every quentin tarantino character ranked

Tarantino is part of a bygone era

When I first heard Tarantino was joining Star Trek, I immediately thought of Joss Whedon’s failed Wonder Woman script. Both instances already have parallels, even without a script for Tarantino’s Star Trek to use as comparison.

First, both Tarantino and Whedon have been able to carve out Hollywood popularity through their work in genre storytelling. Thanks to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, Whedon has become known as a writer with supposedly “feminist” sensibilities and supposedly “strong” female characters.

But take a look at that Wonder Woman script of his — even though he’s made his name writing female characters, he centers the entire Wonder Woman script around Steve Trevor, turning Wonder Woman into a “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope. Compare that to final version of Wonder Woman. Even though the film is still written by men, the script comes across much more caring and sensitive to Diana herself, and it’s clear that this is Diana’s origin story, not Steve’s. The direction by Patty Jenkins also allows for more of the film’s female point of view to shine in a much more authentic way than the original Whedon script ever allowed. On paper, a Whedon-led Wonder Woman should have made sense. However, Whedon proved without a doubt that writing women isn’t his strongest suit, at least not any more.

I’m using Whedon as an example to say this: while Hollywood tends to think that “auteur” writer/directors can write and direct anything, that’s not always the case. Just because a person can work in “genre” films doesn’t mean every genre is for them. Some people excel at certain genres and are worse in others, and that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone can be a chameleon (although there are definitely those in the business who are).

For what it’s worth, Tarantino is a master of his particular niche, which is taking the coolest parts of B- and C-movies and turning them on their heads in different ways. Pulp Fiction has interesting turns of phrase and indeed, whimsy, that make it worthy of study and dissection. It does present the standard “hit man” movie in a unique innovative way. It’s definitely provided movie fans with quotes that are still fun and relevant to this day.

However, Tarantino’s strength — creating a niche — has also become his Achilles’ heel. Because he, like Whedon, has been rewarded so many years for their particular style and flair, Tarantino has yet to grow his skills beyond what made him famous in the 1990s. The same can be said for other niche directors like Spike Lee and Kevin Smith, who were a part of the same wave of late ‘80s-early ‘90s auteur directors that includes Tarantino. The times have changed, as have the demands put on directors. We’re no longer in a time where all you had to be was a man with a distinct point of view; nowadays, you have to be a director who not only has a point of view, but can adapt to changing social mores and a volatile political climate.


Tarantino has to face the music that his point of view just might be outdated for today’s time. One thing Star Trek has going for itself is its ability to be both timeless and contemporary; there is always something new it can bring to the table while further advancing its thesis of peace among humanity. Would Tarantino’s frozen sensibilities fare well within a franchise that is constantly adapting? I don’t think so.

star trek discovery into the forest I go 3

What about other directors?

Tarantino has talent, but I doubt he has the type of foresight or worldliness needed to churn out a good Star Trek film. There are tons of directors out there who would be awesome in the director’s chair, and for a film like Star Trek, it would behoove Paramount and Abrams to hire directors who can fully understand the racial, cultural, and social issues Star Trek addresses.

Everyone shouts out names like Ava DuVernay and Dee Rees as directors studios should hire more often. I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I think DuVernay and Rees are owed the chance to direct a Star Trek film. First of all, they’ve already proven themselves — DuVernay is finishing A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, and Rees, who made her name with Pariah, has attracted awards buzz with her latest film, Mudbound. Secondly, they are astute to what makes characters in racially and culturally polarized worlds relatable and likeable. To that end, they are able to pull out unique moments that resonate with all audience members.

Taika Waititi should also be considered for a Star Trek film, and not just because he’s been able to tame a beast like Marvel’s Thor property. Thor: Ragnarok showed what an “outsider” filmmaker can do with a big budget, but the film also gave larger audiences an introduction to Waititi’s charming and heartfelt comedic style, a style which has carried over from his other films like Hunt for the Wilderpeople and the wildly inventive What We Do in the Shadows. While Star Trek often has a professorial air, the franchise also relies on the power of comedy, and Waititi’s mix of honest character beats and situational comedy would add the punch of levity Star Trek sometimes needs.

However, if Paramount is set on having Tarantino direct a Star Trek film, so be it. But, to paraphrase his beloved Jules, I dare you to mess this franchise up, Tarantino — I double dare you.

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: