A major complaint surrounding Bad Robot’s version of Star Trek has always been a lack of the exploratory element, so nitpicky fans and haters of awesome things should rejoice with this latest little nugget of information provided by Director/Writer Roberto Orci on the Humans From Earth podcast (as reported by Collider):
“They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space.”
Orci goes on to suggest that the first two films were used to develop the characters that will eventually become the classic line-up that we all know and love, and the latest entry will have the cast emulating their roles in a closer capacity given the source material.
What does this mean for “hardcore” Star Trek fans? Not a whole lot, at this given moment in time. Though Orci has taken over directorial reigns from J.J. Abrams (currently busy with Star Wars Episode VII), he was a co-writer for the two previous installments, and has therefore always had plenty of creative control. Though it was critically lauded and a commercial success, Star Trek Into Darkness was nevertheless panned by a vocal handful of die-hard Trekkies who didn’t appreciate the recreation of their beloved Wrath of Khan. While it’s hard to agree with crybaby fanboys and girls, there is an element of truth surrounding their woes: Into Darkness didn’t really need Khan (despite an excellent portrayal by Benedict Cumberbatch), and a potentially corrupt Federation would have been enough of an antagonist to keep things going. Nevertheless, it was a great movie–a solid popcorn flick if there ever was one–and Orci has gone to Internet-extreme measures in defense of his last Star Trek film. It’s doubtful that he’s going to give “purists” the satisfaction of a complete franchise turn-around.
Hopefully that isn’t the case, either. As it stands, the only Star Trek film that really dances with the notion of true space exploration is the William Shatner-directed disaster that is Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. And nobody wants another one of those.
With all of this said, Orci’s little tease shouldn’t really create too much hard-nosed speculation. Star Trek Into Darkness spent a lot of time on Earth, but that was necessary for the story. Setting the next one in “deep space” is really the only logical next step.