Thursday, June 4, 2009

Star Trek Review and Reflection

I saw the new Star Trek movie twice. The first time I was really impressed with the fun and fast pace. The second time I started to notice a couple of things about the movie, now that I wasn't constantly being wowed by J. J. Abrams' masterful direction. He can certainly keep a movie moving.

If you have to pick who was the main character in the movie, the obvious two to choose from are Kirk and Spock. The movie was written by nerdy fan boys, thus Spock is clearly the main character. Consider the evidence: (1) Even though the movie starts with the birth of Kirk (in a brilliantly orchestrated sequence) more time is devoted to Spock's back story. (2) Kirk is legendary for his womanizing, but who really sees the most romantic action in the movie? Spock wins this one hands down. (3) Who is the only character from the "original continuity"? Again, it's Spock (or Spock Prime according to the credits).

I listened to a podcast with the screenwriters (hear it here) which was both enlightening and frustrating. Enlightening was the discussion of what Nero was doing for the 25 years from killing Kirk's dad to going after Spock (Klingons showed up en masse and took him to a prison planet; later his crew frees him and thus Uhura hears about the Klingon fleet being wiped out); why use a Rimbaldi device from Alias (to curry favor with J. J. Abrams); and other fun tidbits. Frustrating was their discussion of why Nero didn't try to save Romulus from the supernova. They had some excuse about how he didn't want to meet his wife as a young woman and he had to wait around for Spock to show up and then it would be too late to save the planet. They seemed to think he only went back 25 years. Of course, the Romulans arrive 25 years earlier than Spock Prime did, but Spock Prime also traveled into the past. If Spock Prime was 125, it seems as though he arrived when his younger self was in his twenties or early thirties. If so, that would leave about 100 years before Romulus's destruction and plenty of time to use the Rimbaldi red matter to turn the supernova star into a black hole, per Spock Prime's original plan.

So I really liked the film, but the more I think about it, the less I enjoy it. Oh well, there are plenty of other blockbusters coming.

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