While I was never a “Trekkie” I remember watching Star
Trek, the television series when I was in high school. It
was visionary fun, featuring an international group of adventurers
exploring space together on a mission of peace.
I doubt that anyone imagined the enduring appeal of the Star Trek franchise,
with so many different incarnations on television and the big screen. Could
creator Gene Rodenberry have dreamed that, 40 years after the original
series, moviegoers would be lining up to see a new version at the theaters? Yet,
that’s exactly what has happened. So far, Star Trek is
the biggest hit movie of the year.
Director J. J. Abrams takes us back to the beginning, introducing us
to the familiar cast of characters: Commander Jim Kirk, Bones,
Scotty, Uhura, Checkov, Sulu, and, of course, Mr. Spock. With
the exception of Leonard Nimoy, playing an older Spock, all the characters
are played by relatively unknown young actors, who grow into their characters
and personalities. Kirk is the main character, who matures from
a brash, rebellious youth to the respected captain of the Enterprise,
in the footsteps of his father.
The unique quality of Star Trek during the summer blockbuster
season is that it focuses on character, not special effects. There
is a respect for the original series and its fans, while moving the Enterprise
and its crew forward for a new generation to enjoy. It’s
fun to watch the characters grow into the personalities we’ve come
to know and love. Even though Scotty is the last of the main characters
to arrive, he’s the most amusing of all. Spock struggles
to integrate both his Vulcan and human natures. There’s
even a Kirk-Uhura-Spock romantic triangle, which I don’t remember
from the old series!
The plot about an evil Romulan who wants to destroy Spock by creating
black holes is confusing, and not especially compelling. I also
got a bit lost with the time travel subplot.
Star Trek is an enjoyable way to spend a hot summer afternoon,
visiting with old friends, listening to their stories, and finding out
how they came to be the folks we’ve come to know and love over
Tom Condon, OP