I have a lot of Star Trek fans in my life. Hubby has tricked me into watching many of the different series but I couldn’t get really invested in any of the shows. I found that most of the series were a little too heavy in tone. As I have stated before, I like my Sci-Fi to have a sense of humor to them. If I had to choose a series to watch, I would pick the original series because it knew how to have fun. The Star Trek of the twenty-first century was in an awkward place (much like its prime rival Star Wars) and for the first time since Roddenbury’s death, there was no new Star Trek episodes airing. Then long-time fan J. J. Abrams took the classic characters, wiped the slate clean, and took them to a whole new place and I enjoyed every second of the ride.
The casting of this film is perfection. In the television show, the crew is an established unit with a long history, while in the film, they are cadets who are meeting for the first time. The scene that made me squee with nerdy glee the most was when Kirk and Bones meet for the first time. While all the actors channel the characters they play so completely that you know exactly who they are the second you see them, you know exactly who Karl Urban is playing the second you hear him complaining. What can I say, I like them a little cranky. It was clear that all involved wanted to honor the famous characters, with some, like Simon Pegg and Karl Urban, being huge fans themselves. Chris Pine wrote to William Shatner after being cast and received his blessing to take over the role. John Cho also sought George Takei advice, worried that it wouldn’t be right to play the famous Japanese character when he himself is Korean.
The film has everything one wants in a summer blockbuster. It has almost non-stop action, a lot of good laughs, and lots of eye candy. The filmmakers really have fun with Pine’s Kirk. He may be super slick when he’s the captain of the Enterprise and played by Shatner, but as an eager cadet, who refused to play the rules, he’s put through some sort of embarrassment every few minutes. One great scene is when Bones sneaks Kirk onto the Enterprise for its maiden voyage by injecting him with vaccines and playing his body’s reaction as a real illness. However, his reactions are little more severe than intended, requiring even more shots. Another fun scene is when Kirk sneaks his way into the captain chair and attempts to take control of the situation, only to be told “Out of the chair” but CAPTAIN Spock.
Abrams made the somewhat controversial decision to permanently change the Star Trek timeline with the use of time travel. There were those who found this traitorous but it really gives everyone a lot more wiggle room to explore new sides to these well know characters. They all ready have experimented with a romance between Spock and Uhura, which will be interesting to see where they take it. It also makes things a bit more dangerous. There are no rules and nothing is safe.
I think the Star Trek franchise benefitted greatly by being reimagined by a fan. Abrams was able to make the film accessible to those who never seen an episode of the original series while still throwing in enough in-jokes for the fans (killing off a red shirt, having Chekov struggle with the letter V). I think Star Wars would benefit greatly if from a similar reboot, but I won’t hold my breath for that one. Sounds like they’re in the process of filming the sequel and I for one can’t wait.
Leonard “Bones” McCoy: Are you out of your Vulcan mind?