Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek Thoughts (Briefly)

I've seen Star Trek and liked it immensely. It was fast, funny, and moving. It had all the perfect ingredients to become the most crowd-pleasing of all the Star Trek films. It has also set the bar extremely high for the rest of this year's summer films.

Of course, by that standard, one could argue that Star Trek has now been reduced to nothing more than a summer action film. I think that is something we need to get used to. Star Trek, in the slick and nimble hands of J.J. Abrams, will likely always be about thrills and fun before it is about ideas or concepts.

Make no mistake; the original Star Trek could be thrilling and fun. It often was. But, as I've mentioned before, the driving theme behind Star Trek was always exploration and discovery. Now, much of that crucial aspect of Star Trek is probably gone. As a hard-core Science Fiction and Star Trek fan I must come to terms with this.

Meanwhile, there are lots of good and interesting things to say about this new film. I'm really not unhappy at all. I think this new Star Trek franchise is bound to be great entertainment. The reboot was handled well and the "future" looks bright!

(And here I'll say that the Star Trek universe kinda' got what it deserved. After a persistent reliance on gimmicky and shaky time-travel stories in which the "present" was constantly threatened by alterations to the past--alterations which had to be corrected in order to restore the proper "time line"--the Star Trek milieu has at last been permanently altered by time travel. Hasn't the future of the Federation been irrevocably erased given all the "rules" so diligently set down in the countless time travel stories of the series and films? Let's just say it has. Now: Please! Please! No more time travel stories!)

Oh and one last unusual and highly dubious observation for those Twin Peaks fans who might still be reading: Star Trek was a prequel, but one that relied on events from a series set chronologically "later." In some ways the film closed a circle. It showed us what happened "before," but it was inextricably linked to what had "already happened" in the future. Sounds like another TV-series-prequel-film, doesn't it?

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