I see no reason to go into great detail on this, because 1 : ITS FUCKING OBVIOUS, look into your quantum theory, and 2: I can’t be arsed to go into huge detail because it shouldn’t be bloody necessary.
Okay, quick and to the point:
After reading various comments around the Internet, gotta add my own to this pointless ‘debate.’ Anyone who thinks that the new film (which is great) somehow effects the canonical escapades of the VOY, TNG, TOS and DS9 crews is a FUCKING MORON. They’re not going to piss all over forty years of canon and stories for the sake of one film. I wouldn’t give a crap if DS9 was erased because its fucking rubbish, but neither it nor the other shows are changed by the movie. They set it in a different reality. Job done. Problem fucking solved. The destruction of Vulcan, which appears in later movies of TOS era, clearly indicates that it is a different universe. Sheesh. This is clearly indicated in several places in the film.
Everybody clear? Good.
First of all, I loved it. I thought it took everything that was great about The Original Series, stripped away all the crap and the cheesiness and the awful acting, and made something fresh, original, and different.
Its the Enterprise crew Jim, but not as we know them.
*****OMG SPOILERZ. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.*****
What I liked:
First of all, I was impressed beyond belief with the storyline. This is alternate reality Trek, a different version of the Trek galaxy. Parallel universes existing alonside each other because of changing events and different decisions, both ongoing and real (as real as fiction can ever get anyway, you know what I mean), but never touching or influencing each other. Like turning right at a junction or turning left, and the different path taken because of that one decision. It’ll shut up the purists who moan, (Insert whiny voice here) ‘But the ship’s nacelles are a different shape, the Bridge looks different, the uniforms and guns are different, Kirk’s father lived to a ripe old age, whah whah whah.’ (End whiny voice). WHO CARES?! The writers needed a way to establish this alternate reality Trek from the well-established storyline, timeline and canon of already established Trek. Destroying Vulcan and having Spock and Uhura in a relationship was an inspired way of doing this, and I am mightily impressed with the foresight and the vision of this idea. It is canon, but it is new canon, set apart from the already existing storylines and timelines. Its explains any discontinuities and allows the writers to go in a totally new idea with any future films without disrupting the future timeline of The Next Genereation era of crews. Genius. I am one impressed and surprised watcher.
Kirk: I liked the guy. I’m a fan of Shatner, but no fan of Kirk’s. I like him in the films, but I think he’s a dickhead in the TV show. Chris Pine did a great job. He has all the swagger and cockiness of the old Kirk whilst bringing his own personality to the role. Now, I admire a healthy amount of arrogance and cocky grins from my captains. Janeway is my favourite captain, and she has an air of arrogance around her on occasion, shoots more than a couple cocksure grins at her crew or her enemies throughout Voyager’s seasons, she has confidence in her own abilities, and those of her crew and ship. As this confidence is founded on real, genuine capability and a true skill at what she does, I admire this quality in her. Its better than having capable but intrinsically dull person such as Picard in the chair or a straight-up fool in the form of Sisko. Its when confidence is unjustified it pisses me off. Pine’s Kirk exhibits this confidence through most of the movie. The two characters KNOW that they are VERY GOOD at their jobs. And it shows.
Spock: Wow. I was impressed with this guy above everyone else. Its like watching the old spock with a different face. He even looks a lot like a younger Leonord Nimoy. The ears, make-up and eyebrows help, but he did a stellar job mimicking the old Spock’s body movements and voice intonations, whilst at the same time distinguishing himself from the original character.
Scotty: I love Simon Pegg, and he was very good here. He’s a funny guy in real life, and something of a comical presence in the movie. Not comical in the sense of ‘to be mocked’, but instead ‘to create humour and have some great laugh-out-loud lines.’ Nice one Pegg, keep making movies lad. And he’s British. Winner! My only complaint is this: He wasn’t in the movie for long enough! He was introduced way too late for my liking. Still, I guess a director can’t introduce all the characters of an ensemble cast at once with only two hours to work with, and hopefully there’s more movies coming!
McCoy: Karl Urban, I am a convert. I didn’t think he would pull this off at all, but by god, Urban was excellent as Bones. The accent was spot on, as was the galaxy-weariness and the cynical but still caring nature of McCoy. Sir, I tip my hat to you. Bravo, Mr. Urban. He’s a big fella, and you may have noticed that the good and sadly late DeForest Kelly was not the most-well built fellow, but Urban slipped into Bones’ blue uniform like he belonged in there.
Uhura: This lady was a cool customer, and brought something extra to the role. She fleshed it out more, which I liked. The bond between her and Spock felt real and caring, the scene between them in the turbolift was wonderful and well done, and she was introduced in the bar scene as a woman who could handle herself. Hope to see more of her in future movies , though. There’s a lot of potenital there.
Nero was a great bad guy, not insane or a megalomaniac, just enraged and cold. He had an air of real menance about him, and he, his crew and his very imprssive and unique looking ship brought a very real danger to the film.
The ships and weapons had a real sense of raw power behind them. There was a kinetic feel, no doubt helped by the volume and vibrations in the cinema. When the ships jumped to warp, it was like a gun going off, a real sense of speed and motion was created. This is present and correct in the TV shows, but it is different.
The in-jokes. Spock’s eyebrow, Chekov’s speech impediment, Scotty’s ‘I’m givng her all she’s got!’, many many more I can’t quite recall. (I’ll update this upon watching the movie again!) And the Red Shirt! Very well done. The second I saw the guy in the red spacesuit during the space drop scene, I thought: ‘He’s a dead man.’ Now, I have moral objections with the whole Red Shirt thing from old Trek, but this guy was a victim of his own undoing, and, I admit, I found it a nice reference. The people sat behind me and my Dad in the cinema confimred that it was just the right amont of knowing references, I overheard what they were saying as we watched the credits roll, as the woman, a non fan, said to the man, a fan:
Woman: Are you a long time Star Trek fan then?
MAn: Yes, for years now.
Woman: Where there alot of in-jokes?
Man: Yeah, all the way through the film.
Woman: I guessed I missed them because I’m not a fan.
Man: They’re there for the longtime fans like me, but there weren’t too many of them.
Woman: I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I wouldn’t know unless you pointed them out to me.
So, just the right amount. Nice.
Also: The soundtrack was fantastic. I’ve bought it from Play.com, should be here soon. ANd they got a Mind Meld into the movie. That’s always a good thing!
What I didn’t like:
Kirk get his ass kicked a few too many times for my liking. I know its a dangerous job, but its not good to see the main character getting being beaten down on once every thirty minutes. Come on, he’s a tough guy, he knows how to fight.
Kirk gets promoted at the end. To Captain. Um, excuse me? The guys barely out of the Academy, and you guys are putting him in command of the flagship? Sure, he had proved himself, but that does not make him a fit leader at this point of his life. He’s earned the right to sit on the Bridge, certainly. NOT to sit in that chair. No way, sorry. Still, the film needs to show CAPTAIN Kirk I guess, for all the audiences out there, I understand that. But…come on. No military worth their salt would put a twenty-three year old, still fresh out of the Academy and only once tested so far in a command position of that magnitude. Would you put Wesley friggin’ Crusher in command? Thought not. Well, when he’s not busy saving the crew of the USS Idiot-Enterprise-D from another calamity already, anyway. Sweet Zombie Jesus, I’d take my chances with the aliens. 😉
I’ll finish later, got to go out for a bit.
If you already know of this stuff, then by all means ignore and keep watching/reading/playing. Alternatives to Star Trek/Star Wars, and all have their own merits.
Dan Simmons four-book Hyperion series: Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion and The Rise of Enymion. So much happens I can’t summarise it, but its a great read, adventure and thought-provoking ideas. He creates a very coherent sci-fi universe which is entirely of his own making, and its a fantastic series.
Starcraft. Legendary game from 1997, and the first game of the trilogy of sequels is coming out soon, so now is great time to catch up on the storyline from the original game and the expansion pack. Its an RTS, (you don’t know what that means, I’m tempted to say ‘go look it up’, but I’ll won’t: It stands for Real Time Strategy. If you don’t like RTS, steer clear, but you’re missing out. The story of the game and the expansion pack (sort of a sequel) is cracking. One of the three playable races, the Zerg, smell of Borg to me, but they’re purely organic and different in colour palatte, feel, and history, so thats good. Not terribly original, but still great. The plot in itself is original, and has twists and turns. The other two playable races are the Terrans, (humans), and the Protoss are mega-powerful spritual aliens. Good game.
Dead Space: Survival third-person shooter. Jesus fucking Christ. The scariest game I have ever played. I can’t reveal to much about the plot without ruining it, but a deep space mining ship gets infected by ‘something’ after cracking open a planet. An alien artifact had been found on the surface, and everything goes to scary-as-fuck-hell after the planet crack. You play Issac Clarke, an engineer, not a space marine hard man, who ends up stranded on the vessel, called Ishimura, after he and his crew are sent to answer a distress call. Needless to say, the ship is blood-splattered and starting to malfunction, with very few human survivors, but plenty of new ‘inhabitants’ roaming the corridors menacingly. There are layers and layers of story to the game, you really have to pay attention to get the full enjoyment. Looks great, sounds great, plays great. Play it. Prepare to be terrified, freaked out, and scared out of your skin, and not necessarily in that order. Have a pair of new underwaer on stand-by. You want a taster, check out a level on YouTube. You want entertaining dialogue at the same time which slighty defuses the terror, watch Zaranyzerak’s walkthrough, as he and his partner play through the game and be scared, all for your viewing pleasure. Search ‘Zaranyzerak.’ Also check out the movie tie-in, Downfall, or the Animated Comic Parts 0-6, on EA’s YouTube channel. WARNING: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Here’s a creepy hint to freak you out: Dismember the dead bodies in the ship. It’ll make things just a little easier for you, if that’s the right word to use. I think not.
Mass Effect: Whoooooooo, Bioware game! The Masters of RPG! That means Role Playing Game, if you don’t know. And if you don’t, holy damn, by a gaming PC and join the fun! Again, hard to summarise without spoiling the plot, which is maddening, even if done by accident. You’re a human commander in a version of Earth’f future, an officer in the Alliance Fleet, and you get to go on adventures around a rich and exciting galaxy in a sleek ship with a band of fellow adventurers whom you meet along the way. (Yes, very Star Trek/Star Wars, and wonderful for it). You play Commander Sheperd, and you get to choose your character’s gender, first name, appearance, and, ultimately, their destiny. I recommend a female character, the female voice actor is far superior to the male one, she lends an authority, believibility, compassion and heart to Sheperd, and even an imperiousness to the character. The original point of this adventuring and exploring is to prove humanity, in this fiction a relative newcomer to the galactic scene, to the other more established alien races, whom at the early stages of the game do not really trust humanity after some earlier conflicts. But your overall mission changes after a few missions and becomes about so much more with the danger of a massive and encroaching threat which endangers the galaxy. Space epic at its best, and you don’t just sit back and watch! You decide what happens, and the story is not linear. Excellent, check it out. Mass Effect 2 is on the way, so now would be a good time to play if you haven’t. I’m on another playthrough of the game, and its as good as I remember.
Red Dwarf: British cult comedy hit. A Scouser space bum, a mechaniod originally conceived to clean toilets, a neurotic, cowardly holographic recreation of a dead man and a creature that evolved from a cat, cast about space together in the future after a million years in stasis, trying to find Earth, then trying to find their ship after they park it badly and loose it (the titular Red Dwarf), then finding it and trying to find Earth again., and getting into trouble all the way Its one of the funniest British comedies ever made, the writing is brilliant, the characters are unique, its ideas are fresh and different (usually, if anything is copied its usually for purposes of intentional parody), and its acted very well. I recommend Series 4, 5 and 6 the highest, but all of it is excellent.
Akira: Well-known anime film from Japan, made in the eighties, all about trascending to another level of existence and how this strains the relationship between the two main characters. Set after a nuclear war, sometime in the future. Well animated, well realised.
Any book by Iain M. Banks. Seriously. Read them. They’re brilliant.
One for the kids (and big kids): Galaxy Rangers. You can find it on YouTube. Its like the wild west, but in the future, with starships and lasers. A fond favourite from my childhood, and a rolicking ride. Rock ’em, sock ’em space cowboys! Goose is the best character, for the record.
Oh, just to mention the big names in sci-fi, and if you do like gaming, Star Trek Voyager Elite Force is the best Star Trek game made so far, and a fantastic game in itself. Graphically its aged quite a lot, it was released in 1999 after all, but the gameplay is brilliant and solid, and the story is pure Star Trek, and a real adventure. You get to fight alongside members of the crew at one point against the galaxy-threatening danger, which is awesome.