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Star Trek XI thoughts

From the list of things I've been meaning to blog but just didn't get around to until now: Star Trek XI, or, as the trailers and posters indicate it: "Star Trek". Yes, I'm talking about the 2009 Star Trek movie series reboot by J.J. Abrams and friends.

In short? I liked it. Yes, it is different from the Trek we know. It has parachute jumps, it has love affairs between characters we didn't have before... moreover, it doesn't have the in-your-face talkative philosophizing I appreciated so much on TNG and the Star Trek movies. It is much more of an action movie, more hectic, more aimed at surprising you.

But it is undoubtedly Star Trek. The characters are spot on. The new actors for Kirk, Spock and McCoy are instantly recognizable as the same characters. Scotty is a lot less static and more frantic, but he's still the likable genius we know and love. And he has a sidekick. Uhura wasn't really fleshed out that much in TOS, but is believable as a younger version of the woman might eventually have grown into the woman we saw in the movies.

And Chekov? Well, he's used a bit to comic relief here, but then, wasn't that what he was doing in TOS as well? Anyone remember his "That's a Russian invention!" from "The Trouble with Tribbles"? Yes, I felt guilty laughing at him in the first scene, but he comes into his own as one of the youngest officers on the ship, just like the character did when he was still played by Walter Koenig.

And it is also okay that the villain comes across as a little bit of a cypher: This is the beginning of a new Star Trek, intended to bring in a new audience that wouldn't have watched Star Trek before. The main focus is on the growth and development of the characters, with Kirk and Spock at the center. A real Khan-like villain would only detract from that.

Ignore all the so-called "fans" that watch a show that "boldly goes where no man has gone before" and then expect everything to always stay the same. They kept the important parts, the characters, the "people". They even kept a lot more of the look than I would have done (heck, this is closer to TOS than any of the prequel and sequel series ever were). They even used a great premise to tie this all into the old series: This is a parallel universe that was created when Nero went back in time and changed things. Most of it isn't on screen, but all the differences can be explained away by that.

Not that viewers need to know that. All they need to know is that someone went back in time, and the world now isn't what it was supposed to be. A great jumping-on point. It'll be fun to see where they'll take this.

Reader Comments: (RSS Feed)
Mark Finch writes:
I was on Twitter looking at the 18-meter gundam stuff in Tokyo and noticed your tweet, followed it back here and well... I haven't seen Star Trek yet, but will try to get out to watch it this week. Living in Shanghai sometimes makes going to the movies a little more difficult than I am used to in the states. Thanks for reviewing the movie, I was on the fence about spending the time/effort to get to a good theater to see it. Mark PS I have a little more on the Gundam at my site: http://markfinch.info/40
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