Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Aging Trekkie Goes to the Movies

I was, I believe I may have mentioned, a bit nervous about this new Star Trek movie. What's all this stuff about a reboot? What will they do with my beloved characters? Will they throw out all that lovely future history? Will they do it right? What I guess I meant is, will I like it?

I liked it. I really liked it. I mean, I'm surprised by how much I liked it. I think I was a little stunned.

In fact it's taken me a long time to figure out what I have to say about it, other than what I just said. I want to see it again. It's been years since I've gone to the same movie twice during its first run. That's kid stuff and I'm not a kid anymore.

Neither is Star Trek. It's forty years old. But now it's young again.

If you've read this far you probably already know the premise. Bad guy goes back in time, does something to mess up the past, changes the origin of the Star Trek saga, the whole story starts anew, with some things remaining the same and some changed forever. What made Star Trek special for me was the characters. Would this new reality get them right? Would they be, even if somewhat changed, essentially the same people?

My answer it yes. J.J. Abrams and his crew got it right. They got the big things right. They got the small things right. Sulu's unflappability, Chekov's youthful energy, Scotty's humor and style, Uhuru's strength and skill, McCoy's passion, Spock's subtle interior battle between logic and friendship, and Kirk's, well, Kirkness. Oh yes, Kirk is still da man.

There are some big changes. I don't do spoilers, so I won't talk about them here, but some things have changed. Conservative old trekkie me should have bristled, or at least been disappointed. It didn't happen. Not much, anyway. I accepted the changes as parts of the new milieu and as a device for future stories.

There were a lot of little gifts for fans. A well known trilling sound in the base on Delta Vega. The name Delta Vega. Kirk's wandering eyes (and making it with a green chick). Classic lines from the old show that brought laughter and shouts of recognition from fans in the audience. The optimistic spirit of the whole thing, defying the no-win scenario. Best of all, there was Nimoy.

Nimoy did a great job (of course) as good old Spock Prime. He passed the torch to this new version with great respect for the old. I can't wait to see the next one.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Star Trek lives.

Live long and prosper.

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