StarTrek: The not quite a prequel (caution: spoilers)

I had no idea what to do with myself this morning, that is what happens when the skiing is over and I am tired from hiking yesterday and I don’t have to be at work until the evening. So, I figured, what better time to go see the new StarTrek movie ( Everyone has been saying how great it was, I had to see for myself. I certainly had my doubts since I heard that they were making the film. I have become wary of prequels, there is often too much to live up to. One major thought I had before seeing the film was that there is so much in the StarTrek universe that could be explored without going backwards in time.

My first gut reaction to the movie was this: If you are not a hardcore Trekkie this would be a great movie. In terms of almost everything I would rank this film as better than Star Wars 1-3. My biggest problem with the new Trek is plot. Too many holes that could have been filled a lot better than just wrapping it up (very discretely mind you) as an alternate reality due to time paradox. I just don’t see how this movie really fits into the StarTrek canon. In my opinion, even Enterprise fits better than this as a prequel.

Putting aside my issues with the story and how it actually fits with the story we knew, StarTrek is excellent. The cinematography is exceptional, the film is beautiful. I loved everything from camera angles and lighting to overall composition. The scenery was great, and I certainly did not miss the original Enterprise bridge. I also thing the action sequences were executed very well. There have been a few recent films I have seen where the action sequences were so fast and dizzying that I think it took away from the film; not so with StarTrek.

I also enjoyed the way that all the characters were introduced. It is much more interesting when a random confluence of events brings people together compared to having them all meet in the academy or being assigned to the same ship. I think that in general, the choice of cast for the movie was great. The biggest thing I had to get over was that it was Spock and not Sylar.

Here are my problems with the story. If this is supposed to be a prequel or a story of the origins of the characters we know, it isn’t. It is only mentioned once, and almost in passing that what was created when the Nero first came through the black hole was an alternate reality. Spock Prime also tells us of how the Kirk we know from TOS and the original movies actually has a different history, as such, presumably so does everyone else.

If you look at this movie as a prequel then it leaks more water than a strainer. They destroyed both Romulus and Vulcan, and they killed Spock’s mother. We know from TOS and TNG that Vulcan was not destroyed, and Spock’s mother appears in both TOS and StarTrek III. We already had alternate reality episodes in both TOS and Enterprise so why feed the fan base an alternate reality backstory that really has no bearing on the characters we know? I suppose maybe it is the only way to attempt to explore that part of the story without pissing off fans.

What’s the bottom line? This is a great film, totally worth going to see. It is fun to watch and a good portrayal of the characters. I am just a little miffed as to how this fits in with the StarTrek canon.






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