New Trek movie excellent addition to the Star Wars saga
Went to see the new Star Trek movie with low expectations. The previous movies in the saga had been, well, bad, and it has rarely translated well on the big screen. This time, all new cast and directors - could be bad, could be good.
The movie is good. It's really quite good.
The problem is - it's not Star Trek. Or at least it's not my Star Trek.
(May be spoilers here.)
After the movie, I sat there, in the half-empty theatre, watching people flow out. Feeling quite empty. Yeah, I had laughed, I was excited, but you know, it was as if I had seen something else than a Trek movie. A nice sci-fi flick, with planets exploding, gigantic war machines with a vengeance-driven ruler. Cute aliens. No technobabble. A triangle drama between the hansom but loner captain, a cool but uncertain man, who does not quite know where he belongs, and a beautiful lady with a strange hairdo. Lots of action and little complexity, conveyed through a barrage of special effects and lots of platforms on which the good and the evil guys can jump about.
Change a few names, have different spaceships, minor changes to the plotline, and this would've made a truly excellent Star Wars Episode 1; much better than the monstrosity that George Lucas came up with.
But it ain't Star Trek. There's no "what if". There's no thinking, no alien cultures. Just action. Just childish joy at breaking things. Nothing adult or difficult; nothing that compares to the best Star Trek episodes (of all the series).
OK, maybe I'm old. Maybe this is exactly how the old trekkies felt when Star Trek - The Next Generation appeared. And I remember the cries of foul play when people learned that there was going to be a remake of Battlestar Galactica, and Starbuck was going to be a woman!
But there was a difference: the new BSG series was actually really good. It really showed something different, something that very few series had done before. It challenged people with non-trivialized plotlines and did evil things to main characters that we loved. The new Star Trek isn't better than the original. It's a superimposition of Star Wars on top of the Star Trek universe. There is nothing new in it. Everything has been seen before, in other surroundings.
To summarize: the new Trek movie is a nice action flick with lots of in-references and jokes thrown in for the fans. But it's a movie with little power. Someone could make a great TV series based on it, but any movie sequels I'm probably going to skip.
(Update: Ha! "The writers have said their goal is for the film to appeal not just to Trek fans, but to new audiences as well. They hoped to bring the feel of the original Star Wars trilogy into the movie, since Abrams has often said he's more a fan of Star Wars than Star Trek.")
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