Star Trek Insurrection, Star Trek Nemesis and the show (that could have and should have pushed the Star Trek franchise into the future) Star Trek Enterprise. I'm not sure what happened exactly,but if I had to guess I'd have to say that Rick Berman (The man who took over the franchise when Gene Roddenberry died) and his people became complacent,maybe even burned out. The last few Star Trek movies had their bright moments,but they were pretty bad movies. In my opinion, the last really good movie of the original run of movies was Star Trek First Contact. The rest of the movies from then on had pretty weak stories, the scripts weren't very good and the movies just didn't have what made Star Trek fun and entertaining any more. Fans were dropping off in droves and ticket sales kept plummeting. Star Trek was getting tired after a very successful 20 year run.
As I said earlier, Star Trek Enterprise was supposed to re-vitalize the whole franchise,but it too fell terribly short until the 4th season when the shows fate was already sealed. The first three seasons,definitely had their bright points and I really grew fond of the characters,but the show was promised to be about the beginnings of the Star Trek universe,the founding of the federation and what the Star Trek universe was like before Kirk,Spock and Bones and it wasn't. Most of the time the stories had nothing to do with what was promised. Again,fans stopped watching,the ratings continually dropped,advertisers left and the show was cancelled halfway through the 4th season. Even the finale was a disappointment. I was very frustrated because, the show finally started doing what it should have done from the beginning in the 4th season,but it was to late. Star Trek was finished.
Six years later, CBS & Viacom (Paramount's parent company) had split and most of the old caretakers of Star Trek were gone. Then J.J Abrams came along and took a look at resurrecting Star Trek. He had a huge task in front of him,but contrary to what a lot of Trek fans think, I've really enjoyed the reboot movies. Abrams had a really big problem to overcome in that he was trying to bring back a franchise that had pretty much faded away. Nothing really successful had come out of the franchise since 1996. The fans were aging and a whole decade and a half of kids had completely missed out on what Star Trek is and was. He had to find a way to bridge the gap between the old die hard fans and appealing to a generation that knew little to nothing about Star Trek. Love him or hate him, I think he accomplished that task. He found a way to bring in the action, big special effects and angst that today's kids love while still respecting the original ideas that made the old fans love Star Trek. I love the reboots. I love the cast that they found to play our favorite characters, and I absolutely love all the intricate tie-ins and Easter eggs that older fans like me know and geek out over that are in the reboots. The parallels between the original timeline and the alternate timeline are so much fun for me. I see some new tie in every time I watch one of the new movies. Beyond is my favorite too. JJ Abrams created a bridge between us old fans and the kids who have re-discovered Trek because of the reboots. He has brought Start Trek back into the main stream.
1996-2009 is a long gap to have no new fans coming into a franchise though. That's our fault guys. We dropped the ball on carrying the torch and We need to fix that. I wrote another article a while back that in my opinion, outlines the best way for a new person to the galaxy of Star Trek to catch up. Check it out here!! If you agree with it, go get your kids between the ages of about 18 and 30 caught up. I know some of them will probably roll their eyes and say all that old stuff is silly, but get them to check it out. They'll get so much more background, history and enjoyment for the new movies and new shows that are out now. Even more important, they'll enjoy more what is to come for Star Trek by watching what came before. That is what will make the new upcoming Star Trek renaissance a huge success. That is what will make Star Trek Live Long and Prosper!!
Written by Sean Mahannah,