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I finally got a chance to see STAR TREK this afternoon and thought I’d pass along my thoughts on the new project. I’m one of those original Trek fans(I saw The Man Trap first run) that have been looking forward to it’s release.
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Overall, I have to say I was impressed. It wasn’t perfect, but they did a decent job.

On to specifics.

There was a coherent plot for a change, a fast moving story that brings all the classic characters together for THAT first time. The original continuity was changed in doing this(a fact that has alarmed long time fans to no end), but the storyline accounts for this by admitting that visitors from the future would irrevocably alter the time line by their presence alone(something the original glossed over time and again).

The characters were all young and pretty(well, if we don’t count Chekov) and I loved Urban’s spot-on take of De Forest Kelly, despite other people’s objections. It gave longtime fans something to hang their hopes. Chekov’s age, seventeen, despite McCoy’s utter horror, didn’t bother me either. We have child prodigies today that defy explanation.

New techniques in film making allowed them to do things that never could have been done back in the sixties on a television budget. A new, bright shiny ship with all the bells and whistles.

Sure, the science was a little wonky. It always was in Star Trek, which, to my mind, takes it out of the realm of science fiction into fantasy. The red matter was a little goofy and the effects of a black hole on ships and people passing through it was sidestepped much too easily.

Now a few things I didn’t like.

Despite my passing on the wrongheadedness of most of Star Trek’s science, there are some things they HAVE to get right. This is supposed to be the military/exploring arm of the Federation. A certain decorum has to be maintained.

The relationship between Spock and Uhura, while surprising, didn’t bother me. The private moment between them in the elevator was fine, appropriate. But later in the movie, at a critical moment when timing meant everything, they take the time to embrace in front of the crew.

Spock, as first officer, must maintain an air of command. the strain of a relationship with a subordinate, carried out in public, can undermine his respect with other crew members.

And Kirk. Three years away from being a civilian, a less than perfect one at that, he’s now Captain of a powerful starship. That would be akin to a third year cadet from Annapolis being made Captain of a battleship. Never happen. I don’t care how much he did to save Earth, they should have awarded him the medal they did and sent him off to gain that all-important experience. There is no replacement for that.

I give it a strong B+. My nephew, all of twenty-five, did not like the movie. His response was they metaphorically “flipped the bird” at Star Trek.

I’m sure Trek’s publisher is readying a line of novels following this new continuity. That’s fine. I don’t read it as much as I used to; too many novels and varying quality among them. There are a few authors that do fine work and I don’t much like stories of Voyager and Enterprise, the two weakest of the shows, much preferring TOS tales to all others.

What of the future for the series? I’m quite certain there will be more. The box office is the best so far this summer(not saying a whole lot because there are still some big pictures to come yet), but it’s quite substantial, the best of any previous Trek film.

What will be the plot of ST XII? If the Federation is the benevolent organization they purport to be, despite Vulcan being destroyed and Earth nearly so, they should go to the star that started all this trouble in the future and use the red matter device to destroy it NOW. After all, old Spock from the future is around and should, with the proper help, be able to recreate the device. It would be the humane thing to do.

We’ll see.

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