So, I watched it again, and by it I of course mean the new JJ Abrams Star Trek. Pour my Kool-Aid, shave my head, I'm joining the cult. I do indeed believe this is not only a great movie, but a great move for Star Trek. Don't think I have lost my affection for TNG or DS9 or ENT even (never had too much affection for VOY). I can however accept that this is the way forward for Star Trek.
Sure, I had to sacrifice Vulcan. However, as I think back at how many times I have sat in practiced expectation while watching an episode of Trek, waiting for someone to push what I like to call the “Temporal Reset Button” and undo whatever time travel induced changes the villain wrought, I realize this is a great way to show there's no going back. We are playing for keeps. If that is so, then think about the possibilities for future films-
Imagine real Klingons- not bumpy headed Vikings, real honest to God Klingons with smooth brows and goatees, foils for Kirk matching him intellectually as well as physically. Imagine Romulans who return to their Roman-like roots, creatures of honor and discipline, as passionate as their Vulcan cousins are repressed. Boldly going again, optimistic, yet ready to make sure some asses get kicked when they need it. Imagine certain tales being re-experienced. “A Taste of Mercy” where the Enterprise tries to stop the war between Eminiar 7 and Vendikar before the Klingons can take advantage of two planets with virtually no weapons. Imagine Sarek trying to get Spock to leave Uhura and marry T'Pring because there are only a handful of Vulcans left, and there's a responsibility to his heritage. Imagine there's still a sleeper ship from the late 20th Century floating out there, it's crew waiting to be thawed. Amazing possibilities.
On a second viewing, I noticed some more golden moments- the Shatnerian delivery Pine gives during the Kobayashi Maru. Punk Kirk truly becoming Captain Kirk when he starts talking to “his” crew. Spock telling Kirk “out of the chair.” Pike's “punch it,” twice, to Mr. Sulu. Chekov swearing loudly in Russian when he beams up Kirk and Sulu. Spock pulling a Star Trek IV Scotty with Scotty (how d'ya know he dinna invent the thing?). Now, think about this- even in the Next Generation timeframe, warp beaming only works if you can match speed. So, if Scotty wrote the equations, then he must have done it after he reappeared in the 24th Century! Very subtle reference, very nice.
So, there's a whole new Trek, and I have 19 year old kids asking me to burn classic episodes for them because they fell in love with the characters in this film. One day, I can show this movie to grandkids. And best of all, this is new Star Trek, no-colon-fill-in-the-blank Star Trek, but new Star Trek with Kirk, Spock, and Bones, and they aren't seasoned adventurers, but rather in their prime, galloping around the Galaxy, practicing cowboy diplomacy, and going boldly.
Yeah, I'm on board. Sign me up. I just wish I could tune in next week for the next voyage.