Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek! What the Star Wars Prequels Shouldn've Been

It’s basically impossible to review this movie without giving too much away about it, but I will endeavor to do just that. At the risk of over-hyping it, it’s really good. I've always been a Star Wars man myself, but I would consider myself a casual Star Trek fan. I’m interested in it as pop-culture phenomenon, but I’ve never watched the TV shows much and have only seen most of the movies. That basically means I’m informed enough to imagine Trekkies would love it (I mean, they even acknowledge Captain Pike) and disengaged enough to imagine people who’d never heard of Star Trek would love it too (Who the hell is Captain Pike? It doesn’t matter).

Star Trek is smartly written, has dynamic and dimensional characters, is well acted, and has breath-taking action sequences. When an action movie can grab a hold of your emotions with such a vice-grip that you’re on the verge of tears within the first 20 minutes, you know it’s well done.

Not in respect to any specific plot points or visual elements, watching this movie felt like how watching the Star Wars prequels should have felt. Fresh, new, exciting, yet familiar, comfortable, and complimentary to what we already knew. (That said one sequence could’ve been straight of The Empire Strikes Back, but come to think of it, that striking a reference would have been welcome in the Star Wars prequels too.) I found myself a little jealous of that. That Trekkies got the experience that us Star Wars fanatics missed out on. George Lucas should’ve hired J.J. Abrams to make Episodes 1-3.

Star Trek is not a perfect movie. No movie is. For a few such flaws keep reading:

Spoiler Alert
• Leonard Nimoy’s acting. Stylistically he didn’t match with the rest of the cast. Still, you couldn’t have made the movie without him.
• How would destroying the Federation have saved Romulus when the planet was destroyed not by the Federation, but by a super-nova?
• How would Romulus have survived without a sun had the Vulcan plan to save it by absorbing the super-nova in a black hole worked?
• WTF is “red matter”?
• If only 1 tiny drop of red matter is all you need to create a black hole, why did Spock have so damn much of it in his ship?
• Where did Spock get wood or means to make fire in his ice cave?
End Spoilers

Again, all of these are forgivable flaws. There are so many good things about the movie I won’t even try to list them. Just go see it.

[Warning: Spoilers in Comments Too]


  1. I have to disagree with you on Nimoy- frankly, he is playing a freaking character he has playe dfor 90 bajillion years. And the thing I LOVED about this movie was that it got back the craking good time that was had in the first series, with very little preachiness. I thought that he fit in nicely with the cast, in the way that he would, in fact, be an outsider to that goup of people. Ambassador Spock is a different man than Commander Spock, you know?

    Nero was CRAZY. Of course it wouldn't have saved Romulus. He's NUTS.

    I dunno about the wood, man. That was weird.

    also, a fun link to the sciencey stuff:

  2. I did not say his acting was bad, I just said he did not match stylistically. Sure you can rationalize it, but to me it seemed like he was acting in a different movie and it took me out of the moment. His best scene was the one between him and young Spock. There he seemed to be Ambassador Spock to Quinto's Commander Spock. Whereas the mind-meld voice-over sounded like something out of an old "In Search Of" episode. It's almost as though Abrams was afraid to direct him, since Nimoy is certainly capable.


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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.