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Star Trek Into Darkness... A Fan’s Introspective View On The War Within The Trek Community

Star Trek: Into Darkness….A Fan’s Introspective View On The War Within The Trek Community.

“Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.” 
-- Gene Roddenberry

I personally think this war nonsense has gone on long enough; it’s almost as annoying as the Trekkie/Trekker argument. Almost. So, let’s start with the basics shall we?

Any…whatever, worth their weight, should be familiar enough with canon to know what Star Trek 2009 did and didn’t do. The first thing they did was hire a stellar cast to recreate the younger versions of the characters we love oh so much. When Kirk (Pine) met Spock Prime it was nothing short of Pine channeling his inner Shatner. For this to work one would’ve had to have really known Captain James Tiberus Kirk…at least as much as possible. Captain Kirk was cocky, headstrong, confident, brave, loving and one hell of a Captain. JJ knew that and so did Chris Pine. Now, take that same Captain, make him 10 or so years younger, with less experience. What you get is Pine’s Kirk. Spock (Quinto), again the younger less experienced Vulcan. There was no betrayal of canon there either. For example, that delightful twist with Uhura...why some find it as foreign as drinking Romulan ale is beyond me. Spock’s father Sarek admitted to loving his wife Amanda. Sarek was 100% green blooded Vulcan. Vulcans may not show emotions, but they do have them in abundance. Spock is half human; of course he has emotions and for some reason, in this timeline became attracted to Uhura. Period. “Bones” portrayed by Carl Urban; I don’t believe I can accurately express in words what a phenomenal job he did! It was like he was possessed by DeForest. Gruff, grumbly, skilled, and at the core…a heart of pure passion and determination. That is Leonard McCoy! The way they wrote in how Kirk started calling him “Bones”? Pure brilliance! How anyone could say that serious research and thought weren’t put into that character, I’ll never know. Bones served as sarcastic, dry-humor comic relief when things got a little too tense in TOS and that’s exactly what he did in this movie. Basically the cast was spot on.

The destruction of Vulcan?….I personally loved that. I hope JJ blows up Earth next. Why you may ask? More stories to tell. Can the Federation/Starfleet survive with such a devastating blow? Does Andoria or Tellar become the new Headquarters? What ramifications are there for the Alpha Quadrant? Oh, I’m getting all punch drunk with the thought of it all.

Story arc….Clearly JJ and staff did their homework. This story screams Gene and Rick and if you don’t agree with that you need to go all the way back to “The Cage” and watch everything until “These Are the Voyages.” While you’re at it, watch Trek Nation where you hear the Great Bird himself say he would back an early Kirk/Spock prequel…he loved the idea! NOBODY knew or loved Trek more than he did (save maybe Majel and Rick Berman). The Federation was still in its infancy and the Narada was nothing they had ever seen before. The power that ship possessed was decades above anything they had seen at the time. Of course they were outgunned. It was fantastic watching Starfleet being brought to its knees with no possible chance of getting out of the mess. To reference Riker and Worf respectively; You’re out manned, out gunned, what have you got left? Guile. Cowboy diplomacy, dearies…at its best.

What didn’t it do? It didn’t rehash the same sugar coated, clean pressed Starfleet uniform (the universe is soooo awesome!) plotlines that were carried through 28 seasons of Star Trek (scratch that, 25 seasons…the Dominion War was far from warm and fluffy).  I thought that was great!  So did thousands of other non-Trek loving people who decided to give it a go. Some actually went back and watched the oldies-but-goodies, bringing more attention and money (keyword there) back to Star Trek.

Now, I want to jump ahead to Into Darkness. The movie hasn’t even come out yet and the whiner babies are lining up to take a whack at a movie they saw maybe 9 minutes of.

The first thing that is driving me all “Naked Now” is this nonsense about the Enterprise going under water. Seriously? It’s the Enterprise, the ship of all ships, the original bloody a, b, c, or d. The Enterprise can do anything the writers can conjure up…BECAUSE IT’S SCIFI!! Warp drive, transporters, deflector dishes, and nacelles are all things created from the beautiful mind of Gene Roddenberry. They don’t exist in real life (well, not yet anyway).  And just a lil reminder, did nobody watch Voyager? Something called fluidic space? Yeah that.

Lens flare….sweet Saurian Brandy, if I hear another complaint about lens flare I’m going to overload my phaser and end it all. This is a very easy concept. Do you honestly believe that Gene wouldn’t have used today’s cutting edge technology and special effects had he had access to them? Of course he would and did at the time. The opening sequence in TOS when the Enterprise is warping through the galaxy was lightyears ahead of anything else at the time (pun absolutely intended) all the way up to Enterprise…every series and movie used the best available with the budgets they had. JJ is doing no different. Lens flare, the tapping of the camera to give an edgy feel (that took some serious commitment on the part of JJ, the dude probably couldn’t use that arm for a week after), Star Trek was always known to be groundbreaking. That’s why it died in the 60’s because nobody could handle it at the time. The naysayers are being those people. That really brings me to my point…of this soapbox riding tirade. I love Star Trek. Ok, I love BSG and Firefly too……and Star Wars…ah frak, you get the point. Because I love Star Trek I’m not ready to let it go. I’m not prepared to accept that my children will grow up without fresh adventures of the Federation and Starfleet, in whatever incarnation they may be. The fact is, times they are a changin’.  Another cold hard fact is we as a “collective” (like that? yeah I do too) don’t take change well. Can anybody say “Faith of the Heart”? However, in order for Trek to survive it has to do one thing…that dreaded keyword I mentioned earlier, it has to make money. If there’s one thing that Lucasfilm did right it was make money….now, settle down... I’m not saying we need to sell our souls to a theme park in Florida. We do however need to be a little bit flexible.  If that requires us to choke back some things that wrinkle our dress uniforms a lil, then so be it. I’m willing to deal with that insufferable uniform they slapped on Uhura or have Wil Wheaton do un-credited work (what is the deal with that?) for the bigger picture. Just pour me a big tall glass of prune juice to help wash down some of the distaste I may have. We have no idea where these movies will take us…there are so many avenues Trek could travel, how many movies happened before TNG? We eventually got 7 years with the 1701-D and multiple movies, followed by DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I want my kids to have the same memories I do, but not of some ancient once known TV show, rather memories of generations and traditions. In a world full of Honey Boo Boos and Jersey Shores, why shouldn’t there be something left of a time that was better and full of imagination and wonder. My reality TV is Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and Archer. I accept all forms of Trek as Trek. Even those that I may not personally like (and believe me there are episodes of even my beloved DS9 that I down right HATE). Don’t even get me started on the deaths of Data and Trip, or even the BS way Voyager was ended. However, it’s all part of the story please don’t let that story die…these are the voyages of Star Trek, the ongoing exploration into the universe we all love.


Starfleet Chapter: USS Bonaventure, NC

Bye Bye, Robot: Official Licensed Star Trek Fine Art