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Star Trek: I feel cheated
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Sunday, 05/17/09 10:50 pm] [Full Blog] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]

A recent review, I don't remember where, for the new Star Trek movie, said, "Star Trek fans will love it and hate it." In my opinion, that review was 100% correct.

Don't get me wrong, the movie was great. It was the most fun I've had in a theater in a long time. The story is compelling, the effects are exciting, and the actors are great. There's only one problem. It wasn't Star Trek.

Yes, it was "a" Star Trek, but it wasn't "the" Star Trek.

Through the course of the movie, we see each of the characters from the Original Show that we know and love, and see how they all met and became ship-mates and friends. We see the birth of James Tiberius Kirk, and the childhoods of Jim Kirk and young Spock. When next we see them, Spock is an instructor at the Academy, and he turns out to be the author and programmer of the Kobayashi Maru test, the unbeatable test Kirk cheats on to beat. Kirk and McCoy are friends at the academy, along with Sulu and Uhura.

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Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine as the new Spock and Captain Kirk

But wait a second, weren't Sulu and Uhura from a later Star Fleet class? Wasn't Jim Kirk already a commander when they joined the Enterprise? I'm not sure, but I am sure that McCoy never went to the academy. Remember, he didn't know what "dunsel" meant in the episode, "The Ultimate Computer".

It just gets worse. Not half-way through the film, the planet Vulcan is completely destroyed. We know Vulcan was not destroyed in the time of the Original Show, Kirk, Spock and McCoy visited there in "Amok Time".

Turns out, this is all explained very cleverly in the course of the new movie by the fact that what we are seeing is an "alternate timeline", caused by a bad-guy Romulan who's hacked-off at Spock and comes back from the future for revenge. He starts off by causing the death of Jim Kirk's dad right as Jim is born, and from then on, because the time-line has been changed, the world we are seeing has only cosmetic relationship to the world represented in the Original Show.

So, in the course of a very well written and excitingly presented film, we are left at the end with the realization that we have NOT seen a film about the beginnings of the characters we have known and loved. These characters in the film are carbon-copies from an alternate reality. We have not learned anything about the real characters at all.

The new Star Trek movie changed the rules. They made a great film, they beat the Kobayashi Maru, but only because they cheated. And in the end, it is us, the loyal Star Trek fans, who were cheated most of all.

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