May 13, 2009
Perhaps today IS a good day to talk about Star Trek!
Ok, enough waiting — if The Avocado thinks it's time to jaw about Star Trek, by gum, it's time.
- Agreed with Timothy Burke, the movie was pretty goddamn excellent. Consistently exciting and usually very funny.
- I was surprised and delighted that they left Old Spock alive at the end instead of killing him off. As Burke points out, having Old Spock in the universe creates all sorts of problems: he has foreknowledge of all kinds of threatening species and problems that the folks in the 23rd century didn't know about, plus he's a brilliant scientist from 130 years in the future. Frankly, I think these are excellent problems for a science fiction saga to have, and I only hope they don't forget about these problems around the time movie #3 or #4 is ready to go.
- Also, a big thank-you to the Star Trek scriptwriters for not destroying the Golden Gate Bridge.
- The scene in the elevator between Spock and Uhura was excellent. I want to know more about Uhura, and why she would want to deal with the reality of dating Spock — as opposed to the abstract appeal of dating Spock that fandom has been chewing over for forty years.
- Bad biology: The giant red worm/insect is awesome looking, but why is it red? And wouldn't it freeze to death? And why go after Kirk, when it already has a substantial meal?
- Bad engineering: What's with the crazy system of pipes and water in the engineering room? Is this a shout-out to Galaxy Quest? "Why are there chompy-crushy things in here! There's no reason we should have to run through chompy-crushy things! Who designed this? It makes no sense!"
- Bad physics: I'm actually not too offended by the ridiculous black hole physics. Star Trek has consistently treated black holes as magical plot devices, so this is okay. (Though if the black hole was powerful enough to collapse a planet, why did they have to bother drilling to the core?)
- Worse physics: A supernova that "threatened the galaxy?" Oo-kay. And did the supernova happen to Romulus's star or a neighboring star? If the former, there would be no time to evacuate the planet. If the latter, you would have a few years to evacuate everybody. And what exactly a black hole would do to reverse / disperse a supernova?
- Eye-gougingly bad physics: Look, transverse velocity exists, even when you are jumping from a
magical flying dragon23rd century shuttlecraft.
- Loved the TOS sound effects.
- It seems that modern SF franchises subscribe to the "the timeline wants to heal itself" philosophy of time travel. You can make massive changes — kill people, blow up Vulcan, even! — but incredibly unlikely events will conspire to land the entire TOS crew together anyway, in nearly the same state they were in the other timeline. See also the Terminator franchise, where you can't kill John Connor's mom because you'll just end up spawning John Connor, and you can't avert the apocalypse, you can only move it around in time.
- Despite screaming "FIRE EVERYTHING!!!" with gusto, Nero was not, shall we say, the most interesting villain Star Trek has ever seen. I'm not sure we needed a great villain for a movie that's basically about getting the band back together.
- On the other hand: "Hi Christopher. I'm Nero." Hehe!
- If you can get Kirk and Spock on the Narada, why not transport a bunch of armed & armored Starfleet security guards as well? I'm pretty sure "Cupcake" and his buddies could have helped, at least. (In the Star Trek universe, if your enemy is able to transport soldiers over to your ship, you are usually in deep doo-doo.)
- It's interesting to compare the edited trailer dialogue to the lines in the full movie — usually the trailer's dialogue wins. For example, Nero's line in the trailer is, "James T. Kirk was a great man... but that was another life." The full quote in the movie is wordier and not nearly as punchy.
- Also, the trailers' music is better than the movie's music. Unfortunately, the trailer music is not for sale to the public at any price (I checked).
- The final shot before opening credits (Nero's ship crippled, a little trail of hopeful little shuttlecraft creeping away) is brilliant.
- I want to know more about Future Iowa. What are those giant looming barely-visible buildings? What is that giant artificial gouge all about?
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