Originally Posted by Scribbler
I understand what you're saying. The trouble is when you actually pick through your suggestions, it doesn't really illuminate very much what you would actually include. New worlds, new civilisations, strange things. Sounds cool but what would actually happen? Story can't exist without some kind of conflict, where would this come from? I'm not saying that Star Trek films have to always be about fighting but there has to be some kind of high stakes danger, surely? The Next Generation had a big asteroid threatening a planet of English speaking aliens with five nostrils wearing bacofoil suits but for me that felt rather tame and uninteresting. Not trying to be negative, I think you perfectly summed up a feeling that TOS engendered in me when I was a kid. All I can say is I'm glad I'm not in the hot seat for writing the next one!
The problem I find with that is that if you keep raising the stakes eventually you raise them to the point where things just get ridiculous. You can only increase the scale of what's at threat so far before you get into the 'Galaxy destroying' realm of plot lines. Which have been done a few times already. There's only so many times you can do that before the audience loses goes 'here we go again....
But it is possible to make the danger something else and wrap it up in Star Trek ways.
For example, the TNG episode 'The Masterpiece Society' we had a plot where a comet was threatening an unknown human society where a very careful way of life had been constructed. Except the twist in the tale was that while the Colony was saved, it still got destroyed because of the bigger universe the Enterprise showed the colonists was out there.
As Picard noted - the Enterprise's arrival ended up being more destructive to that society than the comet would have been if they had all just been killed.
Perhaps something like that could be explored in a film.