the prolonged cusp of Star Trek epic return to TV-ish, a cusp that we’ve been sitting on since January and will continue to for the foreseeable future. If that’s not bad enough, the next Trek movie also faces a questionable future. And since they haven’t even committed to this movie, I want to make the case of how they can do Star Trek 4 (or 14) right. We have an interesting dilemma. The first two movies (09 and STID) were crowd-pleasing, roller coaster, SFX crazy sensations that were considered financial successes. Beyond was a return to Star Trek’s roots and ambitions, but failed to reach the previous heights. I propose the next movie should try to do both.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s remake The Motion Picture. Hey, don’t leave just yet. Hear me out. I’ve often said that if you’re going to remake a movie, don’t remake a good one. It’s an uphill battle that threatens to overshadow all of your accomplishments. We’ve already established in STID that these movies can cannibalize previous movies, down the reenacting the same scenes and lines. I didn’t like it, but hey, don’t throw out the Targ with the bathwater. Websites and blogs will continuously post theories and updates based on the smallest bits of information you give them, because they know the source material you’re pulling from, but don’t know how it’ll be constructed (See: MCU).

This also opens up many opportunities to show brilliant visuals by reinventing VGER as a colossal entity with insane architecture and crazy recreations of things it’s encountered. It also solves one of the big problems the first two movies had, where the Enterprise isn’t an X-Wing or the Millennium Falcon. It’s a big ship and there’s not much opportunity for spaceship action acrobatics. But have the Enterprise dogfight some Romulan Warbirds in a maze-like structure? That’s a situation that justifies that “flying by the seat of your pants” action that the JJ-verse strives for, because they’ve never had to fly the Enterprise like a tie fighter. And the situation is just about as ridiculous as it is seriously threatening.

For the Star Trek purists out there, here are some big concepts they’d be dealing with. VGER is roaming through the universe, sending probes out that scan entire solar systems and returns with virtually all information existing therein. On the orders of High Command, the Enterprise travels to VGER to find out what the deal is. Along the way, they encounter Romulans who want to break into VGER to steal information on their enemies. Already we have a parallel to online companies housing huge amounts of personal data, not only taken by questionable means, but also vulnerable to hacks. And you can bet that Kirk may be tempted to do the same when he finds out what the Romulans have been up to.

But we can go even further into high concept scifi when VGER shows the ability recreate anything it has scanned. Illia can still be the spokesperson for VGER, but what if McCoy outright died and was replaced with a copy? Maybe Kirk’s father is brought back from the dead. VGER doesn’t believe there’s any harm in destruction if it can easily replace it. Heck, Kirk was literally brought back from the dead. Is he even the same person? Cue existentialism.

I think this will also help the pacing as well. We don’t need to spend too much time dwelling on the issue of online privacy, existentialism or the insignificant size of ourselves as compared to the universe, but those moments can help moderate the pace, so that when the hit-the-ground-running action starts, it’s all the more thrilling.

And how does this all end? Well Kirk turns the tables on VGER by suggesting that VGER should copy, destroy and recreate itself as it sees no difference for anything else in existence. Classic Kirk from the TV show. This leads to a full-throttle escape from the imploding behemoth. VGER’s lack of return can be left ambiguous and quietly powerful.

Anyway that’s how I think we can makes a high brow Trek movie that will also appeal to the broader movie audience. Thoughts?