Star Trek Review

Published 5 years ago by , Updated May 10th, 2009 at 9:38 am,

Short version: While hard core Trekkies may have some problems with it, this long time classic Star Trek fan found this reboot fun, fresh & exciting.

 

star trek review Star Trek Review
Screen Rant reviews Star Trek

Where to start? (This is going to be a long one, folks. If you want to skip the preamble and get right to the review itself click here.)

Some people are Star Wars fanatics, others go nuts over Transformers or X-Men. While I’m a huge Iron Man fan, Star Trek is my true love going back well over 30 years. My favorite of all the shows? The Original Series (aka TOS). You may look at it now and think it looks cheesy (however I highly recommend you check out the digitally remastered version with brand new visual effects on DVD or Blu-ray), but remember the original Star Trek is over 40 years old.

At the time the other big Sci-Fi TV show was the cheese-fest called Lost in Space – so keep that in mind as a comparison. icon smile Star Trek Review

I have Star Trek prop replicas on my bookshelves (some pretty damned nice ones) along with a copy of the original Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph and a set of blueprints of the original U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (which shows the location of a bowling alley on the ship!). I’ve memorized every episode of the original series – I can tell you which one each one is within seconds of any of them starting. And I’ve seen every movie.

Yes, I’m into Trek “canon” – tracking all the little details that tie the whole Star Trek universe together, however I’m also aware (though some fans seem to be in denial about this) that over the course of hundreds of episodes across five different series, Star Trek itself has violated its own canon many times.

Why am I telling you all this? So you have some context for my review of J.J. Abrams’, Roberto Orci’s and Alex Kurtzman’s reboot of the Star Trek universe. However this is not a review just for “Trekkies,” and that’s appropriate because neither is this film just for that group of die hard fans (among which I include myself).

Also, I did read the four part prequel comic that tells the story which leads to the events that take place in the film. If you have a chance I recommend you find it and pick it up at your local comic book store as it really fleshes out the “villain” in the film, Nero.

Some fans may disagree, but this franchise was in desperate need of a reboot, re-imagination, fresh “take” or whatever you’d like to call it. Star Trek, as a brand, was whithering on the vine and was in danger of being put on the shelf for who knows how long – until Paramount might decide enough time had gone by to give it another go. This was due to a number of factors, among which included the subsequent series being taken in directions by Rick Berman (and to some exent, Brannon Braga) that the fans did not agree with. Essentially it was a case of “the fans don’t know what’s good for them – we’ll tell them what they want.”

From this we gained the ignoble death of Captain Kirk in a transition movie with a stupidly weak plot device, Star Trek: Voyager, the Lost in Space of Trek, progressively crappier movies and finally Enterprise: At least an attempt at something fresh in Trek, which unfortunately went off in some half-assed direction – and Manny Coto’s efforts to bring the show back to what it should have been in season 4 were too little, too late.

So… when it was announced that the new film would go back to before the original series crew had met I was both excited at the prospect and terrified of how it might turn out. I mean we’re talking about recasting iconic roles. Bill Shatner? Leonard Nimoy? DeForest Kelly and James Doohan?

Sacrilege!

But I tried to be cautiously optimistic over the course of very early news, pre-production and through the production. I listed this film as my most anticipated of the year…

And I was NOT disappointed.

So finally – the review…

Click here to continue reading our Star Trek review…

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star trek trailer 18 Star Trek Review

Star Trek opens with a “bang.” We see the U.S.S. Kelvin out in space and coincidentally (considering the vastness of you know, the universe) it comes upon a monstrous and very alien spacecraft. A battle immediately commences, and if you’ve seen any of the trailers or commercials you know that the ship is destroyed and most of the crew escapes – saved by James T. Kirk’s father.

This scene is as close as fans of the original show will get to an for the most part unaltered but updated version of the classic Trek era. The Kelvin has an odd configuration, but looks like just a more detailed and slightly updated version of a ship from the original series. Couple of nits right off the bat: I did NOT like the look of the engineering decks. They looked like a cross between an industrial plant and an old subway to me. The next thing was the fact that it was mentioned that there were 800 crewmembers on the ship. The original Enterprise, which was similar in size to the Kelvin held just over 400 crew men and women.

Trek-geek nits aside, it was a thrilling opening to the film – I’d almost dare say as much space action in that one scene as we usually get in an entire Star Trek film, and shot in a much more dynamic manner. And having Jim Kirk being born during the battle just before the death of his father – it’s a great start.

star trek trailer 08 Star Trek Review

From there we cut to the familiar scene of a young Jim Kirk racing a mid 1960s Corvette (a nod to the time period in which the original show aired?). He’s trouble and that’s evidenced when we see him next as a young twenty-something trying to pick up Uhura in a bar and picking a fight with four Starfleet red-shirts (and they’re bruisers). His butt is eventually kicked and Captain Pike (played most excellently by Bruce Greenwood) gives Kirk (Chris Pine) a fatherly talk, convincing him to enlist in Starfleet.

Across the quadrant we get to see Spock as a young boy for the first time since an episode back in the early 1970s of the animated series. There’s a great scene right here and I won’t spoil it a bit for you. They picked a good actor to play Sarek, Spock’s father and we see Winona Ryder briefly as his mother. It was strange seeing her at 37 – with laugh lines around her eyes and looking so much older than I remember.

Another great scene is the introduction of Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. I swear Urban was channeling DeForest Kelly – he was just great and a pleasure to watch on screen.

karl urban dr mccoy Star Trek Review

All of our well known crew ends up on the newly constructed NCC-1701 for its inaugural launch. The way Uhura gets on the ship demonstrates her inner strength and fortitude and the way McCoy gets Kirk on the ship provides the one moment of slightly overly goofy humor in the film.

Of course eventually they run into Nero (Eric Bana) in his mutant-looking starship. One thing leads to another and Spock ends up in charge of the ship much to Kirk’s chagrin. It’s soon after this that we meet “old Spock” (Leonard Nimoy, duh). Up until now it wasn’t TOO much of a stretch as to how the crew was brought together, but the meeting between Kirk and Spock was pretty high on the coincidence meter.

I won’t get into much more of the plot, suffice it to say the overarching story here is how the dynamic between Kirk, McCoy and Spock first developed.

I’d say that Abrams and crew did a pretty respectable job of creating a film that had the possibility of being a no-win situation. Roberto Orci mentioned to me “the Kobayashi Maru-like nature of what we were attempting” in describing the task of creating a film that would appeal to both a new generation unfamiliar with the original series yet would satisfy long time fans.

So what wasn’t so good? I thought that Anton Yelchin layed on the Russian accent way too thick as Chekov. There was a brief comedic moment early on where the computer could not understand what he was saying. I’m hoping in the next film they cut back on that a bit. There was also a romantic relationship in the film (I won’t say between who) that frankly, felt forced and done just for the sake of the gimmick. There was also a reference to Commander Archer (the Captain of the first starship Enterprise from the series of the same name) that didn’t make sense to me based on the timeline between that series and this movie (yeah, minor nit). I’d say the major problem with the film was that Eric Bana as Nero was woefully underdeveloped – no doubt more a problem of the script than his acting.

Even on the new Enterprise, still the industrial look in engineering, looking as I described above plus maybe throw in a brewery for kicks. It just didn’t work for me.

And if you’re a die hard Trekkie, be forewarned – there are a couple of things that happen in this film that will probably make you very, very angry. But remember, it’s an alternate timeline, so ANYTHING can happen.

Oh, and seeing a Nokia product placement in a movie that’s supposed to take place in the 23rd century? Ripped me RIGHT out of the movie for a moment.

So what was good? I think that this is accessible Star Trek – it will attract (hopefully) a non-Trekkie fanbase and transcend the “Trek is for geeks” stereotype of the franchise. There’s little if any technobabble (which really went off the scale during The Next Generation), the space battles and action scenes are far beyond what we’ve seen in any previous Star Trek film, and the stars of the film are pretty engaging.

And the ship – the highly debated ship… I know there are haters out there – heck, I was one of them when I first saw it. But on the big screen, it WORKS. For the most part it looked great except for that damned flat pancake of a rear end on the secondary hull. And believe me, you’re going to LOVE watching, hearing and yes, feeling the Enterprise go into and come out of warp. They did a hell of a job with the new visual look and the seat-vibrating audio effects.

trek trailer ent front Star Trek Review

I loved Simon Pegg’s Scotty – younger than we saw on the show and a bit more unbridled. Great stuff. Zachary Quinto took a bit getting used to as Spock, but in the end I thought he did a decent job. The big question is Chris Pine: Did he pull off Kirk?

I say, yes, he did.

He didn’t emulate Shatner in speech pattern or mannerisms, but in attitude. He was almost there through most of the film, but I’m here to tell you – the final scene, when he walks on the bridge finally wearing the gold tunic… I actually thought “Damn, he IS Captain James T. Kirk.”

For the die hard fans there were tons of nods to previous films and the TV series. I’m quite sure I only caught a fraction of them but here are the few that I can remember:

  • We learn the origin of Kirk’s middle name, Tiberius.
  • We learn the origin of McCoy’s nickname, Bones.
  • We see what looks like a TOS communicator on the USS Kelvin.
  • We finally get to see Kirk beat the Kobiyashi Maru test at Starfleet (priceless scene, by the way – done with ultimate young Kirk cockiness).
  • References to Star Trek IV and Wrath of Khan.

I know there was a tribble in there somewhere, but I missed it. icon smile Star Trek Review

I feel like I rambled a bit but as a fan who’s been really looking forward to this there was a lot to take in. I would have preferred a second viewing before reviewing the film, but one will have to do.

Was it perfect? No. Will it satisfy hard core, no-deviation-from-canon fans? Doubtful. But overall I’m VERY happy with this reincarnation of Star Trek and I hope it makes enough money to guarantee a sequel, in which we’ll get to see the crew functioning as a well-oiled machine.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: 4 star movies, star trek

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  1. That link didn’t work very well. Perhaps this one…
    http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/189655_1870518441275_1190533923_32274515_3236712_n.jpg

    • Good photo, Katherine! You’ll have to let us know what you think of it – I haven’t actually read it myself.

      • Thanks (: Well I’m about half way through and so far I love it! It’s pretty funny and really interesting. I think part of the reason why I love it so much is because, well I wasn’t around back when it was first on and when there was all that craziness, so it’s fun to imagine what it would’ve been like.

        • I remember watching the show in syndication in the 80′s (it was on every weekday, thankfully) and I was really surprised when the SciFi channel had a “special edition” with the entire episodes as they originally aired. I was then a sucker and spent a fortune for the DVD sets only to spend another one for the Blu-ray collections, which are definitely worth the money. It was, without a doubt, one of my best purchases.

          Katherine: have you read “I Am Not Spock” yet?

          ~Doc

          • No I haven’t read it yet, I’ll be looking for that next. I only have two chapters of “I Am Spock” left. It’s awesome but I’m getting sad that it’s nearly over… haha.

  2. Congratulations on a fantastic book acquisition! I have both of the books (I’m Not/ I Am Spock) and I actually met Leonard and got my latter book autographed. I see they’ve changed the cover, but it is a treat to read the book.

    • Wow… I don’t think I’ve ever been this jealous of someone, ever. It’s a life goal of mine (and one of my friends) to go to a Trek convention and meet Leonard. It better happen or I will be heartbroken.

  3. He’s charming. So was James Doohan and Nichelle Nichols. The *best* convention ever was with DeForest Kelly, Mark Lenard, and George Takei. William Shatner was…exactly as expected. Somehow, I’ve never managed to see Walter Koenig, though.

    • I can imagine they would be… If only there was a convention in Australia… and if only I had money :P

  4. This thread is still alive.

    • Of course it is! We must make sure it lives long and prospers!

      • Yes indeed! Good to see you again, Fury.

  5. If this thread ever dies I will be very sad… Hey Kahless did I get the quote right?
    Also, I finished I am Spock. For like two weeks I had two chapters to go and I wanted to read it but put it off because I knew that as soon as I finished it I’d want there to be more but I’d have to wait a while to read it again, haha! But I finished it and lent it to my brother. It was so amazing :)

  6. Guys, I’m growing up so much… I turned 18 just over a week ago and today I got my licence! Also I’m getting a visa debit card so I can totally buy this! http://starfleetacademystore.com/products/94601-starfleet-academy-hooded-sweatshirt

    Hope you’re all well!

    • Go you, Ingénue! Enjoy being young while it lasts, as it goes by really fast! (For the record, I was 18 when you were born). Don’t party too much, but make the most of it! Congratulations, madam: you’ll go far.

      Cheers,

      ~Doc

      • Haha yeah well I can’t believe I’ve done a whole semester of my degree already!
        Thanks Doc :)

    • An extremely late happy birthday to ya, Katherine, and congrats on the licence – seems like only the other day you were turning 16! Hope the course is going swimmingly.

      • Thanks Big D!
        Oh I know, I can’t believe how long this thread has been going.
        My course is great, I love it (:

  7. Okay folks,
    A challenge of sorts.
    Your favorite and least favorite Trek films.
    And how does JJs film rate with the rest ?
    And what are some of the best worst Non Trek films that try to capture it’s flavor ?
    Galaxy Quest comes to mind as one of the best in that category .
    Any shameless ripoffs of Trek on TV or film that come to mind?

    • Best for me has to be Wrath Of Khan – everything fell into place on that one: storyline, script, performances, score, costumes and effects. All the more gratifying coming after ST:TMP, which really looked at the time as though it’d shot itself in the foot in terms of creating a viable platform for further instalments. Unfortunately what the success of II did was establish a blueprint they’ve been trying to emulate ever since (with the exception of IV), running right through the Next Gen films and including the JJ version. Villain + Doomsday Device of some description. The original series was about so much more than that, and as many people here have pointed out, there seems little point rebooting the entire Trek universe and starting with a clean slate if we’re just going to get more of the same every time. That – and the massive amount of continuity that had built up over the decades and had to be adhered to – was one of the main reasons the franchise had begun to be perceived as stale and heading downhill in the first place, after all.

      I’ve had to bite my tongue on some of the other threads when people constantly bring up “Khan for villain in the sequel” without even questioning the whole “baddie-centric” plot structure at all. It’s as if they’ve forgotten the entire exploratory nature of the original series and what the words STAR TREK actually mean. As EE Cummings put it:

      listen: there’s a hell
      of a good universe next door; let’s go.

      Least fave: Shatner’s folly The Final Frontier! First Contact is definitely my #1 Next Gen film, despite much of it not making sense and Picard behaving like a dangerous psychopath; Nemesis had some great effects but was ultimately a complete downer to end the series with. I’ll stick with the actual series finale “All Good Things”…

      Non-Trek films that’ve tried to capture its flavour is a really good question. Weirdly, I actually can’t think of any offhand. Love Galaxy Quest, by the way! An affectionate parody that worked on its own terms as well. TV shows: Babylon 5 maybe? Space: 1999 (before, ironically, TOS’s own third season producer Freddie Freiberger got his hands on it and turned it into a ghastly kiddie show with rubber monsters). Drawing a bit of a blank on that one too. I think Trek’s had a huge cultural impact over the years, but Star Wars has been the more dominant influence on the visuals, characters and settings of so many SF movies and TV shows ever since – even on the whole Star Trek franchise itself over the last thirty years.

      How about yourself, Gary? Any influences or ripoffs you can think of?

    • I’ve only seen the first 6 movies recently & can only vaguely remember the others so I’m just going with the first 6, but least favourite is obviously V. I really like The Voyage Home, I guess because it’s not just everything blowing up like a lot of the others, haha. But I just think it’s funny, it’s a bit different, yes it’s odd with the whole whales thing but I really like it. I also really like II & III.

      I really enjoyed the new Star Trek, but I guess I kind of find it hard to compare it to the old movies because, well they’re old movies, the graphics and everything are so much different and the filming is different so I think it has a different feel. But I love both the old and the new.

      I love Galaxy Quest. That is all, haha. I haven’t really watched any other ST-like movies or TV shows. My brother loves Battlestar Galactica & one of my best friends loves Stargate (and constantly tries to tell me it’s better than Star Trek) but I’ve never really watched either.

      I agree with Big D about the movies not doing the exploring thing but then I guess I think about the fact that a movie is in a way more powerful than an episode of the show – it’s longer obviously and I don’t know I just feel like audiences expect it to be more action packed so maybe that’s part of the reason why they always have the evil doomsday device plotline, but eh what do I know?

      • You’re spot-on about the essential differences between the demands of a movie and a TV episode, Katherine. It’s a difficult tightrope to walk: The Voyage Home resembled a TOS episode probably more than any of the other movies, and managed to balance the action vs characterisation perfectly. Everyone concerned genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves (the humour stemmed from good writing and performances rather than “Scotty knocks himself out on bulkhead” slapstick horrors), it took some creative risks, and it’s certainly my #2 after, er, #II. Insurrection, on the other hand, was also closer to one of the STTNG episodes but actually suffered for it in many ways.

        Abrams had one chance not to mess up Star Trek on the big screen for the forseeable future, which is why I don’t begrudge him aping at least some of the format of the previous movies. I just hope he and his writers use the leeway and acclaim they’ve been given to take a few chances on the next one. IV showed it can be done and made to work!

  8. The ripoff question is really hard to answer .
    But, in terms of TV, two shows that had success adapting the Trek /Message theme stories with Scifi Were the Stargate series and Battlestar,Galactica
    Bettween the two I prefer BSG.
    Stargate got bogged down in the mythology of the gate .
    But both these shows tried to be Anti-Trek
    Worst Film ?
    V
    Best film,
    II

    • Did you mean old or new BSG? I never watched enough of Stargate SG1 or Atlantis to really get a feel for either, but I see where you’re coming from there. I did get through the first season of Universe and found it equal parts Voyager and (new) BSG.

  9. STILL!!!…..ALIVE!..old-friend!

    Concur with BD’s best and worst, likely most fans do too. Since Ingenue can still type, she must have managed to resist clawing her eyes out after watching ST5. Most of us deal with it by telling ourselves that it was actually a dream Kirk had after eating some extra-terrestrial delicacy that didn’t agree with him.

    Wrath had only one truly unforgivable line, and that was “Klingons don’t take prisoners.” Meyer was a great director but was a Trek newbie at the time. Klingons do indeed take prisoners and their ships have doctors and sick bays, Just don’t expect Geneva Accords approved accommodations or much in the way of bedside manner.

    We had to wait until ST4 before we had a movie with a truly upbeat ending, and even then they only replaced a small fraction of what was lost.

    I mourned the senseless deaths of the Phase 2 crewmembers in ST1, who would have made NextGen unnecessary had they been spared, and felt even sorrier for the actors who worked so hard and beat out so many others to land those roles. Can you imagine them having to break the news to their parents? “Well, the good news is it’s gong to be a movie and not a TV show…”

    Spock met a glorious end in ST2. Since the theme of TWOK was facing aging and death, it made perfect sense. The only thing that tainted it was the (studio mandated) wimpy cop-out of the “soft-landed” torpedo casing on the Genesis World. On a comment thread about the Fukushima disaster I compared the heroism and sacrifice of the nuke workers to Spock’s voluntary self-irradiation. One poster reminded me that “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” was a Communist slogan. I responded by saying that if Spock was a Commie he would have uttered those words as he was ordering a redshirt into that dilithium chamber at the point of a phaser.

    The sacrifice theme continued in ST3, but this time it made a lot less sense. I know it’s Monday morning quarterbacking, but couldn’t Kirk have said “Computer, in five minutes open all ports and hatches and de-pressurize the ship, let those Klingon bastards suck vacuum.” What have I done indeed, only “Killed” the central “character” of the whole franchise.

    In a better alternate timeline the true Next Generation would have been Kirk and Spock passing the baton to Decker and Savvik and the original Enterprise sailing on. Let’s hope they get it right now that they have a second chance.

    Haven’t seen space 1999 since I was a kid. I remember that despite the ridiculous premise, the first two seasons it had a real edge to them and depicted space as a cold, dark, and scary place, which is as it should be. It also didn’t hurt that at that age my favorite hobbies were modelmaking and pyrotechnics, and it never disappointed on THAT level.
    The third season totally lost the original feel, however, and left me feeling that there was just no replacement for Trek.

    The series that most echoed the essence of original Trek was Babylon 5, which had some memorable turns by ST alumnae Walter Koenig and Majel Barret. Some hardcore Trek fans accused those actors of being traitorous by taking roles in a “rival” franchise (set in the 23rd century no less)
    but it was a lot like when Ronald Reagan said “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me.” Majel Barret Roddenberry, playing the psychic widow of the Centauri Emperor summed it up when she said “My husband was a great man, but he left the empire in the hands of far lesser men, this place is a monument to his unfinished work.” Best use of subtext EVER.

    • Well said, BE.

      I agree on most of your TWOK commentary, but it is important to remember that prior to that line, the Klingons didn’t really take prisoners. The only example that comes to mind that differs is “Errand of Mercy” with the Organians, but that was during “wartime” (if you will) and they wanted information. I always extrapolated it to mean the Klingons don’t take prisoners in space battles…anyway.

      Nick Meyer was really pissed when they changed his ending, but even he admits that it tested much better with audiences when it was added. What’s never been made clear to me is exactly where Nick Meyer’s original story ended. Did they insert the torpedo launch, or just the soft landing? I’ve heard both sides and nothing from Nick himself in his autobiography. Anyway, Khan remains my favorite movie, and always will.

      Now, on the subject of III, it is important to remember a couple of things: Paramount had turned it into a movie franchise at that point. They gave a lot less concern to quality and more to cost. So, bringing on Harve Bennett as exec producer changed things up with Nimoy directing for the first time. Also, Nimoy had little choice in what the movie was going to concern, since bringing back Spock was really of paramount (pun possibly intended) import. I concede your point that there were other options, but I assume the self-destruct sequence is a highly-protected routine in the ship’s programming. In contrast, with the “automation systems overloaded” the computer might not have been capable of flooding the ship with vacuum or using the intruder control system. Now, why they couldn’t just manually head down to phaser control and fire off some shots has eluded me. I would much rather have seen a hunt and fight battle on Enterprise for thirty minutes than most of the stuff on the Genesis planet. Retaking the bridge and warping away at the last minute would have been pretty cool. I think that Harve never really got how important Enterprise was as a character, and he thought of her as a prop. The whole “Jim, the Enterprise is 40 years old” argument fell flat on me since she was “an almost totally new Enterprise” two movies prior. It made for plot advancement but didn’t really add anything of merit to the movie. The only other point I’d add is that Kirk was dealing with the (terribly handled) death of his son, and I doubt I’d be thinking clearly at that point. I thought the total absence of Carol Marcus from any subsequent film was a travesty, and that she was handled much better in the novelizations of the movies.
      I completely agree (as in 100%) on the true Next Gen idea. I was shocked when the premier came out and there was nobody named Kirk on the bridge. (I think my disdain for the Enterprise-D is well noted elsewhere). The power of the original movie series is easy to see as TNG writers had no trouble constantly going back to that era in flashback scenes. In every one I can recall, they had the movie uniforms on, almost making me believe they were created the day before Enterprise-D launched. I never understood the color changes either, as was noted in “Trials and Tribbleations.” In the movies everyone wore maroon, and it worked. In TOS, red was bad. In TNG, I don’t remember what color was bad, because I couldn’t tell who wore what color, and why.

      Anyway, II through IV are really one long story arch anyway, with VI being the “epilogue” to that series. Star Trek V was a joke, and I’d be interested in seeing Paramount redo the SFX to try and make it at least palatable. SOME of the original concepts Shatner had planned would have been really cool to see on the screen. It wouldn’t have fixed the story, but it would be really cool to see. Anyway, cheers to all.

      (Ingénue probably wasn’t born when ST V came out, BTW) ;-)

      I’m a doctor, not a drama critic.

      ~Doc

      • You’re right & I wasn’t born when ST VI came out either, haha. But I was around for Generations!

        • Poor Ingénue! Brought into the world under such terrible circumstances! Happily (or not?) I was around for the theatrical debut of all Star Trek movies, and while I believe that nothing can really compare to the waiting for THE Motion Picture (its actual contents not withstanding) I remember the previews for Khan being so much more interesting, even with their cheesy, unfinished SFX.

      • Some good points, Doc. On the subject of where Meyer’s original story ended, I think it’s also important to add that the scene where Spock touches McCoy and says “Remember” wasn’t scripted. Nimoy famously “came within a hair’s breadth of walking off the lot rather than playing the (death) scene”, and referred to the situation at the time in a way that’s very close to what became the main thrust of III:-

        “It’s obvious there’s some kind of ticking clock there that might be explored later. We can open that up and say, ‘What is McCoy carrying around in his head that he may not even know about consciously, yet that may spring to life later and be a factor in the next movie?’ Can you imagine what would happen if Kirk had any reason whatsoever, if he were given reason to believe or hope that there might be a way to get Spock back? To save him or help him? He would be obsessed, wouldn’t he? And if McCoy were dragged into that mix as the medical officer and as the person who has that thing in his head, whatever it is…boy, you’ve got a pretty driving kind of motivation going on immediately. I certainly would love to be involved in the very early stages of discussion.”

        As far as I can make out, Meyer’s version ended categorically with Spock’s casket being shot into space. The soft landing was added two months after principal photography had wrapped. Producer Robert Sallin said:-

        “One of the major conflicts Nick and I had in the making of the picture was the whole idea of reminding people, of planting the seed that Spock might come back. It was not in the original script, that idea of going back to the planet. Nick hated the idea, but I think the studio wanted it because they were getting so much flak about killing Spock.”

        Harve Bennett on offing the Enterprise:-

        “I had a whole justification for it. Oliver Hazard Perry of the US Navy scuttled the Niagara at the battle of Lake Erie and won the battle as a result. He was rowed on a rowboat to another ship and took command. Perry happens to be one of James T Kirk’s great heroes. Actually, there is a model of the Niagara in Kirk’s quarters, for those who love Star Trek trivia. So the scuttling of the ship is a tactic. Also, with the death of his son and the hopelessness of the situation, it seemed like the right solution, and also because in the series there had been one notable, false countdown.”

        Gene Roddenberry wasn’t impressed, though (as I’m visiting quote city):-

        “I’m upset about it. I felt it wasn’t really that necessary. I would rather have seen the saucer blow up. As all the old-time fans will know, our ship is supposed to come apart. The star-drive part is the nacelles and the underneath, and the saucer is not star-driven. If the saucer had been blown up, at the end of the picture we could’ve had a new saucer come down and reunite the two. Symbolic of the end of the story. They preferred to do it the other way.”

        The uniform colour changes: all they really did for TNG was swap the red division designations for the gold ones – couldn’t tell you why, though. Worf went gold when he replaced Tasha Yar as Chief of Security. Likewise Data when they realised they had to get him out from the helm a bit more. Blueshirt Ensign Picard in the episode where he never made Captain just looked odd… Which is another thing: the TNG blues were never really blue, were they? More of a muted turquoise affair. I suppose they made an attempt to tie them all together from First Contact onwards, with just the coloured turtleneck and cuff bands as division indicators – similar to II-VI. I was never keen on that final TNG design. The only reason they used the II-VI tunics (minus the collar) for TNG flashbacks was that they couldn’t afford to go for a unique, separate version!

    • How goes, Bright Eyes? Any developments on the script front? I like the idea of V being Kirk’s fever dream! Possibly after some dodgy Andorian cheese. There’s a reason the Aenar are blind, you know…

      Phase II is definitely one of those “what if” scenarios: Decker was without doubt the prospective Kirk replacement, and – her hastily-covered prior relationship with Decker notwithstanding – it’s obvious that more was intended for Ilia than becoming a robot talking through a vocoder.

      Er, there never was a third season of Space: 1999, perhaps thankfully! The second was where it all went belly-up. As you say, the first had a real air of forboding about its approach to the unknown. Like UFO before it, many episodes had no easy resolutions, no pat solutions, no convenient explanations. Many networks didn’t know what to do with it, or who it was even aimed at, hence the overhaul.

      I really wish I’d watched more of Babylon 5 at the time. The effects looked terrible to me back then and I never gave it a fair crack of the whip. Weirdly, I don’t think it’s ever been repeated over here after its initial run, and the box sets are a horrendous price now. That is a brilliant line from MBR there – would that have been written by J Michael Straczynski or someone else with a sense of the occasion?

  10. Hey guys I got a new hoodie! http://dailybooth.com/Kadence/18026637

    • Like it, Katherine – nice to see you’ve stuck with the original Enterprise! Is that the one you mentioned a couple of months back? I have to say the glasses suit you as well; you’re looking very studious there. What you up to for the summer, then? A spot of driving, perchance?

      • No I went with a different one because the one I mentioned before was $50 + $22 for shipping because it’s from USA & I’m a poor uni student, so I went with an Aussie company which was cheaper, haha. Thanks, yeah I got these glasses back in May, I love them.
        Well seeing as I’m in Australia it’s Winter for me & my 2nd semester of uni just started, but during the holidays I did My Fair Lady with a local theatre company. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to do another one. And yeah I’ve been pretty busy so I’m doing a lot of driving… I have to say the excitement of having my licence kind of wore off when I had to buy fuel for the first time…

  11. Awesome! Just remember: never beam down wearing red! ;-)

    • Haha, funny you say that Doc, I happen to be wearing my “you’ve got a better than 50/50 chance of coming back aboard a starship commanded by Capt. James T. Kirk… unless you’re wearing a red shirt” t-shirt!

  12. Thanks for the pic, Katherine! Good to see you kickin’ it Old School.

    Kirk and Co were briefly taken prisoner by Capt. Kang at the beginning of “Day of the Dove.” As with most Klingons who cross paths with Kirk, Kang’s subsequent career trajectory was not a good one.

    Although the board of inquiry exonerated Kang for the loss of his ship, he still got a formal reprimand for blundering into Scotty’s transporter buffer, which resulted in a new Imperial General Order being issued: Always use own ship’s transporters to board an enemy vessel. Failure to do so will likely land you in captivity, being taunted by an Earther petock “Beam you to the Bridge? I thought you said beam you to the BRIG, Buwahahaha”

    In trying to create a better villain than Khan, I realized that I too was blundering into a trap, one that has plagued us with Grotesques like Gulna and Shinzon and mediocrities like Soren and Kruge. The Baddie-centric storyline may work for the James Bond franchise, but not for Trek.

    We can be so enthralled by Mantalblan’s bravura performance as Khan (that quasi-orgasmic p1$$ shiver he had when Kirk yelled out his name was worth the price of admission alone) that we often forget all the other disparate elements that fell into place to make that movie great. (Who would have ever associated the “mullet” hair style with “the Superior Intellect”)

    I have some great scenes written, but I need a central theme and story arc to tie them all together. A hero’s journey and not just video game series of “bosses” to overcome. TWOK’s story arc for example, began with “I….feel-old” and ended with “I-feel…..young.”

    The central focus must be the Kirk-Spock-Mcoy triumvirate. Mr Plinkett noted that the new “emotional” Spock made Mcoy redundant. I liken NuSpock to the Spock of “the Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone before” when the character was still a work in progress. Events in Rapture will be a catalyst for this change with Spock and Uhura’s relationship playing a central role.

    Zoe Saldana will get her chance to “kick Romulan ass” in a climactic battle with Claudia Christian’s Preatrix as they literally bounce each other off the bulkheads in a zero-g fight for control of the Enterprise bridge with lots of high kicks being thrown. Under normal circumstances Uhura would be no match for Verus, but the playing field has been leveled by the numerous injuries the Preatrix has sustained during the course of the film, not the least of which is the lower body fatigue from going a few “rounds” with Kirk, whom she encounters on the Mintaken surface disguised as a pointy-eared hobgoblin.

    The way things are going, my script will be done long before the pros finish theirs for 12. I hate to use Orci’s excuse that “you can’t rush quality” the truth is that I am not a professional writer, just a somewhat talented amateur who is doing this as a labor of love. I set the bar pretty high with Act 1, but reacting and responding to the events of ST11 was the easy part. Now my ship is underway I have to plot my own course.

    Rapture also involves the redesign of the ship, and that has been a real challenge, creating a design that both makes sense and hits all the right notes stylistically is no small order. Roddenberry had to go to bat for Matt Jeffries when the Studio heads asked “what’s so hard about designing a spaceship..?”

    My response to that would be the “Illogic Bomb” that Kirk used on the “I Mudd” androids;

    “It’s not a ship, She’s a beautiful woman and we love her!”

  13. Are you all serious? The first five minutes of the latest(2009) Star Trek is the same old shoot em up rubbish which most recently destroyed Avatar.
    When somene urges the pregnant woman to”push”, I wanted to vomit.
    Pleeeeese, no more cgi GARBAGE posing as cinema.

    • Do you have some notion that, in the future, women will give birth some other way? With respect to CGI, I’d be interested in what you would deem CGI gold? If you are against computer generated imagery, I’m afraid your protest should have started with the release of the original TRON if not before.

      We are all, indeed, serious.

      • Your perspective is certainly a unique one, Steve.

        This thread has spanned 2812 comments over two and a half years and we have picked this film apart six ways to sundown. The ONLY universal consensus we EVER achieved was that “Engineering” sucked and the opening sequence rocked. So much for that, I guess.

        If only the destruction(?)of mighty Narada had carried the dramatic intensity of the destruction of that single missile headed for Ma and baby Kirk’s fleeing shuttle, we would have had us some Star Trek Gold.

        As it is they could have done better, but that has a lot more to do with writing and directing than whatever comes out of a render farm (or a model shop, if you prefer)

        • Classy as always, BE. True, they could have done better, but they could have done worse, too. Remember ST V? :)

          • Better clarify,

            Could have been a little better, could have been a LOT worse.

            The super sizing of the ships made no sense, but at least the turbo-lift shaft wasn’t 140 decks high.

            One of my co-workers theorized (about ST5) that Kirk fell off of Half-Dome and was dreaming the whole thing up while in a coma, because “Things didn’t really get weird until Spock showed up in those flying boots”

          • Do I have to remember Trek V? Can Spock wipe my memory….PLEASE??!! :-)

            I didn’t know this thread was still active. Cool!

            • Ahh, Kahless… like you this thread shall never truly die. :-)

  14. So what do my fellow Trekkers think about the villain being (more than likely) Khan in the sequel? I say bring it on, as long as it’s not a copy of Space Seed or Wrath of Khan.

    • I’m not sure that it’s going to be Khan. That would be extremely dangerous on their part, given how liberally they borrowed from canon-Trek in the last movie. You can’t have Khan without Space Seed, since people who aren’t like us wouldn’t understand where he came from. You need it as back story for the true value to emerge. TWOK can be viewed without seeing SS, but it’s a much deeper movie having seen it. I would much rather see a quasi-remake of Balance of Terror re-introducing us to the modern Romulans: not Nero.

    • I’m not keen at this stage, Kahless. I think the argument that the Enterprise crew were recast and reestablished, therefore no one should have a problem with Khan, is a bit of a red herring, personally. They’re the protagonists: beyond certain familiar characteristics and personality traits their futures are a blank slate. The same isn’t true of Khan. Even if what we end up with is neither a straight retelling of Space Seed or a jump right into yet another Weapon of Mass(ive) Destruction scenario, we know exactly what Khan’s role and purpose is. Both in terms of his motivations as a character and as an antagonist inserted into the structure of a movie.

      Having said that, it could go either way. Flashbacks to what Khan represented before and during the Eugenics Wars could work, as could having the Botany Bay discovered by another – possibly non-human – ship. I’d still much rather Abrams & co went in another direction though.

    • I see what you guys are saying. Many Trekkers are against the idea, but many things could happen if another species found the BB and Khan conquers that race. But like Doc said, it’s still not a given that it will be Khan. I’m just hoping for a great sequel to the 2009 movie.

      • I think it’s important to consider one point in your statement, Kahless. The entire reason that Khan was rescued, awakened, and allowed to live in “exile” was because he was found my an Earth ship. If he had been found by Vulcans (alone) then they probably would have towed the Botany Bay to a starbase, where Khan would have been awakened with the others, detained (under quarantine) while they were investigated, et cetera. I suspect the Klingons would have used the ship for target practice. The Romulans, while possibly intrigued by the ship, would have killed Khan if he tried to take over their ship, and being Vulcanoid, would have had strength equal to his and his followers.

        Afterward, Khan wouldn’t have hatred for James T. Kirk, and the whole element is lost. Khan hated Kirk, and that is what fed him to his own demise. Also, the point of Spock’s presence in that movie was to die, due to Leonard Nimoy’s demands. I can’t imagine they already want to kill him off, so the sacrifice theme is lost. These are some of the reasons why I hope the leave that movie as it was, and find a new villian.

        Pax,

        ~Doc

        • I agree with you Doc. While it would be cool to see how they approach Khan, really I think they’d be better to try something different. Frankly we’ve been waiting too long for the latest movie for it to be completely crap, so here’s hoping they don’t ruin it!

        • Well, I’ve also said that JJ can squash all this Khan speculation by destroying the BB, either with your example of a Klingon using it as target practice or a message from Spock-Prime in the computer warning of a Hitlerian race within the ship and that destroying it would only be….logical.

  15. I just posted pretty much the same thing in the “Who should play Khan” thread upstream.

    My “Rapture” spec script which was born on this thread takes place at the time that BOT would have taken place and has the Romulans as the antagonsts, but that is meant for the movie after this coming one. This last movie and (Gak!) Nemesis both used (and IMO abused) the Romulans, they need a rest.

    If they want a swarthy, imposing heavy who loves classic literature they would do better with a young Captain Chang. We hardcores would have a great time wondering when or if he is going to lose that eye, so long as the gag wasn’t overdone a la “Hot Tub Time Machine” maybe two or three close calls.

    The Voyage of the Thread That Would Not Die continues…

    • BE:

      As long as you clarify that Nemesis and ST abused the “old” Romulans, I’d agree. Nero had nothing to do with the Romulans of TOS, and was incredibly over-powered compared to Starfleet. I almost saw that as a V’ger parallel than anything else. My main concern with this aspect is the continued conversation/thinking that by somehow saving Nero (et al) the Enterprise would help make peace with the Romulans. In this instance, the Empire was truly harmless with respect to Nero’s actions. Nemesis was a disaster of a movie, so I shall speak of it no more.

      A story about a younger version of Chang would be interesting. I’d (personally) like to see an Andorian or Tellarite as a promenent (even if background) member of the crew. I also really hope that they get Nichelle Nichols cast in this movie as Uhura’s grandmother somehow. A quick subspace message of her or similar cameo would be enough, but she deserves some cred for all she’s done over the years and should be in a film without saying “hailing frequencies open.”

      Cheers,

      ~Doc

      • Doc, a friend of mine recently lent me all four seasons of Enterprise; I’m about halfway through season 2, and apart from finding myself liking it more than I did the first time around, I’m also appreciating the way the Andorians were handled in the show. An Andorian crewmember in the new movies could definitely work, and it’d be intriguing to see how they’d react as a species to there being a mere handful of Vulcans left now.

        • Agreed, except on the Vulcan count. The “estimate” was around 10,000. One thing that has never been handled well, in my opinion, is Pon Farr. Spock had a bout of it, of course, but never seemed to have another. One might argue that Sarek didn’t produce a ton of children because Amanda wasn’t Vulcan, but “the time of mating” would imply that a child is expected every seven years. Given that, the population of Vulcans would double ever twenty eight years, at minimum. Assuming that there are roughly 10,000 of them left, and “logically” we’ll assume ninety-five percent of them stay on the new “Vulcan,” that’s still five hundred available. In short – given the extremely low amount of screen time each non-starring character receives, they could definitely have enough Vulcans to populate the science department of the Enterprise.

          I’m more curious as to the fate of the other Constitution-Class ships. Enterprise was never stated as the first, but even if she is, one would assume that Starfleet wants to build more. In this vein, would the Vulcans still follow through on the Intrepid?

          I do hope that whoever the antagonist turns out to be, that he or she is a good one. I don’t need a rehash of a previous villian to be sure, because I’ve gotten past my prejudice of the past movie, mostly, and I’d prefer to enter the next one without any baggage of what the original cast did. Given that Chuck just ended its run here in the U.S., I’d be interested in seeing Yvonne Strahovski as either Kirk’s love interest, a Romulan spy, or both. I’d be nice (although entirely unexpected) if they gave Sulu a boyfriend, too. :-)

          Cheers,

          ~Doc

    • If and when the Klingons are to be reintroduced fully…a young Captain Chang…I’m liking that idea a lot, Bright Eyes.

    • Star Trek review…the final frontier. These are the posts of the thread, Star Trek. It’s 5 millenia mission, to seek out new ideas and new speculations…to boldly post where no one has posted before!

      (cue music) 8-)

  16. Kahless, you of all people should be familiar with the adage “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”. If there were some therapeutic or surgical means to expunge your memory of ST5, the “cure” would only last until the night you were browsing some TV listings “Hmm, “The Final Frontier, Why don’t I remember seeing THAT one before?”

    I WANT my pain….I NEED my pain!

    Doc, Even though you and I know that both Nero nor Shinzon were in no official capacity representing the Romulan Star Empire, that distinction is bound to be lost on many ordinary moviegoers who have never before encountered any Romulans. You can correct that perception in later installments, but like with Budgeneering, it is best to let the memory fade a little first.

    The Trek Movies will always aim for a broader audience than the TV shows, and it is important that somebody with zero Trek knowledge still be able to recognize the players and more importantly, their motives. Khan would present a double challenge, as you would have to explain to me why the Eugenics Wars are now 15 years past their sell-by date, and you would have to explain to my date why Khan harbors such Wrath towards a man who he has never met.(Is he just really grumpy after being awakened from a 200 year nap?)

    Chang’s exposition by contrast, needs only a four second shot of a D-7 or three coming your way. The hardcores know Kirk is facing a tough customer who not only survived the original series era, but also distinguished himself and advanced in rank (without being demoted like some captains), and even the noobs know that the Klingons are bad news.

    There are still enough similarities between Khan and Chang that if I was looking to cast for one, I might create a publicity smoke screen that I was casting for the other. I pray to the Great Bird’s spirit that this is the case.

    Romulan spies? the Intrepid? you’re shooting all around my script. It is comforting to know that great minds think alike, but at the same time disturbing to know that what I have is a little too predictable. As for Vulcan survivors, the 10,000 total only accounts for those beamed up in the “Vulcan Rapture”, not those who were already off-world or in spaceships, so I estimate the final tally to be in the low millions.

    Since everybody still seems to be here, or at least dropping by on occasion, I may relent and post one more installment, which I can probably do without giving the whole story away. After all, it’s been way too long since we’ve had a chance to hang out with some REAL Romulans.

    • Oh my goodness! You didn’t just say ALL of us are Romulans did you?!

      Hab SoSlI’ Quch!!! petaQ!!!

      Wait….Kahless??!! You can’t declare a blood feud on BE; he may be the future of the Trek film-verse!

      His blood shall mingle with the sea of Grethor!!!

      Well BE, it’s been nice knowing you.

      :-D

      • I’ve never treated a Klingon before. You better make sure you win quickly and without sustaining any serious injury. :)

        • Wait, didn’t you treat Chancellor Gorkon? Oh wait, he died. What about…? Oh wait, no you didn’t.

          Any more bright ideas, petaQ??!! :-P

          • Butchers…all of them. I’ve had crew members come into sickbay: attrocities committed on their persons! of course I don’t know how to treat them. I’m a doctor, not a Klingon! ;)

            Actually, according to the Starfleet Medical Field Manual, the best way to remove Klingon odor is to vaporize the Klingon. Hmm…my protoplaser is not as powerless as I thought, it would appear. I’m a doctor, not a red shirt!

            Next thing, you’ll want me to perform heart surgery on a Vulcan in the middle of combat or something. Jeez, Kahless, you are the unrelenting. :)

  17. Looks like I’ve made it to Christmas without having any close encounters with the business end of a bat’leth. Kahless must still be busy sharpening his bladeware, or he may have been delayed by one of those cloaked 28th century patrol cutters from Temporal that have been known to hang around my neck of the woods.

    This talk of Klingons got me thinking of a possible wrinkle in the NuTrek timeline. Although they were spared the destruction of any major member worlds, the Empire lost a great deal more ships to the Narada than did the Federation.

    In the short term this is good news for the Earthers, but if this forces the Klingons to abandon their plans to establish a forward base on the backwater world of Organia, the long-term implications could be……”glorious”.

    Any convoluted attempt by me to clarify my “real Romulans” statement or try to apologize for the perceived offense would only prove me to be the petock Kahless accuses me of being, and pleas for Klingon mercy would only be debasing to us both, so I have instead a modest proposal to offer Kahless.

    Give me a fortnight to ring in the New Year, get my affairs in order and make out my will, and I’ll let you read Scene 1 of Act 2 of ST13: Rapture. What have you got to lose? After all, isn’t revenge a dish best served cold?

    (Hey, it worked for Sheherazade in 1001 Arabian Nights.) :)

  18. Happy New Year everyone!

    Dif-tor heh smusma.

    • Cheers to all, and many happy returns… even to the Klingons. :-)

      • It will be a good new year once the empire conquers the Federation!!!

        Ah, yeah, good luck with that, Kahless. :-D

  19. Happy New Year and best wishes to all. Looking forward to (a) some good news pretty soon about principal photography starting on the sequel, and (b) some more sterling work from Bright Eyes!

  20. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. As Big Dentist said, looking forward to some positive word on the production of the new film and some great work from Bright Eyes.

  21. I’m a doctor, not a fortune teller! :-)

  22. So, do we have an Into Darkness thread running?

    • We should! It’s been way too long since we’ve all had a good chat and I am super keen for Into Darkness (only 10 days to go!)

  23. Vic,

    Where’s your review so we can begin anew?

    • Doc,

      Ha ha, unfortunately, I do not review movies on the site any more.

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