The Final Frontier - Finally!

Being a Trekkie from way back, the release of Star Trek is something I've been awaiting for years. Twilight? Ho-hum. Harry Potter? Eh, if you say so. But Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise? I'm so there!

I vaguely remember watching the series when it originally ran, but I was a kid of 6 when the first program aired, so I was more into the Jetsons than Star Trek. But in the 80's, when reruns showed every night, I became a diehard Trekkie. A small but enthusiastic group of us at work had a daily trivia contest, and our leader (a guy named Michael Petty, with whom I lost contact decades ago) knew every single episode by heart. I'm not kidding. We'd come in to work every morning and he'd have a trivia question on the whiteboard in the office, and three of us would try to guess the name of the episode. Then we'd have a good discussion about it, reveling in the shared experience of Trekkie geekdom. (In fact, Michael Petty was one of the reasons I became a fan of science fiction. He introduced me to Isaac Asmiov.)

Those of you who know me are aware that I have a Star Trek uniform. (Don't believe me? Check out the Speaking page of my website!) No, I have never dressed as a Klingon, though I did learn a few words of the language. By showing a great deal of restraint, and because my husband threatened to stay home if I did, I did not wear my uniform to the theater when we saw the movie.

When you anticipate something with such excitement for so long, there's always the fear that you'll be disappointed. I'm happy to say I loved the movie! Particularly, I loved:

  • The plot. I've always loved time paradox stories, and this was one of the best. As Mr. Spock would say, it was "fascinating!"
  • The space shots. Lots of cool looking spaceships and exciting space battles. When the Enterprise came into view and Kirk and Bones (and I) got their first view, I got tears. Seriously.
  • The actors. With a couple of exceptions, these actors portrayed the characters so well I felt like I really was seeing the people I know and love as young men and women.
  • The references to previous instances. I loved the appearance of Spock Prime, and how he showed Scottie a formula that he had not yet invented. It was like the time in The Voyage Home when Scottie showed the guy on earth the forumla he had not yet created. Very cool!
  • The humor. Even the most intense Star Trek adventures contain a touch of delightful trademark humor, and that was abundant throughout.

Of course, I'm a purist, so naturally there were times when I leaned over to hiss at my husband, "THAT'S NOT RIGHT!" (Spoiler warning.)

  • The Changes to the Star Trek Universe. As I said, the plot is centered on time travel. The nature of this plot line gave a plausible explanation for several changes that would otherwise have been hard to swallow. But the writers made it clear that the aliens from the future caused changes in characters and situations. Okay, I can accept that. It happened often in the television series' and previous ST movies. What I can't accept is that the changes were permanent. One unwritten rule (which ought to be written somewhere) is that you always put things back the way you found them. They blew up Vulcan, for heaven's sake! Now all the surviving Vulcans (except Spock, naturally) will have to go to their new colony and repopulate the race. Do you know what that will do to the dynamics of the Federation? No, no, no! And besides, did they have to kill Spock's mom?
  • Chekov. Oh, why did they have to overdo his accent? And besides, don't they know Checkov didn't join the Enterprise until Season Two?
  • Spock and Uhura. Okay, let me say right off the bat that I really, really, really enjoyed Zachary Quinto as Spock and Zoe Saldana as Uhura. They did a tremendous job. But what was with the romance and the passionate kissing in the elevator? Blech! The emotional display was totally out of character for Spock. Folks, it was not even Amok time! And besides, why does everybody have to make out in elevators these days? Couldn't they find a more Star Trekkish place to do it, something a little more unique and not so Grey's Anatomy-like?
  • Scottie's little alien friend. What is this, Star Wars? The green girl at Star Fleet Academy was fine, but that guy was too much like the bar scene on Tattooine for my tastes.

But all those things aside, I adored the movie. I highly recommend it, even if you can't tell the difference between a Vulcan and a Romulan. If you like sci-fi adventure flicks, it's one of the best I've seen.