How J.J. Abrams rescued the ‘Star Trek’ enterprise

J.J. Abrams says he “came to love [Star Trek] much later in life.”
J.J. Abrams says he “came to love [Star Trek] much later in life.”Massey/Getty Images for Paramount

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Every now and then, the various creators entrusted with the “Star Trek” legacy hit on some new element that leaves a lasting imprint. Introducing the hive-minded Borg, say, to give the Klingons some competition in the galactic scourge department. Or raising the mission stakes so that it’s not just nameless ensigns who can perish, but even a character like Spock.

Director J.J. Abrams’s contribution is something more basic, but also far greater. With 2009’s feature reboot, “Star Trek,” he proved that the series could be recast, and have its decades of sprawling continuity set aside, and still feel just as distinctive and stimulating as it had in its finest hours. Abrams and his crew have found a way to make “Trek” relevant again.

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