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CSBG Archive

Saturday on the (Rebooted) Final Frontier

We went and saw the new Star Trek movie  last weekend, which means I can now allow myself to look at all the various reviews and internet postings on the subject.

The various reactions I’ve seen have been, you should pardon the expression, “fascinating.”

It was such an extraordinary experience to see these new actors inhabit these characters... and still have them seem so FAMILIAR.

First of all, to get the review out of the way — we loved it. Loved it so much we went again a day and a half later.

Loved all of this, so MUCH.

The second time we went with Carla and her son Phenix and they loved it… even though all the way to the theater, Carla was warning us, “I dunno, I’ve never really been into Star Trek, I never got into it at all.” We just shushed her and bustled them both into the movie, confident that she and Phenix would love it as much as we had.

The kind of effects work we used to dream of.

And we were right. They both came out converts. Carla was shaking her head and grinning ear-to-ear, saying, “Finally! I get those guys now! I never got what the characters were about before.” Phenix wanted to know if we had any more like it in our collection at home. (Ha! If he only knew….)

Quinto's Spock was magnificent, especially to those of us that only know Sylar.

(Although, just as a quick aside — our first time going, Julie and I got screwed by the fake IMAX deal at the AMC theater. Be warned that unless it’s playing at your old IMAX theater from five years ago or so, one attached to a planetarium or something, it’s NOT IMAX. It’s something called “IMAX Digital.” So for an extra $5 each, my wife and I got to see a slightly sharper picture than we would have on any of the other screens in the multiplex, and as an added bonus we got to wait in line for an hour and a half, instead of just walking right in… as we would have been able to do had we gone to any one of a dozen ‘regular’ showings. What we did NOT get was the giant 70-foot tall IMAX screening we thought we were paying for. IMAX at your local AMC or Regal multiplex is a shuck, it’s not what you think. Save your money. The reason I’m going on about this at such length is because I was trying to do something nice for Julie, who loves old-school Star Trek even more than I do, and it makes me really angry that we just got our pockets picked instead. So I am going to denounce this vile bait-and-switch anywhere and everywhere to anyone who cares to listen. Regal and AMC should be ashamed of themselves, and they would be if they weren’t such soulless corporate whores.)

The IMAX business aside, though, as far as the movie itself was concerned, we adored it.

We didn't even mind the obvious Galactica influence on the visuals.

So I’m thinking, at last, Trek is finally back to something I can really get behind. After all the various disappointments and almost-but-not-quite-good entries from over the last decade and a half or so, I was sure fans would be embracing this new kickstart of the franchise.

And many are. But — this amazes me, though I suppose it really shouldn’t — it seems that just as many aren’t. Quite a few are being extremely vocal about their disgust at what J.J. Abrams has “done to” Star Trek. “No respect, no understanding of what Trek is.”

Well, I’m afraid I have to disagree. It’s one thing if you want to pick on the movie itself — there are certainly visible seams in the plot, though really I think that if you’re going to complain about the scientific validity or the military verisimilitude of Star Trek, you are simply in the wrong theater to start with — but the criticism that baffles me is the one I keep seeing about “disrespect.” As though it’s the act of rebooting itself that’s the problem.

To which I can only reply, are these people all nuts?

Star Trek‘s entire history in all media over the last four decades has been nothing but revisions and reboots. Hell, the original Kirk-and-Spock version was actually a reboot after the first pilot failed to sell.

First try. Nobody liked this one. Well, actually, I kind of did, but in 1965 I was too young to get a vote.

Star Trek originally was going to be about the voyages of Captain Christopher Pike, his female exec Number One, and the half-Martian science officer, Mr. Spock. As any Trekkie could tell you, NBC said it was ‘too cerebral’ and wanted it redone with a lot of cast changes and a more action-adventure feel.

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Ripped-shirt, macho Kirk was established as such in his first appearance. The skirt-chasing came later.

Which is how we ended up with James T. Kirk, that two-fisted ripped-shirt Casanova of the spaceways. That version ran for three years.

Then it was revived in animation for Saturday morning, and revised again.

I hated Arex at first. I wanted Chekov back, damn it. M'ress I didn't mind so much because Uhura was still around.

Regulars Uhura and Chekov were replaced with alien crewmembers like Arex and M’ress, and episodes were shortened to a half-hour. This ran for two seasons.

Meanwhile, the Gold Key comics being produced in Italy by the Giolitti studio had only the faintest resemblance to any of these versions.

Hardly any resemblance to the shows, but fun books anyway. Even I have to admit Giolitti was doing Trek in name only, but I still kind of like these comics. They're so deranged.

These chugged along just fine on the newsstands for years despite their lack of fidelity to either the live-action or animated shows, outlasting both by a respectable margin of years.

Then Gene Roddenberry tried a revival for syndicated television, Star Trek Phase II. Which was yet another revision of the basic idea of the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

it's weird how this 70's revision is actually not too far from the movie that came out last week.

Spock was replaced with the character of Xon, a Vulcan who was trying to learn how to be more emotional.

Phase II SOUNDED great, but if you look at the scripts and summaries in the book on the subject, you'll see that we actually lucked out in not getting it made.

And other new characters were added as well — Commander Decker, a younger version of Captain Kirk, and Lieutenant Ilia, a bald alien girl from a race that was alleged to be so brain-meltingly sexy that she had to swear an oath of celibacy before Starfleet would let her join.

Roddenberry was still struggling to get this series made when Star Wars hit in 1977, and when the studio realized there was big movie money to be had in science fiction, the whole Phase II project morphed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

We all WANTED to love this. But... we didn't. Except if we went stoned. Then it was AWESOME.

Which meant Phase II itself got revised before a foot of film was ever shot, since Leonard Nimoy was persuaded to reprise Mr. Spock after all. So Xon was out, though Decker and Ilia stayed.

Reviews were decidedly mixed — I remember, in 1979, the word on my college campus was “see it stoned” — but we were all delighted to see the Enterprise back in any form. And it justified a comics relaunch from Marvel.

I love Larkin's homage on this cover. The Marvel series wasn't as bad as people said at the time.... but it wasn't that good, either.

The comic didn’t last long, but the real success of that particular reboot came in another area of publishing. The licensed novels got a facelift too.

For years we’d been getting straight novelizations of aired episodes.

I love this James Bama painting, even though the shuttle bay's on fire. Small world -- my friend Barbara down at the Alki studio used to work at Filmation, and she painted this landscape.

Nice stuff, well-crafted by SF mainstays James Blish and Alan Dean Foster, but by and large these were only for the hardcore fans, since they simply adapted stories we already knew. Then Bantam tried publishing a few original novels (several were literally reprints of fan fiction from Star Trek ‘zines) and those did pretty well.

This book is sort of hypnotically bad. This was about as close as you get to homoerotic slash fiction in the licensed books. This is also fannish and a little slash-y in places, but it's a good book.

But with the new movie came a new license agreement with Pocket Books, and this created still another version of the Enterprise’s voyages.

This IS a terrific book, incidentally.

Vonda McIntyre’s The Entropy Effect served as a blueprint for the novelists that followed — not only did she do a great deal of extrapolation about Starfleet, the social structure of the Federation, and Vulcan physiology, but she also created a number of new characters that other writers went on to use also. So in essence we got another reboot, this time of the Star Trek novels; McIntyre’s Entropy Effect was the book that launched a publishing juggernaut. Originally part of a science-fiction imprint called “Timescape,” this soon was changed to simply the “Star Trek” line of books and it’s been a dependable cash cow for the publisher ever since.

Which is not to say that the licensed novels haven’t also been a series of reboots, relaunches, spin-offs, and revisions since then, each with its own following.

I like these okay, but I decided I was going to get a lot pickier about the Trek books i actually bought. These anthologies didn't make the cut.

Today it’s huge, it’s not so much a series of books or even a publishing franchise as it is a genre. Whether it’s Peter David’s New Frontier novels or the Starfleet Corps of Engineers anthologies, you can find pretty much whatever flavor of Trek you want in prose. Barnes and Noble and other large bookstores usually give Star Trek its own section.

I have to admit I'm kind of intrigued by this one. These, on the other hand, I like a LOT.

But that’s a whole ‘nother column. I was trying just to talk about Star Trek relaunches and their attendant “disrespectful blasphemies.” So let’s backpedal to the early 1980’s, over in the movie studio.

Everyone loved the idea of Star Trek being back, but no one liked the first movie. However, despite dire predictions from many industry insiders (given what a miserable experience making that first movie was, and how much it cost the studio to make it, these doomsayers were not being at all unreasonable) nevertheless, it was decreed that there would be more Trek movies. The studio’s thinking was, even the crappy first movie made money and was a licensing bonanza — think what we could rake in if we made a movie people actually enjoyed!

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Which gave us The Wrath of Khan… a story everyone loved, and a movie still widely regarded as one of the series’ best.

Getting Vonda McIntyre to do the novel was a no-brainer, after her previous success.

And again, we were given a whole bunch of revisions. Sets changed, uniforms changed, the whole look was different. We also got new characters David Marcus and Lieutenant Saavik, among others.

Please, Paramount begged, can't you give the new folks a chance?

Every relaunch to date had done this. Along with Kirk and Spock and the gang, we always got new characters — Arex, Xon, Ilia, Saavik, whoever — largely because the studio wanted new blood in there. Shatner and Nimoy were getting older, getting more demanding, and worst of all, they were getting expen$ive. Nimoy, especially, was very vocal about being done with Spock and wanting to move on. The only way he would agree to do The Wrath of Khan, in fact, was if the character of Spock was killed off.

Now, I’ve always thought this was a very gutsy move, in terms of plotting and story. Done right, it could have re-energized the whole series. However, halfway through filming, Nimoy allowed that he was having so much fun that he’d be willing to come back and do more movies, so the whole thing turned out to be a bit of a false alarm. The only place we ever really got to see Captain Kirk and his crew on a Spock-less Enterprise, in fact, was in the first few issues of the DC comic book relaunch.

Mike Barr's run of this book is terribly underrated.

Where it worked moderately well. But we all kind of knew the next movie was going to be about Spock’s return, so we couldn’t get too invested in Saavik being the new Vulcan in town.

Anyway, the two follow-up movies did well also, and after the success of Star Trek IV — it was the biggest moneymaker yet in the movies — Paramount started thinking about doing a new TV series.

The blasphemous part? They were going to do it without any of the original TV series cast. A real, honest-to-God new version of the starship Enterprise with a whole new crew.

It was 1979 all over again.  We WANTED to love this show.... but it was pretty awful in the beginning.

Fans were ambivalent at best despite relentless cheerleading from Gene Roddenberry and story editor David Gerrold in magazines like Starlog, and it didn’t help that the actors from the original cast were making disparaging public remarks about the project everywhere on the convention circuit. And there was a lot of griping about “disrespect” then, too.

Nevertheless, in spite of nasty backstage disputes between Roddenberry and his staff (Gerrold walked out early on) and widespread fan skepticism, Star Trek: The Next Generation lasted seven years on television and launched two spin-off series there, as well as four successful theatrical movies and a veritable library of licensed books and comics.

I hear these are pretty good, but jeez, I can't read EVERYTHING. The DC licensed comics were, I think, the most consistently good ones.

(It even, sort of, rebooted itself with the second movie, First Contact, by putting the crew on a new ship and setting a more action-oriented tone.)

This was a pretty good movie... though a lot of it felt like a rerun, and I much prefer the Zefram Cochrane we got in the novel FEDERATION.

You can argue about the relative quality of any of these relaunches and re-imaginings — and we do, endlessly. (Want to see fireworks? Tell a bunch of Trek fans you like Voyager best of all the TV series, or that Deep Space Nine wasn’t really true to the spirit of Star Trek because it was on a station and not a ship. Or anything like that. Fans live for these arguments.)

But the bottom line is, every one of these projects — even Enterprise, a sort of retro-reboot that was a first try at doing the same kind of back-to-basics thing that we saw in last week’s new movie — was a success.

It felt like this show was getting a soft reboot every year. They finally found a winning formula by season four, but by then it was too late.

And — here’s the part I’ve been leading up to — every one of these has been guilty of the same crimes, the same general carelessness about established lore, that the new J.J. Abrams movie is guilty of. Star Trek, no matter what incarnation you are talking about, has never been particularly consistent. It’s never been terribly concerned with continuity.

This is a totally fun series of audiobooks, by the way. Does this match up with the movies? Or even the audiobooks? Well, no. But it's fun.

There are all sorts of “official” projects that are flatly contradictory, not just to the established TV and movie lore, but even within themselves.

Never even HEARD of this new series. I'm telling you, it's a juggernaut. IDW is doing a good job with the current stuff, I have to say.

Fans twist themselves into knots trying to reconcile these things, they create stories designed to bridge the gaps and fill in the blanks.

George Takei's done so many of these Sulu offshoot projects you have to wonder if even HE is sure about the character's history any more.

And that’s fine. That’s what fans do. However, it can get embarrassing when the professionals start to buy into this same idea.

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I loved this series largely because it was continuity-free. Pity it was canceled so soon. This one I never saw.

Even if some of the projects that come out of this tendency are good (I have to admit that I loved Star Trek: Early Voyages) it’s almost always because continuity is the last consideration and not the first one.

The Star Trek projects I’ve enjoyed the most generally are the “blasphemous, disrespectful” ones. Wrath of Khan. New Frontier. The new Abrams movie. The ones that take chances.

That’s how you get a successful relaunch. Star Trek Enterprise was widely regarded as a failure (compared to other Star Treks, that is — in television generally, four seasons on the air is pretty good) because it was dull. It was timid. It was the same old stuff. Worst of all, it looked like it was designed by people who’d spent way too much time on the fan convention circuit.

Look, here’s the secret to a reboot of any entertainment franchise. Whether it’s Star Trek or James Bond or The Flash or whatever series you’re going to do, you should follow these simple rules.

Story first. You know what? Give me a good enough ride and I don’t give a damn if your story has a massive continuity flaw. (The Wrath of Khan, probably one of the best-written of the Star Trek films, has a couple of real howlers… and the science is pretty wobbly too, even for Star Trek science.) If the story’s good, no one will care. This is the rule you can’t screw up or everything else is moot. Story comes first.

Nod to fans if you want — but you write it for everyone. Hey, fans will always show up. Many will show up even if they claim to hate what you’re doing. (Embarrassing personal example — I bought the first two issues of All-Star Batman and Robin, even though I loathe Jim Lee’s art and I was ambivalent about Frank Miller’s take on the character, because I’m a Batman guy and I had to make sure I wasn’t missing out. That’s a case of fannish reflexes overriding my brain, because I knew better. Hey, I’ll own it.) You already have the fans, no matter what, for at least your first issue or your opening night. You need to get everybody ELSE. Write it for them.

Lighten up. Again, using Star Trek as the handy example — in the decade between the original show’s cancellation in 1969 and the first movie in 1979, there were about a hundred articles about the growing fan phenomenon and speculation about why Star Trek was so popular. The answer always came back, “It’s optimistic, it’s intelligent, it shows us a future where we all live in peace,” etc., etc. So, naturally, Gene Roddenberry — who’d had fans treating him like a prophet for ten years — gave them exactly what they’d been asking for in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s thoughtful and scientifically plausible and tries to philosophize about the human condition and it’s a colossal bore.

Same thing with Star Trek: The Next Generation. (One of the most devastating criticisms I’ve ever heard of the first couple of seasons was the dismissal, “All they ever do is have a lot of meetings and talk in technobabble.”) The ugly truth of the matter is that the best Star Trek episodes happened when Gene Roddenberry stepped aside and other writers found ways to work around the ridiculous philosophical restrictions he laid down about the utopia of the Federation and did stories with characters that had real conflict. Usually it was coming from people like Gene Coon or Nicholas Meyer, who’d made their rep writing pulpy genre stuff like Westerns and crime stories.

Honestly? Star Trek works a hell of a lot better when they write it as a Western than when they try to do it as a meditation on humanity’s future. (Even Gene Roddenberry knew that, once upon a time, when he was marketing the show to TV executives as “Wagon Train to the stars.”) Don’t derail the fun train just because you think you have to prove you’re doing more than a rocking space opera. Just go ahead and do the best rocking space opera you can, as smart as you can, as well as you can.

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Don’t abuse the audience goodwill. Remember, you sell the audience on your story based on certain expectations. Break that unspoken contract and you’re in trouble. No one bought a ticket for Spider-Man 3 thinking they were going to get a romance with musical comedy interludes, yet that’s what it felt like we got.

If you’re doing a new version of a beloved old property, that means you need to figure out what it was people liked and make damn sure it’s in there. That doesn’t mean you have to do it the same way every time, you just have to do it. James Bond movies have been retooled a number of times, but we never lose the license to kill, the exquisite stunt work, the Bond theme music, or the cool cars and hot girls. There’s about a million miles of difference between Moonraker and Casino Royale, but they’re both recognizably Bond movies and they were both successful, because they met the baseline audience expectation of what a James Bond movie would give them.

And finally….

Don’t listen to the fans too much. I know, that sounds like it’s abusing the goodwill I just told you not to, but it’s really not. The audience goodwill is based on your entertaining them, not on your obeying them. If you are taking your marching orders from the audience then you better at least have some kind of a plot twist or innovative spin to put on it. Otherwise it’s just the same old stuff, formulaic and tired. You win by surprising the audience, and you can’t do that if you’re letting them order off a menu.

The new Star Trek movie followed all those rules to near-perfection as far as I’m concerned. There were nods to us Trekkies but it’s clearly a general-audience movie, it delivered on what it promised, it included the things I liked about Star Trek in the first place yet managed to keep surprising me (Spock and Uhura? Really? Never would have thought to go there… but I really like it.) And it was fun and it put the story first. As long as the movies keep doing those things, I’ll be there.

Considering all the lame superhero relaunches we’ve seen in comics over the last five or ten years, I hope publishers are paying attention to the example. Superhero comics are practically built on reboots and revamps, these days. It’d be nice if we got more of them done with the kind of verve we’ve seen in this new Trek. (Unlike, say, Flash: Rebirth; for all its over-the-top violence, that’s one of the most pedantic comic books I’ve ever seen.) I’d much rather have creators respect me than some continuity premise that was set up decades ago.

See you next week.



May 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

coin a phrase = “make a new phrase” not “repeat a cliché phrase”

You won’t believe me, but I was right in the middle of fixing that. Gone now.

Agreed on all counts. I was actually looking forward to your take on the film after reading last week’s column and seeing the movie myself last weekend.

I agree with most of what you said, but c’mon creating a black hole to collapse a supernova and then going back in time? That’s even more ridiculous than the stupid scene where Spock dumps Kirk on the ice planet just so he can round up Old Spock and Scotty! And don’t even start me on the stupid interstellar-beaming crap.

I’ve got it! STAR TREK Babies… “The original Generation” talk about early voyages..you get blue babies..babies with pointy ears…babies with tails..Baby KAHN! OMG it’ll be huge! Great Star Trek history lesson Greg, I’m looking forward to seeing this I have yet to hear a single negative. later!

The Imax digital thing is the biggest scam in the world.

I agree that we need to spread the word about it, because the movie theaters are definitely not trying to make an effort to inform you about what kind of experience you’re getting. I was conned once when I took my gf and my little brother to see Monsters vs. Aliens in IMAX 3D, and with you can only imagine how much that would cost these days. Honestly, be careful, IMAX digital = not Imax at all.

The whole post was solid gold but I especially loved the line “The audience goodwill is based on your entertaining them, not on your obeying them.”

Not only did you sum up in a nutshell why Star Trek was so very good, but also why Wolverine was just so very bad (IMO at least).

Very well said, sir. I always enjoy your columns.

Excellent overview!

Im more of a Star Wars guy ,but I loved the movie and agree with your sentiments. Just two gripes about the movie, Chekov is the Jar Jar Binks cringeworthy and Karl Urban seems to be doing a straight impression of Leonard McCoy, whereas Pine and Quinto do there own takes on the characters. (and both are kick ass to be honest)

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Is that all you’ve got to say …. ?


I wasn’t disgusted, but I was certainly disappointed. It sounds like you disagree, but what I always liked about “Star Trek” was that it was about ideas and ideals. This was a new Star Trek with no ideas and no ideals. (Not coincidentally, it was also the first Star Trek movie with product placement!)

Instead, we got another revenge fantasy. These days you can’t be a hero unless someone killed your dad or your mom. Did anybody watch the original series and think “Hey, wait a second, these guys can’t be our heroes, nobody killed their parents!”

That’s one of many reasons I liked “Batman Begins” so much. That movie made a point of saying “killing the guy that killed your parents has nothing to do with being a hero.”

It is so strange to me….

Does anyone care that Spock smiles during the first few episodes of TOS? No.
Does anyone care that Data uses contractions during the first few episodes of STNG. No.
Does anyone care that Klingon’s grew head ridges after TOS ended? No.
Does anyone care the Trill had eyeridges in TNG but leopard spots in DS9? No.

These are the things that creators can adapt and morph to keep their francises “fresh” or whatever. But you run the risk of alienating individuals, like me (who refused to watch Enterprise after revealing the Romulan Cloaking Device pre-Balance of Terror) but on the whole, it works.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new Star Trek. I can seperate it from the mythos created by all the TV series (I hope) and enjoy it on its own merits…something I couldn’t do with Enterprise.

To me, this Star Trek is akin to Julius Schwartz (basically) taking over the editorship of DC comics in the ’50s. Carter Hall is still Hawkman…Jim Kirk is still captain of the Enterprise….but beyond that…mega differences.

Do I have a point?? Hell, I don’t know. I’m writing from the gut, not creating a treastise. I’m just saying there is a role in any created universe as large as the Trek Universe or DC comics (from Julie to COIW) to retain the created continuity while allowing the stupid details to wither away…as well as doing complete reimagings.

Matt, I think the ideal was pretty clear. In stark contrast to the gloomy sci-fi of late, it presents main characters that have all undergone a close personal tragedy – Kirk’s father, Spock’s mother & planet, McCoy’s divorce – who nonetheless get themselves together and come back and win triumphantly. It’s one of the most optimistic films Trek has ever had. It just doesn’t spend any time having the characters talk to you about it, unlike TOS would’ve. Granted, it’s not exactly a cerebral film, but the writers have said pretty clearly that they’re saving the more philosophical stories for the later films after the origin has been established. I don’t think this film was a revenge fantasy at all.

And, incidentally, it’s not the first Trek film with product placement; that would go to the notably awkward dinner scene in The Voyage Home where Kirk orders a Michelob.

Uhura did turn up in the animated series. Filmation must have used that damn “Uhura cocks her head” sequence countless times.

Matt Bird wrote:

That’s one of many reasons I liked “Batman Begins” so much. That movie made a point of saying “killing the guy that killed your parents has nothing to do with being a hero.”

And yet they still ended the movie with Batman leaving the bad guy to die… One of the biggest problems I had with that movie.

I agree with almost all of your points here, but this: I don’t think they put the story first. The action was first, not the story. There were many moments in the movie where links and character depth could have been added, but they chose to keep the characters shallow. What challenge was there for Kirk? Why did he care so much about being captain? I didn’t see him struggle with personal issues, just with overlarge hands! (although I did think that sequence was funny) And even though both Spock and Kirk had lost parents by this time, there was no mention of this. Once Kirk lost his dad in the first fifteen minutes of film, he’s suddenly over it. We never see his mother again. He never really talks about his dad again. I guess we could assume that Captain Pike’s speech to him to be better than his father was what spurred him on, but then again, it could just be that Kirk likes a dare. And that’s what it felt like to me. Kirk didn’t care about his mother or his father. He just liked a dare. Be the captain of a starship. Save more people. Beat the stupid test that no one can beat. Challenge authority. That’s all he did. And that’s fine. If the movie hadn’t started with his father sacrificing his life and his mother giving birth to him while his father dies. If we hadn’t had that scene at the beginning, I’d say that Kirk’s character could feel justified to me. He’s just a guy who likes a dare. But as a film-goer, when I see that sacrifice in the first frame, I hope that it means something to the person for whom so much was sacrificed. But it didn’t. I never felt it did. Kirk just like cheating. That was the lesson I got out of the movie. And that’s why it left me so unsatisfied. They put the action first. Not the characters. Not the story. The action. And the jokes. Which, I guess is good. It fits with what you wrote about entertaining us. It certainly did. But I wouldn’t say, as you did, that this film put the story first. It started with sacrifice and ended with a validation of breaking all of the rules. And we never see Kirk’s mother again. Sucks for her.


May 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm

its okay, comics use the expression that way all the time. i shouldn’t have chided you, at this point its a comprise/compose situation

This was good write up, but I don’t think it is fair to criticize continuity in a genre that had little need of it until it started producing major franchises. Star Trek canon only extends to the shows proper, which all went far and away to incorporate the events of the previous Star Trek. TNG was heavy handed about it, DS9 and VOY used it for it hooks, and ENT made it the mandate to explain TOS which had no foresight.

I’d even bet that comic books were the first medium where continuity became fundamentally important.

The recent books, as I understand, are internally consistent, but all non-relaunch/New Frontier books are up fro grabs, as again, Star Trek continuity didn’t really exist until Roddenberry passed.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, it doesn’t look like the procedural reexamination and quantification that most long form franchises go through because of poor foresight.

Sorry I meant to say I thought Karl Urban was doing a straight impression of DeForest Kelly not Leonard Nimoy!

Now that would have been odd!

It’s worth noting that the two most beloved episodes of TOS, “The Trouble With Tribbles” and “The City on the Edge of Forever,” dispense with the philosophizing and the formula and just use the characters to tell stories.

Huh? “The Trouble With Tribbles” and “The City on the Edge of Forever” are PERFECT of examples of how the old show, at it’s best, was able to discuss both ideas and ideals in an entertaining fashion. Both shows are about how the violent, feel good, retributive solution is the wrong solution and the smart, diplomatic, difficult solution is the right one.

In the new movie, there was no indication that Starfleet was anything other than a military organization. If they had just called it “the Navy” they wouldn’t have had to change a thing.

(And I’d totally forgotten about “Michelob”. That was bad. But not as bad as having Nokia in the far future!)

What? “Tribbles” was a comic farce, and “City” was about Kirk being torn between his love for a woman and his duty to humanity.

There’s the other simple rule:

Take an already established story and crib the essences from it. Make sure to hide your tracks.

Abrams’ film took what is considered one of the best canon Trek stories, dusted it off and gave it a fresh coat of paint. The concept of Spock traveling back in time to assist his younger self was pioneered in D.C. Fontana’s _Yesteryear_ from the Animated Series. I don’t have a problem with that since the film doesn’t blatantly steal from the story. They do pay homage to _Yesteryear_ in the scene where young Spock mistakes his older self with his back turned as his father. (Old Spock in the TAS episode posed as a relative). If you look at it in the context that Spock has now done this sort of interference with his personal timeline *twice* (not to mention dying at least once) it really reinforces the messianic overtones of Spock as a character.

There’s one nice treat for old fans of Trek in the reboot that I haven’t heard too much rumblings about, namely what the film says (and doesn’t say) about the nature of alternate realities in regards to Trek. The film goes to some lengths to ‘reshuffle the deck’ yet in the end most of the prominent characters end up where and when they need to be (serving on the Enterprise). Spock even muses about this in a throwaway line about how events keep conspiring to bring them together — acknowledging how convenient it was that both Kirk and Spock were put on the same ice planet and that Kirk actually found the cave Spock was in. When Star Trek has lowered the curtain to show us alternate realities it always seemed too contrived, especially the Mirror Universe stories where I’m astonished that some of those characters are even alive, much less in the exact same place and time as their other-reality counterparts.

It helps the Trek multiverse as a cohesive whole to acknowledge this sort of thing, IMO.

I don’t think it is fair to criticize continuity in a genre that had little need of it until it started producing major franchises. Star Trek canon only extends to the shows proper, which all went far and away to incorporate the events of the previous Star Trek. TNG was heavy handed about it, DS9 and VOY used it for it hooks, and ENT made it the mandate to explain TOS which had no foresight.

I think it’s completely fair. You’re kind of shooting your own argument down for me when you say that one show was ‘heavy-handed’ and another show took it as its ‘mandate.’ That’s what I’m criticizing. Continuity should never be a ‘mandate.’ It’s a bonus, it’s a little extra bit of fun for the faithful that are with you from the beginning. It’s not something you drag around behind you like a ball and chain. The original series did just fine without it, and it was a lucrative “major franchise” from 1966 to 1986…. and according not just to me but also to you it dragged down the later stuff. I think you probably mean just the execution, but, you know, tomato, to-mah-to. I thought it was nice of the filmmakers to give us the time-travel/alternate-universe fig leaf that let us have Leonard Nimoy’s Spock as a walk-on in the new movie, but the reboot would have worked fine without it.

More to the point, any time you approach your relaunch from the view of, “We must not alienate our fanbase, we must actively court them,” I think you’re setting yourself up to be timid, repetitious, and dull. Exhibit A: Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Exhibit B: the first two seasons of TNG. Exhibit C: Enterprise. And so on. Acknowledge the fans, sure, but pander to them? No. That course always ends up being taken at the expense of finding a larger general audience.

its okay, comics use the expression that way all the time. i shouldn’t have chided you, at this point its a comprise/compose situation

It made me laugh, that’s all. I try to proofread this thing every week, I go over it five or six times before it posts, and yet without fail I always end up doing one last tweak in the first twenty minutes it’s up. (That’s not bragging so much as it is an admission of OCD.) Anyway, I just found it amusing that you caught one of the things I was in the middle of tweaking.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I don’t think I will right now. I like Trek, but I’m not a big fan; besides, from what I’ve heard, this Trek is mostly action with little plot, and thus better suited for DVD rental in my eyes.

Still, I’d like to comment on Greg’s points. First of all, the one thing that Trek IS about is the Science. OK, so they are hardly the best at it, but certainly its the series that the public, even non-trekkies, expects to see use scientific concepts (unlike, say, Star Wars, where everything is a sop for fantasy elements.) That’s why it always bothers me when I see them mess up- things like singularities can be forgiven, because it’s still unproven science, but supernovas? I read about them in high school, I know they can’t threaten a whole galaxy. If *I* know that, shouldn’t more people do as well?

But granted, that’s just the Mcguffin to get the story going. It can always be handwaved away (“it was a unique supernova, one that warped space itself, blah blah”). On the other, the REALLY big plot hole is one that requires no science knowledge, just common sense: The Romulans want vengance because their world was destroyed… yet they were now DECADES in the past, with enough time to PREVENT the disaster, or at least evacuate in time! But nooo, let’s just go destroy the Federation instead! Yeah, that makes sense!

So yeah, the movie DOES have big plot holes and not just ones that only Trekkies would notice. But, if as you say (and I actually agree) this movie was all about reinventing Trek as younger and cooler, then it doesn’t matter. It makes it far less than it could’ve been, certainly not true “Trek”, but hey, if people like it, it’s Ok. I hope the next New Trek movie or spinoff will be better than just that, but I’m not losing any sleep if it isn’t.

Very well written, very well argued.

Matches my own instinct — developed free of reviews — upon exiting the theatre: The fans will love this, and the non-fans will love this.


All I want to know is how you got that picture of Starbuck with Captain Kirk!

Was that one of those weird Time-Travel CGI spliced episodes?

As someone whose entire exposure to Star Trek was through the original series and films and catching a few reruns of the newer ones, the folks behind the new movie really seemed to go above and beyond to keep diehard fanatics satisfied that the changes “worked” with what they’d seen before. On top of that, it was a kickass action movie that nonfans could enjoy.

As a comics fan, I’ve never really understood the storied Star Trek fan obsession with continuity, or even the obsession some comics fans have with it. What matters is telling good, exciting stories with the properties you have. You would never have Morrison’s Animal Man or Moore’s Swamp Thing or even Bendis’s Luke Cage if editors and writers paid attention to the most anal-retentive fans. I’m glad Star Trek isn’t allowing those folks to rule the roost anymore.

All I want to know is how you got that picture of Starbuck with Captain Kirk!

Damn. Now I feel OLD.

That’s the young Sally Kellerman, playing Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Though i suppose there’s a resemblance, I never noticed it before.

Okay, now I REALLY have to see this movie.

I saw Trek Saturday morning, because BATTLE FOR TERRA had already left my theatre and the only place that is showing it is showing it in 3-D which I really don’t care for.

It’s a brainless romp, and if you know this and accept that going in, you can enjoy the performances by Karl Urban as McCoy (excellent!), Simon Pegg as Scotty (who wasn’t bad but didn’t have much to do) and Zach Quinto (who pulled off a decent Spock). Zoe Saldana… Well, I guess they TRIED to give her character more depth, but the whole Spock / Uhura secret romance bit just didn’t pass muster for me. John Cho was fine as Sulu. But the guy they cast as Chekov…. at least get a guy who vaguely resembles Walter Koenig! Oh wait, no, this is the alternate universe where Miles O’ Brien is Russian! (Or am I the only one who noticed the resemblance of the actor to Colm Meaney?)

I was not terribly impressed with Chris Pine as Kirk, but then that was no James Tiberius Kirk, but his cousin, James Dean Kirk – both in script and in performance – and so I hold Abrahms and the writers more responsible for that than Pine alone.

As far as the story goes, I am not one of those people who can turn their brains off while watching a movie / tv show, and so for me, the movie was incredibly bad in terms of scripting. That being said, I see no point in posting about all the flaws – plenty of others have already shredded it quite nicely, thank you – and so I’ll just say hopefully they’ll get some new writers who actually pay attention to *all* of their characters, and actually care about the plausibility of the science when it is part and parcel of the plot, for the presumed sequel.

“It’s one thing if you want to pick on the movie itself — there are certainly visible seams in the plot, though really I think that if you’re going to complain about the scientific validity or the military verisimilitude of Star Trek, you are simply in the wrong theater to start with”

Possibly. However, the laundry list of complaints I have about the film’s various stupidities is not much reduced when those related to science and the military are excised from the list.

Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed the film. At the same time, it was astonishingly stupid. Kirk catching himself on the edge of a cliff no fewer than three times during the film pretty much says it all.

I grew up on old Trek and I’ve now seen the movie twice. Liked it both times, although it niggles slightly that the time paradox arguably wipes the last 43 years of Trek, I can see why they did it, and get behind it, and yes while the Spock/Uhura Romance was a surprise, and begs the question of was Tuvok the lovechild of Spock and Uhura? :)

I really loved this new Star Trek movie, it has already shot to the top of the list of top of the 11 movies for me, which i watched before the opening of the movie, so I’m not as emotionally attached to Wrath fo Khan as I should be. Though First Contact and Undiscovered Country were my previous favourites anyway,

I think a lot of the nitpicking with the new movie, is not dissimilar to musicians who made independent music to suddenly sign with a larger label and gaining mainstream appeal in the process. Sort of like a we were there first, and if those type of people want to be associated with my band, then I don’t want to be associated with them anymore kind of mentality.

Sometimes it’s warranted.

In this case, it’s really not.

So even if this movie wasn’t as cerebral as it could of been, they can do it in the sequel.
What’s more important was that they have done something nobody since Star Wars has delivered, which was to make their vision of Space, so epic in scope and in the process make it rich and fun where usually sci fi’s are bogged down by their own pacing, lack of funds to create a coherent universe of artistic vision, they turn out to be a huge disappointment.

The Special Effects in this were actually special, they didn’t overpower the whole movie, but they did a damn good job of making the world believable. This came down to the use of a lot of physically made sets, and the way the techniques they used in lighting to make it look like they filmed it for real. Compare Speed Racer, and the new Star Wars episodes, and the matrix trilogy, and you know what I mean.

All the characters were spot on. Everybody got their moment, and they didn’t even have to wait until the next movie three to four movies later on for Sulu to actually do something.

I don’t care that Nero wasn’t a great villain, Batman begins wasn’t great because Ra’s al Ghul or the Scarecrow were formidable villains. It was great because the took the time to build Bruce Wayne and Batmans character up.

Villains are supposed to be there to test new facets of character we haven’t seen before in our heroes, not to steal the show.

If your movie puts Leonard Nimoy to tears by the end of the movie, ACTUAL SPOCK from star trek who directed some really great movies, you know it’s a bloody amazing film.

I liked the movie overall. As a summer adventure flick, it’s fine.

But there were jarring moments that took me out of the movie.

Spock / Uhura making out on the trasnporter pad. Wrong. MAking out in an alcove before Spock steps into the transporter room, and the others wondering what’s keeping him- that would be better, and truer to the character of a vulcan.

The 20th century industrial look to the engineering section- it looked like a brewery. Could that be because it was filmed in one?!? Based on the other sections of the ship we saw, these scenes just looked worng- jarringly wrong.

Transwarp beaming? Why have ships at all?

Oh, because it doesn’t work well. The coolant tube scene which was to show the danger involved was a bit over the top. When the turbine was shown, in my head I heard Sigourney Weaver asking what these choppy things are doing in the ship, and after getting an answer saying “Well that episode was badly written!” So was the turbine scene.

And was it me, or did the Kelvin look more TNG vintage when the exterior is seen? Even the uniforms looked more TNG vintage.

I took a friend with me who hadn’t seen anything trek since Voyage Home. She enjoyed it. When she asked what I thought, my response was, “I don’t know”. And truthfully, I have mixed feelings. I’ll have to see how a second film feels.

One of the problems for some fans, is that a two hour movie can’t be paced like a TV show. The TV show can take multiple episodes to build character, and some episodes can be more thoughtful than others. Movie goers want faster pace, and bigger antagonists.

The Motion Picture might have made a good TV episode, even a two parter, but is a boring movie. Wrath of Kahn raises the stakes, gives more action and bigger chalanges, making it a better movie. Nemesis tried to copy WoK beat for beat, and felt tired and predictable, because it was. We knew where it was going.

The good news with the new Star Trek is that we don’t know what will happen next.

Rohan Williams

May 17, 2009 at 1:44 am

“On the other, the REALLY big plot hole is one that requires no science knowledge, just common sense: The Romulans want vengance because their world was destroyed… yet they were now DECADES in the past, with enough time to PREVENT the disaster, or at least evacuate in time! But nooo, let’s just go destroy the Federation instead! Yeah, that makes sense!”

This is one of the ‘plot holes’ people keep bringing up that was explained in the movie. Nero would rather suffer the agony of losing Romulus ‘a thousand times’ than work with the Federation to prevent its destruction. Nero wants to destroy the Federation before he does anything about saving his planet because he’s, you know, the villain. It’s not so much a plot hole as a plot device, IMO.

It was mediocre mindless popcorn Summer blockbuster fare, but it was not Star Trek. It had no depth, no underlying social message, the action sequences were too much tilted camera modern day MTV inspired shallow crap, the actors were pretty much forgetable with McCoy being the only real standout, the opening sequences with young Kirk were pointless, horribly conceived, awfully exectued, and should have been cut, the villain was so one dimensional, and on and on and on….the plot holes alone sunk it for me. The writing was pure mindless cheese. Also, don’t get me started on the stupid jokey sublot about getting Kirk onto the Enterpires or the idiotic way he takes command of the ship.

Yeah, I won’t be seeing any of the others in this series. I expect Star Trek to be half-way intelligent and this wasn’t.

I agree with your points Greg, but I think you too easily dismiss how the movie reboot was itself a capitulation to fans on the same lines as all the others. They could have done a ‘soft’ reboot of just doing it from the start like James Bond did with Casino Royale but they deliberately connected it to the universe of the original show by putting it in alternate timeline. I don’t think that was just to give Leonard Nimoy a cameo– which could have been done by any other means. I think it was done for the sake of one of the loudest and most vocal fanbases in the world who would have otherwise said ‘but this isn’t in continuity with Miri’ even though as you say continuity is illusory.

For the record, I loved the movie and loved the rebooting because it puts it in the same, but divergent, universe as the TV series, which I find quite exciting because it can do Star Trek with the classic line-up but it can be different but as a fan I know the Trek I loved watching still ‘happened’ in a different timeline.

It had no depth, no underlying social message

Because the social messages of the Star Trek movies have previously been so deep and so compelling… save the whales, end the Soviet Union, genocide is bad…

the idiotic way he takes command of the ship

I disagree here as well. A friend of mine pointed this out to me and I’ll quote from him:

What I really like about the new movie is that Kirk has all that rebellious outsider society failed him broken home stuff … but the solution is that by him becoming *part* of that society, both he *and* society gain something. The Federation is so perfect a utopia that sort of the whole point of it is that everyone *can* be an individual, that it doesn’t ask you to conform, it simply asks you to reach your potential – and that puts the onus back on you, leaves you with no excuses, and in the end, Kirk is … well, the transformed man. He becomes everything he can be. It’s that wonderful sort of Kennedy-era American Dream version of the
communist utopia that’s right out of Roddenberry.

And the ‘unconvincing’ way he becomes Captain? No … that’s the point. A *contemporary* organisation wouldn’t allow it. But it’s the right thing to do, so it happens in the Federation.

Pike’s faith in Kirk is one of the great ways that we see this takes place in the better future. Plus it’s a ship full of cadets– Pike can make anyone he wants First Officer.

My favourite internet quotation of late, popularized by shortpacked! is “Star Trek is this generation’s Star Wars.”

So very, very fitting. :)

Y’know, I hate where they’re going with it. I hate taking a series based around moving towards the future and taking it back to the past (AGAIN!) but I was legitimately hoping to enjoy the movie on its own merits. And I didn’t, really.

I was hoping for some crazy sci-fi with weird pseudoscience and unique solutions to complex problems.

Instead I got a stupid action movie. A fun one, but a fairly stupid popcorn flick nontheless. And that’s like ordering Root Beer and getting Coke. Sure, both are good, but if you wanted Coke you would have ordered it in the first place. I wanted my Root Beer dammit!

The first half especially made me groan with all the action movie stereotypes in it.

– Villain establishes self as a badass by not talking much and killing people for no real reason
– Main character’s father sacrifices self to save son and others
– Son grows up in the shadow of father, turning into a renegade who steals cars and picks fights for fun
– That fucking teen bar, complete with clubbish lighting.
– Despite his mountains of bullshit, son gets accepted into military institution he shouldn’t really be able to get into
– Despite having had no interest prior to this, son nontheless is already better suited than people who have been training for their entire lives.
– Son ends up having to face threat which killed his father

It was so action movie cliche that it just bored me for half of it. From Nimoy Spock on it was alright, but I never got that Star Trek vibe off it, no matter how much I wanted to. I loved the cast, the action was fun, and there *were* a lot of nods to the original series (Kirk’s attraction to women of various colours being my favourite) but it felt more like an action movie homage to Star Trek rather than Star Trek proper. And it spawned a new direction I have no real interest in seeing.

The one thing I LOVED about it was the decision to blow up Vulcan. If you’re going to go all alternate timeline, don’t be afraid to mess around with things that were conventions in the original.

Julie Hatcher

May 17, 2009 at 9:17 am

Darn it people they did have character development. They were just asking us to think more instead of spelling it all out. We brought 2 people to Star Trek that are not of the herd and they loved the movie. Also might I remind some of you that if they would have tried to cast people that looked exactly like the old characters, William Shatner was wearing hair pieces. For those of you who are nit-picking I dare you to make your own Star Trek movie or any other movie and see if you can do better. I promise I will watch your movie and not nit-pick it to death! – Live long and prosper-

Oddly enough, people ARE making their own Star Trek movies. They even persuade the original creators to participate sometimes…


David Gerrold’s “Blood and Fire” is up there now, among others.

” Nero would rather suffer the agony of losing Romulus ‘a thousand times’ than work with the Federation to prevent its destruction. Nero wants to destroy the Federation before he does anything about saving his planet because he’s, you know, the villain. It’s not so much a plot hole as a plot device, IMO.”

That’s really, really weak, intentional or not.

@Graeme Burke’s friend:

“…and in the end, Kirk is … well, the transformed man…”

Well played, sir. I had root beer–or was it Coke?–coming out of my nose.

Well, Romulans have always been bigger on emotion than logic. Basically, they’re Vulcans who have embraced their emotions rather than attempted to purge them.

Which, now that I think about it, means there’s an entire planet full of people who are essentially the same species as the Vulcans, just with a completely different culture.

I had read about the fake Imax before recently, so I knew about it. Sorry you got took.

‘Why, Grandma, what a long column you have.’

And a fine column it was. Thanks, Greg.

Marc said:

“Once Kirk lost his dad in the first fifteen minutes of film, he’s suddenly over it.”

He never knew his father, so there was nothing to get over. It is true that he was a troubled youth, but it wasn’t over his father. Maybe his step-father, or maybe just because of leftover teenaged angst.


May 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I’ve not much interest in seeing it – popcorn flicks are less and less my thing, and I never really clicked with Trek, but I am amused by the ads in Australia – they are doing the whole interviews with people coming out of the theater.
Nothing screams that a marketing campaign isn’t doing well, than doing that – I mean the movie seems to be selling, but it does scream that the distributor is scared shitless that they won’t be able to get past the perceived (or actual) nerdiness of the Trek brand… which raises the question ‘Why if you have to try this hard/spend this much to get past the Trek brand, would you make a new film using that brand?’

For those of you who are nit-picking I dare you to make your own Star Trek movie or any other movie and see if you can do better.

Julie is really Tom Beland?

You raise the budget, I’ll make the movie!

Julie is really Tom Beland?

You raise the budget, I’ll make the movie!

I told her she probably should say ‘write’ and not ‘make’ and got such a look that I shut up. She gets testy with me when I pick on her diction.

Mike Loughlin

May 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Kirk was drifting through life, wasting his time, talent, and energy in Iowa. He knew it. Pike knew it. The Federation gave him challenges (e.g. the Kobayashi Maru; he *had* to beat it) and purpose, even if the challenge was getting around authority. The other crew members were individuals, who came up with solutions that went against conventional wisdom. Even Spock, the most “by-the-book” crew member, embraced his instincts and emotions (when he went with Starfleet over the Science Academy, when he rescued the Vulcan Counsel in the face of planetary destruction, when he returned to Starfleet in the end). I don’t think the new Trek had a deep message, but I wouldn’t call it brainless. It’s a movie that works on an emotional level more than an intellectual level. I had a great time seeing it.


May 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I just don’t like the response, normally from a die-hard fan or a wounded creator, ‘yeah, well I’d like to see you do better’, which isn’t really the point – your allowed to have an opinion on the end product without having done it yourself, or else none of us could have opinions on a lot of things.
Especially as, doing something doesn’t always give more illumination on the end product – having made a couple of short films (both as part of studying film and for fun), it never changed my mind about films I’d seen, or films I did see – I still like what I like, and dislike what I dislike, and quite frankly, how the film was made never really comes into it.
(Though of course, I do understand the frustration that can lead to the comment… Certain legion fans on the CBR DC forum, I’m shaking my fist at you!)

That said, I’ll happily make a Star Trek film if she raises the cash, despite my apathy to the series.

Mike Loughlin

May 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Oh, and to the person who wrote about Trek having more of a scientific basis than Star Wars and the like:

Space Lincoln. “Spock’s Brain.” Nazi planet. Rome planet. Gangster planet. That time they had to fight at the OK Corral. Every episode where a being has god-like powers and acts like a child.

I’m Sorry but the film wasn’t a bad Star Trek movie.. It was just a bad movie Period. I am tired of writing in movies getting lazier and lazier. Noone tries to have things happen for a reason anymore. They just happen. Star Trek (which i went in excited for and hoping to love) had things just happen by random chance.
From the very first scene where Nero gets thrown back in time and just happens to run into his sworn enemy’s best friend being born, to the fact that even though Kirks life should have been COMPLETELY different from that moment on yet he just happens to be in the same place to meet the same people. Then you have the complete idiocy of Spock throwing Kirk to a deserted planet instead of a brig for the sole purpose of having him chance upon older Spock (also on the planet because Nero had the same lapse of commen sence) who then chances upon Scotty. Wow all of known space, not to mention that ice planet is really tiny. Then there is the other story points that make no sence if you think to question it. Why did Nero and the rest of his crew just do nothing for 25 years? If they were so upset about Romulus blowing up.. why not do something to prevent it? They were in the past!!! Instead they just wait patiently? If it only takes a drop of red matter to open a black hole.. why did Spock have a GIANT MASS of it? Seems like pretty dangerous stuff for someone to say.. “hey.. you only need an once.. so.. take about 80 gallons of it. Just in case”

The sad thing about movies like this is that they could be so easily fixed if they wanted to be. Spock could escaped Nero with a distress beacon that he could have sent to seek out Kirk. Kirk could have been so intrigued by it that he stole a ship from Spock (who didn’t want to waste time with a beacon that sought out Kirk) and when then together Older Spock and kirk could have found Scotty with Kirks stolen ship based on Spocks knowledge of where Scotty would have been. It’s almost that audiences dont mind being talked down to so much that writers don’t even care anymore

On the whole, I thought the movie is great.

The red matter thing, particularly towards the end, is baffling. If one drop can stop an expanding supernova or suck a planet within, then it is safe to assume the 80 gallon ball of red matter can consume the whole galaxy (probably) =P

It was pointed out by my Dad, who was watching it too. Hell, the physics and the chemistry must be mind-boggling already =) eek!

What really amuses me is that as much as people here protest that they’re not THOSE sort of fans, there’s so much reverence for the original series.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the original series enough to be a huge fan of Trek back in my youth. But look at it honestly: perhaps a quarter of the episodes were truly good enough to be remembered with reverence. The rest were a melange of poorly written, standard sixties television episodes.

Nearly all of the continuity attributed to the original series was a result of the fans putting that continuity in over the decade after the series. The writers of the series were writing episodic television for the late sixties: give them the names of the characters, basic character sketches and turn them loose. Did the fact they used Klingon ships for Romulans in an episode mean there was a secret Klingon/Romulan alliance? No…it meant they either couldn’t find or couldn’t remember the ships and plugged random space ships in…because 99% of the audience at that time couldn’t care.

I love how important that Star Trek’s ‘accurate’ science is raved about here as well. For the most part, the ‘science’ consisted of a brief skim of a Nature article and then plugging it into the script. It’s even documented that when they needed ‘Science’ in the next generation, they’d just leave the script empty with a note for the tech people to find technical babble to fill in.

Again, I love the original series, but the worship that the hard core fans and even light fans give the series is highly unwarranted.

-“Oh, and to the person who wrote about Trek having more of a scientific basis than Star Wars and the like:

Space Lincoln. “Spock’s Brain.” Nazi planet. Rome planet. Gangster planet. That time they had to fight at the OK Corral. Every episode where a being has god-like powers and acts like a child.”

That was me who said that, Mr. Loughlin. Thank you for bothering to look up my name before addressing me directly. Oh, wait….

Anyway, if you’d read my post *well* you would have seen I said that Trek is “the Science Series TO THE AVERAGE PERSON, not that they got it always correctly or that it wasn’t unbelievably cheesy at times (though I hear the writers often had conflict with the producers, who wanted to make it ‘simpler and sexier’ for the audience.) There’s much better Science Fiction stuff out there, but Trek is better known in the popular mind. Simply put, people EXPECT Trek to have something ‘scientific’ in it, even it’s just technobabble (which is probably the reason they inserted the time travel plot in the movie, which otherwise makes NO sense.)

Drak: You just summed up my fears about the film- not that it ‘betrays’ Star Trek, or even that it’s poor science- but that it’s simply poorly written. I’m definitely saving it for DVD nights.

So Jim Kirk gets command of the Enterprise 10 years early.


The time line changes when Nero destroys the Kelvin.

So, based on the old time line, Jim Kirk had a brother. I seem to recall it was an older brother, so that means that we are actually seeing the adventures of SAM Kirk…..

And the Romulans using Klingon ships was explained in the episode….

I’m embarassed that I know all this.

As for theatre selection…mine was fairly simple. For some reason, the brand new art house theatre with the bar attached was showing the movie. So I was able to watch it with a nice drink at hand in a half full theatre of folks that like watching movies.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a movie audience snob. Not a movie snob, I can just enjoy a movie more with an audience that is there to watch a movie.

I’m embarassed that I know all this.

Yeah, I know the feeling. This was one of those columns where I didn’t have to look ANYTHING up, not even David Gautreaux… even though his original character’s been completely cut out of the series. I comfort myself with the fact that I’ve never actually dressed up as a Klingon.

Speaking of…coming out of the theater Julie and I saw a familiar face — it took me a minute to realize it was the guy that fixes our copiers. He was in full Starfleet regalia. We smiled and said hi and shook hands but it was ridiculously awkward. I felt like I’d inadvertently outed someone. You don’t expect your workplace to collide with your leisure activity quite like that.

It was a bad movie Greg.

Not for any “Trek reasons”

It was just bad. It had paper thin characters that relied on you going in ahead of time liking them.
(Why would anyone cheer Kirk or Spock. Both were assholes who showed no redeeming qualities other than to have OTHER people say “They have redeeming qualities”).

Why are we reliant on the previous films, when we’re told not to be, and further were told if we were fans, to stay home?

It had a non-nonsensical plot that existed only to justify rebooting the franchise (in Batman Begins, Joker didn’t travel back in time and kill Batman’s Mom. In Casino Royale, Blofeld didn’t travel back in time to kill Bond’s mother..they just said “We’re starting over!”). Things happened because the movie needed them to happen (The essentialy college drop out who sneaked on board the ship is made 2nd in command because….the captain wrote a book report about his father?)

You dismiss this saying if you expect proper military procedure, stay home. I expect good writing. To wit: something they should have learned from Indiana Jones last year…if you have a scene in your “serious” movie that your knockoff/parody did…don’t do it. I’m looking at you Chekov rushing to the transporter control scene and Scotty with the big chopper thingees, both straight out of Galaxy Quest.

Compare, as the commercials do, to Iron Man last year, another 40 year old property that was given a reboot. It went in with the assumption you knew nothing of the characters (which to be fair, was more true of it than Trek) but it also spent time to make you give a damn about them..showing that despite is bluster, Tony is likable, showing you why Pepper is loyal, why Rhoady is is his friend. You didn’t have old Iron Man coming back in time and telling Tony to be nice to people.

On its own, the movie was very entertaining. As a Star Trek installment in the franchise it was OK tho the similarities to the Wrath of Khan and Nemesis (itself a derivative of Khan) immediately put me off. I chalk that up to poor writing much like how great swaths of Nero’s story left him a cookie cutter villain as well as the “let’s sex up the story” pairing of Spock/Uhura – great ideas but not delving into them for any depth made them shallow plot devices instead of a character-developments that could have invested the audience.

The poster who mentioned the lack of ideals was spot on for me and that is why this movie was just a great space movie and not a Star Trek movie much like Quantum of Solice was a great action movie but not a James Bond movie. There was no philosophy to this Star Trek as there has been throughout Trek history. Even TOS had some aspects of this even if it was minimal. In this movie it was barely more than window dressing. Hopefully this was left out of just this movie and is not a full-scale redirect of how Star Trek will be going forward. There’s nothing wrong with Gene’s idealistic future and it can be a great story enhancement if, ya know, it’s actually included in the story.

As for (dis)respecting what’s come before…to be honest, I didn’t care what direction the movie went in so long as it was not a meaningless reboot for the sake of angst-ing up the story. The movie gave me a reason I could accept as to why things were going to be different so I’m OK with how things go from here (though the building of the Enterprise on Earth still makes me roll my eyes). It doesn’t invalide the movies and future history I’ve come to enjoy and allows me the chance to see new takes on what I’ve come to know.

First, I don’t understand why so many people profess that they don’t care abou the continuity, etc. but don’t mention the awful,awful, vey bad Chekov who only sounded like that because it would remind people of Koenig. It was also frustrating that they threw in so many obvious callbacks that were superficial fan service. Then there was the weird habit of treating the characters as people that the audience would basically know but explaining parts of the plot that really weren’t hard to follow.

The film was enjoyable enough, but it wasn’t great and it felt like it was trying to hit too many targets.

Also, the Enterprise from I could tell had like hundreds of people – but the boarding party is just Spock and Kirk?


May 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm

because 99% of the audience at that time couldn’t care.

Actually I’m pretty certain we got continuity when it turned out that the audience did care – it was the people making television who didn’t care, and that sort of stand alone episode with no reference to the past show has disappeared over the years.

Hmmm, I coming into this discussion a little late, given that I spent an extended sunny weekend computer-free, but I feel compelled to chime in. Haven’t seen the movie yet, and didn’t know much about it except that it was about the original Trek crew (which was enough to make me uneasy, given that four-season miscarriage that was “Star Trek: Enterprise.” What’s with this recent obsession with delving into the “history” of Star Trek?), so I did not know until reading this thread that it was a re-boot? I just have to say that it’s really unclear to me why such a sound and readily-adaptable story-telling engine (thanks Mr. Seavey!) like the Star Trek franchise even needs a re-boot. Am I missing something here?

you wrote:

“But the bottom line is, every one of these projects — even Enterprise, a sort of retro-reboot that was a first try at doing the same kind of back-to-basics thing that we saw in last week’s new movie — was a success.”

by what measure are you determining Enterprise to have been a success? the fact that it lasted only four seasons while the previous three series had lasted for seven? the record-breaking nielsen ratings it acquired? the superb writing? its almost universal rejection by long suffering star trek fans?

i know you are attempting to make a point about remakes, i mean, reboots within the star trek franchise and i agree with most of what you write, but claiming Enterprise was a success would be so eccentric and liberal a use of the word so as to deprive it of all meaning.

I really want to see a “Crisis on Infinite Enterprises” sort of thing where Pike has to come to terms that if Vulcan hadn’t been destroyed he would be a quadraplegic.

by what measure are you determining Enterprise to have been a success?

It made money for the studio and continues to do so… the DVD sets sell, the licensed books are still in print, it reruns on cable.

“Not as successful as other versions” is not the same as “failure,” no matter how much you may happen to hate that particular show.

@Greg Hatcher:

you wrote:

“‘Not as successful as other versions’ is not the same as “failure,” no matter how much you may happen to hate that particular show.”

you are correct that the phrase “not successful as other versions” does not have the same meaning as “failure”; however, my comparison of the number of seasons Enterprise managed to limp through with the number of seasons spanned by each of the previous three series was not intended as a statement of relative success. given that even Voyager managed to complete seven seasons, it would seem, prima facie, that paramount was willing to invest a significant amount of time and money into even the most mediocre series in the star trek franchise. the only success Enterprise may be said to have is that it defied these expectations.

making money for the studio is something several series that have subsequently been considered “failures” have done. citing that a series is rerun on cable seems irrelevant as well.

dvd sales are only worth mentioning if they are in some sense exceptional and i am unaware of any such information regarding Enterprise discs. i am sure Cop Rock dvds are bought as well (or will be once they become available).

i do regret that my hatred of a show does not automatically render a show unsuccessful, and thank you for clarifying that for me. i was evidently under that false impression that my disgust with most of what is on television simply was not of sufficient strength or focus to cause the massive cancellations i dream of nightly. i shall now endeavor to concentrate my energy on nobler pursuits.

my initial point was simply this: the author could have made his point without having mentioned Enterprise, which, aside from a small number of partisans, is considered to be an unmitigated failure. it weakens the argument (with which i agree) and was intended to be evocative. it should have been omitted.

also, Enterprise sucks.

my initial point was simply this: the author could have made his point without having mentioned Enterprise, which, aside from a small number of partisans, is considered to be an unmitigated failure. it weakens the argument (with which i agree) and was intended to be evocative. it should have been omitted.

Um… I AM the author. So yeah, I suppose I could have made the point without it. However, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that if I had, there would have been a dozen pedants demanding to know why I didn’t at least MENTION Enterprise.

Apart from all that, I disagree with your assessment. Considered by WHO to be a failure? What authority? On a number of levels I think you have to grant that it’s not a failure. It’s not a HUGE success but failure is not the right word. The point the author was making — that author would be me, so I’m on pretty firm ground here — was that no matter how disparaging fans get about this or that iteration of Star Trek, every television version of it has made money in both its original run and in ancillary licensing, with the exception of the original series, which wasn’t really a success until it went into syndication.

So, sorry, but that success does indeed include Enterprise. First of all, no studio or television network does anything without an eye on the bottom line. There’s no reason whatsoever to ‘invest’ in anything if they don’t think they’re getting their money back. Enterprise runs on the Sci-Fi network at more or less the same frequency of rotation as Star Trek: the Next Generation. Airtime is limited and costs money, and even a little cable outlet doesn’t run stuff they think no one will watch. They’ve been running it long enough to cycle through all the episodes two or three times, so they must be getting decent ad revenue out of it.

Likewise, DVD sales generate revenue. Not only is the show on DVD but it’s out there in varying packages. It’s available as season sets, as part of the various theme collections, as a mega-set… that tells me it’s doing a little better than, say, F Troop. Likewise, no one continues to license out new Dark Angel or Babylon 5 novels… but Enterprise books are still out there. Those things may not matter to you or to me, really, but they matter to the owners of the licenses that are spending the money on them. They wouldn’t be continuing to bet on the property selling to consumers if there wasn’t precedent.

also, Enterprise sucks.

I see that this is pretty much the core of your disagreement, but it doesn’t change the facts. I like Enterprise better than the first season of TNG for the most part, but that’s not really relevant to the point I was making.

Actually, scenes with his older brother (and also, HARRY MUDD scenes!) got cut out of the script during filming.

Furthermore, there are a number of life events for Kirk that DID NOT OCCUR in this timeline, to mature him.

For example, he did NOT have to deal with NEARLY DYING at the hands of Kodos the Executioner (remember, he was one of a half-dozen people who could ID that mass murderer, in the original timeline, from having seen the man in the flesh as a teen on a COLONY WORLD that in the new timeline, he never lived on). There were also other ships he served on before Enterprise, in the original timeline. Heck, he didn’t even have the same FRIENDS in the Academy as he did before (no Gary Mitchell or Lee Kelso, or Carol Marcus, for that matter – in fact, the only way that ANY of his OTL academy acquaintences might have existed is if one of those security redshirts he embarassed was Finnegan!)

Odds are, he was nowhere NEAR the problem child in the original timeline he was in the movie, and probably was much more subtle in messing with the Kobayashi Maru test. In fact, going back to all the retcons this story mentioned, there was actually a novel (was it set in the camping trip we see as the entro for one of the last TOS-cast movies?) with each character discussing their taking of the test….

Interesting discussions and points made, I agree that you shouldn’t have to be a slave to continuity when you re-boot (I’m really getting sick of that term.) but there is no reason for the reboot here. As with all the novels, comics, tv series, etc. no one is that concerned with contiuity. Therefore, Abrams et. al. could have re-imagined ST without creating theis alternate timeline.

HOWEVER: Destroying Vulcan was a travetsy. The Vulcans have always been one of the most fascinating, noble, intellectaual and intriguing races in ST; this new universe will be much poorer without them. Just watch Amok Time, Journey to Babel, Yesteryear, or read SPock’s World or Vulcan’s Forge or Sarek to understand how Abrams severley limited any future opportunities. And why couldn’t they have destroyed soem random red-shirt type planet.

Lastly, there was no reason to kill Spock’s mom except for lazy writing. How could Kirk take over the Enterprise? Get Spock mad. How do you get him mad? Kill his mom. There were so many more complex machinations that could have happened with Pike and Spock.

And if Vulcan was under attack wouldn’t they send seasoned officers instead of a bunch of cadets into a major battle?


there was no reason to kill Spock’s mom except for lazy writing. How could Kirk take over the Enterprise? Get Spock mad. How do you get him mad? Kill his mom.

There were so many more complex machinations that could have happened with Pike and Spock

Like what? Any examples?

Any DC fan would probably laugh their asses off about this alternate timeline so far.


May 23, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Personally, I just find it funny that the new movie is probably more like the original series than Star Trek property that’s been produced in the last 25 years, and the people who seem to hate it most are the people who claim to be Star Trek fans. Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that, when you push the people who hate it the most, they are almost invariably the fans who only got into the franchise during or even post Next Generation – which itself was a radical departure from the mood, tone, and overall presentation of the original series.

I also find it funny that, as the franchise as a whole has been slowly limping towards its grave as mainstream audiences have long since ceased to care, and the only people still going to see the movies and new series seem to be the most diehard of old fans, when they finally manage to produce something that recaptures the excitement and energy of the original series, it’s the diehard fans who rail against it the hardest.

Which leads me to an interesting question – is it better for a beloved property to reboot, and at least try to recapture the spirit of the original, or to watch the franchise die an agonizing death to the point where no one in their right mind would ever propose making another movie/TV series based on it? What’s more important, rigid continuity, or more product?

[…] when you think about it. Not so much for Star Trek — I think we hashed that over pretty well last week – but just generally. Why do superhero comics keep doing this? Characters that originally […]

You have a very, very, VERY, loose definition of the term “reboot.” Changing a few uniforms and updating special effects does not equal reboot.

A reboot is when all prior films, movies and so forth are considered to have NEVER TAKEN PLACE. Ever. At all. A good example of this is Batman Begins. Even though there were four prior Batman movies, Begins takes place in a universe where Batman never fought the Joker, the Penguin, never met Robin or Batgirl, and where Mr. Freeze never made dozens of corny puns.

By contrast he TOS episode “The Menagerie” features the unaired pilot, Star Trek II is a sequel to the TOS episode “Space Seed.,” and even Deep Space Nine takes place in a TOS episode in “Trials and Tribble-ations.” These are not “reboots” of any kind because the prior established Star Trek episodes are assumed to still exist and to have taken place.

This new movie is a reboot because it is now assumed that none of the Star Trek shows and movies will ever take place. The writers of a new “rebooted” Star Trek franchise are free to remake and redo everything to do with Star Trek. They can write Khan into the next movie if they wish in much the same manner The Dark Knight introduces the Joker.

So, my advice is you learn to use the term “reboot” correctly before you base an entire blog on it.

As a long time Star Trek fan (I’m 40, grew up on TOS re-runs) I was pretty apprehensive when I first heard of the “reboot”. I must say I have many fond memories of the original cast, as well as TNG crew. Never grew as attached to DS9 or Voyager. Never watched Enterprise.

Finally went to go see the new movie yesterday. Surprisingly, I really liked it. Liked the effects, the pacing, and even the characters. I thought the story did a fair job at setting up the new direction. Overall it was very entertaining to me. Must say I’m anticipating JJ’s next move. To me it breathed new life into a dead franchise.

Here’s my observation regarding the whole new vs original debate: Seems to me the old Star Trek universe had gotten pretty stagnant and was pretty much dead in the water anyway.

Last tv show was canceled 3 years ago. Haven’t heard any plans about any new ones coming down the pipeline. Be great if Abrams could start one up, even though very unlikely.

It’s been six years since the last Star Trek movie. Just re-watched Insurrection and Nemesis and even though I’m a fan of TNG I didn’t think they were all that great. More like bigger tv episodes.

Where was the next Star Trek movie going to come from? DS9 and Voyager never spawned any movies. TNG is long gone. Enterprise didn’t even have enough success to complete a run on tv, so where?

Doesn’t seem like anyone was chomping at the bit to do it, so I guess I owe JJ some appreciation for daring to try something different.

Seems like you can give the new Star Trek a chance or just live off your old memories. Doesn’t look like there were ever going to be any more movies to continue the old time-line.

Regarding continuity and the like, I really liked this article. Goes to show that Star Trek has been cobbled together from a lot of different sources. Plenty of silly plots in TOS, even quite a few later on.

I guess to me it came down to this. It’s a movie. It’s make believe, science-FICTION. It’s not reality, none of it is. So to have some kind of dogmatic reaction to some new shift from established ‘canon’, to me is kinda silly. It’s about being entertained, whatever that means to each person watching the movie.

Some of the Star Trek novels allude to an “interest” between Spock and Uhura, so even that is not totally out of left-field.

anonymous: “The Vulcans have always been one of the most fascinating, noble, intellectaual and intriguing races in ST; this new universe will be much poorer without them. Just watch Amok Time, Journey to Babel, Yesteryear, or read SPock’s World or Vulcan’s Forge or Sarek to understand how Abrams severley limited any future opportunities. And why couldn’t they have destroyed soem random red-shirt type planet.”

Well, one: there’s still Vulcans, just a lot less. I recall someone saying something like around ten thousand. Not a lot in planetary terms, but not facing immediate extinction or inbreeding. And the whole Sarek rescue established that the culture has been preserved.

Two: Older Spock (heh, “Spock Prime” in the credits) said he’s already found a suitable planet to colonize, so any Vulcan-oriented stories could easily take place on Vulcan II or whatever they decide to call it.

And three: they destroyed Vulcan because nobody would have really given a crap about some “red-shirt type planet”.

“And if Vulcan was under attack wouldn’t they send seasoned officers instead of a bunch of cadets into a major battle?”

You know, they did say that all the seasoned ships were busy elsewhere, and that nobody knew it was going to be a major battle going into it – the whole discussion of “space lightning” and what that meant – wait a minute. Did you even actually watch the movie?

Funkygreenjerusalem: “your allowed to have an opinion on the end product without having done it yourself, or else none of us could have opinions on a lot of things.”

Some days I think I could live with that.

I’m surprised no one here has mentioned the Doctor Who relaunch which even more than the Star Trek film managed to hook new viewers — the kids — and keep most fans onside and ironically without some tricksy time travel add-on.

It simply continued the story. In that first season starting with ‘Rose’ the Doctor was the mysterious figure he’d always been hooking new viewers in with questions which suddenly made the title relevant again as it became a question; but then with the addition of news of the destruction of his home planet (not named properly for another two years) fans were drawn in with questions about what happened which still haven’t been completely answered.

Then, slowly, over the past couple of years, old continuity has been worked in, but with the greatest measure of care, and other then a few in-jokes, not unless it serves the story (though there’s a discussion to be had about that, especially in relation to Journey’s End). Effectively it worked up its own mythology which didn’t contradict what went before.

In Doctor Who, everything is potentially canon, the tv series, novels, audio plays, audio books, comic strips, none of it’s consistent and most of it can’t be reconciled (which isn’t to say some people haven’t tried and been quite successful at it — http://www.behindthesofa.org.uk/2008/01/in-many-cases-n.html).

And the brilliance of the new series is that by and large it didn’t piss all that up the wall. It’s all interlinked with concepts and even stories from the multimediaverse turning up on television, characters from the comics turning up on audio and in the novels and well you can see how that can be.

It somehow managed to reboot and not reboot, and still managed to produce something new.

God, I love it.

Also, I should add, I’m a shaky on your usage of the word ‘reboot’ too. Especially since, the new film isn’t a reboot either, the presence of old Spock demonstrates that the old continuity is still there, heading off into the future minus one Vulcan. . From old Spock’s perspective it’s simply a continuation of the journey, just in a new universe.

New Battlestar Galactica is a reboot.

The Movie to me was like this:

Lens Flair, Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Extreme close up
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Something blows up
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Extreme Close up
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Something blows up
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
The end

The Movie to me was like this:

Lens Flair, Lens Flair,
Lens Flair,
Lens Flair…

Your snarky joke would have a little more bite if you spelled it correctly.

[…] And finally one more Trek related piece as Greg Hatcher over at Comic Book Resources points out that the new movie is not the first revision of the Star Trek universe as the franchise has been re-inventing itself for years. […]

I’ve probably watched all of the Star Trek Movies, likely every episode of TNG, most of DS9 and a season or two of Voyager before I grew out of my nerdy phase—around the same time that I came to the realization that the whole Star Trek franchise was just being milked for whatever money might be worked out of it… and with a broad universe of branding possibilities and a certain die-hard fan set, I’m sure money was made. But good television? good movies? good Star Trek? Nope. Nada.

When I heard a new Star Trek movie was going to be made, I rolled my eyes, and thought, “what else can they beat out of that old tired thing before even the die-hard fans realize a joke these movies are….”

After hearing a bit more, and then all the twitter chatter when the movie opened I decided to see it at the theatre (I might watch one or two movies a year at the theatre, the rest get Netflix). And here’s the thing—aside from the common complaints (some plot things just too forced, generally shallow characters)—I really liked the movie! at the very least, it certainly gave a moribund and over-extended franchise an entirely new life and lots of excitement. Where things go from here is a whole new universe of possibilities… and I think this one may be more suited to giving us those Gene Roddenberry-ish points of contemplation for a new generation and a very different world than the one in which he created the original Star Trek universe. That gave us ideas of multiculturalism and cooperation, a peaceful future in light of an ‘evil’ empire… perhaps this one will help us address the very different challenges and issues we face today.

The kicker for me, really, was within the first 60 seconds of the movie. I remember thinking, “oh wow, it’s like the producer of every single other Star Trek Movie has just been schooled—this is how a Star Trek Movie should feel!”

[…] Star Wars yesterday. I’m not sure that’s the answer: Like Trek, we’ve already had a lot of them, both big and small. And I don’t think that a rehash of the original trilogy is the answer. […]

Lol JJ Abrams Star Trek

Saw it last night, lol what a load of crap, X-Men (or Harry Potter) in Space more like.

At least Enterprise, Voyager and the Next Generattion tried to do something different with a fresh crew rather than a copy based in an alternate reality.

But then it’s all about making money just aim it at your average brain-dead ‘I want a quick thrill’ audience.

Star Trek should just stick to it’s niche ‘intellectual market. =)

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After couple years of all this bickering, all I can say is that I have a right to dislike this film. Stop trying to control other people’s minds, preferences and lives. Leave me alone.

PS Don’t forget Leonard Nimoy said all old fans that don’t like this movie are dick-heads.

I was a Mr. Spock fan all my life. No more.

Maybe he was kidding, but somehow it doesn’t matter. The world has gotten crappy.

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