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Star Trek

By Matthew Yglesias on May 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm

"Star Trek"

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The early gossip around Star Trek had me very nervous. It was clear that the studio wasn’t interested in doing something that, like the TNG-based films, was basically designed to appeal to fans. Instead, they wanted to turn Trek, which has always been a kind of weird thing, into a mainstream broadly accessible movie.

Given those constraints, I thought they wound up doing an extraordinary job of not doing anything that’s outrageous from a real fanboy perspective. Handling the desire to ditch elements of the established history through the mechanism of a goofy time travel plot is very much in the spirit of a franchise that’s full of goofy time travel plots. And under the circumstances, the use of select snatches of homage (the bug like the bug from Wrath of Khan, Captain Pike in a wheelchair, etc.) served to drive home the idea that we’re watching the same multiverse unfold.

That said, I still think the Trek concept has always been something that best unfolds on television. A quintessential Trek scene, from any of the series, consists of a bunch of people standing around on the bridge of a starship (or DS9 equivalent) talking to one another, followed by a cutaway to a shot of a ship in space, followed by a return to the standing around talking. It’s just not something that particularly requires the big screen. And it’d be nice to see the energy and money and talent that was dedicated to re-imagining the Enterprise just put toward doing something original and new.

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