Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek Entertains

We saw the new Star Trek movie on Saturday night. I was heartily diverted, although the picture was so action packed that I felt a wee bit overstimulated. It felt more like Starship Troopers than Star Trek, but in a good way.

Here are the spoilers. This is not really a prequel; it's a reimagining. The time line starting in 2232, the year James T Kirk was born, has been altered by a vengeful Romulan from the future. So Kirk grows up fatherless and wild in Iowa and signs up for Star Fleet at the urging of Captain Pike where he defies authority while achieving excellence. Apparently, in the future people will learn to appreciate talent even if it isn't obsequious. Meanwhile, the crazy future Romulan, after waiting 25 years for future Spock to come through the same wormhole that brought him to the past, deploys a planet destroying weapon and implodes Vulcan, killing 6 billion Vulcans. This is in revenge for Spock's failure to prevent the destruction of Romulus (he was too late) in the future. When crazy future Romulan sets out to destroy Earth, the Enterprise and the cadet class are called into action. The rest of the fleet is conveniently tied up elsewhere.

Anyway, a borderline mutinous Cadet KIrk becomes Captain of the Enterprise and saves the world. A grateful Star Fleet makes his rank and position permanent. Meanwhile, Kirk has managed to meet and assemble the familiar crew and have them take up their stations on Enterprise several years before they would have in the old time line. I got the feeling that this film was a set up for a new franchise of Star Trek with younger actors who don't have to get fat and have perms.

Saving the world together bonds the crew, and I bet they'll have lots of exciting adventures. Best of all, they won't have to deal with a 20 year time lag between the cancellation of a series and the introduction of a string of movies.

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