By now it seems obvious that Paramount’s big gamble with Star Trek paid off. They’re the proud owners of a newly refurbished, very commercial franchise. That means somewhere on the Paramount lot people are taking meetings about what to do with the inevitable Star Trek II, probably hitting theaters in 2011 or 2012.

I don’t know what they should do with the sequel, but here’s some things they definitely shouldn’t do.

5) Don’t bring in Khan. I know you want to. I know the temptation is strong. But it’s a terrible idea. You can’t match Wrath of Khan, first of all. You probably can’t even match Space Seed, and it isn’t even one of the better original series episodes. And don’t try to be cutesy by having the Botany Bay show up briefly or, in an homage to Star Trek III, having a Klingon Bird of Prey blow up the Botany Bay while Khan et al sleep inside.

4) Leave that Bumpy Ewok out of it. Scotty doesn’t need a cutesy sidekick. Hell, Simon Pegg doesn’t need a cutesy sidekick. While Bumpy Ewok was at acceptable levels in Star Trek, I fear him coming to the forefront more in Star Trek II. The only exception to this rule is if you kill Bumpy Ewok.

3) Don’t tie the next movie into Lost. OK, the Slusho thing was
innocuous, but I don’t like it on principle: it’s an inorganic form of reference
without meaning, and it’s a form of reference sort of shoved down our
throats. On top of that, it’s an easter egg for people far too lazy to
pay attention for real easter eggs. Please don’t include references to
the DHARMA Initiative, to anything from Fringe or a character from Alias in the next Star Trek. You’re already making the franchise your own, JJ, you don’t have to mark your territory in this way as well.

2) Don’t start on Earth. For some reason the majority of Trek films have felt the need to start on Earth. Don’t fall into that trap. You ended your first film with the Enterprise taking off into space to explore – use that conceit. Hell, open with a James Bond-ish mini-adventure, with Kirk and Spock planetside and in action before beaming back up to the ship and heading into the film’s real storyline.

1) Leave the original canon alone. Paramount probably wants Klingons in the next film, and I bet you guys do as well. But resist the temptation. Again, you’re in the early, fun days of the Enterprise, when the crew was zooming around the universe, exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations. Boldy go where no one (in this franchise) has gone before. Invent your own villains and your own races. Show us something we’ve never seen. You got the rehash/reboot/setting the stage stuff out of the way. Now get creative.