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I’m sure it’s old news to many of you, but I finally went to see this today, and liked it a lot. I don’t think it’s the best Star Trek movie made so far (that would be Wrath of Khan), but its certainly the best one in a while, thanks to a fresh new cast, a fresh new take on the original TV series, and good writing, acting and direction.
Not only is the story well written, it deftly solves the main problem with restarting the series from the beginning, and like the famous way James T. Kirk solved the Kobayashi-Maru test at Starfleet Academy, it does it by cheating…sort of. Thanks to some of the science-fictional (as far as we know) ideas about time travel established in the Star Trek universe, characters come back in time to when Kirk, Spock, and company were very young, and by so doing, change the history established in the original series, creating an alternate timeline. The beauty of that idea is, from this point on, the new young crew can have adventures as they like. Things the writers want to use from the previous continuity can be included, ignored, or even contradicted. It’s a different timeline, an alternate universe if you like. Some things will be different! Brilliant move.
I liked the actors chosen for the key crew roles, and also the way they are gradually introduced and included. The only one I wasn’t completely sold on at first was the actor now playing Spock, and he certainly had the hardest part, having to play spoiler and wet blanket to the others, and also having to share screen time with his much older self, played wonderfully by Leonard Nimoy. By the end, I was happy with him, too.
Above all, it’s a fun ride that hits all the right notes and key memory moments from the original TV show, without getting bogged down by that, and with plenty of new stuff, too. I’m glad it’s done well, and hope it leads to more good work from this team.
Several people who saw it ahead of me told me they liked it, even though they were quick to assure me, “I’m not a Trekkie, but…” I don’t think of myself as a Trekkie either. Don’t go to the Trek conventions or have any interest in dressing up Trek or meeting the stars. But I have been a fan of the Trek world on the small and big screen all along, so I guess I really am a Trekkie after all. Good work by the film crew to appeal to fans like me and lots who weren’t even that interested before. Should lift the franchise and carry it forward.