Originally Posted by kevin
I would go so far as to suggest that if Abrams doesn't return as director (which I personally would have liked at the very least as I'm still not that big on the Star Wars project yet) then it's likely that while Abrams and Co will remain onboard as consultants and producers that probably in addition to a new director we'll see new writers as well.
A fresh rotation of key people seems suitable with Abrams likely vacating the big chair. I think they'll take the position that they've 'laid the groundwork' for their alternate timeline and that it's now time to let other people develop that on and into the stories that will take place during the alternate version of the Five Year Mission that the crew finally embark on at the end of the film.
But in all probability that will still involve having a definable 'villain' in some format. But since it's too early to say who'll take over it's pointless to speculate very much farther about how the third film will go.
All of this makes sense. Certainly all the ingredients ARE there for them to make the decision to look at it that way. But I also feel like they've at least partly failed to come through for me on my predictions with this last film... so I'm a little more reluctant to commit to any assumptions about where they're going.
I would like to think though that a ST film could have a villain and still be about exploration. So far First Contact
and The Undiscovered Country
come the closest to breaking the mold with their villains. Neither are exploration films, although they are Trek-worthy stories in 'most' respects.
I''m not really on board yet for the SW thing either. They want to do an 'arc' movie every other year and a standalone film every year in between? That's too much. Can't they just focus on Marvel?