It is curious how the movie did seem to be broadly well liked by a wide range of people, from those who had never seen any Trek before to those who had been there at the start. It seemed to have satisfied a fairly wide range of folks.
But of course it also didn't. And I'm trying (and it's not very hard) to remember if that has ever happened before with Trek series and films, where some love it and some hate it. Yeah, that has. There are Trek fans out there who don't think DS9 is 'real' Star Trek.........etc, etc - I could go on but...........
It's also the case that Star Trek as a whole was hardly a charity case in recent years and nor was it something that was supposed to attract only a niche crowd. It has been underfunded previously in film terms over the years (after the huge wad was blown on TMP back in 1979) but the TV series have always been extremely generously funded from TNG onwards to the tune of millions of dollars per episode since 1987. Although even then the exectives were smart enough to apply business decisions to the show to ensure the risk was off their shoulders as much as possible because no-one knew how this very expensive TV show was going to go. That was more than many other sci-fi shows had to spend on themselves and that continued. And at that spending level it was not supposed to only be caught by the select few.
It also was never especially risky once it settled into to TNG era.
Sorry, but Star Trek has coveted pop culture status for years and any argument to the contrary is not a strong one. For a while it even sorta had it. It's selectivism based on the decline of the franchise over the final stages of the Berman years leading up to the cancellation of ENT when it actually DID have just a comparatively niche audience. But not because that was who it was targeting.
Nor do you set up a merchandising network like Trek did in it's last heydey if you aren't out to milk.
Given that all the films after TMP virtually have fit the sci-fi/action/adventure template and tried to appeal and be accessible to general movie-goers as well as fans, it's no surprise at all that the Abrams film did the same (while it's cute to see complaints about the explosions and visuals effects reliance and starship fights and lack of a 'proper' Trek story (likely insert ones own definition of what exactly that means for everyone) there seems to be some odd selectivism about just how many explosions, visual effects and starship battles there's already been and not ones that were always underpinned by superb allegorical sci-fi storytelling either) but certainly there is some sourness that it did it better than the others.
Star Trek (as a franchise) is a thing that runs the quality and story gamut from embarrasingly stupid crap, to quite excellent stuff across all the films and TV shows. It's merely that few ever agree on where everything slots in. The last film is no different.
Yet, as Martok notes - we turn up anyway. Whether it's been as dumb as a box of hair, or something smart and effective, or we watch the next week's episode to see if it will be better than last week's. Because that's what fans do. Stay for the long haul and praise/complain about the latest entry and then tune back in to the next installment.
So, anyway, I will wait to hear more about the sequel and then go and see it when it comes out................even if by then I have reservations about it's story (once I know what it is exactly) and then decide whether I like it or not.
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'
courtesy of Saquist