Kal Kamel, a frequent contributor to the Post-Geek Singularity both by letter and during our ROBSERVATIONS live stream, writes in to ask why his favorite “Star Trek” film never got a sequel.
Agree or not? Leave a comment in the section below and let us know, in your opinion, what movie that didn’t get a sequel, really deserves one …
I recently came across an internet poll asking people what movies they thought deserved sequels but never got any. And while most respondents named some of their favorite movies like Dredd, John Carter and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. among others, my immediate thought was of my favorite “Star Trek” movie to come out after the end of the Berman produced movies.
No, it’s not JJ Abrams’ 2009 take on Star Trek. God knows that spawned enough sequels to make us beg for them to stop. I’m talking about Peter Weir’s 2003 film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”.
I had read a couple of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin books in my teens which I borrowed from our school library, so I had a vague recollection of the characters when the movie was announced. I remember questioning the choice of Russell Crowe as “Lucky” Jack Aubrey, but when I saw it in a local cineplex when it premiered in Malaysia, I was blown away!
The film is a sweeping epic adventure that was made with meticulous attention to historical detail. Although, they did change a couple of things from the novel, the enemy frigate’s nationality for example; it was the American ship USS Norfolk in the book, but in the movie, it was French, the Acheron, presumably so as not to alienate American audiences. It had plenty of drama too and I was totally invested in the fate of the characters, particularly Aubrey himself and his close friend Dr Maturin, played immaculately by Paul Bettany. But it was the Star Trek vibe that I got when I watched it that endeared the movie to me.
I’ve always said to my friends this is the best Star Trek movie NEVER made. Despite its period setting it just resonates on so many levels as an Original Series adventure. There are elements of adventure, exploration as well as epic battles. And I couldn’t help but be amazed at the similarities between the close friendship Aubrey and Maturin had, with that of the Holy Trinity of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
While Aubrey, like Kirk, displayed charisma, bravado and cunningness, Maturin possessed both the rationalism and curiosity of Spock as well as the compassion of Dr McCoy. The battles in the film also reminded me very much of those in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan; both had our heroes square off against a powerful adversary and both had them gain the upper hand through cunning battle tactics.
The Far Side of the World was meant to be the film to kick off a series of films based on the books, but I guess it wasn’t enough of a box office hit to justify a sequel, despite being nominated for 10 Oscars and finally getting two (for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing). As recent as November 2017, Russell Crowe tweeted that a sequel may still be coming, but nothing much has transpired since then.
It is a shame, because if any movie deserved a follow-up, it is Master and Commander. It is, in my opinion, one of the best films of the 21st century that unfortunately, not a lot of people saw.
a.k.a. S’wak Props