A quick aside: I don’t go to movie theaters. I’m not big on crowds, and movie spoilers really don’t bother me that much. So I normally don’t see movies until they hit the DVD market.
That said, I finally saw Star Trek Into Darkness.
Now, please note at this point that I do not exaggerate in the least when I say that Star Trek, specifically The Original Series, is why I am a geek. I stumbled across reruns at an early and impressionable age, and it really hit home for me. I recognized a great heroic leader in Kirk, loved the wit and emotion McCoy brought to the party, and most importantly completely related to the alien outsider Spock. It was my “gateway drug” into science fiction and fantasy, and landed me many of the friendships that would slide me into other geekdoms later on.
Also important to state at this point is that I really did not care for the 2009 reboot. I thought the cast did a serviceable job with representing the characters, but there were, simply put, huge flaws in the story and some of the premises therein. Assumptions were made for no reason that I could deduce other than “it will look cool on the big screen.” For reasons stated earlier, this was more than a little painful for me. I really think I could have enjoyed that film if it had not attempted to represent these characters for which I have a deep and emotional relationship.
So, finally, back to STID.
We’re all familiar with the “sum it up in one word” thing; this is something I’m pretty bad at normally. I know a lot of words and often have difficulty narrowing it down. But I didn’t really have any trouble in the case of STID. And the word that springs into my head every time I think about it? Mockery. I find it very hard to believe that the creators of this film were not conscious of how derivative this script would be of Star Trek 2. They must have decided in a Hollywood meeting at some point in the process that they would have to mirror the original Khan stories because the general public is too stupid to understand that a character can have a different story than the first time we saw him (or her).
It would be bad enough if that were as far as it went. But I really felt that many of the same bad assumptions were being made for this film as for the last one. Since there are too many to list, I’ll toss out one example. Please tell me how a semi-military organization that has normally aging general officers (generals, admirals and the like – those guys are all in their 50s and 60s as they should be) does not appear to have any command-level officers older than 30. They’re seriously just handing these fantastically expensive and high-tech military-grade vehicles to an academy cadet? And not just any academy cadet – we’re talking about the loudest and most obnoxious one we can find. I mean a real problem child, too; this guy will take a swing at anything at any time with a chip on his shoulder the size of Detroit. And how badly did we really need the “shooting across the debris field in space suits at high speed” scene?
But I digress.
Anyway, before this gets ridiculously long, I didn’t like the movie. And now we’ve started hearing about a potential TV series from this particular group of creators. If I didn’t express some trepidation at this idea, I would be remiss. I’ll be honest with you, too – I’m a little concerned about the direction of the next set of Star Wars movies at this point. Widely beloved sci-fi characters sprinting through a crowded city street – while it might work just fine in a modern spy thriller – just doesn’t appeal to the geek in me.