This was a post I meant to publish months ago after seeing the film for the first time. I have seen it a few since then, and my opinion is not as forgiving as I was back then. That said, here is my initial thoughts.
As I was sitting here staring at my computer screen, reading the various views on Star Trek Into Darkness, I began to ponder what Star Trek is, was and what it seems to mean to people.
I saw Into Darkness opening night/morning and I went in completely aware of every spoiler and was prepared to hate the film from frame one. Oddly that never happened. I caught myself watching with interest, laughing at the humor and was unexpectedly entertained. Entertained is the perfect word to describe how I felt. I wasn’t blown away by any means, but neither was I screaming for my money back. That said, there are many things I find wrong with the story and film, but there are also so many things done right. I am not going to spoil anything for anyone, if you have seen a trailer or commercial what I will say from here on will be no surprise.
To bring this back to the reason I am not reviewing the film but commenting what Star Trek is, I think back to watching so much raging that enveloped my twitter feed. Anger, hatred, malice and the oh so clichéd “raping of memories or childhood,etc.” speeches where rampant. Now mixed in to all of the negativity were comments of approval, some even praising the film. How could this be. How could people who all claim to be Star Trek fans have such different opinions? How could I claim to be a Star Trek fan and dare to be entertained by what has been called by many as “Not My Star Trek”.Sadly I don’t have an answer. I just don’t know.
“Not My Star Trek”. I looked at this statement and wondered. My Star Trek. Now for me, my Star Trek was fun, it had humor, action, emotion, and drama. It came in many forms, TV, movies, books, games, toys, even cartoons and fan films. All of which were very different but still Star Trek. Some of it was good, some was really bad. (To this day the words Pagh Wraiths and Kost Amogen make my ears bleed, and I am sorry but Seven of Nine was WAY over used.) But still it was Star Trek. Some of it contridicted itself, some of it stretched the limits of suspension of disbelief, but it was still Star Trek. So why does this new version bother so many?
OK, I know JJ Abrams has said he wasn’t a fan of Star Trek, and new reports show him to be an ego maniac, who wanted to make it his own vision and left when he didn’t get his way. SO I say see ya, don’t let the turbolift doors hit you on the way out. (And if you screw up Star Wars so help me…) That said, his two films are Star Trek, just not the one we are used to. Some of it bad but some of it is good.
Take James Kirk, Iconic, Heroic, So…very…wooden. A joke, I kid, Kirk was the captain everyone loved. He had it all, the ship, the women, he was cocksure and determined. He was the product of his upbringing. His Father was the reason he joined Starfleet, he was a bookworm, a stack of book with legs. He was strong willed, and bent the rules when necessary. Why would anyone want to mess with such an icon. Someone had the courage to ask what if you took that all away. What if James Kirks past was one of turmoil and loss. What if he never knew his father. What if he was raised by his far from understanding uncle. How would he turn out, knowing that his core personality, his intellect were the same just shaped by a different set of circumstances. You would have the reboot version of Kirk, a brilliant but flawed young man, who needed a push now and then, who’s self assuredness would grow to arrogance with out guidance. A Kirk who was dare I say it, a bit more human. Is he “Your James Kirk” no but he is still James Kirk. I like the new Kirk, there are hints of greatness, they are just covered in a lot of other less admirable qualities.