Friday, January 2, 2015

New Star Trek Thoughts

With recent news of a third Star Trek film for the alternate universe franchise to be released in 2016, it seems a good time to catch up with the previous two films, both directed by J. J. Abrams.

First, Star Trek (2009) offered a bold re-imagining of the franchise set within an alternate timeline in which William Shatner and his now aged crew were never aboard the Enterprise. In their place is a very young and energetic cast, and, although the film seemed marketed at attracting newer viewers, there is, in fact, much to appeal to established fans, who might otherwise take umbrage with the liberties taken by the filmmakers. While it does take some adjustment to accepting them in the roles, the new actors do settle in nicely. Plus, homages to Shatner Trek are frequent (both visually and aurally), and the presence of Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime adds an interesting link between universes.

Having reflected on Star Trek, its sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), presents a better-balanced film in terms of old/new visions of the Star Trek Universe. The new actors seems more natural--i.e. believable--now in their roles (Scotty, Chekov, and Sulu are especially fun, though the dynamics between Kirk and Spock, Kirk and McCoy, and Spock and Uhura also make great viewing), and it is very much an edge-of-your-seat film that stands up well to repeated viewings, even when the film has revealed all of its secrets upon a first viewing.

Both Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness are now available on a special edition Blu-ray titled Star Trek: The Compendium, which includes a wealth of extras for the second film that were previously split between retailers. Full details at ( and Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki (

Updated 1/20/2015

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