I Saw Star Trek

I saw Star Trek Friday night (it was actually 12:20 am Saturday morning) and loved it. I left the theater feeling that all was well with the world.

Since this is a reboot, rather than a screen version of one of the TV shows, I think it is better than any of the previous 10 films. That’s sort of the problem. The new world of Star Trek that the movie has created can only be fully realized with a TV series, where each character can be fleshed out. This has already been done, though, 40 years ago, so movies should suffice. But there is no reason why a new TV series wouldn’t work. The props and uniforms from the movie could be used, and the special effects of the movie are no more elaborate than those of Battlestar Galactica. Maybe less so, frankly; BSG had pretty frakin’ amazing effects, every week.

The new Captain Pike was great. He never slipped up or acted old. Even during the climax, when he was rescued by Kirk, he was quick and sharp enough to grab Kirk’s phaser and kill a Romulan who was about to shoot them from behind. And seeing him resting in a wheelchair during Kirk’s award ceremony at the end was a clever nod to the original pilot that featured a disfigured Pike in a huge mechanical wheelchair with two lights, one for “yes” and one for “no.” But whatever happened to that big bug they made him swallow that was supposed to control his mind?

I was surprised by the Spock/Uhura romance. The trailers gave the impression that this was a Kirk/Uhura romance. Despite Kirk’s reputation as a “lady’s man,” his only fling in the movie is with a green (somewhat puffy) Orion girl while he was a student at Starfleet Academy. I guess we’ll have to wait for the sequel for Yoeman Rand.

Everything looks great in the new Trek. There are lots of shuttles, and they’re as peppy and modern as any Raptor from BSG. The Enterprise is more believable than it’s ever been, and the shuttle bay is especially fleshed out. The phasers kill, but don’t disintegrate. The communicators are mostly hinted at; I think they’re wrist mounted. And at last there are plenty of sound effects from the original series (even the transporter sound!), not to mention a subtle update of the original’s closing theme song.

There are some new twists on transporter technology. In one scene, when Kirk and Sulu have fallen off the Romulan drilling platform, they are beamed to the Enterprise while falling, just before hitting the ground. But in another scene, Spock’s mom falls to her death while in mid beam when the ground beneath her falls away. The collapse happens so quickly that a lock on her is lost; it seems to me the technology would be advanced enough that once a lock is established that it could be maintained automatically.

Regarding my April 22 post about the Outer Limits alien at Star Fleet, I didn’t see him. The aliens in the crowd don’t reappear. There is an alien on the bridge of the Kelvin, and a weird long-faced alien sitting in the bar next to Kirk in Ohio (I’m not counting Vulcans, Romulans or green chicks). Scotty has a little alien friend that is pretty cheesy looking who gets more screen time than he should have.