Star Trek, oh Star Trek.
I’ve been “between things” recently, so that’s why I have all this time to watch movies and write about them. There’s a box set of the original five Star Trek movies on Blue Ray on a shelf next to where I sleep. The answer is, Yes. I’ve been watching them.
I’ve never watched the Search for Spock all the way through so I decided to rectify that. And I failed. I got about halfway in and just gave up. It’s a Long Ass Movie and it’s not helped by the slow as nails pacing and overall boring-ness especially when compared to The Wrath of Khan, which Search is the sequel to.
This is the lone blemish on my otherwise flawless record. I’ve seen every other Star Trek movie ever made, even the ghastly Final Frontier, which I know we’d all love to forget ever existed.
As I re-watched these six fabled classics I, of course, began to think about the more recent Star Trek movies. I know that a lot of Trek fans don’t really like them, but I gotta say, whatever faults those movies have, they are FAR from the worst it gets.
I prefer the humorous Star Treks like The Voyage Home, you know, the one with the whales or the parts of First Contact when the Next Gen crew are befuddled by Zefram Cochrane’s alcoholism. I guess the new Treks aren’t that humorous, and they have a lot more flash and fire than the traditional Treks. They seem to have taken their acting cues from the brash gallantry of Kirk and Riker rather than the eggheads we all actually like watching, such as Spock, Picard and Data. Everybody argues in New Trek. The bridge feels more like a boxing ring rather than the helm of a huge beautiful starship, the players feel more like whiny college students than professional explorers.
But I still like watching them. For all they’re faults, they’re better than a large sample of Star Trek movies. I will list the Treks that are worse: The Search for Spock, The Final Frontier, Generations, Insurrection and Nemesis. Honestly the only ‘Next Gen’ movie that holds up is First Contact.
I’m not trying to talk shit, I’m just being objective. You can love something and be critical of it. Heck, I posted earlier how Starship Troopers is my favorite movie of all time.
So don’t get me wrong, I still think there are original Treks that easily outshine the rowdy bluster of these New ones. I guess I’m just happy they’re still making Star Trek and they’re doing a pretty good job, all things considered. Was Kirk’s revival in Into Darkness really any crazier than the revival of Spock with the Genesis torpedo?
Maybe they shouldn’t have tried to remake the Wrath of Khan, but you know what? The Wrath of Khan isn’t really that great. I mean it’s fun, and it presents Star Trek in its “mature” style for the first time with a well imagined space battle, that in terms of special effects still looks pretty good. It also shows us how world weary our heroes had become, and it has the Kobayashi Maru. Yes. It’s a classic. But… eh. Star Trek, for me, is about fun.
And New Trek is fun. I guess I appreciate that they’re trying to make exciting movies rather than pandering to a fanbase that has always been fickle. A fanbase that, even I as a Trek enthusiast I find tiresome. Trekkies, in my mind, represent an old guard of nerd-dom that started to see its kingdom crumble right about when Iron Man transitioned from a b-list comic book hero into a gazillion dollar franchise. Because you don’t own Star Trek. You are not the arbiter.
My mom likes Star Trek. She’s pretty into Jean-Luc Picard, and I admit that I’m pretty fond of the captain too. One of my old coworkers who also likes Star Trek used to call Picard “captain wooden-head” because she found Picard to be god awfully boring. I don’t understand how anyone could feel that way, but you know what? There’s no ‘right’ way to enjoy Star Trek.
So some people didn’t like Into Darkness. I guarantee its not the first time they disliked a Trek movie, and if it is, your tastes are nonsensical. Besides these movies are based on a show that visited places like the “Nazi Planet” or features androids who travel back in time to befriend Mark Twain and almost every alien race looks exactly like a human with a little silicon ridge of one shape or another glued to their forehead. Some of the aliens don’t have any ridges at all. Yeah I know, they explained why that is in an episode of Next Gen, but who cares? It’s more fun to enjoy it rather than obsess over it.
Besides the best Star Trek movie of all time isn’t even technically Star Trek.