Saturday, May 16, 2009

Star Trek!

Our kids were at my mother-in-law's getting some grandma time, which meant Mommy and Daddy got to have a date night. I have a pretty cool wife, so she suggested going to see Star Trek!

When I was growing up, my dad and I enjoyed watching TOS and TNG (that's the original series and Star Trek: The Next Generation for those outside the know) together. As I've gotten older, the old episodes that were once so exciting have become bland and sterile. The movie definitely had more edge to it! Maybe it was the corny inflections, but I never pictured Shatner's Jim Kirk ever bailing from classic 'Vette just before it went over a cliff at 80mph.

Watching the backstory develop was fun—a healthy Captain Pike even!—but seeing them all so young gave it a Starship Troopers feel. My wife later remarked that Sulu drawing a sword on the drill platform was very Power Rangers. Any name would have been better than the decidedly lame "Red Matter." Star Trek always was mildly statist in its outlook, and I cringed when law enforcement asked young Jim, "What is your name, citizen?"

I'd read Bo's blog post about continuity errors beforehand, but either he missed something in the movie (which I find hard to believe) or he very subtly avoided giving a spoiler. Rereading... No! I made a bad assumption! He hadn't yet seen the movie at press time!

The movie was conscious of continuity issues and used what should have been a clumsy device to sweep them all under the rug: Nero traveled back in time and thus created a parallel reality with a different history. (Think: git checkout -b.) Having been prepped by Doc Brown's repeated warnings about the dangers of changing the past, it was easy to accept. Now the writers have nearly complete creative freedom with the sequels that are sure to come.

This sleight-of-script has another subtle benefit: audiences now get to appreciate the series from the perspective of Spock, who became a living lexical closure!

A great flick! My wife, who was never any sort of Trekkie, enjoyed it too, and we both look forward to future installments. As the plot was wrapping up, I thought to myself, 'An old friend is back.'

Afterward, we took a short walk for dinner at Red Robin. I've never had bad service there, but they'd definitely kicked it up a notch—and not in the phony, minimum-pieces-of-flair sense: attentive, smiling, friendly, helpful. If you think recessions are all bad news, quit allowing Krugman to fill your mind with junk-economics.


Bo said...

I finally got there tonight--twice. :) It's definitely worthy.

saintseester said...

This Trekkie is having some difficulty coming to terms with the plot device, but was soundly thumped on the head by my sister.

Jason said...

My wife and I loved it. And, even better, my kids loved it. I had such a great time seeing Trek through their fresh eyes. It was probably my favorite show as a kid, and I enjoyed seeing that same wonder in the kids.