>Star Trek: The Apocryphal Movie

Posted: 10/05/2009 in Movies, Star Trek

>Last night, I went to see the latest Star Trek movie. Did I like it? Mostly. I thought it was a good movie, though not without its problems for sure. Overall, I liked it in a similar way I liked the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Adore” album. That album was pretty good, but it was not really the Smashing Pumpkins sound I grew to like. So this movie was a well done, but it did not feel like Star Trek.

There were a lot of things that I liked. I loved young Kirk for instance. From the opening scene to the end of the movie, I thought he was well done. I find it totally believable that he would do stunts like steal the car, get into a fight at the bar, make out with the green alien girl, and other fun romps of a brash young military cadet. Little Spock was well done too. I liked the Vulcan academy of his childhood, how different both his parent’s were, and especially his refusal to enter into the Vulcan science academy. Seeing the characters as youngsters I think was a bold move. Overall it was successful. Additionally, as I will explain later, it was also a great selling point.

The interaction between these two characters was also true to the original series.
I only watched “Search for Spock” a few years ago. The friendship between the two men in this movie and that movie seemed pretty accurate to me.

I can’t complain about the special effects either. They were well executed without being gratuitous. The excitement of the chase scenes and the starship design was eye-catching enough to be a point in the movie’s favor. It was not, for instance, Star Wars episode I, in which special effects were simply a long video-game/demo reel. No, in this movie the CGI served its purpose. It helped create a convincing illusion of life in space. Although I admit, I totally expected young Kirk to meet Luke Skywalker when he ran into that ice cave. Live long and prosper my young padawan!

There were, however, some major plot-hole/logic problems with the movie. First, what’s up with the Romulans? The last Romulans I remember seeing were the Deep Space Nine Romulans in which they were all so bad-ass, cultured, and refined that they knew they earned the right to be a little smug around say –the Klingons. Yet these Romulans were basically a band of pirate-thugs that had lost any sense of refinement from the Romulan Empire. Maybe that was the point. After all, they did get their planet destroyed. It wasn’t made clear in the movie that this was the case though.

Another problem I had was with Sovereign, -I mean the Romulan pirate/mining ship. Why is it so decked out with weapons? According to the movie, this ship followed future Spock into the black hole immediately, so it is not as if they could’ve retro-fitted it. I can’t think of any sci-fi canon in which cargo ships are built for war. What’s with the size? It dwarfed the federation flagship. Does this ship do its mining by hauling entire moons to Romulus or something? It simply didn’t make any sense to me. Sorry!

The larger questions I have with the movie have to do with the overall plot of the movie. Think of all the things that made the movie good. Are these the things we expect from a Star Trek movie? Star Trek movies normally have overtones of politics, philosophy, and even (in DS9) religion. This movie was reduced to action/adventure. I am fairly certain that this could’ve been a random sci-fi movie with different characters and names and it would’ve been just as fine.

This leads me to my final point. This movie cannot be canonical. For if it is, everything from the inception of the original series must be changed. I think what this movie was a concession that Star Trek is a dead franchise.* The movie was an attempt to re-package the old canon for a newer generation of sci-fi kids. This is why we have young Kirk and young Spock. They’re as hip as the cast of Hereos and Lost! Someone high up there must’ve said, “awww fuck it. We can’t move foreward with the canon anymore. Let’s just make a lot of money. Do you think Nimoy will go for it?”

So there it is. Star Trek: The Apocyrpha. Good movie. Fun to watch and well worth seeing in theaters. But if you are old enough to remember movies like “Star Trek VI” or even “First Contact” for that matter, do not expect to see a “Star Trek” movie.

Thanks for reading.

*In my humble opinion, I think there is still room to make Star Trek within the canon. Deep Space Nine left the creators a lot of options, but I personally couldn’t see anything centered on the federation anymore. Could we still have Star Trek centered on other strange new worlds and new civilizations?

  1. Q says:

    >There’s too much desire to see origin stories to really continue series (Batman Begins, Superman Returns, X-Men Origins, Spiderman, etc.), you have to expect that they’re going to jettison some traditions and take the story in a different direction.I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I want to. What has shocked me is the critic’s reaction: on rotten tomatoes it had a 95% rating. That simply doesn’t happen. So, even though I am by no means a trekkie, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it.

  2. Stephanie says:

    >I agree. It was good, but it wasn't Star Trek. One of the cool things about the original series, and even TNG was the ability to take a social issue and rexamine it in a different context. It forced you to look at the issue in a different way, sometimes understanding the complexities, sometimes realizing the studpidity. The new movie was pretty much just a good movie–entertaining, you left feeling good, but not really thinking about anything.

  3. Caladain says:

    >To post to an old thread, i have a theory that fits with the timeline of why the mining ship was, when we see it the second time, so heavily armed.When we first see it, it only fires a single missile at a time. The battle continues, and it fires again after reloading. This is the ship fresh from the future, with a single "pop-gun" to defend itself against presumably asteroids and the like (it's a missile instead of a more proper weapon like a torpedo or energy weapon) or to strip away the surface of an astroid to get at the inner parts (much like we do today with mining..we blow the top layer away with explosives to get at the ore). 25 years pass, without the ship being seen.It makes sense to me that Nero and his crew "up-armed" their ship..more armor, more weapons..they were on a vendetta and had plenty of time before Spock was due to arrive through the blackhole.The ship enters combat again and devastates everything it sees by launching volleys of these missiles..20+ of them. Thus my basis for what Nero and his crew did for 25 years..uparmed and uparmored their mining barge for combat.

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