Tarantino and Trek

So Quentin Tarantino wants to direct an R-rated Star Trek, and it looks like Paramount is going to let him. It’s a strange world we’ve been living in the last few years, and getting stranger.

Reactions to the probability of Tarantino’s Trek are mixed. I’ve seen some great memes come out of this. But one of the most common reactions is skeptical head-scratching. I think it’s a great idea, and I’ll tell you why.

People tend to think of Tarantino films as violent, bloody things with nasty characters spitting witty repartee. And sure, yeah, that’s pretty much what he does. But maybe his first three films cast a longer shadow than you realize.

Since Jackie Brown, Tarantino has branched out away from his crime-noir early works. He kicked it off with Kill Bill, a martial arts revenge epic sprawled out over two films. He’s given us a muscle-car-centered thriller, a war movie, and two takes on the western – one in the spaghetti style and one not. It’s been rumored for years he wanted to do a science fiction project at some point.

Now think for a moment about how he made these movies. He takes things he loved when he was young and he makes them the way he wants them. Kung fu and karate movies of the 70s are woven deep in the DNA of the Bloodstained Bride. Keep that in mind.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to re-examine Tarantino’s body of work, here’s something you can do right now that won’t take half an hour. Watch the final segment of the anthology film Four Rooms. It will tell you all you need to know.

Is it violent? Not exactly, but it does feature a grisly amputation that sticks in the mind and is often the only thing people really remember from the lengthy scene. Mostly, though, it’s just talking. Some banter – Tarantino’s other staple – and then a long-winded piece of exposition delivered by the man himself, in which he waxes fanboyish about an old Twilight Zone episode.

Remember classic Trek? How most of the episodes were heavy on dialogue and exposition, tension rising all the while, with the only proper “action” reserved for the final act?

Tarantino is, yes, a fan-boy. And a confirmed Trekkie. He’s also a director who likes to take his childhood nostalgia and turn it into critically acclaimed films.

So yeah. Let him direct an R-rated Star Trek. Please.

And then take my money.

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