Star Trek: Where no fan has gone before

I loved the new Star Trek movie. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.

I’ve been a fan ever since I can remember, so I wasn’t expecting much. I was disheartened – nay, insulted – by the first trailer. After all, I’M A FAN. How dare you cater to the uninitiated!

My husband and I have spent the past several months endeavoring to watch every single episode of Star Trek. Not because every episode is worth seeing (perish the thought), but because we’re purists like that. (We’re saving the animated series for last because we can’t decide whether it’s really canonical.) I assumed that this recent and ongoing immersion in the Star Trek world would ruin the new movie for me; I assumed it would not feel like “home”.

I was wrong. I loved the new movie, which, while not perfect, is superior to every other Star Trek movie. (Read: It’s easier to sit through.)

It’s very different from the rest of Star Trek, but it captures the spirit of the series remarkably well, despite the lack of a heavy-handed philosophical agenda. Gratuitous bar fights? Check. Overly scripted comedic relief? Check. The unexplainable flocking of all local women to some guy named Kirk? Check. Implausible scientific theory? Double check.

It was strange, seeing new actors play the people I grew up watching. I know William Shatner isn’t actually Captain Kirk, but it’s easy to forget. (Of course, some of this is Shatner’s fault…) Despite my best attempts to scorn the new actors as shadows of the real players, I quickly forgot that the men and women on screen were largely unknown to me. Karl Urban was particularly convincing as a young and already embittered Dr. McCoy.

It’ll be interesting to see where this new interpretation of the series takes us. The movie is an obvious attempt to reboot the franchise with new actors, a new visual style, and even an alternate Star-Trek-Universe timeline. If the new creators do their job well, they’ll be able to take advantage of the series’ success without having to adhere to the rules and history of the old world. Timeline disruptions, while implausible, are cool like that.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that Star Trek sequels will enjoy anything like this film’s success. Alternate timeline or no, there are only so many changes you can make before the fan base mutinies. On the other hand, as the series itself has taught us, sometimes the best results come from the least plausible plans – and sometimes you have to leave your home to see what else is out there. ‘