People complained about it being slow and ponderous, and untrue to the original series.
I have to disagree.
Is the films slow moving? It could be construed as such, but I like to see it as getting acquainted with old friends. I mean, there’s the whole tour of the Enterprise via shuttle pod, which has no real merit on the story, it certainly doesn’t move the plot forward, the dialogue is minimal, it’s just one beauty shot after another. And I love it.
We get slowly introduced to all of our favorite characters, seeing them together for the first time since their original voyages, both live action and animated.
Once the crew is re-united and set out on their voyage to stop what is simply known as The Intruder, the film shifts to what the original series was always about, the wonder of exploration, be it the self, or something more than that.
The film does take it’s time as they explore the spatial cloud and the construct housed within it, which we learn is called V’Ger. But, I enjoy every moment of it, we get to see how the starship runs, how the crew interacts, we see Kirk, McCoy and Spock trying to reconnect after three years apart, even if Spock isn’t willing to at the beginning.
I also like the uniforms, both the long sleeve and short sleeve ones. While the red jackets to appear for the rest of the film series are very cool, I do like the relaxed look of the short sleeve duty shirts. The wrist communicators were a cool touch as well, though apparently it strayed to far from the things people loved about the original series, because communicators similar to the original series made their appearance in the second film (though I remember wearing my watch face to pretend in my mind that it was one of those communicators).
The redesign of the Enterprise was gorgeous, and still my favorite incarnation of her.
Then, there’s the fantastic score by Jerry Goldsmith. That score gets a lot of play on my iPod, and is probably one of my favorite Goldsmith scores (that, Alien and The Black Hole).
Overall, the film tends to be one that I put on, and have it playing in the background while I do other things, but I’ll be delivering the dialogue alongside the cast, and pausing to watch scenes I love.
But see, that’s part of the problem… There was only the one adventure set in those uniforms, and that time. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy all the movies, even Final Frontier but I know them all so well. I want new adventures, I want to spend time with Kirk & Co. in new adventures.
So I did something I haven’t done in a long time…
I turned to the Star Trek novels, looking explicitly for something in the same time-frame.
And I came across this…
The story picks up days after the V’Ger incident, and the repercussions of it as well as the problems of crew and ship becoming used to one another, and old friends trying to find their places on this new ship.
It also uses a revisit of a classic Trek episode “For The World is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky” as the crux of its plot.
Having saved the Fabrini once, freeing them from virtual enslavement from an artificial intelligence known as The Oracle, they are called to help them again.
A religious war is on the verge of sweeping the planet and tearing the people apart. Kirk and crew travel to help, and get swept up in planetary events, as extremists believe that their own AI will become a new god in the same manner that Voyager evolved with Decker and Ilia.
But the story doesn’t just use those two stories as connective tissue, the author Christopher Bennett makes callbacks to other characters, other incidents, and immerses the entire world so completely into the Star Trek universe, that it feels like an actual second film set in the same time period as The Motion Picture.
Between that and re-watching Deep Space Nine, my love for all things Trek has resurfaced, and I think I’ll see if I can’t find another few Trek novels to read. I do miss traveling about with Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning…