I’ll be the first to emphasize Hollywood typically heaps a lot of refuse into the cultural well. It’s painfully rare that I can, full-throatedly, praise the Tinsel Town’s muckety-mucks for an unqualifiedly praiseworthy contribution to society.
I’m pleased to offer an example of one of those rare exceptions right here. Reportedly, a number of the creative personalities behind the new Star Trek Into Darkness release approached this project with lefty motivations. I haven’t seen the film yet, so I don’t know if their intentions translated into impressions presented on the big screen.
But the endeavor reported on below is thrilling and commendable.
Good job, J.J. Abrams and the rest …
To Boldly Serve — How Star Trek Aligned With Post-9/11 Vets
We work with a lot of heroes. Of course, typically, they aren’t real.
Four years ago, Paramount Studios allowed us to travel to the Middle East, to screen our Star Trek film to American troops stationed in Kuwait. We were honored to spend time with hundreds of women and men who have the courage, bravery and commitment to service that we were more accustomed to seeing in movies or TV shows than actual life. It was, as you can imagine, a profoundly moving and inspiring experience.
We came home. But they, of course, remained, serving our country, far from their homes and families. Months later, we kept thinking about the soldiers we met and the five million women and men like them who voluntarily chose to serve after 9/11, more than two million of whom were deployed overseas.
When we began work on the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, we realized it would be released in May 2013 — a time when thousands of troops would be returning home. A moment when our nation would have the opportunity — and responsibility — to make sure we help these post-9/11 veterans transition back to jobs, higher education, or ongoing careers of service.
We brainstormed. What if we leveraged the creative assets available at Bad Robot to support post-9/11 veterans in a more integrated, systematic way? Could we take a summer action movie — about a crew of Starfleet officers who rise against the threat of terrorism — and shine a spotlight on a real life issue affecting all of us at home? …
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Image: J.J. Abrams, “Apple Fanatic”; author: Steve Jurvetson; Flickr.com, uploaded to Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license