Sunday, May 10, 2009

The New Star Trek

What do you do when you run out of Star Trek ideas for a new series or another movie? You take the cast back to the beginning of their careers, change history, and start all over again. But this time, with new variables.

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of seeing the new Star Trek movie, with a young, new cast (well, for the most part--there might be one original in attendance) that retreads the early years of the famous crew, beginning with tumultuous moment of James T. Kirk's birth. We're soon back on board our old friend, the familiar, yet freshly-minted Enterprise NCC-1701. But something has gone seriously awry that has changed history, so nothing you know from the original series may be the same. Some of the past is rehashed but the outcome may be completely skewed. Fasten your crash harnesses, it's going to be a bumpy ride...and with some pretty awe-inspiring visuals along the way.

Would I recommend this movie? If you're a Star Trek fan(atic) like I am, yes, by all means. If you never much cared for the TV series or the spin off movies, then don't waste your time. You'll miss too many of the punch lines and be lost in the virtual nebula of cult culture. Disclaimer: That is, unless your kids drag you along, and then you may suddenly develop a severe case of Star Trek-itis in your later years. (Don't laugh, it's happened before.)

But for those who loved the series, I think you'll find the "everything's the same, but everything's different" feel to this movie a real delight. A couple of the actors got the original characters' traits down spot on. I especially loved Bones (and you even get clued in how he picked up his nick) and Spock's reconfiguration was also impressive. Sulu was very close; Uhura I found refreshing though the long hair and the bouncier, less serene performance kept her from totally capturing Nichelle Nichol's iconic communications officer. Those who looked least like their former selves were Scotty and Chekov, but from their accents the characters were immediately identifiable.

Without giving away any spoilers, let me tell you there are some huge changes in this particular Star Trek parallel universe that will forever impact the characters going forward. I hope this revamped generation (not next generation ;) ) of Star Trek voyagers will soon venture off on more cosmic adventures.

Admiral James T. Kirk once said, in another place and time and movie, "Galloping around the universe is a game for the young."

Welcome back to a brave, new reality, Captain Kirk.


  1. Just saw it and really enjoyed it. I'm not a huge fan but I've seen all the movies and most of the original series and NG episodes. :P (I can blame my dad. O:))

    It was a lot of fun, and I agree, Spock and Bones were spot-on with the performances and looks! (Also, gotta love Leonard Nemoy's cameo.)

    Definitely a fun one to see and I'm interested in where the revamped Trek universe is headed now.


  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Merc, as a non-Trekaholic. It is fast-paced, lots of humor and action.

    I was trying to figure out who Kirk reminded me of with his antics during the Kobiashi Maru training scenario. I finally figured it out. Jim Carey. LOL Now there's a Kirk we haven't seen before.

  3. I just saw it today and thought it was loads of fun. The fast-paced action was a refreshing departure from films of the past. I think Abrams did a fine job given all the obstacles involved.

    I think this reboot is a big huge love letter to all the fans of the Star Trek universe--especially the core ones.

    I enjoyed the actors' performances as well. I wish the Romulans had been portrayed with a little more subtlety but it's a minor issue, really.

    The part I found most riveting was the conflict between Kirk and Spock and the development of their friendship. Talk about a love story, lol!

  4. Oh, I so agree on the Romulans. They were a bit too over the top for me, but I suppose they felt a need to make them very different from the Vulcans in this version.

    Yes, the conflict/rivalry and even dislike between Kirk and Spock was a whole new spin, and I enjoyed it too.

    And I've been taken to task for my statement that if you're not an old Trekker, don't waste your time seeing the movie. I had someone declare that this new revamped Star Trek will appeal to a whole new generation that weren't even born when ST was in its heyday, and not knowing the backstory on say, the Kobiashi Maru, or that the planet Vulcan had been around in the earlier version(s) won't make any difference to them at all.

    I stand happily corrected! :)


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