I am a Star Trek fan, from that first Saturday morning when I discovered the show in the late 70s, but before The Motion Picture came along. I can find things I like about every single one of the television series, as well as the movies. I love the world and the future Gene Roddenberry envisioned for us. I found hope there.
I have some of the Gold Key comics, I missed the Marvel run (but plan to pick it up thanks to Dark Horse), I’ve read the DC launches, I’ve read countless novels, I’ve lost myself in the soundtracks and the toys. Anyone who grew up with me, will tell you that I love my Trek.
And know what else, I love the new universe that J.J. Abrams brought to the screen in 2009. And right there, I know there are people who have stopped reading the article. Because if it’s not how they see Star Trek, then it’s not Star Trek.
I will be the first to admit that Trek 2009 is not the Star Trek I grew up with, but I did recognize in it the universe that I loved, the sense of adventure that could permeate it. Yes, it is missing a bit of the sense of exploration, and the way the television series dealt with social and political issues, but this is the big screen. There is a finite sense of time, you don’t have 24 to 26 episodes to tell a story anymore, or explore different characters and facets of the universe.
When Star Trek has explored bigger issues on the big screen, they’ve never performed well (Voyage Home being the exception). As much as I love Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and I do (at some point I need to get a costume made of that uniform!), it didn’t work the way Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan worked because there were no space battles (not to mention the wonderful idea of investing a more Naval feeling to Starfleet) and Trek V, well, I still believe if Bill Shatner had been able to make the movie he wanted we would’ve seen something interesting, but again, I think it wouldn’t necessarily put bums in seats.
And that is what Paramount and Abrams are doing with this new series, putting bums in seats! Paramount, to my eyes, has always seemed to see Trek as a bit of a bastard child, they don’t quite know what to do with it, because they don’t get it. But there are quite happy to make money off of it.
But they may work out to the benefit of the fans… If the new film series continues to be a success, can a new series on television really be so far off? And at that point, perhaps we can get back to exploring, seeking out new life and new civilizations and boldly going on the Human Adventure. Until then, we’re going to get more Horatio Hornblower Star Trek, and less social commentary.
And honestly I’m ok with that, if I need a little more of the sociopolitical Trek, I’ll read one of the novels, or the new Trek comics from IDW, which according to those in the know, is considered canon for the new universe. Does it suck that I can’t get those stories on the big screen or even the small screen? Yes. But for now, I am enjoying any Star Trek I can get.
I’ll openly admit things aren’t perfect in the 2009 Trek, but I had a helluva time watching it, and it still makes me smile when I watch it, or hear its score on my iPod. But know what else, not all of the original episodes were perfect, some of them were simply abysmal, so I’m willing to give the New Universe a little leeway.
And for all those haters, if you think you can do better, get out there and do something about it! Instead of whining and complaining. Make your own Trek, create a fan series, write a novel and submit it to Pocket Books, be proactive in changing it, if that’s what you want instead of sitting at your computers whining.
I’m tired of hearing, “Ohh. the lens flares… ugh. J.J. Abrams is ruining Star Trek.” I’m ok with the lens flares, they never bothered me, and if you think J.J. is ruining Trek, see my previous paragraph. We’ve all spent a long time hoping and wanting new Trek, and each time one comes along (and no matter what anyone says, Enterprise was really coming into its own in its fourth year) everyone has to jump on and hate it, instead of embracing it, and the suggesting ways it can be improved, instead of harping and whining and trollling.
I will say that the new poster sucks. I am sick of this style of poster that seems to be a template the photoshop departments of the studios are sharing with one another. I miss poster art, but I’ve ranted about that in a previous post.
Someone needs design and paint posters again, but why pay people for something lovely and artistic when you can whip up some generic crap in an afternoon. That’s just sad.
I’m also not a fan of the title, Star Trek Into Darkness? But we don’t have a lot of context to judge the title, because we’re not sure how it applies to the film itself. Is it great? No, but I’ll go on record that it sounds a lot better than The Phantom Menace.
Then of course there are people whining about the things they’ve seen in the trailer so far… But before I jump into that, let me just say that in the 2009 film as good as Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and all the others were, Karl Urban seemed to be channeling DeForest Kelley. Kirk was always my favorite growing up, but over time, I’ve kind of leaned more towards McCoy as my favorite character, he can be grumpy, a charming Southern gent, and he’ll tell you the truth each and every time. Karl embodies everything De brought to the series, and in my opinion set the standard by which to judge his fellow actors in the series.
The biggest complaint I’ve heard about the new trailer, and the early images we’ve glanced is how can the Enterprise be underwater? She could never do that. I’m argue that one right away. We know she’s airtight, she has to be she travels in space, and if you open a cargo bay or two to take on ballast, I’m sure that would help keep her submerged. And you know what, the Enterprise has moved and traveled through fluid before. In the Original Series! In The Immunity Syndrome the Enterprise is sucked inside an enormous amoeba, and you know what, that contains fluid! And no doubt thicker and more viscous than water. So you know what, I’ll let them have that. Oh, but that means she had to go through the atmosphere and the planet’s gravity…. Again, been done before. We know she can travel in a planet’s atmosphere, because she did it in Tomorrow is Yesterday. I’m sure it’s not ideal, but Kirk is pretty good at doing the unexpected… so why not go with it and enjoy it?
We do know that this time around Alice Eve (who looks fantastic in the blue mini-skirt) has joined the cast as Dr. Carol Marcus, and fans of the Prime Universe knows what that means, but what if she’s a victim… Project Genesis may never happen!
There’s still much debate over who Benedict Cumberbatch is, his character’s name is said to be John Harrison. But for now, I think it’s safe to say he is NOT Khan, but what if he was a member of the Botany Bay’s crew that infiltrated Starfleet and worked his way up?
I’m a Star Trek fan, I loved Bill Shatner as James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, and DeForest as Bones, and the rest of the cast are legend, and I love every single one of them, But that doesn’t mean I can’t love a new imagining of them.
I love my Star Trek.
That’s why I’ll be there opening day for this one. Because I love it.
And I do believe the Human Adventure is just beginning…
What are your thoughts?