Star Trek (2009)


After Star Trek Nemesis bombed hard at the box office (at the same time Enterprise was limping along as one of the lowest rated shows in primetime), it was clear that drastic action was needed to save the franchise. After the studio mercifully pulled the plug on Enterprise and allowed Rick Berman’s contract to expire, new management took over and hired J.J. Abrams to helm the next Star Trek feature film.

Abrams had created some moderately successful shows and directed a Mission: Impossible sequel, but Lost is what made him a household name (fun fact: Abrams is also one of the six credited writers on Armageddon). For the first time ever, Star Trek had a “name” director, and more importantly, it had actors picked specifically for a movie. This would be the first Trek film that wasn’t stuck (for better or for worse) with the existing cast of a TV series.

But most significant of all, the next movie would be a reboot. The idea of a film featuring an all-new cast of characters was briefly floated, but it seems everyone from the studio on down to the fans knew in their guts that the only way Star Trek could ever hope to return to its former glories was to bring back the iconic characters everyone knew and loved: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the rest of the original series crew.

Star Trek (2009)

At the time, there seemed to be mostly optimism about Abrams taking the reins. Anything had to be better than the hundreds of hours of mediocrity produced by the previous regime. Alas, no one knew the Star Trek franchise was about to take a massive dose of stupid pills.

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Star Trek is obviously not the first stupid summer blockbuster ever made. But given the franchise in question, we had every right to expect something a little bit smarter. The movie is chock full of characters doing dumb things, and having one-in-a-billion chance meetings that perfectly nudge everyone into the ranks and roles they inhabited in the original series.

There’s no disputing that the action scenes are more exciting and visually compelling than any previous Trek film (and kudos to the effects team for moving away from the 2-D Space aesthetic), but the movie has little else going for it. It certainly doesn’t offer much in the way of interesting sci-fi concepts or exploring alien cultures or examining the human condition—you know, the whole point of Star Trek in the first place?

Without those aspects, we’re left with a rather generic concept of a spaceship crew fighting bad guys who are out to blow up planets. Sort of like, I don’t know, Star Wars? The notion that Star Trek ’09 is basically Star Wars dressed up in Starfleet uniforms has been discussed to death elsewhere, so there’s no need to cover that ground again. I’ll simply express hope that now that Abrams has moved on to making an actual Star Wars film, perhaps a director will be found who actually wants to make a Star Trek film.

Star Trek (2009)

The story, as mostly revealed in flashbacks, goes like this: sometime after the events of Nemesis, the Romulan homeworld is threatened by its star going supernova. Ambassador Spock (still played by Leonard Nimoy), a character who by my estimation must be at least 382 years old by this point, attempts to prevent the star from going supernova by injecting it with something called “red matter”. Unfortunately, he’s too late, and Romulus is obliterated.

Star Trek (2009)

This is all witnessed by a Romulan captain named Nero (Eric Bana) who blames Spock and the Federation for the destruction of his planet. He attacks Spock’s ship, but the red matter creates a black hole that sends both ships back in time (of course it does).

Star Trek (2009)

By some plot contrivance quirk of time travel, Nero’s ship arrives 25 years before Spock’s ship. Nero encounters the Federation starship Kelvin, which just happens to have a senior officer aboard named George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth).

Star Trek (2009)

Nero kills the ship’s captain and nearly destroys the Kelvin, and Kirk has to sacrifice himself to save everyone onboard, including his wife (Jennifer Morrison) who at that precise moment just happens to be giving birth to a son named James. That’s right, Nero’s ship has coincidentally arrived on James T. Kirk’s birthday. This scene even establishes where Kirk’s middle name of “Tiberius” comes from, because this movie knows what’s important.

Fast forward to teenage James Kirk, growing up in Iowa. He’s turned out to be a rebel and also a bit of an idiot, which is revealed in a pointless scene where he steals his stepdad’s car and drives it off a cliff for no reason, and nearly kills himself in the process.

Star Trek (2009)

Meanwhile, on the planet Vulcan, we meet a half-Vulcan, half-human child named Spock fighting back against bullies. This provides not-so-subtle foreshadowing to a scene of adult Spock (Zachary Quinto) deciding to join Starfleet as a big F-you to the Vulcan bigwigs who are being total dicks about his mixed-race heritage.

Star Trek (2009)

Then it’s back to Iowa, where the now-adult Kirk (the vacant-eyed Chris Pine) stares longingly at the Enterprise being constructed. On the ground. Within driving distance of wherever Kirk lives. No one looked at this bit in the script and thought, Hey, maybe that’s a little too on the nose?

Star Trek (2009)

Not only that, but Starfleet Academy has some sort of satellite campus in Iowa, I guess, which is how Kirk happens to meet a cadet named Uhura (Zoe Saldana) in a bar. Kirk gets into a brawl with a few other cadets, which draws the attention of Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), no longer an everything-palegic answering questions via a series of beeps.

Star Trek (2009)

Pike knows Kirk has true leadership potential, because Pike knew Kirk’s father, AKA the guy who was captain for all of twelve minutes (setting the record for fastest time between taking command of a starship and destroying said starship, which I don’t think even Deanna Troi could beat). It’s worth noting that Kirk never even knew his father. Are we to assume leadership skills are genetic?

Taking Pike’s advice, Kirk signs up for Starfleet. He boards a shuttle to the Academy, and his seatmate just happens to be a country doctor named Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban).

Star Trek (2009)

A few years pass at the Academy, and Kirk is now ready to take the Kobiyashi Maru test, famously established in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The whole point of the test is that it’s a no-win scenario, meant to give insight into what cadets do in the face of certain death. Except for Kirk, who refused to accept certain death, and as revealed in Wrath of Khan, cheated by reprogramming the simulation to make it winnable.

Guess what? This film takes that deeply cherished bit of backstory and plays it for laughs. Nothing about this scene makes any sense. Why is Kirk making it so damn obvious he’s cheating? Why is he eating an apple? And what is the point? If you’re a Trek fan, you’ll be aghast at what they did with the Kobiyashi Maru. If you’re not a Trek fan, you’ll have no clue why this is even in the movie.

Star Trek (2009)

Naturally, Kirk is caught, and brought before Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry’s Disciplinary Hearing starring Tyler Perry.

Star Trek (2009)

It turns out that the Kobiyashi Maru test just happens to have been designed by Spock himself, and he meets Kirk for the first time. For those keeping score, by pure happenstance we’ve got Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and McCoy all hanging around the Academy at the same time, despite some significant age differences between them.

A distress call from Vulcan cuts the hearing short, and in keeping with a tried and true Trek tradition, our main characters have to respond because there are no other ships in the vicinity. Several starships full of cadets head to Vulcan, including the yet-to-be-christened USS Enterprise, on her maiden voyage with Pike as captain.

Star Trek (2009)

Kirk is grounded due to his cheating, so McCoy gets him on the ship by injecting him with something that eventually makes his fingers blow up like sausages. This plan is astonishing in its stupidity, but it somehow works, and Kirk gets aboard the Enterprise.

Star Trek (2009)

Also on the ship are two bridge officers named Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho). For those keeping score, we now have Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu, all aboard the Enterprise on its first-ever mission.

Star Trek (2009)

The original series established that the Enterprise had been around for decades before Kirk came along, and while I don’t particularly care for nitpicky continuity issues, the setting of a movie having some history is usually vastly preferable to it suddenly materializing for the purposes of the current story. Plus: Chekov? He wasn’t even on TOS until season two. You’re telling me they couldn’t hold off on introducing him until the next movie?

The trouble on Vulcan is revealed to be an attack by Nero, who I guess was just kicking it for 25 years, not doing much of anything. Actually, he may have been spending most of those years getting Botox treatments, because he looks exactly the same age as when he encountered the Kelvin. I know Romulan don’t crack, but damn!

Star Trek (2009)

Nero gets Pike to beam aboard his ship, but before he goes, Pike makes Spock the acting captain and promotes Kirk to first officer. Because, you know, his leadership skills, evidence of which there is none.

Meanwhile, Nero’s ship is using a big laser to drill into the core of Vulcan. Kirk and Sulu and a Redshirt parachute down to stop the drill, and in another dumb moment, the Redshirt is such a gung-ho adrenaline junkie that he kills himself by waiting too long to open his chute. I suppose this is how they weed out the less talented underclassmen at the Academy.

Star Trek (2009)

Kirk and Sulu stop the drill, but it turns out this entire elaborate action sequence was pointless, because Nero’s men have already succeeded in reaching the core. They drop red matter into Vulcan, creating a black hole that destroys the entire planet from the inside.

Star Trek (2009)

This was the big moment that was supposed to signal a drastic departure from the Star Trek universe as we knew it, and let us know that this was a reboot that wasn’t afraid to take chances. But let’s be honest: destroying the Vulcan homeworld is never going to have any real consequences. It’s not like anything significant ever happened on Vulcan (I only remember a few scenes in the movies, and a few episodes of Enterprise). Anything that needs to take place on Vulcan can now easily take place on “New Vulcan”, and the movie series is free to pull Vulcan “survivors” out of its butt whenever it needs them.

(Nitpicky question: The original series showed Spock experiencing psychic pain upon sensing the destruction of the USS Intrepid and the death of its 400-some Vulcan crewmembers. Why doesn’t the destruction of Vulcan cause him to experience the same pain, times ten million?)

Kirk and Spock have an argument over rescuing Pike, which ends with Kirk brawling with a couple of security officers. So Spock has Kirk placed aboard an escape pod and marooned on the planet Delta Vega. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just throw him in the brig?

Star Trek (2009)

The plot reason for this soon reveals itself: it’s so that Kirk can get chased by a giant monster and stumble into the one cave on the entire planet where Old Spock just happens to be hanging out.

Star Trek (2009)

Old Spock uses a mindmeld to explain his backstory. It seems that once he arrived in the past, he was quickly captured by Nero, who put him down on Delta Vega so he could witness the destruction of Vulcan firsthand. Yes, this “Delta Vega” planet (which appears to be a totally different “Delta Vega” than the one seen in TOS) is so close to Vulcan that Vulcan is plainly visible up in the sky. Is Delta Vega the name of Vulcan’s moon? Is it another planet in the Vulcan system? What the hell is going on here?

Star Trek (2009)

According to the writers, the “Delta Vega” name was just an “Easter egg” for fans, and while they could have had Spock watch the destruction of Vulcan through a telescope, that “simply isn’t very cinematic”. Perhaps this was a clue that the idea of the two being stranded on Delta Vega should have been cut from the script entirely. Why not put them on, say, a space station in the Vulcan system instead? Oh right, then they couldn’t have giant monsters.

Guess what? There just happens to be a Starfleet outpost on the planet, within walking distance, that just happens to be staffed by an engineer named Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg). Evidently, he’s been exiled here after accidentally disintegrating “one of Admiral Archer’s prized beagles”, which brings on the realization that Enterprise is the only series that still exists in this new timeline, causing me to make this face:

Star Trek (2009)

Old Spock helps Scotty invent “transwarp beaming”, which will allow Kirk and Scotty to beam onto the Enterprise, even though it’s light years away and traveling at warp. You might be thinking that this is yet another instance in Star Trek of incredible technology being invented, used once, and then completely forgotten (see: every episode of Voyager). But no, “transwarp beaming” pops up in the next film as a way to transport people between planets. So, wait, doesn’t this mean they no longer need starships? All they have to do now is beam crews directly from one planet to another.

Before they go, Old Spock convinces Kirk to get Young Spock all angry and stuff so that he relieves himself of duty. And… just like that, Kirk hops into the captain’s chair. He has gone from a cadet on academic probation to captain in, what, two or three days? Even though there are surely other officers on board with more seniority and more hours logged in space.

Star Trek (2009)

Along with Kirk suddenly becoming captain, Scotty has now suddenly been made Chief Engineer, even though he totally snuck onboard. And just like that, we have the entire TOS crew right where they were by the second season of TOS.

Naturally, Nero takes his planet-killing device to Earth next, and it’s up to Kirk and the gang to infiltrate Nero’s ship and stop him. Spoiler alert: They save Earth, and Tyler Perry pins Tyler Perry’s Medal on Kirk. Kirk is made permanent captain of the Enterprise because destiny and shit.

And in the closing moments, Young Spock encounters Old Spock, on his way to help establish a colony of Vulcan survivors in this new timeline. Which makes no sense given everything we’ve ever seen Spock do. In every other Star Trek story where someone changes history, the main characters immediately set about trying to restore the timeline. But here, Spock decides he’s cool with this new, altered timeline, even though it means billions of Vulcans remain dead.

Star Trek (2009)

The compulsion to have the entire TOS crew together on the Enterprise by the end of the movie simply baffles me. Why did everyone have to meet each other all in the same week? Sure, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are critical for a Star Trek reboot, but you can’t tell me they couldn’t hold off on introducing Chekov or Sulu or even Scotty until the next one. (The obvious explanation is that it’s easier to sell Scotty action figures than Steve the Random Engineer action figures.)

And Kirk instantly becoming captain was a massive middle finger to the audience, only made worse by Chris Pine’s utter lack of charisma and anything that could be described as command presence. As far as projecting gravitas and authority, Bruce Greenwood blows him off the screen. And yet, we’re being force-fed the idea by both Pike and Old Spock that this immature brat is destined for greatness?

The rest of the cast is all over the map in their takes on these iconic roles, ranging from cutesy impressions of the original actors (Yelchin, Urban) to respectful homage to the original actors (Quinto, Pegg) to “I’m going to basically just play myself because I’m not getting any direction anyway” (Saldana, Cho).

I don’t know why they bothered to have Winona Ryder play Spock’s mom, especially considering Ryder is less than five years older than Zachary Quinto. Instead of having to apply halfhearted old age makeup in every scene, why not simply cast an older actress in the first place?

Star Trek (2009)

As the villain, Eric Bana was just kind of there, mostly existing as a plot device. You’d expect a much bigger deal to be made of the fact that Nero is directly responsible for the death of Kirk’s father, but it’s barely even mentioned. Also, the fact that nobody had ever seen Romulans before (or knew about their relationship to Vulcans) was kind of a major thing on TOS. Here, Nero just shows up on a viewscreen and no one seems the slightest bit taken aback.

Like I said in my review of Nemesis, the basic plot of “crazed Romulan out for questionable revenge against the Federation with a planet-destroying device” can be used to describe both Nemesis and this movie. I’ve always felt that at a fundamental level, they’re the same movie, and Trek ’09 simply benefits from having a younger, hotter cast. Simply put, not being forced to watch a pudgy android trying to be an action star improves things vastly for most viewers.

But underneath the pretty cast and visuals, Trek ’09 is just another tired Wrath of Khan rehash. And taking into account the glaringly obvious Khan allusions in Star Trek Into Darkness, that means we’ve now endured three movies in a row trying to be Wrath of Khan. Perhaps it’s time to move on.

The basic problem here is that Abrams and his writers have only a passing interest in Star Trek. It isn’t necessary to have a head full of Trek minutia to make a good film—Nicholas Meyer had famously never seen an episode of Star Trek before he signed on to direct Wrath of Khan. But the difference there is that once he was hired, Meyer actually took the time to understand the show. Whereas Abrams and crew seem to think its enough to write a generic space opera and sprinkle in random names and places from Trek canon and call them “Easter eggs”.

I’m not exactly a lifelong Star Trek fan—I only really began watching Trek when I started this website, so I’m probably not the authority on this, but I can’t imagine even hardcore Trekkies caring much about “Easter eggs”. Just give us a story that doesn’t have us rolling our eyes every five minutes.

I think that’s what we got in Into Darkness, but alas, instead of rolling my eyes, I was scratching my head every five minutes. I’ll discuss the reasons why in my overly detailed review of Star Trek Into Darkness, coming soon!

(Also, I think I deserve some credit for not once complaining about the lens flares in this review. Come on, people, they’re the least of this movie’s problems.)

Tag: The Star Trek Movies

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  • MichaelANovelli

    I’m not certain, but I’m sure that the taboo on “coincidental storytelling” gets suspended on origin stories…

    • cavalier 24601

      I’ll accept some coincidence to ease the plot but this movie seemed to had it instead of a plot.

    • The only reason it seems like a coincidence is because we know the characters names. Someone watching this movie without any prior “Star Trek” knowledge would not know that Sulu or Scotty were “supposed” to be there. As far as the non-Trekker audience is concerned they are just characters with distinct personalities, memorable names, and each contributes to the plot. You could have had the exact script replace all the names and it would move at the same pace and have the same impact.

    • Cameron Vale

      But it also unambiguously marks them as origin stories. This means that any sequels they produce are obligated to build on the foundation that they construct; rehashing the original’s plot would be the opposite of this.

  • Christopher Trevino

    A very informative article indeed, good sir. I haven’t seen every episode of the original show, or seen every movie (but I like 2, 3, 4, and 6), but you bring up a lot of valid points. It’s a recurring problem when a film is made of a show or comic that the director doesn’t bother with the source material.

    • Sean Tadsen

      Well, 2, 3, 4, and 6 would be the good ones with the TOS cast. As for the TNG cast, well First Contact was good. The other two, not so much.

  • Muthsarah

    I agree with everything here. I just don’t understand how fans of olde Trek can still like this movie. And now Abrams has Star Wars. He’s a vulture.

    Hilarious Baby Kirk screencaps. The contempt really comes across.

    • Vulture? He wants to make fun movies and they are paying him millions of dollars to make movies in well established, fun universes and is being a lot of creative freedom. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

      • Doc Skippy

        Well, vultures feed on carrion, right? What else would you call Star Trek (pre-2009 sort-of reboot) and Star Wars (post prequel trilogy)?

      • His concept of fun is pretty defficient. His atempts at being Michael Bay 2.0 is laughable.

  • Thomas Stockel

    Honestly, I actually enjoyed the movie when I first saw it, but it hasn’t aged well for me at all, not when I actually, you know, start thinking about it.

    But as bad as this film is, Into Darkness takes it to a whole new level of suck. The guy over at JoBlo gave the Into Darkness blu ray 4/5 stars and I’m thinking “Did we see the same movie? Did you see the motion picture release from an alternate universe? How much did Paramount pay you to give it 4/5? Did they want you to give it 5/5 but no amount of cash or hookers would get you to sell that last vestiges of your integrity?”.

    Can you tell I think Into Darkness sucks epic amounts of donkey cock? I hope five years from now Benedict Cumberbatch comes out says the low point of his career was Into Darkness.

    • Sean Tadsen

      I knew Into Darkness was going to suck within the first ten minutes or so. How?
      Well, first, the blatant violation of the Prime Directive, and the fact that no one seemed to give a shit about it. Gee, Krik breaks one of Starfleet’s biggest rules, and all that happens is he gets a slap on the wrist? The hell?
      Second, the horrific science fail. I mean, even for Star Trek that was bad – that is *not* what “cold fusion” means, morons.
      Third, Spock’s “needs of the many” line. In Khan, that meant something. In Into Darkness, it feels like pandering. Like the writers are going “See?! See?! We *have* seen the other movies! You can’t hate us now!”

    • The_Stig

      I doubt it. I mean have you seen The Fifth Estate? P.U.

  • I think Pine-Kirk was eating an apple during his final Kobiyashi Maru test because Shatner-Kirk was eating an apple in the Genesis cave while he was talking about his final Kobiyashi Maru test. Or maybe Pine didn’t know they were filming. I’d buy either explanation.

    • Muthsarah

      Yes, that’s quite a clear reference, and that’s what qualifies as an “easter egg” in these movies. “Hey, Character A said/did this once before, let’s have him do it again, in a really obvious way! That way, it counts as being faithful to the character, even if we change everything else!”

      Or as Plinkett put it: “His future reputation preceded him”. The apple means nothing to someone who doesn’t know James Kirk, but to those who do, it stands out in a really, really wrong way. And that’s, in a nutshell, my biggest beef with the movie(s): It tries so hard to appeal to those who don’t give a rat’s ass about Trek (and who will probably forget about the movie a day after watching it), while it seems to go out of its way to spit in the face of those who do (and want to love it).

      • It’s not a reference at all. In the audio comentary, Abrams and his writing pals admit they didn’t even remembered the eating of the apple in Wrath Of Khan and only realised the connection after some fans pointed it out to them after the movie was released.
        They made Kirk eat the apple because one of then read somewhere that film characters eating apples make them look arrogant and jerkish, whcih is what they wanted to make Kirk look like during the Kobiashi Maru test.

    • Cristiona

      A character eating an apple is also visual short-hand for casual disregard and confidence.

  • Immortan Scott

    I never got why the Lens Flares were a big issue. I could understand the complaint if it completely obscured the screen, but you could still see what’s going on in the film.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    I understand that a lot of smart people go to the movies these days with the objective of shutting their brain off, but one of the great things about the original series was that it was always surface level dumb, but when it was good there were layers underneath. For example “A Taste of Armageddon” is pretty silly but underneath was layered the concept that “rules of war” make wars more tolerable for the public and ultimately allow conflicts to go on for much longer than they otherwise would. It’s an interesting notion.

    I enjoyed this film as a dumbed down abstract of the original series. I think the actors did a great job with what they were given, particularly Pine whose Kirk was obviously written as an extreme version of the modern parody version of Kirk rather than the original character. For example the original Kirk was a “lady’s man” in a very reserved ’60s way that didn’t prevent him from treating women with as much respect as that era permitted, this is translated through the lens of the many parodies of Kirk done in the intervening decades resulting in Pine’s Kirk’s constant objectification of women, and that is the difference between good writing and bad writing.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Has anyone else ever noticed that the Federation is at war with the Romulans during the film? Kirk says so to Spock as Nero’s ship is being destroyed at the end. It’s one of three comments made during the movie that seem like they’re pointing to a script that originally made sense. Another comment is made as part of their planning to intercept Nero before he gets to Earth, the plan actually implemented is simply not the one they discussed.

    My point is that I think they started with a script that made sense and then stuff got cut to make room for stuff JJ thought was cool and get rid of stuff he didn’t like – the thinky bits.

  • keeblerhk

    If it’s such a horrible film, then might I suggest you actually produce and direct a film of better quality and reap the same, if not more revenue, before spouting off how much trash it is? If you’re such a great film maker, then prove Abrams wrong by making a better one.

    • CthulhuBob

      What, are you 5 years old? Because according to your logic the only people allowed to dislike a movie are other movie producers/directors.
      Of course, that means you aren’t allowed to get angry at him for his opinion since you don’t write for a website ;).

      • Immortan Scott

        Thank you! I absolutely hate this argument.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Why picking on that guy? He has a legit point.
        It is one thing to say “This movie sucks” – even showing reasons, why YOU THINK that movie sucks, but all in all, it is just YOU THINKING that the movie sucks.
        The author of this review is doing the same thing, but stating it, as if it would be the ultimate truth. Example?

        Read this:

        [quote from Dr. Winston O’Boogie ] Guess what? This film takes that deeply cherished bit
        of backstory and plays it for laughs. Nothing about this scene makes any
        sense. Why is Kirk making it so damn obvious he’s cheating? Why is he
        eating an apple? And what is the point? If you’re a Trek fan, you’ll be
        aghast at what they did with the Kobiyashi Maru. If you’re not a Trek
        fan, you’ll have no clue why this is even in the movie. [/quote]

        Erm…. okay:

        A) Why is Kirk so obvious about cheating? Well – I have a theory. He is just plain stupid at this moment. And honestly? I like that. I mean, even Shatner-Kirk has shown, that he can make moronic decisions from time to time. My favourite scene: Amok Time.

        T’Pring just explained, that it will be a fight to the death between Kirk and Spock, camera zooms in on Kirks face, the look of it shall be one of absolute terror, you shall see him thinking “Oh my, I will be forced to fight and possibly kill my XO and best friend.”

        And all I can see is the thought: “Oh my – what have I gotten myself into this time? This will be painful, won’t it?”

        B) Why caring about that apple?
        C) I am a trek fan and I was not aghast – I thought “Okay, that is different than the way I read it in the Kobayashi-Maru-Book, but, the scene has some nice moments.”

        D) Again: Yes, Kirk has an apple and eats it… SO? Where is the problem?
        Is it, because he brought it in here? Well – do you expect from a guy, that cheats at the Kobayashi-Maru-Test, that he cares for a “You don’t eat on the bridge”-Rule?

        Next thing:

        That guy, you’re picking on, CthulhuBob, has a point:
        There are some reviewers out there, who are wayyy to comfy in their own, little “Oh I get to nag on everything, life’s good” corner of life and that should really try to make a mega-blockbuster, before they should review anything ever again.
        For example: Confused Matthew oder Erod.
        Don’t get me wrong: I like the blockbuster-buster, but sometimes, there are moments, in which I see the review, hear, that he is nagging about something and I think: “Boy, what is even your point? Can’t you put yourself in the movie? Can’t you empathize with those characters? Can’t you see, that there are moments, that make sense IN THE SCRIPT but don’t make sense, when you bring in real-life aspects?”

        • CthulhuBob

          I pick on this guy because he didn’t do what you did Captain. You provided cogent counter-arguments to the reviewer which is excellent rhetoric and how an intelligent debate is handled. To be perfectly honest, I don’t completely agree with either the review or your point of view because I actually liked the rebootquel but hated hated hated some of the plot holes that I simply couldn’t ignore while watching the movie the first time (for example, if you only need one black hole formed to erase the supernova and you only need a small drop of red matter to do the job, why would you bring along a big honking globe of the stuff!?) And yet I thought the Kobayashi Maru scene was fine.

          I enjoy differences of opinion, they make for a lively discourse, but to just say that someone needs to be a writer/director/ game designer before you can criticise work in those fields is …well… assinine.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Actually not that much assinine.

            There are reviewers out there, who say “This movie is just suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucking!” and I have to be honest here: I think “You know what? Do it better. No, really, I dare you. I dare you to make a movie and then – and ONLY THEN – when you have proven, that you are able to pull that off, what you critizise others were not able to do, only then, you are allowed to continue.”

            Simple: There are three sorts of reviewers out there.
            Those who are doing there stuff and yet are humble, down to earth, very sympatico (SFDebris, Sofie Liv, Nycea, just to name a few), then some who have a ginormous fanbase and yet are at least not overblown in their ego (Linkara, Spoony, Nash, the Critic, Mr. Mendo – again, just to name a few) and then there are assclowns, who are just nagging. They go on and on and on and think, that they are the greatest. Those are the ones, I’d like to say “make it better. If you know, what this movie is missing, then re-do it. Make it better, stronger, faster.”
            I won’t name people of the last group, but one particular person annoys me even with his sung intro-song.

            And yes – normally, you don’t need to “cook like a chef” to know, that the meal is not tasting well, however: This is a false statement.
            Taste is subjective. So actually, when we are not talking about a fish, that is clearly rodden, meat that is old and other stuff – if there is nothing wrong with the quality of the processed product – and you still say “This meal is not tasting well”, then it is just a subjective matter.

            Same with a movie.
            If the actors showing the same amount of talent, they are showing in other movies, if the sets are great and the story in and on itself makes sense – then saying “This movie is bad” is again just taste.

            For example: I really don’t like Reservoir Dogs.
            I watched it – and it is just not my cup of tea. I – me personally, CaptainCalvinCat, or the guy behind that account – am just thinking that this movie is incredibly cheesy at certain points, unnecessary violent on other occasions and all in all very tumultous.
            Granted – apparently those were the intentions of Mr. Tarantino, which I salute him for, however: I watched it ONE time and don’t intend of watching it again.

            And this is just my personal taste. The actors were bringing their A-game, the scenes were acted very well, I can understand WHY so many people like this movies – I am just not one of them.
            Personal taste.

            But if I would say: “Know what? This Tarantino guy is an assinine asshole, who is just ripping off other people, he can’t write, he can’t direct and he is all in all not able to tell an intelligent story”… yeah, in that case the answer to my post would be – and rightfully so – “Then do it better.”

        • “Why picking on that guy? He has a legit point.”

          No he does not.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Yes, he has.

            Sorry, if you use the simple “No, he does not” answer, without any reason, why he hasn’t, then I use it, too. After all, it is one thing, to say that you THINK, that the movie is utter garbage – it is another thing to just plain out state it, while other persons are either more lenient towards it or simply say “Yeap, liked the movie.”

            And concerning the “you don’t need to be a cook to know, that the meal, that you’re eating is tasting wrong” – or “you don’t need to be an engineer to know, that the car, you’re driving is not working properly.”
            Well, you can NOTICE, that it doesn’t do its job – yes.
            BUT you need to be a cook or an engineer to figure out WHY it doesn’t do its job.

            Plus – if you just simply STATE, that your car’s not working or your meal’s not tasting well, while others are clearly enjoying their meal or driving their car, you need to be able to point out WHAT’s wrong with the car/meal so – yeah – you at least need some kind of insight in this.

            And sometimes you really need to be able to at least know how to make a movie, to point out what is wrong with it.

          • When you own a car, you don’t need to know the whys a car is bad when the car is bad and shows all signs it’s bad. You are consumer, it’s not your job to know the whys of a car is bad, knowing that the car is bad suffices. it’s the engineers’s job to make the car good fromthe start before being sold, and ifthey can’t it’s their fauilure, not the consumers’s.

            Again, the “only if you can make a movie you can judge” is utter bullshit. It’s an excuse to justify the work of hacks who insult audiences with subpar products. You don’t have to make excuses for them, it’s not your job to make their job for them.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Sorry, I don’t see the argument as bullshit. Yes, I’m the consumer and yet I still might need to have at least an IDEA what I’m babbling about? Because – if I don’t, it doesn’t sound that mature, now, does it?

            There ARE reviewers out there, who are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too comfortable in their little “nag about anything” corner, that I really would like to see them going through the trouble of making a movie themselves.

    • Cameron Vale

      I think this might be an insulting stereotype of what a real dissenting opinion might look like.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Well, financial success is not the same as objective quality.

    • What a bullshit non-argument you used there. I’m suprised people still use this inane line of though. What you think this is, 1998?

      Let us use that line of thinking t the automobille industry, shall we? By your logic, you have no right to complain if a car is bad, even if obviously doesn’t work properly, just because you don0’tknoq howq to build one from scratch.

      See how nonsensical your argument is? Just because one can’t or doesn’t have the means to make a movie doesn’t prevent one from knowing when you are watching a subpar movie that insults your intelligence.

      Please, don’t use that argument ever again, it looks poorly on you.

      • You don’t even have to go that far. keeblerhk chose to complain about this article rather than write his own article of better quality, garnering more page views, despite how easy it is to set up a blog.

  • The_Stig

    I love the new Star Trek films but they SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!! If that makes any sense. Nevertheless that’s how I sum up my feelings for this series. Abrams actually succeeds where Rick Berman failed — turning Star Trek into a dumb action movie.

  • Adam Bomb 1701

    One of the things left unexplained in this movie is how a 1965-67 Corvette (the model year isn’t specified) could last 300 years. OK, since the body is fiberglass, rust wasn’t an issue… By the way, when the car got trashed, the movie stopped cold for me than and there. A classic car is a terrible thing to waste.
    And, back in 1978, Robert Wise was one of the biggest name directors working in movies then, when he was signed to direct “The Motion Picture”. He seldom worked after that; I don’t know if that was by choice or not. He waited ten years before directing another movie.

    • Doc Skippy

      I want to know where that big canyon in Iowa came from.

  • NorCal Native

    The Abrams abominations are NOT Star Trek.

    I find fan fiction Starship Exeter & Star Trek: New Voyages (Phase II) to be far more entertaining, even better quality all around, than Abrams’ work, despite the massive differences in funding.

    • Christopher Trevino

      I once read a fan fiction which combined Star Trek (just the universe, none of the characters) with the British comedy “The Black Adder”. I can’t remember everything, but it involved Blackadder being forced to pass Romulans off as Vulcans and getting them through Starship Academy. The cover was blown due to the Romulan’s egos and tempers. That summary alone sounds FAR more interesting (not to mention humorous) than either of these new movies were, to me at least. (I never could find that story again)

  • suckitbatman

    I don’t think the new trek movies suck, they’re just dumbed down like Bay’s transformers.

  • Endorenna

    Actually, as someone who is a fan of Star Trek…I’m not at all “aghast” at what was done with the Kobiyashi Maru…I didn’t mind the scene…

    I dunno, the movie has HUGE flaws, but as a big fan of Star Trek, I still enjoy the new movies. Frankly, I loved both the movie reviewed here and Into Darkness, despite their flaws. They don’t suck nearly as much as, say, The Motion Picture, Final Frontier, Generations, or Insurrection, so it’s a bit annoying to listen to people talk about the new Star Trek movies as if they’re the worst thing to ever happen to Star Trek. Star Trek has been significantly stupider in the past, even if you discount Enterprise.

    This recap does point out several of the dumb things in this movie, but I’m okay with cutting the new movies some slack.


    If you don’t like the new movies, that’s cool. I’m okay with that. Different people like different things. What I am not okay with is being called stupid, not a “true” Star Trek fan, etc. etc. for liking the new movies. At this point, I’m just getting tired of it. Hell, sometimes I feel like I can’t admit to liking the damn things unless I really feel like having people jump down my throat about it.

    Can’t we all just enjoy what we want to enjoy and move on?

    On that note, I love poking fun at movies, even movies I love, so I’m not bitching about the Agony Booth and what it does. I love this site! If I didn’t want to poke fun at Star Trek, I would never have come here in the first place and laughed my ass off at the earlier Star Trek episode/movie recaps and stuck around for other funny recaps, and I would never have read this review in the first place.

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      *WAAAH YOU LIKE THE NEW MOVIES!!!!!* (I’m just kidding. I like them myself and – while I can understand why people are making big fuzzes about something – prefer to ignore glaring plotholes etc.

      You know what I find funny? People starting to say: “Oh, those old movies were capturing Roddenberrys philosophy” etc. when – basically – I like the idea of that federation with people just working because they want to do so, they want to achieve something and have figured out, that some achievements can’t be valued in money, but all in all: I just want to be entertained.

      This works with the old movies revolving around Kirk, Spock, McCoy, works with the Picard-Movies (even Insurrection, which I particularly like), and works with the Arbams-movies.

      I read on a internet-forum, that Trekkies are supposed to be the more tolerant bunch around.
      Mostly that is true – but if they were, somebody please explain, why there is sometimes some kind of animosity between “just-Star-Trek-Fans” and “just-Star-Wars-Fans”?
      I don’t get it. I’m a fan of Star Trek (all versions, even Enterprise has some salvageable bits), Star Wars (even liked the prequel-trilogy), Stargate (except Universe… that was just… BSG in the Stargate universe done wrong), Battlestar Galactica reimagined and the old show and even Galactica 1980.

      And to be honest – I never saw an all-out-bad Star Trek movie. There are some films, I didn’t like watching them the first time and even now I look at them and ask myself: “So, THOSE movies are the ones, that are viewed as the best? But why? They don’t use the formula that well.”
      Don’t get me wrong: Star Trek II and VI are good flicks – but they are not Star Trek.

      They take place in the Star Trek universe, they use the characters and yet – they are not Star Trek.

      They are not about “exploring strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations” and about “to boldly go where no one has gone before”…
      They are basically a naval- and a polit-thriller, dressed up – pretending to be – Star Trek.

      A real exploration-movie would be Star Trek: The motion picture, Star Trek: The search for Spock, Star Trek: The final Frontier, Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: Insurrection.
      Funny: The odd-numbered movies are the ones, that deal mostly with exploration.

      And again something concerning the review:
      [quote = Dr. O’boogie]Old Spock uses a mindmeld to explain his backstory. It seems that once he arrived in the past, he was quickly captured by Nero, who put him down on Delta Vega so he could witness the destruction of Vulcan firsthand. Yes, this “Delta Vega” planet (which appears to be a totally different “Delta Vega” than the one seen in TOS) is so close to Vulcan that Vulcan is plainly visible up in the sky. Is Delta Vega the name of Vulcan’s moon? Is it another planet in the Vulcan system? What the hell is going on here? [/quote]

      What the hell was going on there?
      Well, I imagined, that Spock [b] felt [/b] the destruction of vulcan and “saw” it before his eyes because of psychic connection to his younger self.
      Like for example when Obi Wan was feeling the destruction of Alderaan.

      • Endorenna

        *gasp* Someone who likes Star Trek, bits and pieces of all the series, and Star Wars, even the prequels?!

        Marry me?

        Hah, okay, I take that back, ’tis a bit creepy. ;)

        On topic, though, I enjoy Star Wars and Star Trek, as blasphemous as that may be. I don’t really find Star Trek fans to be that tolerant, though, even within their own fanbase. For instance: once I was playing an MMO, and I’d been a guild for about a year. Lots of people within the guild liked Star Trek, and overall, they were a mature, nice bunch of people. Until “Hey, what’s your favorite Star Trek series?” came up, and I said, “Voyager.”

        Promptly, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth as the uproar of “WHAT?! YOU LIKED VOYAGER1!1!” arose. For hours, I had to try to defend the fact that I enjoy Voyager, which just struck me as odd. Who cares if I like Voyager and don’t like watching DS9? Does it really matter? Why do I have to explain why I find Voyager to be the most watchable to twenty people, the youngest of whom is seven years older than me? (I was seventeen at the time.) I like the characters of Voyager, and I don’t mind them hitting the big ol’ reset button at the end of every episode. DS9 has a better story, objectively speaking, but I hated the vast majority of DS9 episodes because I hated every character but Jadzia (and we all know how THAT ended up…)

        So, the point is, Star Trek fans are very tolerant, as long as you a) don’t like Star Wars and b) you like the particular bits of Star Trek that they do instead of others. God help you if you’re a fan of Voyager and start talking to an uptight DS9 or Next Gen fan.

        • Muthsarah

          I like Star Trek (of yesteryear), and Star Wars (of yesteryear’s yesteryear). I don’t think that makes me a freak. I know lots of people who like at least some of both, and nobody that likes one but not at least some of the other. I’ve heard of rivalries over which franchise’s works are better, but never any “either or” stuff. There’s plenty of room for disagreement and argument (not debate, as how often does anyone change anyone else’s mind over these things), but you have to accept that there WILL be arguments. It comes with the love; passions aren’t just positive.

          P.S. YOU LIKE JADZIA?!! She’s the worst one! :p

          • Endorenna

            Oh, trust me, I argue about Star Trek with my sister and real life friends a lot. I’m fine with friendly arguments about such things. :) When it devolves into calling people stupid, tasteless, brainless, etc., though, there’s a line that’s been crossed into just being a jerk over what you’re passionate about. In my experience, it’s okay to have TOS be your favorite, it’s okay to have Next Gen be your favorite, and it’s okay to have DS9 be your favorite, but if you have Voyager or Enterprise as your favorite, then prepare for a crapload of insults.

            As far as Star Wars versus Star Trek, I do know several people who violently hate one and love the other. I don’t get it, but to each their own, I suppose. It’s annoying when people are so in love with one or the other that they decide anyone of the other fanbase is obviously awful and has terrible taste and only loves things that suck.

            Go figure. *shrug* It can be amusing to watch those peoples’ Star Wars versus Star Trek battles, though!

            P.S. Awww, but Jadzia was so sweet! C’mon, she was at least better than Quark! :p

            Oh, I should mention that the Cardassian “tailor” is also freaking awesome. I forget his name. Started with a G, I think? Damn, now I feel like I have to go watch DS9 again! Noooooo! O_O

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Garak. Plain and simple Garak. ^^
            He was cool. And I have to admit something – when I am watching those Star Trek TNG Episodes, I neither hate Wesley nor Deanna. In fact, I enjoy both of them. ^^

            DS9: Jadzia – sweet but kickass. She could be seen as She-Hulk… don’t annoy her, or she’d break you in half. ^^ Could be the stations Wonder Woman. ^^

          • Endorenna

            Garak! Garak was awesome. I always loved it when he showed up. :D

            I found Wesley a bit annoying (though not to the level of vehement hatred many people seem to), but despite their similarities, I liked Jadzia. Wesley’s competence was annoying because he was…what, fourteen? Fifteen? He had zero experience, but he was always right. Jadzia, on the other hand, has had several lifetimes worth of experience, so I found it more realistic for her to be sorta Mary Sue-ish than if she acted like everyone else. They took Dax’s experience and put it into a sweet, kickass, competent Starfleet officer, and got something pretty darn useful.

            As far as Quark goes, I do understand his reasons for being in the show, and I do understand his character. That doesn’t mean I like him, though. I probably should’ve clarified…when talking about DS9 characters, I’m usually talking about whether or not they’re enjoyable to watch, not whether or not they’re necessarily well-written characters. I found Quark to be a sexist, annoying prig. He needed to be on the show, I just didn’t like him anyway.

            I admit, I do like O’brien, but mostly because I liked him in TNG, hehe.

            I suppose I’ll rewatch DS9 at some point…just to get the characters straight again…

            The thing is, I watch Star Trek for characters I like, characters I enjoy, not necessarily the more “realistic” characters of DS9 who seem to barely ever change (see Kira’s many times discovering that some Cardassians aren’t evil mass murderers, only to be back to foaming-at-the-mouth, nigh-genocidal rage towards them the next episode). It might be more realistic that she never, ever changes that hatred, but it got pretty damn grating after a while.

            P.S. One of the main reasons I dislike DS9, besides the characters in general, is the show’s dealings with religion and science. They tried to balance it, I know, but it always came across as less “religion does have a place in this universe” and more “Aww, look at the silly widdle Bajorans worshiping the things that science KNOWS are just aliens in a wormhole! Let’s laugh condescendingly and pat them on the head.”

          • Muthsarah

            “P.S. One of the main reasons I dislike DS9, besides the characters in
            general, is the show’s dealings with religion and science. They tried to
            balance it, I know, but it always came across as less “religion does
            have a place in this universe” and more “Aww, look at the silly widdle
            Bajorans worshiping the things that science KNOWS are just aliens in a
            wormhole! Let’s laugh condescendingly and pat them on the head.”

            I always felt DS9 leaned pretty hard on substantiating the Bajorans’ faith. Their gods were proven early on to be real. And not just like in False Profits (see, I’m making an effort to speak your language :p), or, perhaps more accurately, like in Who Watches the Watchers. The Gods of Bajor were real, the mystical artifacts they gave the Bajorans (the orbs of the prophets) were real, working bits of godly magic, and they had supernatural powers, but they could also interact with us mere squishy mortals and would perform miracles when motivated (changing the Nagus into an altruist). They wiped out a Dominion fleet and arguably determined the course of a war (Trojan War style) because a recent convert prayed for their destruction really, really hard. That’s the kind of stuff you might expect from a Kirk Cameron movie. DS9 made a previously faith-based religion demonstrably real, while still making it understandable how no-one could empirically prove its accuracy until Emissary. I don’t think that’s condescension at all, they’re “proving” the religion a true one. The Bajorans had it right all along.

          • Endorenna

            Perhaps. But, in the end, the “Gods” of the Bajorans were merely aliens in a wormhole. Very powerful aliens, but just that…just aliens.

            To each their own, though. I do think it was interesting that a Star Trek series tried to tackle questions like that, and managed to do it better than Final Frontier, haha. When I rewatch the series, I intend to try to watch it with a more positive outlook towards the series and actively try to like it. It probably won’t work…but I will try.

            Voyager will always be my favorite, though. XD

          • Muthsarah

            If you’re apprehensive about getting back into DS9 (and the first couple of seasons aren’t generally that popular), here’s a list of essential episodes, to help avoid the duds while still getting most of the stuff that’ll be important later:

            Season 1

            Emissary (because it’s the pilot)
            Past Prologue (explores Kira more, introduces Garak)
            Dax (title says it all)
            Vortex (good Odo tale, early foreshadowing)
            Progress (more Kira and Bajor)
            Duet (wraps up the Kira-heavy first season well)
            In the Hands of the Prophets (Bajoran politics get sticky, introduction of Winn)

            Season 2

            Cardassians (Garak and Bashir, plus backstory)
            Necessary Evil (marvelous episode, great backstory for Odo, Kira, Dukat)
            Whispers (O’Brien must suffer! :D)
            The Maquis (Especially since you like Voyager)
            The Wire (one of the best, more Garak and Bashir)
            Crossover (mirror universe, people tend to like it)
            The Collaborator (Winn vs. Bareil vs. Kira vs. truth)
            Tribunal (more twisted Cardassian politics, plus O’Brien must suffer!)
            The Jem’Hadar (Obvious foreshadowing)

            After that, it’s safe to take the show at your own pace. Most of the episodes from Season 3 on will be good.

          • Muthsarah

            Quark was a great character. Slimy, devious, but occasionally he would do the right thing, either because he saw more profit in it (evil doesn’t always pay…top dollar), or because even his amorality had limits. And when he felt he had to cross the line back into law-abiding citizen, he was never better. A most reluctant hero, but mostly a worm who needed to be periodically stepped on. I’m assuming you know about how DS9 was meant to be like a western, right? Quark would be the disreputable tavern owner always getting in over his head, having to keep getting bailed out by the sheriff (Sisko or Odo), but too useful to the well-being of the town for anyone to get rid of. Fit in very well with how the show would frequently acknowledge that nothing’s perfect, and that you sometimes have to tolerate the occasional bending of the rules. His main role on the show was to be a foil for the good guys, and to be the typical main-cast catalyst for the episode’s big dilemma, and it was a nice change of pace from TOS and TNG, where the cast was so strait-laced and perfect that they had to go looking for trouble. Quark would frequently invite trouble right into their midst, made for a more interest balance for the show.

            Jadzia, OTOH, was annoying. I get that she has several lifetimes of experience to draw on, so it’s understandable that she’s so intelligent and all-around talented. But all of her previous hosts were far more interesting than her, because they WEREN’T so perfect. Jadzia always had the answer, Jadzia never sweated in a dangerous situation, Jadzia never shut up during a crisis. The Defiant is exploding around her, and she’s making with the bad one-liners (and not even the good bad kind). Because she’s too perfect. The other characters had either one glaring personality flaw that they could play off of another character, or they at least seemed like a regular person, not a superhero. Jadzia could even out-Worf Worf. And did. All the time. She was too great at doing everything. She’s DS9’s Wesley Crusher, if Wesley was also supposed to be the eye candy. Swap her gender, and I’m sure the fans woulda hated her like they hated early Bashir. Good thing the show had Kira.

            Jadzia wasn’t as ludicrously talented as Tom Paris (who was missing only a cape and a red S), but she was by far DS9’s least-relatable character. Even the Klingon was more human than she.

            EDIT: I don’t know where you guys get “sweet” from. She’s too arrogant and flippant to be sweet. Kes was sweet. Miles was sweet, towards Keiko at least. Bashir and Geordi were sweet (in a usually pretty sad way).

          • CaptainCalvinCat


            Jadzia, OTOH, was annoying. I get that she has several lifetimes of
            experience to draw on, so it’s understandable that she’s so intelligent
            and all-around talented. But all of her previous hosts were far more
            interesting than her, because they WEREN’T so perfect. Jadzia always
            had the answer, Jadzia never sweated in a dangerous situation, Jadzia
            never shut up during a crisis. The Defiant is exploding around her, and
            she’s making with the bad one-liners (and not even the good bad kind).
            Because she’s too perfect. The other characters had either one glaring
            personality flaw that they could play off of another character, or they
            at least seemed like a regular person, not a superhero. Jadzia could
            even out-Worf Worf. And did. All the time. She was too great at doing
            everything. She’s DS9’s Wesley Crusher, if Wesley was also supposed to
            be the eye candy. Swap her gender, and I’m sure the fans woulda hated
            her like they hated early Bashir. Good thing the show had Kira. [unquote]

            That is not entirely true. A) I liked the early Bashir (and found it understandable, that her wanted to get into Jadzias Pants), B) Jadzia had her moments of Mary Sue, true, but then she had moments, in which she was in it way over her head.
            Example: “The circle”. Jadzia and Kira on the moon, where they find that old raider, which the Bajorans used, when they were in the resistance. Kira is the cool, competant and Jadzia – you can see, that she would feel more comfortable with Starfleet Tech.

            Example – I don’t know which is the episode, but she and Worf shall find a cardassian, who wants to go to the federation. Jadzia gets hurt – badly.
            Example – The festival. Here you can see, that she is able to let her hair down and have fun.
            She is all in all a cool character. At least to me. ^^

          • Muthsarah

            That is not entirely true. A) I liked the early Bashir (and found it
            understandable, that her wanted to get into Jadzias Pants),”

            Well, thereyago. A relatable character. And, given how he kept striking out and rarely even making himself look good (even though he’s a handsome, brilliant young doctor with an English accent and all), he’s also sympathetic. To a point. Two marks of a good character. Not necessarily a well-written character, but one with potential. Bashir worked best when paired with Garak, since Bashir’s naivitee was never more obvious. He was an idealist, even an optimist, almost a Pollyanna, a shortcoming which Garak could play off consistently well. Jadzia didn’t play well off of anybody, even Worf, the only character she had any consistent dealings with (and not ’til the fourth season). As before, she would just out-Worf him, underscoring that he had no clear role on the show.

            “B) Jadzia
            had her moments of Mary Sue, true, but then she had moments, in which
            she was in it way over her head.
            Example: “The circle”. Jadzia and
            Kira on the moon, where they find that old raider, which the Bajorans
            used, when they were in the resistance. Kira is the cool, competant and
            Jadzia – you can see, that she would feel more comfortable with
            Starfleet Tech.

            Example – I don’t know which is the episode, but she and Worf shall
            find a cardassian, who wants to go to the federation. Jadzia gets hurt –

            OK, so she’s not physically superhuman. She was made weak in episodes that were designed to make someone else look strong. But I don’t think it makes her any better of a character that the only way to make her interesting is to cripple her somehow and thus make her temporarily not awesome at everything. These shortcomings never came from herself, her own character, her own failings, something I think was a big mistake when first drawing up her character (and fleshing out the Trill after their TNG one-off). They would have been a lot more interesting had they been more schizophrenic. Have moments of instability, bickering personalities, indecision caused by having more than one instinctual response to situations, one for each of their personalities (imagine what they could have done with Joran). Instead, they went with the “best of all worlds” idea and gave Jadzia every talent from every one of her personalities at the same time, without any of their baggage. Hence, she’s Supergirl.

            “Example – The festival. Here you can see, that she is able to let her hair down and have fun.”

            I hope you’re talking about Fascination. I love that episode and will defend it forever.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Yeah, I meant “Fascination” – in Germany it is called “Das Festival”. and you know what – maybe you are right, but now I’m playing the subjective taste card and say: “Never the less, I like Jadzia.” ^^

            But then, I like Ezri, too – and from what you say, how you disliked Jadzia, what do you think about young Miss Tegan? After all, she is not as super-awesome as Jadzia (what I liked in her).

            Plus – erm: Jadzia never playing off at anyone?
            What is with Sisko, Kira, even Julian later on? And she plays well off on Worf.
            They have a chemistry there…

          • Muthsarah

            “Yeah, I meant “Fascination” – in Germany it is called “Das Festival”.
            and you know what – maybe you are right, but now I’m playing the
            subjective taste card and say: “Never the less, I like Jadzia.” ^^”

            Excellent. I feel I made my point, but it all comes down to taste. As I said, these aren’t really debates, and I’m not expecting to change anyone’s mind. I just like complaining about stuff I don’t like, especially if it’s in the greater context of something I love, like Trek. :)

            “But then, I like Ezri, too – and from what you say, how you disliked
            Jadzia, what do you think about young Miss Tegan? After all, she is not
            as super-awesome as Jadzia (what I liked in her).”

            Like Season 7 itself, Ezri’s an afterthought. I don’t think there’s anything super-wrong with her, but she didn’t fit in at all, given how much big long-standing stuff was going on all around her. Breaking in a new character and watching her go through rookie stuff in the final season was jarring, and more than once, she had to take over the show with her so-not-interesting escap—well, antics. I have nothing against Ezri, I just think it was a mistake for the showrunners to bring her character back. Had Season Seven been Daxless, had the characters had to cope with the absence of one of their own – not to mention the Dax fans out there – well, it WAS a war, and a lot of people died. It would have been very fitting, mood-wise, for them to have just let her die and stay dead. Doubly so considering that it wouldn’t have just been Jadzia gone forever, but Dax itself. It would have been like eight people dying at once, including a centuries-old symbiote. And, had they kept Ezri out, that means more time for the other characters, and, as is typical for a show, the cast had grown over time – Worf, Garak, Winn, Dukat, Weyoun, the Founder, Martok, Damar – and they all needed their time too. Bringing Dax back in the very first episode after she died was just so sad. Like the showrunners were afraid to accept change, even if it was foisted upon them, instead of taking advantage of an opportunity to shake up the show and give its supporting cast more focus.

            “Plus – erm: Jadzia never playing off at anyone?
            What is with Sisko, Kira, even Julian later on? And she plays well off on Worf.
            They have a chemistry there…”

            DS9 was full of conflict and unusual friendships.

            – Sisko and Dukat: Dukat wanted Sisko’s respect, and Sisko would never give it to him
            – Sisko and Kira: Starfleet vs. Bajoran, plus the religious angle with Kira being so devout and Sisko an unwilling prophet
            – Odo and Quark: Obvious
            – Miles and Bashir: Blue-collar vs. White-collar, enlisted man vs. officer, salt-of-the-earth vs. college boy, married man vs. young bachelor, dour vs. optimist. Great pairing.
            – Garak and Bashir: Cagey liar vs. Pollyanna, experienced operative vs. guy who dreams of being James Bond, willing addict/masochist and murderer vs. dedicated doctor.

            Julian and Dax ran its course within the first two years or so, and was just an eager young pup wanting to flirt with a pretty girl who wasn’t interested in him because he was too up-front and honest and sweet and innocent about how he pursued her. When she was too hardcore for that, and was only interested in Klingons and guys with translucent skulls and weird stuff like that. Even in Fascination, Bashir didn’t pursue her anymore, he went after Kira (and vice-versa). The Bashir-Dax thing fizzled out early and absolutely nothing came of it.

            Dax and Sisko….yeah, kinda. But their dynamic was almost entirely limited to recounting stories of Sisko and Curzon Dax, a guy who, apparently, would take things too far on occasion and get he and Sisko into all kinds of trouble. We usually only heard small bits of anecdotes, but they suggested that Curzon would have been a much more interesting character. And maybe someone who would have had a more interesting dynamic with Bashir: experienced lothario/party boy vs. strait-laced, know-nothing love pup.

            Then there was Worf and Dax. Worf was all about the stern warrior ethos, often taken far beyond healthy, or legal, levels. He grieved for his late wife, he anguished over his maladjusted son, he was ashamed of the dishonor he had to bear due to corrupt Klingon politics, he was torn over loyalties to two worlds, one he never felt he fit into, and one which frequently rejected him. On the other hand, Dax could do all that fighting stuff, and knew how to manipulate Klingon honor, and was deeply respected by Kang, Kor, and Koloth, and she loved Klingon opera too, and she could beat everybody and every game, and she was like, so totally awesome at eating all that icky Klingon food, and when she and Worf had rough Klingon sex, HE was the one that emerged with more bruises, so, like, she was like the totally most awesome Klingon ever, you know? Except that she could turn it on and off like a switch, she could be a Klingon valkyrie when the writers wanted her to, but she never took a single drawback from such an obsession; she never took it so far it became a problem for her or anyone else. And problems are what make drama interesting. Dax didn’t have any problems. That makes her, to me, boring and annoying.

    • Somebody who professes to be a Trekkie and then bashes STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE? Go fool somebody else!

    • B Brown

      What was the big deal in taking the Kobiyashi Maru, no win scenario test? It doesn’t seem to be a secret since every year everyone takes the same test. The test was to see which one of two choices you choose. If you choose #1, you get put on the Captain’s career track, and choice #2, you remain a Lt. for life? It would seem that word would get out to pick #1 if you want to get ahead in Starfleet. So it makes absolutely no sense for Kirk being allowed to take the same test three times. Then bust his balls because he cheats on his 3rd attempt. It’s not like he got caught with crib notes written on his hand. Plus there was really no right or wrong answer anyway. But perhaps he did get busted because he wrote #1 on his hand so he would remember to pick the right, right or wrong answer?

      • ppi23

        It was a story-telling element in “ST:2 Wrath Kahn” to show the audience that as Kirk aged, he lost his eyesight, youthful physique, his hair going up against Kahn, Kirk will rely on something he always had and the one thing time can’t take away from him: his cunning. When he shoots through the shields of the Reliant, he’s cheating. It’s very Deus Ex Machina way to win. But adding the Kobyashi Maru, the Odysseus reference (“Beware Greeks baring gifts” reference to how Odysseus used his cunning to beat Troy with his Trojan Horse idea), the writers are indicating that Kirk was always cunning, even in his academy days. His knack for seeing outside of the box and change/bend the rules so he can win is something Time & the Admirals desk couldn’t take from him.

  • Monophylos

    Eh, what can really be said about this movie that hasn’t already been said. The overall feeling is of a pack of children who are putting on their mums and dads’ uniforms and play-acting at being in Starfleet, which apparently you can join just by showing up. About the only reason to watch this thing is Karl Urban, who is rewarded for his effort by getting almost nothing to do in the sequel. The best that can be said of the plot is that it (just barely) does the bare minimum that was required of it: assembling the main cast into one place and slotting them into their designated roles.

  • Nate Winchester

    The rest of the cast is all over the map in their takes on these iconic
    roles, ranging from cutesy impressions of the original actors (Yelchin,
    Urban) to respectful homage to the original actors (Quinto, Pegg)

    See, I’d actually swap Pegg and Urban up there. I wasn’t that thrilled with Pegg’s portrayal but thought Urban’s was pretty spot on.

  • Kali

    I always considered the new Trek movies to be an insult to the original series. Not one of these people are even trying to do justice to their characters (with the possible exception of Bruce Greenwood as Pike, and any newbie isn’t going to have a clue who he is). And it’s not that Abrams and his writers “have only a passing interest in Star Trek,” as you put it, but it’s a case of not even caring. Star Trek is the human adventure, as Gene Roddenberry was always fond of saying — something completely lacking in these films. And don’t get me started on the young Spock/Uhura relationship, which I found out of character for both of them. Yes, it’s an alternate universe, but it appears to be an alternate universe where magic works (the “it’s in the script” brand of magic), which is not Star Trek — and you can throw any kind of treknobabble you like to justify it, but it’s still not Star Trek.

    Thank you for supporting my complete disinterest in ever seeing these films.

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      The problem is – storywise are the classic roddenberryesque characters more or less a bunch of mary and gary stus. They are infallible (at least, that is how Roddenberry himself envisioned them), there is no conflict, they are not even in a military-like environment (which is, like Roddenberry himself envisioned it), so – yeah, bunch of thirty-somethings in pyjamas.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like those thirty-somethings in pyjamas, I really do, and I’m not fond of all shows needing to be more and more conflict-based (which they call ‘character driven’ today.). Honestly – I would be perfectly fine with bunch of Mary Sues and Gary Stus. Maybe that’s why I like Full House and dislike shows like “Married with children”.

      But the market today is all about “character drama”, i.e. conflict-based, i.e. “We need to argue, because if we don’t the show is starting to get boring.”.

      But saying that this new Star Trek is “an insult” to classic Trek – sorry Kali, to me, that is just a step taken too far… I know, it is your oppinion and I don’t want to alter it, I just want to point out, why I don’t agree with that.



      • Monophylos

        Yeah, I remember how Roddenberry wrote a character who went from disgraced cadet to captain all in one go. What a wish-fulfillment loser Gary Stu fantasy. Thank heaven Abrams gave us someone more realistic.

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          Maybe not to captain, but you didn’t forget Wesley Crusher, now did you? ^^
          And note: I never said something about “realistic”.

          • Muthsarah

            Roddenberry wasn’t a good writer of characters, so while I love the guy for being the inspiration and leader of Trek in its early years, he wasn’t what made Trek good in my eyes. That came later, with Ron Moore, Michael Piller, and all the good writers given free rein starting in TNG Season Three. Roddenberry created this idealistic setting, these sterling examples of humanity (and occasional “good alien” types), and the best writers took this fantasy premise and added the wrinkles that make for relateable characters and interesting drama.

            Character conflict, yeah, it’s a little too common these days, but overall, it’s still better than having a cast of paragons, spreading the good word throughout the galaxy in the face of obvious evil. Something in the middle of these extremes is probably for the best (though we appear to be on opposite ends): have the cast act like professionals, but have some character conflicts, a little tension between some of the cast, something that can become a dramatic focus during tense moments, like how Ro Laren frequently rubbed other characters the wrong way, even though she was still a sympathetic and understandable character. As opposed to just having Worf always suggesting to blowing every anomaly, or having Wesley solve every problem by activating his wunderkind powers. At least by the TNG days, Gene seemed to want to paint his characters with very broad strokes, monochromatically, every character being a type, and usually some sort of extreme. The best balance TOS managed was the Spock/McCoy friction, which, while tame by today’s standards, was at least interesting, and would set up some rudimentary debates over how Kirk should deal with dilemmas. As opposed to ’09, where the character conflict isn’t even character-driven, but plot-driven. We need to have the crew fight because…running and yelling makes for effective action scenes. This scene isn’t tense enough, let’s have the characters fight about something!

          • Monophylos

            Considering that the entire TNG show basically forgot about Wesley Crusher after the first season, I really don’t think that bringing little Wesley up as a counterexample does your cause much good. After all, TNG would eventually turn Wesley into a burned-out loser. Somehow I don’t think Abrams is going to do the same to his infantile version of Kirk.

          • Muthsarah

            Kirk…change? Abrams is gone now, so….

            I wonder if it’s possible, or better yet likely, that a new producer/writer/director team could take over Star Trek ’09 3 and actually make a substantial change to one or more of the characters, or to everything, to make them either more like the TOS versions, or just less annoying in general. The youth of the cast does, silver-liningly, allow for them to “grow up” somewhat (highly belatedly). Kirk COULD mature a bit, learn something. Spock could actually start acting like Spock, and the other characters could become less one-note. Maybe, now that the characters and universe are well-established, they could slow down, lay off the pyrotechnics for a bit, and make more gripping, thriller-type stories, maybe even return to the optimism of the past.

            Just think: TMP wasn’t very good, but they improved it immeasurably afterwards. The first two seasons of Next Gen weren’t very good (nor was TOS Season 3), but they fixed it. DS9 started off sluggish, and they fixed that too. Most fans think First Contact improved on Generations (I think they’re both pretty bad, though), and that both Voyager and Enterprise improved in their fourth seasons.

            The franchise has bounced back from disappointment and even catastrophe so many times now. It could happen again. I don’t know how it could, given all the baggage it’s now carrying, and the demands of a massive tentpole film franchise, but….weren’t the other comebacks also unexpected?

          • Monophylos

            Honestly I don’t care any more. I didn’t care that much back in 2009 either; I figured that the disaster that was “Enterprise” killed Trek off for good and I wasn’t terribly excited when I heard that some TV idiot was taking over the Star Trek name. But I was curious enough to get talked into watching Abrams’s movie. It wasn’t a bad evening I spent but that doesn’t mean it was a good movie to spend it with.

            Can one hope that the guy who made “Alias” and the third Mission Impossible movie is going to suddenly make a “comeback” as you put it and make a suddenly better movie? Nah, not really.

          • Muthsarah

            I’m talking about someone else fixing it, now that Abrams is moving on. The TNG production staff were mostly replaced for Season Three, and Gene stepped down as producer for Wrath of Khan. They also learned from many mistakes in conception, script, and characterization in every series but the first, which, generally speaking, tended to get better as they went on, or at least better than where they started. If Abrams keeps his mitts off of the next Trek film, they’re gonna need a new (hands-on) producer, director, and writing staff, all of who will be busy putting together a new Star Wars trilogy and surely won’t also have time to devote to a lesser film franchise that’s spinning its wheels, creatively and financially.

  • HallyCom

    Among the many other deficiencies of this particular Trek, the one I found the most galling was the total lack of screen-time and positive development of new-Kirk’s Mother (the sadly underused Jennifer Morrison*). Aside from her Big Scene of giving birth to Lil’ Jim and grieving the death of heroic George in one fell swoop, there was NOTHING more from her even when there were two major opportunities to re-use her: When Jimbo decides to enlist in Starfleet (couldn’t he have called her before leaving home for Real?), and when he graduates and is appointed Captain of the Enterprise (shouldn’t HIS proud Mother have been able to attend, given that new-Spock’s own Mother can’t because *she*’s DEAD; what, too soon?).

    If anything, Mother Kirk’s absence seems to reflect the script’s complete dismissal of her character’s role and influence in raising Jimbo – or more accurately, *Lack* of it. After all, it was the Stepdad’s fancy-pants antique car that Bratty little Jimbo stole and wrecked in that lame scene, in which the angry Stepdad’s shouting over the phone also acted as an info-dump of how Mother Kirk was “off-world” at that time, and may very well have ABANDONED her own son in the care of her new husband who Little Jimbo clearly doesn’t dig. So basically, Mother Kirk has just been retconned as a selfish, absentee careerist with such low esteem and poor judgement that she married some car-nut jerkwad so she wouldn’t have to raise her son alone, and then proceeds to leave that same son ALONE with that douche anyway.

    So in effect, Mother Kirk has made herself unworthy of her son’s respect and consideration, so therefore the movie gives her none in return with any follow-up scenes to saying goodbye when he enlists and proudly attending his graduation at the end, as if she never existed. What a pile of disrespectful, regressive, sexist drivel to witness in what’s supposed to be a more “enlightened” and “inclusive” update of the supposedly outdated, backwards TV series it tries to paint itself as superior to.

    * – Apologists could claim there wasn’t enough time to include any scenes with Mother Kirk, nor would they want to risk having Jennifer Morrison in old-age makeup look less convincing than Winona Ryder’s did later on. But given how Ms. Morrison has a hard, weathered quality to her stunning looks that actually makes her look more mature (and dare I say, HOTTER), I suspect that her continued presence would only have undercut the few female roles in ST09 even further. Not that there’s much farther to fall from the demeaning tropes of Sex Conquest (Rachel Nichols’ Green Gal), Love-Interest (Uhura) and Tragic Victim of Vulcan’s destruction (Amanda).

  • Michael Mandril

    I have ranted plenty on this topic. Same as you on the fact that this is NOT really Star Trek, it is generic space opera with a veneer of Star Trek names: “The USS Enterprise” instead of “The USS Spaceship”, “Captain Kirk” instead of “Captain Hero”, “Spock” instead of “Alien Sidekick”, “Planet Vulcan” instead of “Planet of Alien Sidekick”.

    Those “easter eggs” aren’t easter eggs, they are GIANT MIDDLE FINGERS to Gene Roddenberry and to the fans of Star Trek.

    I recall Abbrams (dont know if I’m spelling it correctly, dont really care) being quoted as “I wasn’t a fan of Star Trek, but I am a fan of Star Trek now.” and I have to say that is more or less of a falsehood. He is not a fan of Star Trek, he is a fan of HIS fake generic version of Star Trek that he crapped out.

    I wish the studios that greenlit the ’09 Trek and Into Darkness would have given (even half of) the money allocated to said films to some of the fan films that are being made today.

  • Ryan Ann

    I watched this movie for Leonard Nimoy only and he did not disappoint. His performance was not a cameo for Nimoy had an integral part in this movie. Quinto’s Spock got on my nerves. His Spock will NEVER hold a candle to Nimoy’s Spock. It’s hard to see characters you’ve loved all of your life taken over by less experienced and less talented actors. I really dislike Zoe Saldana as Uhura. She has none of the class that Nichelle Nichols had as Uhura (even though Uhura in generally was not one of the best characters in the show). I also disliked Chris Pine as Kirk (even though Shatner definitly liked to ham it up as Kirk but no one can replace Shatner at any time). Simon Pegg as Scotty was a joke. Made me miss James Doohan with that wonderful Scottish accent :) The only one who did a decent job was Karl Urban as Bones but even then I still only see Deforest Kelly as Bones and he is VERY hard to replace. Urban at least tries and he is watchable even though seeing him makes me miss Deforest. I don’t know who played Sulu or Chekov in the new film but since neither of them were memorable in the original series and movies (Takei/Sulu was passable and Koeing/Chekov was more than annoying and had the worst character in the original series/movies) it doesn’t really matter. I am not sure who played Spock’s father in the new movie but who can replace Mark Leonard as Ambassador Sarek? It is impossible to me. Winonna Ryder, the biggest name in the movie, had small screen time as Spock’s mother but again was passable. She can not and will not replace the wonderful performance by Jane Wyatt who played Amanda with such warmth and compassion. I don’t see Winona Ryders’ Amanda with any of that. I do applaud Leonard Nimoy for his decision to come out of retirement to play Spock again and play him with dignity and bring the old and new together. Nimoy has done a terrific job with bringing young people to Star Trek.

  • Yonagonaf

    Hello Dr. Winston O’Boogie.

    My name is Yonagonaf.

    My two favourite websites that have reviews / comments are “Channel Awesome” and “The Agony Booth”.

    Thank you for inculcating Yonagonaf that you are the creator of “The Agony Booth”.

  • Toby Clark

    I wasn’t aghast at the Kobayashi Maru scene (or indeed anything in the recent movies), but I will say that I vastly preferred William Shatner’s version of how he reprogrammed the simulation – have the Klingons be afraid of Kirk and the reputation he intended to have.