Estimated reading time: 2 minutes —
What is Star Trek? A billion euro franchaise? A way of life? A cultural vision? A massive entertainment commodity? Is the new film true to Gene Roddenberry’s vision? Does that even matter?
Star Trek: Into Darkness is curious in that the rhetoric is all rather progressive: we don’t execute people, we give them fair trials, no one is above the rule of law, we work as a team, and so on. Yet the action is all the opposite. We should follow “rules,” yet Kirk & Co. save the world because they break rules. And we hope for a more harmonious future, but sometimes even our highest leaders can be corrupt and the only salvation is a big fist and kicking ass. The dialog is Roddenberry humanism; but the visuals are all Hollywood spectacle. Nobody walks out of that film thinking more about peace & harmony & “exploring new life” than when they went in. We walk out reaffirming that “greatness” is some badge that lets us kick ass on the unredeemable bad guys, of which there are always more. Oh, and 300 years ago we tried gene therapy, but it made us evil so we presumably burned down all the molecular biology buildings on all the university campuses so that frail Homo sapiens circa 2013 can populate our future. You might have thought that by the 22nd century we wouldn’t still be blowing people up in ridiculous space shuttles. Since we’ll have mastered the laws of physics here at home, all we’d ever need from other worlds is knowledge, not core samples or gems. Instead of impossible, gigantic space ships, we’ll just send tiny probes that will radio back knowledge of the universe. Of course, robots don’t kick ass, unless Will Smith is in the movie, so enter Captain Kirk sandwiched between the bad guys and slugging his way out the best he can. Think Pirates of the Caribbean in space. With Leonard Nimoy playing the role of Keith Richards.
Hi guys! I’m Vaneeesa’s typist. I never thought *I* would be typing here! As Vaneeesa’s typist I’ve seen thousands of her words flow past my fingertips, but I never imagined I’d ever have the chance to type my own words here. But we so totally disagree on Star Trek: Into Darkness, that I had to express my own point of view. And she so totally wants nothing to do with my POV, that she says I have to give you some name that isn’t “Vaneeesa.” So you can call me Mariko.
I guess the first thing I want to say, or ask really, is, IS VANEEESA OUT OF HER FUCKING MIND? Star Trek: Into Darkenss was a great GREAT GREAT film! Honestly, anybody willing to sit down in that theater had to be thrilled with this film. It had all the social values Roddenberry dreamt of, with production values beyond his wildest dreams. Relentless action, but also human moments. We got to see The Enterprise, and it’s crew, as gorgeous as it is courageous, do amazing things. The color! The visuals! The spectacle! The humanity! Honestly I lost count whether there’ve been more bad Star Trek movies or more bad Star Wars movies, but none of them ever looked like this. The old stuff was fine for its time, but it doesn’t hold a candle to what J.J. Abrams, his cast & crew, and amazing SFX peeps have done. I laughed. I cried. I was on the edge of my seat. Come on Vaneeesa, what the hell do you want? If you were going to be such an over-thinking sour puss about it I wish you’d just stayed at home and let me enjoy a great film! And what’s this snooty “oh well, human travel is too expensive and too dangerous, it’d just be microscopic robots?” Jesus F. Van! For an avatar in a freaking virtual world who makes shit up every day you’d think you could go for a little poetry? You should have SaveMe Oh give you some lessons in lightening up – you’re taking yourself way, way too seriously. Buzzkill!
images captured from the opening weekend Instagram stream for the hashtag #startrek