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.