A Summary and Review of Star Trek

A Summary and Review of Star Trek

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  1. When J. J. Abrams released the film "Star Trek" in 2009, many called it a "reboot" of the series. While the idea of recasting the original series actors and starting back before that series occurs, lends itself to the idea of a reboot, Abrams did it in a way that kept it consistent with continuity. Sure, Chris Pine replaced William Shatner as Kirk and Zachary Quinto become Spock (although Leonard Nimoy also portrayed a version of Spock in the film). However, plot points were introduced to allow the history to be changed without negating any of the original stories.

    When Is A Reboot Not a Reboot?

    Abrams felt that presenting new stories with the old characters created a problem in terms of drama. The outcomes of those characters were known. That meant when James Kirk was in a life and death situation, you would know he was going to survive because he had a future. So, Abrams created a twist that allowed for the creation of an alternate future for all the characters. Rather than just interjecting his new scenario, though, Abrams set it up in terms of a change to the time continuum, essentially allowing both realities to continue to exist.

    The change is visible in the very first scene of the movie. A Federation ship (carrying James Kirk’s father and mother, who is pregnant with Kirk) is attacked by a Romulan ship from the future. That ship’s presence in the the timeline alters everything and allows for all the main Star Trek characters to be presented, but in a modified way.

    Does it Work?

    Some "Star Trek" fans simply refused to accept the change from the "Star Trek" of old. However, those willing to suspend disbelief were treated to a film that celebrated the ideas of "Star Trek" and brought them up to date. The presence of Leonard Nimoy as an older Spock (and one who travelled from the original universe) adds to the credibility of the alternate outcome.

    The idea of an alternate universe is certainly not new to the world of "Star Trek." Indeed, in the original series episode "MIrror, Mirror," Kirk (Shatner), McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Scotty (James Doohan) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) are all teleported to an alternate universe. Later "Star Trek Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek Enterprise" featured episodes set in that same alternate universe.

    No matter the individual feelings in regard to the shift from one universe to another for the setting of "Star Trek," the result was a quantifiable success. The movie garnered some of the best reviews of any in the series and wound up earning more than any other "Star Trek" film.

    The Story

    While the set up is a big part of what makes "Star Trek" a unique movie, it’s essentially only the trigger for the adventure that ensues. Christopher Pine’s Kirk finds himself at odds with Quinto’s Spock, but ultimately the two of them must learn to work together in order to stop the Romulan time traveller (Nero played by Eric Bana) from destroying all Federation planets.

    There are added character points in that Kirk is just a cadet who finds himself in command of an untested crew against a massive threat. Spock outranks Kirk and, at one point, has Kirk marooned on a desolate planet for various charges. These elements produce opportunities for character growth, but also additional challenges in the adventure.

    Further Character Points

    While "Star Trek" presented an alternate take on the long-lived series, it continued many of the time-honored "Star Trek" ideas. The characters are all presented in ways that are consistent with their classic portrayals. Of course, it could be argued that Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) are almost charicatures of the original characters.

    Still, that effect is achieved by focusing on certain elements of the characters that were presented in the original series and movies. Even Doctor McCoy (Karl Urban) receives a little bit of exaggeration of characteristics. A romance between Quinto’s Spock and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) is another unusual change. That one, perhaps, bothered more long time "Star Trek" fans than any of the other alterations.

    The end result, though, is really a movie that captures the spirit of "Star Trek." It has comedy, action and drama. There is quite a bit of character interplay (particularly for a film saddled with introducing both characters and a new reality). Overall, it’s just plain fun. While it might have turned a few long time fans away, it pleased most of the faithful and brought new fans into the world of "Star Trek."

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