Movie review in haiku

Here is a haiku I wrote during a meeting yesterday while reflecting on my thoughts of the new Star Trek movie.

Alternate time line:
Hollywood’s licence to change
Sacred cannon lore.

I know I am one of the only people who was disappointed by this movie. Even my Star Trek fan buddies were taken by this new re-envisioning of the original Star Trek series. But I just had a problem with this whole premise that now creates an alternate reality in which a new version of the old crew can become another franchise. I smell marketing, marketing, marketing. More movies using our beloved old characters–younger versions of themselves in an alternate time line. Beh!

I don’t like change, though, so don’t take it from me. I guess the movie brought new fans into this much “cooler” version of Star Trek. Now it’s hype to be a Trekkie. Great. I’ve longed for that day when my love of Star Trek did not label me as a geeky fan girl. Some part of me, however, feels stingy and does not want to share my geeky love with non-geeks who are only wooed by special effects.

Why can’t Hollywood just let classics stay classics without nit-picking them to death? Why remake something that was already good, had a fan base, once? Are we running out of ideas? None of the remakes I’ve seen in the last several years have ever given me what the original did: Dawn of the Dead, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Time Machine (gacks, that was a true, sad failure). Leave the classics alone, I say. New CGI does not replace the more creative plots offered from the days when the special effects were minimal. Seems back then we focused more on plot substance. That’s what made the original series of Star Trek good–not the horribly costumed aliens, but the great plots. What the original series lacked in eye candy, it more than made up for in character-building and interesting ideas.

You don’t believe me? Well, you’re not trying hard enough to imagine. I have an active imagination and Star Trek sparked that in me with episodes such as:

Space Seed, the original appearance of Khan Noonian Singh, which explored the topic of genetics and the consequences of manufacturing “superior” beings.

Let This Be Your Last Battlefield, which explored racism with beings from a planet at war with each other–one race with black on the left side of its face and one with black on the right.

Journey to Babel, which explores the complex relationship between a father and a son, both Vulcan but both with very human problems of handling each other. (Also a great episode where my darling McCoy smugly gets the last word.)

The Mark of Gideon in which a war-torn world sends its people on both sides to death chambers determined by a lottery system run by a war computer. People no longer fight wars, but there are still casualities. Interesting idea for a modern age. And scary.

Sure there were cheesy episodes too (Spock’s Brain, Plato’s Stepchildren). You’ll have that with any series. No writer or team of writers is on the money every day. I just feel that they could have written a story using the existing cannon from the current time line without inserting this alternative timeline idea. They had me believing everything up until the point where the Nimoy Spock came into the picture. I know JJ Abrams thought he would please more fans by using this alternate timeline idea because he wouldn’t have to deal with the pressure of inconsistencies, but I think he did more to hurt the series by making a “new” cast and crew.

I kept expecting the movie to end with them somehow reversing time and putting us back into the “real” Star Trek universe. It would have been another cheesy plotline to fix the broken past, but I’d have accepted it more readily than this ending that leaves us with a destroyed Vulcan, a fatherless Kirk, and two Spocks talking to each other.

It just seems to me that as the technology for special effects and realistic visuals increases, the story telling, plot lines, and character dialog decreases. I think I’ll go back to reading books where I don’t need any fancy effects to feed my hunger for a good story.

2 thoughts on “Movie review in haiku

  1. Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m a JJ Abrams fan and only went to see it because of his involvement. I VAGUELY remember my dad watching the original Star Trek series when I was little, but that’s about it.

    Daniel was shocked and horrified when I asked, “what’s a klingon?”

    Not really knowing what to expect from the movie, I have to say, I really enjoyed it. And now, would even be amenable to watching the original series on dvd (Daniel may force me to anyway).

    I’ve heard that the “true” Star Trek fans have had really mixed reviews and feelings about the movie.

    Thanks for the review! :)

  2. I liked it up until the point that they blew up Vulcan and didnt reverse the time line, and explained everything away as an alternate time line. Well, I knew Nero was going to be from the future or something, and my wits were already being tested because *I AM SO FRAKKING TIRED OF TIME TRAVEL STORES*, but the alternate universe they set up just took the cake. I was out and sad and very disappointed.

    As versed as I am in the Star Trek cannon, which I’d say I’m probably pretty versed as far as the Original Series goes (and I’m including the reading of books, which I did do), I do not recall if Kirk’s father was mentioned as being there when Kirk was commissioned as a captain. So I could have let it go that he died. (In fact, I was surprised that he was a starship captain because I dont remember that in the cannon, but agian, I was willing to accept that as interesting and cool. His name was, btw, George Samual Kirk.)

    I was a little worried when there was no mention of Kirk’s older brother, Samual George Kirk, but I would have let it slip as insignificant information for a movie.

    The stuff with Spock and the Vulcan Science Academy was spot-on cannon.

    Scotty had no history that I’m aware of so I liked what they did with his character.

    Uhura’s name is, in fact, Nyota and every Star Trek fan worth his salt knows that as well. (I think Nichelle Nichols unofficially named her, though it never came up in the series, or maybe she didnt but I read something about her liking the selected name… man, I’m loosing it in my old age).

    I wondered where the canyon came from in Iowa that Kirk nearly fell down… Maybe Iowa is like Arizona in the future? I dont know.

    McCoy did in fact join Starfleet upon his divorce from one Jocelyn. He had one daughter named Joanna. It was okay not to mention these specifics. McCoy was “running” away from his problems.

    I loved the guy who played McCoy, my favorite character, he was spot on. And then some.

    So, like I said, I could have bought everything up until the last half hour. Then I was pissed and disappointed. Abrams could have made money off of this series, generating new fans, but also keep the old ones happy. He didnt need to have an alternative universe to do it in. It was a cop out. I’m very disappointed. Where is the creativity in Hollywood, ehmmm?

    Anyway. Dont watch movies with me. I’m supercritical. Having a degree in English makes you no fun with friends who just go to movies to be entertained and watch things blow up… ;)

    I’m going to see Terminator 4 on Friday… and I am expecting to be disapponted with that as well. But, then, I liked the original Terminator and didn’t think it needed to have sequals. I hated T2 and liked T3. (I like the ones where the inevitable future is the destruction of civilization–I’m such a nihilist! And I have a sick fascination with post-apocalyptic literature, and have since I was a KID).

    But, anyway, the Trekkie has spoken. ;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s