Star Trek: Boldly Going Into Familiar Territory

With their emphasis on boot-knocking and bra-waving, previous trailers for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot suggested that the Enterprise crew would be going where The O.C.had boldly gone before. Those fanboys who fell for the original series’ plasterboard sci-fi or for The Next Generation‘s Shakespearean chops were going to have to get used to the fact that Kirk, Spock, and Uhura’s original four-year mission was getting sexed up. This is a Star Trek of the Darren Star variety. (Or more daringly, a Star Trek which acknowledges the series’ slash fiction spin-offs.)

The latest trailer adds a few more elements in the mix. The emphasis is more on action and special effects, although the space combat fights look a bit like Return of the Jedi, where George Lucas in his mad genius reasoned that if three tie-fighters were very cool, than three HUNDRED tie-fighters would be even cooler. He was right, but that was back in 1983. Now the space visuals just look cluttered. There’s meant to be a certain majesty in Mutt Jones–I mean, James Kirk–looking up at the nascent Enterprise, but it’s obscured by that network of scaffolding. Any general would throw up their hands at the chaos of the space battles, which are closer to Welles’ Chimes at Midnight than Kubrick’s Spartacus.

The story details that emerge introduce an Oedipal contest between the younger Kirk and his older father, who appears to have sacrificed himself to save 800 lives. Kirk Sr. is an ideal which it will be impossible to live up to, and for some reason, Kirk Jr. gets passed up at the first opportunity. Then a crisis on the Enterprise leaves it without a commander, until Kirk opts to take command in a kind of fait accompli. It’s an interesting twist that accounts for the massive hubris¬†demonstrated by William Shatner in the original show.

While the first act introduces our brawling, rebellious hero, the second act looks like it will be devoted to training sequences a la Top Gun. Kirk will meet his buddies, probably butt heads a bit with Spock before the two seal their friendship at the climax. But these scenes looked familiar … so is the new Star Trek just going to be Starship Troopers without the fascism?

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One Response to “Star Trek: Boldly Going Into Familiar Territory”

  1. Could Star Trek Boldly Go Back to TV? « SquallyShowers Says:

    […] stretch when suddenly a nap seemed like a more beneficial option. With J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek: The Gossip Girl Generation ready to pop off the starting blocks, James Hibberd speculates that a blockbuster flick could lead […]

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