Sci-Fi Storm

Quick Star Trek review

by on May.10, 2009, under Movies

Just came back from seeing Star Trek, so I’m tossing this together quickly. To put it simply, it was FUN. Some over the top interpretations of the characters, some very different character dynamics, historical references ripped to shreds…and FUN. It also easily won the weekend with a total estimated intake of $76.5m, although this is short of last week’s $81.5m take by Wolverine. Update: Update with spoilers towards the end after a more critical look back…

Potential but minor spoilers, but mostly if you were completely unaware of the plot at this point…

So, how do you reboot a most beloved franchise, bring all the characters together at one time, and set up for a whole new direction while not alienating the most dedicated fan base and destroying established canon? By simply inventing a plausible (for Trek anyways) way to come up with your own canon that can also have a bridge to the original.

I think they did well with this. Sure, there is still a leap in the science that doesn’t necessarily make sense, but it sets into motion a different series of events that result in a “diverged timeline/alternate reality”, in which Jim Kirk is a juvenile, Spock has bigger emotional problems that previously known, all the main characters happen to not only be around Starfleet Academy at the same time but get posted to a brand new U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Capt. Christopher Pike (who it was previously established was only personally known to Spock, and by reputation to others).

The characters certainly reflected the personality of the originals – although perhaps magnified greatly. This may have been emphasized by the writers apparently wanted to stick in every little catchphrase and an overabundance of humor at times (but the humor worked at least!) McCoy starts as being afraid of EVERYTHING regarding space. Chekov is barely understandable. Spock is more emotional (at several levels). Sulu (who we know is a fencing expert) apparently carries an extendible sword instead of a phaser. Uhura isn’t just a communications officer, but a Xenolinguistics expert.

A more radical departure is Scotty, who is still an engineering genius but is also comic relief.

There is even a personal relationship between two characters that I really, Really didn’t expect.

Set wise, the Enterprise is a tale of two times. The bridge, as seen in previews, is often characterized as the “iBridge” – white beyond white, high tech, but in some respects it seemed small. The exact opposite was engineering – low tech. Pipes, tanks, turbines (water-powered? Is it steampunk?), structural supports, catwalks, lack of dividing walls…it looked like a refinery, as if they took a page from the 1980s BBC and filmed on location at one.

Overall, it was a FUN movie (did I mention that?), done well. And I don’t believe this is the end of this timeline…


After subsequent discussions elsewhere and kind of reviewing it my mind, I thought I’d point out some areas where things REALLY didn’t make sense…

– The supernova that destroys Romulus – just how close was it? How did it get to Romulus so fast that they couldn’t evacuate? It couldn’t have been the Romulan sun – that would happen too fast and turning in to a black hole wouldn’t exactly help. And if it was so far away but had reached Romulus, how would a black hole have enough effect to draw it back? Sounds like the Praxis Effect all over again.

Better to have developed a plot line dealing with the Romulan sun itself getting ready to go nova and Spock trying to something about it but too late…plenty of ways to make this work.

– Spock on Delta Vega, seeing the destruction of Vulcan as if he was in orbit. Where the heck was Delta Vega anyways? In the same system? And not be the slightest bit affected by the new black hole/lack of planet? And Scotty being concerned about food when the nearby planet jsut imploded? And the transwarp transporter move was just too convenient…

I could see Spock being forced to watch in orbit and then being dumped…but that’s not what they showed.

– The Kobayashi Maru test. This seemed to be the same basic test as in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan – with decloaking Klingon vessels. Let me repeat – decloaking Klingon vessels. It is not known when the Klingons had gained cloaking technology, but in TOS they Federation had not encountered it before until “Balance of Terror”, approximately in the year 2266, and then it was a Romulan exclusive. We know there was a technology exchange between the Romulans and Klingons (the Romulans got the Klingon “D7” battle cruiser design by “The Enterprise Incident” by 2268), but this should be 10-20 years after the events of the movie.

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