Star Trek Vs. Star Trek!

Ahhh! Finally!! The new Star Trek movie debuted on DVD and Blu-Ray last Tuesday and yours truly was first in line at Wal-mart to snap up his copy.

I've been a die hard trek fan since my early childhood-that would be like 1973 or 1974, so say 36 years of my life. Like most trek fans my age I gorged on repeated (and repeated and repeated) episodes of the original series in syndication. I bought the comic books. I played with the toys. I built the models. I listened to the children's record stories. I wrote my own Trek adventures along the way. When I was older I attended the conventions, collected my autographs, etc. Long story short-I love me some Star Trek, baby! Classic Trek is what I love the most.

So, take it from me when I say that the "new" Star Trek is a worthy successor to Classic Trek. Notice I didn't say "better" or "worse". I don't think those words apply here. Classic Trek was a television show from 40 years ago with a shoestring budget. Star Trek 2009 is a motion picture from last summer with a bazillion dollar budget. Be that as it may, the two Treks share some very important commonalities: good writing, good acting, a hopeful vision of the future, and the embodiment of what's best of us in the Trek family of Kirk and crew.

I'm going to talk about the new movie's plot in detail so if you haven't seen the film and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now!

I'm not in the fan camp that says only William Shatner can play capt. Kirk, only Leonard Nimoy can play Spock, etc. I think if the actors stay true to the essence of the characters the faces don't matter that much.

I was exceedingly happy to learn of Leonard Nimoy's involvement in this reboot. Not only was it uber cool to see old ( I mean OOOOoooold!) Spock on the screen again but it was also the anchor the movie needed for older fans to ease into a Star Trek built for another generation. It was also a booster early on knowing that Nimoy had enough confidence in the material to act in it and lend his weight to it.

OK, let's get to the movie plot: In old Spock's present, a star is on the verge of going supernova. If that happens, Romulus will be destroyed. Spock tells the Romulans that he will insert some red matter into the star, create a black hole, and suck the star away before it can blow up...yadda yadda yadda insert some treknobabble here. Well, Spock doesn't get the job done in time. The star blows up, destroys Romulus, and ticks off a regular-joe Romulan named Nero who manages to escape the destruction and then of course hunt Old Spock down and take his revenge. Before he can capture Spock, Nero is sucked through the black hole. A bit later, Spock follows...but they are separated by years. Nero and Spock are hurled into the earth's past. Nero comes out of the black hole guns a blazing and destroys the ship that James T. Kirk's father, George Kirk is serving aboard. This creates an all new reality-a departure in the original timeline (that would be the adventures of the CLASSIC Star Trek) that causes some pretty drastic stuff to happen and serves to reintroduce all of the Trek cast we've known and loved for 40 years-but skewering them just enough that we see each one in a new light!

I won't say it. Oh what the hell. Fascinating!

One of the first things that blew me away about Trek 2009 is how succinctly they set up Kirk and Spock as diametric opposites: Kirk so brash and emotional-quick to act...Spock so calculating and logical. You can just feel the animosity between these two guys as they mentally slug it out with each other, neither of them realizing (until later, of course!) what lightning in a bottle their eventual friendship will be. Some of the best episodes of the original series were when Kirk and Spock were locked in a battle of wits with each other and they've captured this aspect perfectly!

Another thing I love about this movie is that nothing is "safe"! For god's sake, they blew up Vulcan, destroyed Romulus, and killed Spock's mother all in the same movie!! Blowing up Vulcan and Romulus was an incredibly savvy thing to do! It does a few things: 1.) It serves to further the alienation of Spock. He may be "a child of two worlds" but now one of them-the one he followed most closely is spacedust. 2.) Star Trek's been around for so long that it has many "crutches". I think the vulcans were one of them. Perhaps the whole Vulcan thing was over used to the point where it almost became a sort of cartoon or joke (cough cough TOVOK cough!!) Same can be said about the Romulans being the bad guys of the week. Over used and over done. Yes, get rid of them! Let's shake things up a bit.

Things I didn't care for:
*The new Enterprise didn't excite me as much as I had hoped. Perhaps it'll grow on me.
*The Bridge, Engineering, and Sickbay didn't excite me much either. Perhaps they too will grow on me.
*Simon Pegg just didn't cut it as Scotty. I love the guy in other things...just not as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott. I felt that they used him for comedy relief too much. I didn't feel any of Scotty's "vibe" coming through. But hey, one misstep in casting is a whole hellava lot better than anyone had a right to expect.

*There's a rumor going around right now that Khan will return! I'm sort of on the fence about that. Why go through all of the trouble to reboot the series if all we're going to do is sequelize everything that's already came before. It's a new timeline and a fresh start. Let's do some "boldly going" again and explore some uncharted territory.
*My two disc DVD set was AWESOME! I highly recommend it.

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