Star Trek Into Darkness - Benedict Cumberbatch

Despite a robust Rotten Tomatoes score of 87%, Star Trek Into Darkness found quite a few detractors when it hit screens. Worse, many of them were longtime Star Trek fans who hated it enough to rank it the worst Star Trek movie of all time in a poll at a recent convention.

That negative reaction got Trek lover Joseph Dickerson thinking, and he penned a long essay calling the franchise “broken” and offering ideas on how to fix it. Where things got really interesting, though, was when Star Trek Into Darkness writer Roberto Orci personally got involved in the comments suggestion. Eventually, he served up a suggestion of his own for his critics: “Fuck off!” Hit the jump to read what happened.

Orci’s first response to Dickerson’s post on StarTrek.com (via Daily Dot) was, simply, “Fascinating.” But as he got deeper into the conversation, he started to get cranky.

I think the article above is akin to a child acting out against his parents. Makes it tough for some to listen, but since I am a loving parent, I read these comments without anger or resentment, no matter how misguided.

Having said that, two biggest Star Treks in a row with best reviews is hardly a description of “broken.” And frankly, your tone and attidude make it hard for me to listen to what might otherwise be decent notions to pursue in the future. As I love to say, there is a reason why I get to write the movies, and you don’t.

Respect all opinions, always, nonetheless.

I don’t even think Dickerson’s “tone” was all that nasty, but Orci clearly wasn’t in the mood. He later challenged a fan to “Pitch me Into Darkness. Pitch me the plot, and let’s comapre [sic, here and elsewhere] it to other pitches. Go ahead.” Then, when that commenter responded by comparing Into Darkness unfavorably to Indiana Jones, Orci blew up.

Shitty Dodge. STID has infinetly more social commentary than Raiders in every Universe, and I say that with Harrison Ford being a friend. You lose credibility big time when you don’t honestly engage with the FUCKING WRITER OF THE MOVIE ASKING YOU AN HONEST QUESTION. You prove the cliche of shitty fans. And rude in the process. So, as Simon Pegg would say: FUCK OFF!

(And yes, that is something Pegg has said before, as in this Huffington Post interview. Well, technically, he said “fuck you” there, but you know, same spirit.)

Eventually, Orci cooled down enough to offer a more diplomatic response.

don’ take me too seriously. if you’ve been on this board for the lar 5 years (as I have beeb) you know that twice a year I explode at the morons. today, there seemed to be a congregation, so it seemed like a good time.

you are the most listened to fans ever. That doesn’t mean you will get is to do what you want. just means what I said: I listened. Then we decided, having heard as many opinions as possible. To paraphrase of one of my great and beloved heroes, George W. Bush, “we’re the deciders….

He sounded apologetic on Twitter as well.

It can’t be fun for Orci to read people rip apart something he worked hard on, so it’s understandable if he feels a little miffed. But yelling at fans surely isn’t the way to win them back, or to convince them that Star Trek 3 won’t just be another massive disappointment.

As Orci himself pointed out in the beginning, it’s his job to write the movie. It’s implied that part of that job is to write a movie that will please the existing fanbase, since they buy a lot of the tickets and merchandise and encourage their friends to do the same. Throwing a hissy fit in the StarTrek.com comments section doesn’t seem like the best convince disillusioned fans that they are “the most listened to fans ever.”

What Orci doesn’t seem to get is that it isn’t the fans’ job to love the franchise unconditionally. He called commenter Ahmed a “shitty” fan in part because Ahmed had the nerve to suggest Indiana Jones was better. It’s true that fanbases as devoted as Star Trek‘s can be hard to please, and that they can be very vocal when they’re unhappy. But Orci knew that when he signed on.

At the end of the day, this kerfuffle doesn’t have any big immediate impact on the series. Star Trek Into Darkness has already made tons of money, and a third Star Trek is a matter of when, not if. However, Dickerson’s essay indicates that the Star Trek franchise is moving further away from what fans want, and Orci’s prickly response suggests that the filmmakers don’t really care to change course.

Well, either that, or it just reveals that Orci is terrible at online impulse control. If there’s one crystal-clear lesson to be learned, it’s that folks with tempers should really think twice before responding to Internet haters. Few people come out looking good afterward, and that goes double if the teller-offer is the rich, famous writer behind a billion-dollar franchise and the “haters” are just normal moviegoers who didn’t care for a particular film.

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