First, a warning: though it is not my intention, this post may well degenerate into uber-geekdom. Those who prefer to pretend that this side of me does not exist would do well to stop reading now.
I’m swinging to the night shift, and as part of the effort to keep myself awake as long as possible, I perused our network media drive and, lo and behold, found a copy of J.J. Abrams’ ‘reboot’ of Star Trek (featuring a hodgepodge of actors from other sci-fi series, like Sylar from “Heroes” as Spock and Eomer from “Lord of the Rings” as McCoy). As a former Trekker/Trekkie, I thought this would be a great way to pass the time. Sure, the days where I read Starfleet technical manuals and proudly owned tricorders and phasers and recreated instrument panels from the bridge of the
Now, I won’t drop any spoilers for those who want to see it, er, unspoiled, but I will say this: the overarching premise of this movie is that, for all intents and purposes, the last 40-odd years of Star Trek history have been rewritten due to a little time-traveling, and now we’re off on a new, uncharted trajectory. This is not a ‘reimagining’ like BSG or the recent Batman films: in those cases, yes, we’re starting anew, generally only recycling the basic plotlines and characters’ names, but there’s no acknowledgement of what’s come before, or any attempt to say that the older series are no longer valid. They’re simply new tellings of old tales. Abrams’ Star Trek, on the other hand, explicitly acknowledges that another timeline – the one we’ve come to know and love for the last half-century – exists, and just as explicitly states that this timeline has been wiped out. As if dancing on the old timeline’s grave, Abrams even brings in Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, to tell us this. Now, I’m sure nine out of ten of you could care less about this, and perhaps you think this ‘issue’ lies only in the hearts of nerdified Trek purists. That may be so; but I still found it a smidge presumptive, a tad arrogant, to baldly erase such a large canon of work simply to appeal to a new, hip, younger fan base. And, in doing so, Abrams manages to make many of the old, likeable characters much less interesting. The old Kirk was a rogue, to be sure, bucking regulation and charging in where angels fear to tread; but he still acted on a set of principles. The new Kirk is little more than an obnoxious frat boy. The old Uhura was a ground-breaking civil rights icon, fleshing out a future where different races worked together on equal footing; the new Uhura is a sex object traded between Kirk and Spock. The old Chekov, introduced at the height of the Cold War, pointed to a time when East and West were no longer mortal enemies; the new is an awkward-looking kid amusing only for his indecipherable accent.
Silly stuff to most, perhaps, and in my older years I honestly care less than I might have as a Trekkified teenager. As time has passed and I re-watch episodes of “The Next Generation”, I find it much less compelling stuff: it’s the U.N. in the future, and about as plausible as the notion that a body where
So you’ve done it, J.J.; by your actions, you’ve rekindled emotions I long thought dead and buried. They still are, mostly; but I do not like the direction you’ve taken. “Lost” better finish with a hell of a bang, or I may never forgive what you’ve done to James Tiberius Kirk and the illustrious history of the name “