So the Big Star Trek News Was About a Mobile App, Because We Can Pay for That and Not Chris Pine
This is like the Star Trek: Original Motion Picture of reveals, guys
Remember how a couple days ago, Megan Fox teased being in Star Trek? And then how yesterday, the Klingons took over Twitter to hype up the Kelvin timeline and we got all excited that maybe Paramount paid Chris Pine was he was owed? Yeah. Put away the party hats.
It’s just a mobile app game where you fight Klingons and Romulans as Captain Kirk. Because hey, we can’t find the money to pay our star who’s one of seven reasons the new movies work, but we’ll do a mobile app game that only a fraction of fans will play.
Do I sound bitter? I am, a little. The Kelvin timeline films are what got me into Star Trek, because my parents weren’t huge fans of the series and so I just wasn’t shown it when I was growing up. I saw both Into Darkness and Beyond in my science officer blues, the only person dressed up in both showings.
I’ve written fic, reblogged gifsets, and hyped up the cast in nearly every project they’ve done. Beyond was my entire world for the summer of ’16, because it felt like the Original Series come to life with some amazing moments from my favorite characters, plus the addition of Sulu’s husband was the start of much needed LGBT+ rep in the franchise.
When the news first hit that Pine wasn’t coming back, I was devastated but held onto hope that Paramount would resolve the issue and he’d return (as did Karl Urban, for the record). But as months passed with no news, I slowly gave up that hope. Now, with the announcement of the game, that hope is at record lows, because this might be the only future for the Kelvin crew. Which is, quite frankly, not a good look.
First off, I have to ask: you have the money for a mobile app but you can’t pay the star? Pine’s performance as Kirk, alongside his costar’s stellar turns, is one of the reasons the reboot works and one of the only saving graces of Star Trek Into Darkness. Without Pine’s performance at the heart of the films, the reboots simply would not have worked.
It’s not Pine’s fault that he’s become a huge star and deserves to be paid what he is owed, and also what he’s contractually obligated to receive. This just feels like a giant eff you to Pine and his coworkers, because hey, we’ll put your likenesses in a game but we won’t pay you what you’re owed!
And on top of that, it’s likely that they’ll include Chekov in the game and I have some serious reservations about using the likeness of Anton Yelchin for this. Yelchin’s passing shortly before the premiere of Beyond was devastating, and the loss is still too fresh for them to utilize his appearance for a game that’s basically saying screw you to the franchise he helped reboot. It can work in certain instances, but this seems too soon.
Mobile app games also do not always have the best track record of success. For every Pokémon Go, there’s the terrible Harry Potter game. I know a few Star Wars fans who still play Galaxy of Heroes and other mobile games, but it’s hardly a huge part of fandom. This game doesn’t even have a strong premise. Fighting Klingons? Okay. That’s. .. great?
But I’d much rather watch Discovery or some of the original Trek films to get my Federation vs. Klingons fix. This game seems like it’s just an attempt to spread Star Trek across all the platforms, but unless it’s really, really good, it probably won’t catch on as much as, say, another movie would.
Finally, the marketing campaign for this was a bit anti-climatic. I’m no social media strategist, but when journalists are speculating that your campaign points to a movie announcement (such as our coverage did, which I fully take responsibility for) or for the TV shows, and the big reveal turns out to be an app, you might have overhyped it a bit. Fans are eager for news of the new films, so choosing to bait and switch a bit when it comes to the Kelvin crew feels a tad unfair. This game didn’t merit a Klingon Takeover. It merits a press release, sure, and some hype, but after the build up yesterday it just feels like it’s a letdown.
Overall, I’m sure that once my initial disappointment and frustration wanes I’ll download the app and give it a whirl, since apparently it’s the only way I’ll get new Bones and Sulu content. But this campaign turned out to be wildly disappointing. No one really cared about an announcement of an app; we’re looking for Kelvin crew news.
To play up that element only to reveal it’s a game sort of stinks. However, there’s still time to, I don’t know, mend the relationship with Pine and get me a birthday gift where the crew does come back.
(via StarTrek.com; Image: Paramount)
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