On Trek’s Sucktacularity or Lack Thereof

by Jonah Goldberg

A couple emails:

Other problems I noticed with trailer:

1. Spock was much older than Kirk (long Vulcan lifespan). He served with Pike. Trailer makes them look like classmates and contemporaries.

2. Kirk much older than Uhuru. That’s why he is a CAPT and she is an LT. Trailer makes them look like contemporaries.

3. There is a Romulan character in this movie. No one in Federation had seen a Romulan until the episode where Romulans attacked neutral zone monitoring outposts.

4. I was a Naval Officer. So was Gene Roddenberry. I was always impressed that Roddenberry incorporated Naval traditions and proper Naval military protocol into the original series. Kirks “familiarity” with both Spock and Uhuru in the trailer is contrary to the original series consistency with military protocol and a serious breach of ethics (fraternization). Roddenberry never would have made that mistake.

Versus:

Jonah–

Just wanted to get my two somewhat positive cents in before you are totally swamped by people who hate the idea of the new Star Trek movie.

From all that I’ve read about the new flick, the plotline focuses on time travel– specifically, it appears that the Romulans travel back in time to kill Kirk when he’s vulnerable, possibly even taking a stab at killing Kirk’s father.

The “old” Spock, i.e. the one played by Leonard Nimoy, knows something strange is happening in *his* time, so he travels back to the younger Kirk’s era to warn him of the trouble afoot.

What does this mean for the nitpickers of all things canon? Well, if the Romulans go back in time to kill Kirk’s dad, the whole timeline gets messed up. . . messed up in ways beneficial to a new director wanting to change Trek to match his own ideas.

Need Kirk to be on the Enterprise earlier than originally thought? No problem– the Romulans changed “history” and Kirk shows up at the Academy a few years earlier than we remember it. Have to solve that pesky problem that no one in The Original Series had *even seen* a Romulan until Kirk fought one? No problem– these are Romulans from the future that change everything.

Heck, you can even use this theory for everything– “Time-traveling Romulans step on a butterfly in the 23rd century, and suddenly Kirk knows how to drive stick, Scotty’s lost all his hair, and the bridge of the Enterprise looks like an Apple Store.”

Anyway, I acknowledge that J.J. Abrams is playing a risky game by “rebooting” Trek while still maintaining the thread to the past, i.e. keeping Nimoy in the picture. Had Abrams gone the “reinvention” route ala the Battlestar Galactica series, he’d have given himself a lot more flexibility than he has now.

That said, the time travel scenario permits quite a bit to “change” in this version of Trek. Me? I’m willing to give the movie a chance on its own merits– as your other readers have written, it all comes down to characterization.

Cheers,
Dave

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