Nemesis breaks the curse on Star Trek movies (and Abrams resets it)
In "Star Trek: Nemesis" and "J.J. Abrams took over the movies.
The famous Star Trek movie "Curse", that is, the even number is good, the odd number is bad, was replaced by Star Trek: Nemesis and J.J. Abrams' film trilogy. Star Trek: The Movie started in 1979 as a film franchise with 13 Star Trek films, the most recent being 2016's Star Trek: Beyond. As the Star Trek franchise progressed, audiences noticed an unusual tendency for every other Star Trek movie to be better than its predecessors—until Star Trek: Nemesis.
The first nine Star Trek films survived the "curse" that even-numbered films were better than odd-numbered films. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a better movie than Star Trek: The Movie, thereby starting a trend that continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as Star Trek IV Even numbered movies like VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek: First Contact are more popular and better than the odd numbered Star Trek movies. But "Star Trek: Nemesis," aka "Star Trek X," bucked that trend, becoming one of the lowest-grossing and least popular films Movies in the franchise. When J.J. Abrams took over, he reversed the trend because Star Trek 2009 (aka Star Trek XI) and Star Trek Beyond were "good" but Star Trek: Dark Unbounded (No. XII) is not.
Why Do Star Trek Movies Alternate In Quality?
The roller coaster quality of the Star Trek movie franchise is certainly an anomaly, but it's also a solid overall measure. While every Star Trek movie has its own fandom, it's hard to deny that even-numbered films are usually better than odd-numbered ones. For Star Trek: The Original Series, the common denominator is that director Nicholas Mayer worked on Star Trek II, IV, and VI, he directed the Bookends movies, and Leonard Nimoy directed IV and wrote for IV and VI up the story. The movie takes place before Mayer joins the franchise, and William Shatner was the controlling influence in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
Star Trek: The Next Generation's four films are trickier. The Star Trek Generations story beat was largely licensed by Paramount in order to make the film an event. TNG bounced back with Jonathan Frakes' blockbuster "Star Trek: First Contact," but Frakes also directed the next film, "Star Trek: First Contact." : Insurrection (Star Trek: Insurrection), but the film stumbled. The disastrous Star Trek: Nemesis was directed by Stuart Baird and written by John Logan, two franchise outsiders. Once J.J. Abrams took over, with an unprecedented blockbuster Star Trek movie in 2009, his team miscalculated badly with Star Trek Into Darkness. "Star Trek: Beyond" was a nice course correction, but enthusiasm for Abrams' films has waned.
If The Curse Holds, Is Star Trek 4 Already Doomed?
Star Trek 4 has been in deep development trouble for years, losing affiliate directors including Matt Shackman, who opted to helm Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four. The idea of having Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) team up with his father, Lieutenant George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth), was also dropped. Since Paramount has yet to announce a new creative team, it's too early to know what Star Trek 4 will be if development on the movie begins. Even the cast, while willing to reprise their roles, aren't sure if Star Trek 4 will happen.
However, it may be a moot point whether Star Trek 4 was a good movie if the J.J. Abrams movie reversed it now. Star Trek 4 Is Actually Star Trek XIV, Even Movies Suggest It's Doomed From the beginning. Of course, there's always the possibility that Star Trek 4 could be great if the movie ends up being made. The question then becomes whether this will end the curse of the Star Trek movies, or just reverse it back to its original configuration of even good, odd bad.