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Author Topic: Star Trek - The Future Begins  (Read 4282 times)
I write therefore I am

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Blah Blah!

« on: June 07, 2009, 05:04:01 PM »

I was never much of a fan of the original Star Trek. The effects were so cheesy and Shatner (who I now love for his camp value) always came off as such an ass. Because the effects were so cheesy it was alway hard to sell me on the plot. I just couldn't get into it. But others obviously did.

I know people who are devoted to the original series. They bought the laserdiscs and then the VHS cassettes and then the DVD's. They dress up like Scotty and for many of them there was no TNG, DS9 or Voyager (let alone Enterprise).

So I don't envy J.J. Abrams the task of rewriting history. But rewrite it he has. The new Star Trek is slick and high tech with stunning visuals, an edge of your seat plot and sexy new stars who crank up the tired old series to eleven. It seems like, for Abrams (not to mention Paramount and Star Trek in general which really needed a win) this was a rousing success. So why did I dislike this movie so much?

Well, for one, retconning one series means that he retconned all of the series. Over twenty five years of television, friends and stories I grew up with and enjoyed through my twenties, gone; just like that.

And I'm going to try and avoid spoilers but if you haven't seen it you may want to skip the next two paragraphs.

This is a total nerd check, but I remember the episode of TNG where Q took Picard back in time and allowed him to change one small incident in his life. He chose to stop a fight that led to him getting stabbed and having to live the rest of his life with an artificial heart. That one small change led to dramatic differences in Picards life. No longer captain he was a lowly, no name science officer who lived a meek existance in the shadow of stronger willed, more imposing officers like Riker.

Abrams changed so much, and yet we are asked to believe that all the same players made it on to the same ship and eventually into the same positions.

But I have other problems with the film. There are tons of plot holes; and not just the nerdy "you can't do that in Trek" ones either (although those are plentiful as well).

But I think the main reason I didn't like it was because it made me feel old. I know. That's a lousy reason to pan a film. But it did. Maybe I am getting old. Maybe I'm just too set in my ways. Maybe I'm loyal to a story well told and don't like the idea of someone going back and erasing those cherished memories. I don't know.

The film was well acted for the most part (although how Eric Bana keeps getting work I don't know; he may be the most one dimensional actor in Hollywood right now and as he broods his way through franchise after franchise leaving poorly developed, paper thin characters in his wake I am forced to ask "why, oh Lord, can't someone replace him with a lamp or perhaps one of those talking farm animals from the milk commercials, they are always amusing"). The story was, well the story was preposterious but if you can enjoy something like "Bad Boys" or "The Transporter" then the plot holes won't bother you (until you are alone at night and trying to sleep). The special effects are, of course, amazing.

But to me, retconning this series is like pulling out the old sled you had as a kid and giving it to your genuis nephew. When you were a kid you rode that thing down a million hills, over jumps, into trees. It was the highlight of your winter and many of your best memories are associated with that useless (to you now) hunk of wood and metal. Then you nephew whips out his arc welder; attaches some rockets and an onboard computer with GPS navigation. Then he replaces the wood with a Laz-E-Boy with cupholders and built in lower back massage. Finally he paints it sky blue with yellow lightning bolts down the side and enters it into a Flugtag competition. Yes it's kind of cool. But the little kid in you is screaming "that's my sled and that is NOT how it is supposed to be used."

Well, JJ Abrams. Star Trek is my fondly remembered continuity and that is not how it is supposed to be retconned. Now get off my lawn before I set this phaser to kill.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 01:47:56 AM by Rob » Logged

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