‘Star Trek’ Strikes Back With a New Animated Intro on Paramount+

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hemmer

Disney / Paramount Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hemmer

“There is a grave disturbance in the Force….” A classic line from “The Empire Strikes Back” uttered by Emperor Palpatine to Darth Vader. The evil warlord told his henchman to be on the lookout for a young upstart who was also strong with the ways of “The Force.”

In that classic “Star Wars” story, Vader eventually would meet his doom at the hands of this other character — Luke Skywalker. The younger Jedi beat Vader at his own game, and ultimately, the galaxy overcame oppression. At least for a little while. 

From a certain point of view, the “Star Wars” franchise is now going through a bit of turmoil. Recently, the team which runs the storylines for the franchise declared that they would no longer recast new actors to play classic roles. 

This is a lesson that Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy says they learned after the box office failure of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Solo’s Failures

Why Solo FloppedYes, Solo is a box office bomb – the movie may have made more than its $250 million dollar estimated production budget, but it hasn’t made more than it’s entire cost – which could be as high as half a billion thanks to a heavy prints and advertising push. And I hear from industry insiders…2018-06-10T22:28:49Z

“There should be moments along the way when you learn things,” Kennedy said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Now, it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that.”

Many disagree with this statement, especially after the strange and “lifeless” Luke Skywalker appeared in “The Book of Boba Fett.” GQ also said that this sort of thing is “ghoulish.”

Meanwhile, down the proverbial street, Paramount is taking the opposite tack and recasting their classic characters from “Star Trek” to significant effect. In fact, “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” features nearly an entire cast of characters who were first portrayed over 50 years ago. 

Anson Mount is Captain Christopher Pike in “Strange New Worlds,” but he is the fourth actor to portray the character. And Ethan Peck’s Spock has been played by nearly a dozen actors over the years.  

Even the most famous character from “Star Trek” lore — Captain James Tiberius Kirk — has been recast a couple of times. The role was made famous by William Shatner. Then in 2009, Chris Pine took on the mantle for three films. Soon, Paul Wesley will be Kirk for Season 2 of “Strange New Worlds.” 

This new edition of “Star Trek,” which features a host of classic characters, is now the most in-demand streaming show in the United States, according to The Wrap. Contrast this to the disappointing “Book of Boba Fett,” it might be the time where Trek finally edges ahead of Wars.

While the galaxy of fandom is certainly large enough to support both “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” it appears that as Disney’s space opera stumbles, Paramount’s science fiction franchise is just starting to soar.

The new ‘Star Trek’ intro for Paramount+

Some fans don’t want to compare the two franchises — Comic Book Resources even says this comparison is “unfair” — it still happens. Like Coke versus Pepsi, Ford versus Chevy, and Apple versus Microsoft, two brands that compete in the same ‘space’ will very often be compared to one another. 

And it looks like Paramount is no longer shying away from this comparison. Recently, on May 5th, 2022, the company launched “Strange New Worlds.” The date is significant because it was the day after May the 4th, which most fans know as “Star Wars Day.” CNN’s Frank Pallotta even wondered if “Star Trek” was actually trying to steal the thunder away from “Star Wars” on their special day. 

The ‘Star Wars’ intro on Disney+

Disney Star Wars IntroLatest intro for Disney Star Wars properties.2019-11-16T05:11:48Z

And just in the past few weeks, Paramount+ released a new video intro, which plays at the start of any “Star Trek” title in their streaming library. That 18-second animation serves the same purpose as the “Star Wars” intro video, which plays at the start of every Wars video streamed from Disney+. The gloves must genuinely be off.

It remains to be seen how the new “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series will perform. Entertainment Weekly reported that the show has suffered from script problems, and Kennedy herself stepped in to make some adjustments. 

It might take all the powers of the Dark Side for “Obi-Wan” to attain what “Strange New Worlds” has achieved — that is, the top streaming show and a nearly unblemished record on “Rotten Tomatoes.”

READ NEXT: How Long Will ‘Star Trek’ Have Anson Mount?

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