After script delays and even more casting rumors, we are finally on the road to a second trip to the final frontier: the long-awaited follow-up to J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot has officially started production.
With still so much longer to go until May 17, 2013, there is an endless list of details we don't know about the second Abrams "Trek," but there is a list just as long of things we hope to see and others we're praying not to.
Here are our hopes, dreams and fears for the "Star Trek" sequel.
At this point, when we know so little about the plot, there is only so much we can realistically hope for. What Abrams, the writers and the cast need to focus on right now is holding onto what worked the first time around, while advancing the scale and stakes. It needs to fall somewhere in between "Quantum of Solace" and "Iron Man 2" on the sequel spectrum. "Iron Man 2" succeeded because it kept what worked so well from the first, RDJ witticisms and banter. What it didn't do was much of anything new, something "Quantum of Solace" tried to do too much of while ditching emotional weight. The balance is found in between there, and if "Star Trek" wants to wow fans again, it better familiarize itself with the scales. ("The Dark Knight" isn't a bad reference point too, we might add.)
Now if we're talking wild speculation, there's a bevy of topics to tackle. First and foremost, the casting of the nobly named Benedict Cumberbatch was an inspired choice, even if he was replacing Benicio Del Toro like many reports have him. If we were to hang on to our Khan theories of old, that's an angle worth investigating. As we know from the first film, Abrams' "Trek" exists in a parallel timeline where things are all mixed up. Taking the butterfly effect into consideration, that places Khan precisely who knows where. If Kirk ended up as some punk kid, who's to say Khan won't be a badass genetically engineered superhero, fighting for the causes of good. That sounds just fine to us! The point is that the alternate timeline allows for a new and interesting take on the classic character.
Aside from favoring either side of the "Quantum of Solace"-"Iron Man 2" spectrum, there is a lot that can go wrong with "Star Trek 2." Perhaps the worst sins a sequel in this position can make are focusing on "the franchise" and wasting opportunity. For this film to work, it needs to be a complete, stand-alone film. That isn't to say that it shouldn't have connections to the first film or a potential third, but once the focus moves off the current movie and onto what's next, you inevitably lose sight of the audience. "Star Trek" worked as a well-crafted set-up to a new series. A second film should continue the possibility for more without robbing the audience of anything or beating them over the head with clues.
What do you want to see from "Star Trek 2"? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!