Monday, November 17, 2008

Star Trek Movie Trailer

After reading "Inspirations for a Whole New Enterprise: How the old 'Star Trek' influenced the new film" by Jeff Jenson (published in Entertainment Weekly Oct. 24), I had high hopes for the new film. It is supposedly influenced by "Balance of Terror" (original series episode), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (movie), "Unification" (one of the few Next Generation episodes I could stand to watch), "Yesterday's Enterprise (ditto), and Diane Carey's 1992 novel Best Destiny (one of the best Star Trek novels ever, in itself a rarity).

The cover story of the same issue of EW, 'Star Trek': New Movie, New Vision also by Jeff Jenson, made me change my mind. That's Zachary Quinto as Spock and Chris Pine as Kirk pictured on the cover.

I'm worried. The characters look great, but it appears they are ignoring the Trek timeline by putting all the main characters in Starfleet Academy at the same time (thus making them all close in age).

Jensen's article confirmed my fear. Director J.J. Abrams "was engaged by the possibility of a Star Trek movie 'that grabbed me the way Star Wars did.' That meant a bigger budget and better special effects than any previous Trek film, plus freedom to reinvent the mythos as needed."

Oh crap!

More stuff that makes me nervous: "The storytelling is newbie-friendly, but it slyly assimilates a wide range of Trek arcana, from doomed Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to Sulu's swordsmanship to classic lines like, 'I have been, and always shall be, your friend.' More ambitiously, the movie subversively plays with Trek lore — and those who know it. The opening sequence, for example, is an emotionally wrenching passage that culminates with a mythic climax sure to leave zealots howling 'Heresy!' But revisionism anxiety is the point. 'The movie,'' [Damon] Lindelof [friend of Abrams close collaborator] says, 'is about the act of changing what you know.''

What the hell does that all mean?

On the plus side:
  • Quinto campaigned for the part of Spock and looks quite comfortable (and convincing) in the role. I suspect he's a good enough actor that when we see the film we won't even think about Sylar (his evil character on the TV show Heroes).
  • Abrams wouldn't make the movie without Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock). Jensen hints Nimoy will appear in a scene with Quinto and/or Pine. I figure that means time-travel is involved. (No wonder the time cops hate Kirk so much!)
  • Abrams gave "Randy Pausch, the now-late author of The Last Lecture and avowed Trekker, a cameo in the film."

On the other hand, the new trailer (shown before the James Bond file Quantum of Solace) doesn't encourage me:

Only six more months until we can see it and decide for ourselves. In the meantime, keep an eye on Star Trek: The Official Movie Site for updates.

Update Nov. 23, 2008: This scene-by-scene analysis of the trailer did not make me feel any better about the movie.

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