Thursday, May 7, 2009

Star Trek: Food for Thought

There’s, of course, two metric tons of Star Trek reviews floating around the past week or two. Ain’t It Cool News has had a plethora of them. (Or was that pinatas?) But this one, from a gent who goes by Merrick, is a particularly great read as it’s from the perspective of someone who is truly a hardcore trekker.

I glanced around the theater, eavesdropping on numerous conversations of a similar nature. It was in this instant that I realized something had happened which I'd never before experienced in the franchise's long history. Abrams and his gang have accomplished what even STAR TREK's own creator could not - they've fashioned a STAR TREK for everyone. Young and old, newbie and veteran. A STAR TREK for fans of action, lovers of drama, and folks just looking to kill two hours on a hot Summer afternoon.

Part of me is sad to see the TREK I once knew go the way of the dinosaurs, and it does sting a little to see all that I loved morph into something so different. But a bigger part of me feels certain this is what TREK should've been for a long time now, and begrudgingly realizes that this is what I've always wanted TREK to be...even if I couldn't articulate as much over the years.

So on this day, when Geeks far and wide are holding their breath...waiting to see what fate has in store for the good ship Enterprise...and preparing to assimilate newly minted nerds into their ranks...I guess I'm saying "goodbye" to STAR TREK in a way, while at the very same time offering an unconditional, and enthusiastic, "hello"

Note that I am a fan, but I am far removed from the hardcore. I own TNG and most of the movies on DVD, but I’m not obsessive about them… except for Khan of course. That movie rocks my world every time. But I digress. My point is that it’s so, so encouraging to read this kind of perspective about the flick. I don’t think I’ll be getting out to see it this weekend, but I will have by the end of next week fo sho.

As a further side note, I sat down last night to watch the original Motion Picture. I know people think that is one boring ass movie, but I genuinely like it. There’s lots of effects porn over the starships and VGER that goes on for way too long, but I love the character interaction and the final revelation at the end. Also, one of Kirk’s final lines, “Correction. They’re not casualties… List them as missing.” Great moment.

Anyway, the cool bit last night was that about ten minutes after I started it Kyle comes bounding out to say he can’t sleep (something he does every single night now). Usually I send him packing, but on this particular night I let him lie down on the couch with me. I mean he’s four and it’s Star Trek (and the movie is G-rated, after all). It’s time. And I’ll be damned if the kid didn’t just sit there completely transfixed for about 90 minutes or so before deciding to retire back to his bed. He was in absolute awe of all those shots of the Enterprise in space dock, especially it’s departure and the first time it goes into warp. It was a great moment for me as a father. My son’s first exposure to Trek. No, he surely didn’t get much of it, but when I asked this morning if he liked the movie and watching all those big spaceships he got a big smile on his face and was like, “Yep!”

That’s my boy.