Photo by Gage Skidmore
A lot of the things make me angry. But mention the hate some Trekkies have for the J.J. Abrams reboot of Star Trek, and my genesis wave cascades in fury. But I think I’ve found a reason on some counts for their lapse in logic.
Wondering if these kids can steer, I’m going with youthful inexperience. The next generations are simply late to the party. In other words, they missed their elder’s evolution on Star Trek visionary storytelling versus big movie adventure, and its penchant for frivolous fun.
Let me begin with new movies. I’m not really crazy about the two storylines that Abrams came up with. If Nero can time travel to implode Vulcan, why not take the blackhole back to Romulus’ pre-nova sun and inject the red matter. Problem solved, Ahab averted and timeline preserved.
Of course, the time travel Star Trek does is always suspect. For instance, if you can't get the whales on the first run, why all the fuss. Just try again but we can just let it go for entertainment’s sake.
On Into Darkness, as the needs of the many began to reveal themselves, I could not contain my agitated mumblings to the dismay of the audience around me. “I think I’ve seen this movie before,” wrung true as 72 souls in stasis were revealed.
The remake in place, the three dimension strategic thinking that made Kirk roar was severely lacking here. Was superior intellect really necessary to figure out that Spock was sending torpedoes rather than the expected cryogenics? Apparently this Khan was too smart for his own good.
But the inconsistencies expected in all science fiction movies aside, I love how J.J. Abrams has filled in the backstory and established the comedic baseline that is one of the key backbones of the franchise. “I like this ship,” the new Scotty says it well.
Of course, the forward thinking and thought provoking vision is pretty much lacking. No kidding.
Probably seeing the movies at a very early age, your generation was simply too young to realize that saving the whales was not some sort of grand epiphany. As I originally watched in 1986, I was almost a giggle at the idea of communicating with the probe and having the Enterprise trying to explain the “shortsightedness" of humanity. On the old bridge, that would have been the case.
Star Trek VI also took an interesting concept that ran parallel to the "end of history" we were actually experiencing in the 1990s, but the story was mostly undiscovered for me. I mean a whodunnit in space. The whole things was a slog and the old guys running on their acting fumes, was no help.
So for us in on it since the 70s, the movies frustrated us as frivolous romps that substituted Roddenberry’s vision for finding a wider audience on a bigger screen.
Reluctantly accepting the wildly entertaining second and forth installments, only Star Trek : The Motion Picture is original to the “Human Adventure.” We know because most of the “action” takes place on the bridge, and the exploration reaches into the soul instead of bursting off the screen. “Is there nothing more,” Spock gives voice to the pained probe, and Voyager 6 returning to touch the creator, wow.
The 80th episode of the original series in my estimation, dusting off the franchise came up short at the box office, and economics forced the new paradigm. Fortunately we got Star Trek : The Next Generation, and the mission was on again.
So we of the rerun generation have just long accepted that the movies are for the expanse and the series are reserved for the introspection. Star Trek Beyond and streaming on CBS, I cannot wait to round out my Trek.
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