Star Trek: Mission Impossible

Posted on May 8, 2009

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This is my ‘pre-blog’ blog about the new Star Trek movie by JJ Abrams. I wanted to write some thoughts down before I see this highly anticipated movie. Don’t worry no spoilers here.

I have been a huge Star Trek fan since a little boy. I remember seeing the first feature film, Star Trek the Motion Picture (what kind of title was that?) when I was 9. Ever since then, I have been a diehard Trekkie, Trekker, Trekko, or whatever you want to call it. Star Trek has had an amazing first run. Its franchise includes 5 TV series, 10 movies, and countless novels, comics, and other paraphernalia.  It has a huge cult following and has firmly rooted itself into pop culture lore. However, after 40 years of success, the sci-fi phenom seemed to be boldly going nowhere. Because of outdated and overdone story lines, the great starship Enterprise seemed destined to be permanently dry-docked into the DVD collections of the hardcore Trek nerd.

Only an audacious director like JJ Abrams would be bold enough to take on this ‘mission impossible’ 23rd century mantel. As writer, producer, director, and composer, JJ Abrams has a long list of credits to include Felicity, Alias, Lost, MI III, and Cloverfield. Even as successful as Abrams has been, who in their right mind would tackle such a HUGE undertaking of a reviving a dead behemoth like Star Trek? There seems like no way he will be able to please both existing hardcore fans and attract new ones as well. So what’s the key for this impossible mission? It’s re-invention.

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As a creative leader, Abrams vision is to go back to the origins of Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise and tell their untold story all over again. It’s going to be a hybrid of the old and new. It will be something that will honor and forget the past all at the same time- hopefully in a more relevant and compelling way. I admire him for ‘boldly going where only one man (Roddenberry) had gone before’. My guess is that this will be a great beginning and future for Star Trek universe. As the ‘master of mystery’, Abrams will most likely satisfy the diehards and win over new ‘Trek-verts’ with this single attempt.

Creative leadership often times calls us to re-invent. We don’t get the luxury of always creating from raw untapped materials. A large part of a creative leader’s effectiveness is taking what was done before and re-working it to be new again. Creativity is taking the best parts, stripping away the irrelevant, boring, or unnecessary to make a new and improved version. Whether it’s a product, church service, music, or website, the ‘mission impossible’ for creative leaders is re-invention. The ability to re-create is just as profound as producing original work, and just as satisfying. There is something very powerful in the ac of redemption.
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So in a day I will be fully immersed in the 23rd century world painted by JJ Abrams. My hope is that it’s much more than an isolated 2 hours of entertainment but the beginning of another 40 year run.

More thought’s after I see the movie, I gotta go dust off my ST uniform…

Ps. I would recommend watching Star Trek II in order to fully appreciate and prepare for this movie.

You can also view this on my WCA blog.
Click here to read my other post with Abrams about the mystery box and the church.

Here is a great 18 min clip from JJ Abrams explaining mystery:

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Posted in: Creative Leaders