Why Star Trek Beyond could be the death of the franchise

Remember a couple of years ago when the Star Trek reboot came out and everyone was super excited about it? Well, it fizzled out pretty quick. In 2016, the third installment, Star Trek Beyond, will finally be released. It's also probably going to be the last of these movies for a long time. The upcoming film is looking to be the final nail in the modified photon torpedo for this troubled series. Here's why Star Trek Beyond could be the death of the franchise.

The Title Is Dumb

The first six Star Trek movies were all titled with the same formula: Star Trek, usually followed by the number in the series, followed by a subtitle that described the plot. Then, for the sequel to 2009's Star Trek reboot, somebody thought "hey, let's get rid of the subtitles and just make a terrible play on the phrasing of Star Trek!" The final result was Star Trek Into Darkness, which was the dumbest name ever. Paramount is continuing that trend by naming this movie Star Trek Beyond, which is actually somehow worse. At least Into Darkness revealed something about the tone. All this title does is tell us that the crew of the Enterprise is going to be "trekking" beyond. Beyond what? Also, isn't that what they always do? If they were too lazy to come up with a decent title, that doesn't bode well for the rest of the movie.

It Won't Feel Like Star Trek

One of the reasons that this movie has had such a long development phase is because the script had to be rewritten to be less Star Treky. That means that the final result is just going to be a generic space action movie. Star Trek has never been as popular as other sci-fi franchises, but it has a solid fan base—which Paramount apparently wants to alienate so that they can reach a broader audience. But that broader audience already doesn't care about Star Trek. Geeks will just move on to a new franchise, leaving Star Trek alone and desperate to impress the cool kids that aren't even paying attention. This series is like Dungeons and Dragons. Giving it a hip makeover won't make people suddenly change their minds about it.

No J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams left his mark on the series when he relaunched it in 2009, and people were more excited about him than they were about Star Trek. After making one sequel, Abrams packed his bags and traded Star Trek for Star Wars. Now, the series will have to look like a J.J. Abrams movie, but without his magic touch. It's going to just seem like it's mimicking his style, and that's never a good idea. It's hard to imagine this particular series without lens flares all over the place. Without Abrams to know when and where to put lens flares, the new movie will just turn into a shiny mess. Lens flares aren't something to mess around with, and—like warp drive—they should only be used by experts.

It Can't Compete

Summer 2016 is a crowded time for movies. Star Trek Beyond is scheduled to be released July 22, the same weekend as the next Ice Age movie. Also coming out in July is Ghostbusters, another Bourne movie, and Suicide Squad comes out the first week of August. That's not counting every other huge 2016 movie, like Captain America: Civil War, Batman V Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Independence Day 2, and countless others. It's a busy year, and people are only going to see so many movies. Remember that scene in Man of Steel where Superman sank into the pit of skulls? Yeah, that's going to be Star Trek Beyond, except instead of skulls, it's going to every other film coming out next year.

It's Not Big Enough

For a movie series that's about traveling the cosmos, there's not a very big Star Trek universe. Every other movie studio is developing properties that can be branched out into multiple different films, while this series is stuck in the traditional format. There was tons of potential, but Paramount never set anything up. If a new Star Trek sequel is only coming out every couple of years, that just feels way too slow. Modern audiences have no attention span, and they'll forget about the series completely. There needs to be a new movie every year, but there's no one to make them about. Audiences aren't going to go see an entire movie about Chekov being the most adorable astronaut ever.

Movies Don't Get Three Strikes

Let's be honest: Star Trek Into Darkness wasn't great. It's the Quantum of Solace of the series. That movie was followed up by Skyfall, however, which put Bond back on track. Star Trek Beyond has to be as great as Skyfall to fix the series, and it doesn't look like that will happen. After the trainwreck that was Into Darkness, audiences aren't going to show up for the new movie unless they hear that it's great. Early press needs to tell people that this movie is head-exploding good. Critics need to come out of early screenings crying tears of joy. If the reviews for the movie aren't just pictures of gold-pressed latinum, then theatergoers will skip it. Unfortunately, two disappointing movies in a row in the modern market means that a series is done.

Geeks Don't Care

This movie has had a very troubled production, but no one is talking about it. Even Josh Trank's Fantastic Four had more buzz around it, and we remember how well that worked out. Even though it bombed in theaters, it might get a second life on home video. People are more likely to take a chance on a potentially bad movie and see what all the buzz is about when they don't have to put on pants. The Star Trek production needs to up the drama. Actors need to start fist fighting each other on set, the director needs to go crazy—anything to get people interested. At least that way there's a story to tell that's more interesting than "Paramount has trouble making another good Star Trek movie."