Friday, June 5, 2009

Star Drek 2: More musings on the new "Star Trek" movie

I intended to go to see the new "Star Trek" movie a second time, so that I could refresh my memory of some things and maybe see some things I hadn't the first time, before I made further comments on the "Star Trek" movie. However, I have not yet had the chance to do so, and I think seeing "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "Terminator Salvation" within about a week of each other pushed me over the edge. The dreadful "Terminator" actually surpassed "Wolverine" as the most pointless extension of a movie franchise yet... and that's not an easy thing to do.

It's quite possible that, having only seen the film once, I missed or misperceived some details. If so, I will be happy to admit I am wrong.

So here are some more critical thoughts on the new "Star Trek" movie. Before I get into it, I do want to say one positive thing about the movie -- I was never bored while watching it. I was frequently appalled and saddened, but not bored.


In the original series, and in all of the other "Star Trek" series (even, I think, "Enterprise", which took place in an earlier time period when the technology was not as advanced) and "Star Trek" movies, the transporter was regularly used in concert with a starship's sensors to scan, "lock on", and beam people and/or things from one place to another. Those places were often in motion relative to each other. Some were traveling at very high speeds -- there was often beaming done between spaceships, between spaceships and planets, and so forth.
In this new movie, there is a whole scene devoted to setting up the goofy idea (to be used -- VERY lamely -- in a later scene) that for some reason, the transporter has a hard time locking onto and transporting two humanoids free-falling through Vulcan's atmosphere. Now, think about this... the Enterprise has computers that can simultaneously operate all the myriad functions of a gigantic starship, including the almost unimaginable complexity of keeping track of the mind-bogglingly gigantic number of bits as a person's body is converted into energy and reassembled into matter (correctly!) at a distant location... and yet we're expected to believe that this incredibly powerful computer can't calculate simple Newtonian-type physics? That is simply, to coin a phrase, highly illogical.
And it all seems to be just a set up for the incredibly silly scene later in the movie when Spock's mother perishes because, during the destruction of Vulcan, when the rest of her group (including Spock's father) is being beamed up to the Enterprise successfully, she is lost... BECAUSE SHE FALLS OFF A ROCK DURING BEAMING. I'm not kidding.
So we go from a scene where the Enterprise computer controlling the transporter can't handle transporting two guys falling miles through Vulcan's atmosphere, to another scene where the same computer can't even handle transporting someone who JUST FELL OFF A ROCK.
I can't stand it. Who vetted this stuff?


I'm not sure if the ship Kirk sees being constructed (or repaired, it's never quite clear... or at least it wasn't to me at the time) on the ground on Earth is Enterprise, or some other ship, or not even a real starship at all but some kind of full-size training environment. But unless I have missed something in the realm of theoretical starship construction, building your deep space vessel at the bottom of a gravity well on the surface of a planet is a VERY dopey idea. Again, highly illogical.


The scenes in this movie where Spock and Uhura kiss and embrace in a fashion clearly meant to indicate that they have some kind of romantic/sexual relationship are simply bizarre. Not only do they add nothing to the story, but they completely go against the nature of Spock (and Uhura, for that matter) as established over forty years of "Star Trek" history.


One of the most annoyingly overused cliches is "jaw dropping". Even so, there are times when it applies, and I had several "jaw-dropping" moments while watching this new "Star Trek" film. I think the first one may have been when there is a scene set (I think) in Enterprise's engineering section... and it's clearly been filmed in some lightly redressed 21st century factory, with clunky pipes and flanges and valves and wheels, looking for all the world like a scene in some cheap, cheesy Sci-Fi Channel movie, where an apartment boiler room can fill in for a nuclear power plant or something. I came into this movie having heard that this was the one which would FINALLY show the true grandeur of the "Star Trek" environments -- they had the budget, and they were going to do it RIGHT!
I expected that this would mean money being lavished on large, carefully detailed sets... or maybe some amazing CGI set extensions like George Lucas used to great effect in the "Star Wars" prequels. I was certainly not expecting this "amateur hour" approach. Literally, my jaw was hanging open when I saw this. I just couldn't believe my eyes.


People who have seen this new film and the second Star Trek film ("The Wrath of Khan") have pointed out that the villainous Nero's motivation is eerily similar to (the less charitable would say "ripped off from") that of the character of Khan in "Wrath of Khan" -- i.e., each one had lost a beloved spouse, and wanted revenge on one of our heroes for said loss.
There are two key differences which make -- in terms of drama and emotional content and believability -- "Wrath of Khan" seem like high art compared to this new "Star Trek."
The first thing has to do with the original series -- you know, the one the non-Trek fans who love this new glitzy new Trek movie deride for its primitive effects, cheap sets, and so forth. That series had an episode -- "Space Seed" -- which introduced the genetically-engineered Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban) and his group of fellow "supermen", and showed how they tried to take over the Enterprise. They failed, and Kirk exiled them on an uninhabited planet, where it was felt that they might be able to create a life for themselves. (Not necessarily the most logical choice for Kirk, but that was the story.) It was an excellent set up for the "Wrath of Khan" movie -- it gave emotional weight to the reappearance of the character of Khan (again played, brilliantly, by Ricardo Montalban), and his rage at Kirk for the death of his wife during their exile on this planet.
This new movie has nothing like that, though it TRIES to get mileage out of a very similar idea. It's just that Eric Bana (as much as I admire him as an actor) is no Ricardo Montalban, and Nero is no Khan. And DOING something to someone (Kirk deciding to strand Khan and his wife on that planet) is ALWAYS gong to be far more dramatic that simply LETTING something happen (old Spock somehow letting Nero's wife die by not doing something -- I can't even remember what it was, it was so poorly dramatized).

The second thing is SCALE. In "Wrath of Khan", you could really buy Khan's anger at Kirk and his burning desire to hurt Kirk as deeply as he possibly could, including by killing him. It was personal. It was believable.
In the new "Star Trek", Nero doesn't just want to hurt Spock -- he wants to KILL THE ENTIRE PLANET OF VULCAN! And all because Spock failed to prevent Nero's wife's death. This is so over the top that it turns Nero into a true "cartoon villain", in the worst sense of that phrase. His plan is so extreme that it no longer means anything. It is, I think, one of the sad things about modern movies -- the idea that bigger is always better. Clearly, it's not.
(And I confess that, for some reason, I kept thinking of that scene in the movie "Diner", where some of the main characters are sharing a jail cell with some drunken bums, who keep harassing them... until one of those characters turns to one of the bums and says something to the effect that "I'm going to hit you so hard it'll kill your whole family!")


And that actually brings me to another point -- WHY DESTROY THE PLANET VULCAN???!!!??? This seemed to me to be such a ludicrously unnecessary bit of spectacle which pointlessly removed one of the coolest things in the "Star Trek" universe... and for WHAT?! So that Spock can say that dimwitted "I'm now an endangered species" line?


And don't even get me started on "red matter".


This one just occurred to me -- if Nero's ship has the ability to travel through time, why doesn't he use that ability to go back in time and SAVE HIS WIFE?!


On the original series, the Enterprise had a brig (essentially a group of jail cells). In fact, on all of the "Star Trek" series, Starfleet vessels all had brigs. Brigs are where you put troublemakers, if you have any on your starship. This is where young Spock should have -- LOGICALLY -- put young Kirk when Kirk starts making a pain in the ass of himself.
But no... for the sake of the shakily-constructed story, it is ESSENTIAL that Spock do something to Kirk which, in a way, is tantamount to attempted murder -- he has him put in some kind of "escape pod" (which appears to be not much larger than a coffin) and shot off into space. It's ESSENTIAL because Kirk has to -- in a coincidence so staggering that it beggars belief -- run into old Spock on the dangerous ice planet to which young Spock has condemned him for no apparent reason (at least, none that I can see).
Apparently old Spock has also been marooned here on this planet, by Nero, so that as Spock's punishment for not doing something that might have saved Nero's wife, Spock has a "front row seat" to the destruction of Vulcan. Old Spock is so marooned, in fact, that when Kirk arrives, old Spock says "There's a Starfleet installation on this planet", and the two of them apparently WALK to it in short order. There they find Montgomery Scott, who promptly (with old Spock's help) figures out a way to beam them off the planet and onto the Enterprise. Guess they weren't so marooned after all.
One wonders -- if old Spock knew about this Starfleet installation, WHY DIDN'T HE IMMEDIATELY GO THERE WHEN NERO PLUNKED HIM DOWN ON THE PLANET? Why did he wait until Kirk got there? Oh, that's right -- if he HADN'T waited, he wouldn't have been able to spew all that expository dialogue to explain the dopey plot of the movie to Kirk.


FInally (at least for this post), I have to mention the bit near the end of the movie where old Spock meets young Spock. Let's set aside the fact that, earlier in the movie, old Spock makes a big deal out of how Kirk can't tell young Spock that old Spock has imparted the key plot information to Kirk... it would mess up the timeline or something. Okay, fine... but then we're at the end of the move, and old Spock just casually walks up to young Spock and starts chatting with him. WTF??!!!
But the bit that I really wanted to mention is the line that, on first viewing, sounded kind of clever -- it's when old Spock takes his leave of young Spock and says something like "I would say goodbye with my usual salutation, but that would seem self-serving, so I will simply say... "Good luck"."
As we all know, Spock's "usual salutation" is "Live long and prosper." Okay... now will somebody explain to me how wishing yourself good luck is any less self-serving than wishing yourself long life and prosperity? Doesn't a wish for "good luck" INCLUDE things like long life and prosperity, if not more?


That's it for now. Hopefully, I have not remembered the pertinent details of the new "Trek" movie incorrectly in my comments here. But I'm sure that if I have, I will be informed. -- PL


Splinter's Iroonna said...

ST:TWOK is the definitive Trek movie.

And it's got Ricardo Montalban!


Other then that, *shrugs*.

Rachel (a-big-apple) said...

Well, not to be annoying about it, but some of the plot problems you pointed out aren't actually plot problems. Such as Nero's ship being able to travel through time. It doesn't travel through time--it gets sucked into a black hole, which spits it out in an earlier century of an alternate dimension of the ST universe. Or, for another example, old Spock telling young Spock the whole story, when earlier he'd told Kirk that it would cause some kind of time paradox. It's a joke, and old Spock says so. When young Spock asks why Kirk didn't just tell him all that, old Spock says that he led Kirk to believe the world would collapse or some such if he revealed the truth--but the real reason was that old Spock didn't want to deprive young Spock and Kirk of the friendship he knows they should have. It happens fast in the conversation, but it's there.

I'm not going to argue that this Star Trek was supremely faithful to the old show, or was a masterwork of filmmaking--but I did find it to be a rather exciting new look, through the lens of an alternate universe, at characters I love but who have been in so many movies already that there isn't much more to do with them. Re-booting with an alternate history gave it a freshness that I think a younger generation of ST fans needed. Though really, I still wish most of all that they'd done another movie in the TNG/DS9/Voyager century. Those are the folks I really miss.

agliarept said...

Wow wow wow, you just ripped them a new one lol. i pleasantly enjoyed reading your points, and although i really enjoyed the movie, i can really see what your talking about. especially the last line old spock tells the new spock.

I think its awesome how passionate you are about your star trek genre. Please remember this when the turtles movies is being produced, please dont have a future Donatello come back and take the turtles on some crazy adventure. I think i would die if that happened.

Thanks for sharing your views on the movie Peter, wakka wakka.

InfiniteStudent said...

Gosh I am sooo happy I am not alone. I have not seen Star Trek yet, since I am a huge comic fan I wanted to see Wolverine first -- I HATED IT!! I was a huge Terminator fan so I then went to see Salvation about a week after Wolverine!! Peter, I completely agree, the first thing I said after leaving the theater is "It was pointless!" Both movies were horrible and totally turned me off from seeing any more movies for quite a while. My wife wanted to see Drage Me To Hell last weekend, and even though I am a HUGE Sam Raimi fan, I just couldnt do it.

GreenWillow said...

Okay, you've totally sold me on the illogicalness (is that a word?) of the storyline. In all honesty I experienced a few WTF moments, too-- specifically Spock murderously booting Kirk into space in that pod, and later the casual dialogue between young and old Spock that by all SciFi common sense should've caused such a massive rip in the space-time continuum as to have swallowed the entire Universe.

But I'll still prolly watch it again and I'll certainly go see the next ones cuz I still think it was a massively entertaining Saturday matinee movie.

BTW, my partner just picked up the entire collection (including the original pilot) on VHS at a yard sale the other day. One of these days soon we're going to marathon ourselves into a Star Trek stupor. I'm curious now how many plot holes we all let slide back in 1966. ;o)


CraftNinja said...

I had some of the same problems you did with the movie, but reacted with somewhat less vehemence. I actually really enjoyed the new movie, and while I do think there were things that should have been done differently, I attribute very few of them to laziness or carelessness, or a lack of interest in the franchise. There were one or two errors that I think were due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the characters involved, but by and large I thought the mistakes in the movie were more a symptom having a lot to accomplish. They had set goals they wanted to accomplish and sacrificed complexity (or, occasionally, reality) for expediency.

I do think the overall plot in terms of the conflict with the villain was underdone and did not receive the attention that it needed to make it a good plot. However, I think that this plot was not really the point of the movie. I think that the true conflict of this movie was not between the Enterprise crew and Nero, but between Spock and Kirk. This movie was character-driven, not plot driven, and it showed. To be honest, though, I didn't have a problem with that. I myself am very character-focused in my own writing and reading, and a more complex plot would have taken away, I think, from the story they were really trying to tell, which was the stories of the characters. For this reason, I don't think the movie is really comparable to the Wrath of Kahn. The Wrath of Kahn was also character focused, but it was equally as focused on the characters of Kirk and Kahn as it was on the characters of Kirk and Spock. Nero was a sideline in this movie; he was a device, and as such suffered from critical underdevelopment. His entire purpose was to provide an external pressure to force the eventual unification of the crew, which didn't really give him much time to become important. I was impatient during his scenes. I didn't care what he wanted or why he was there, he was clearly the Villain and I cared more about seeing the crew than I did about him. I would not have cut any of the scenes around Spock, McCoy, and Kirk to give him more time (though as I will mention later, I do think there are some scenes that could have gone). If I may, and I speak with the utmost respect as someone who has watched the movie many many times, I think a more accurate comparison would be the 2007 TMNT movie. The plot was there and necessary for us to have a movie, but the real story of the movie is the conflict between Leo and Raph, not the conflict between the Turtles and Winters (thank you very much by the way for posting the script a few months ago, it was fascinating and explained some things I had wondered about). I leave it to the individual viewer to decide whether the flaws of Nero as a villain were excusable, but I do think they were understandable. For my part, I am willing to overlook Nero for the sake of the rest of the movie. (to be continued due to character limits)

Felipe said...

This was THE Star Trek review. Please consider reviewing movies (especially the ones you dislike) more often!

CraftNinja said...

I would have liked them to have left Chekov and Sulu for a sequel. I have a hard time believing even Jim Kirk could rise to captaincy of the flagship of the fleet quite so quickly and easily, without saying that the rest of the crew made it immediately as well. I believe the transporter incident that you refer to was inserted specifically to give Chekov a few minutes in the limelight. As ludicrous as it is to believe they couldn't figure that out with the computer, it is equally ludicrous to think that the trained transporter technician couldn't figure it out but that Chekov could do it after running headlong through the ship to get there. Since they reinvented him as this kind of young genious they needed to give him a chance to be smarter than everyone else. Likewise, the swordfight with Sulu on the drill I thought was pretty ridiculous. I can't deny it was dramatic and visually impressive, but it was also unlikely and out of place. If they had banked on the success of this movie to produce the potential for a sequel, they could have added Sulu and Chekov in more naturally and had more room for the other things they wanted to do (like, maybe, developing the villain).

I thought the scenes with Spock and Kirk as kids were unnecessary. Spock's I might have let go, for the sake of the people seeing the movie who weren't fans and who might not 'get' Spock without help, but Kirk driving across the desert conveyed nothing that the rest of the movie didn't, except that in the future we will have Nokia phones.

The shot of the Enterprise being built on Earth was pretty inexcusable. Every single person I've spoken to brought that up. Spacedock, people. Several of my more sciency friends were also annoyed at the black hole, as they are no longer really the unexplained phenomenon that they once were. It reminds me of a section on the Armageddon DVD commentary where Michael Bay said everyone has their own theory of the way that gravity works. I was more annoyed with the use of time travel as a plot device yet again. It's really become the Star Trek easy-answer plot. I'm finding it tiresome.

I do feel the Spock/Uhura relationship is a mistake. It just seemed so unnecessary, and I couldn't understand why they would do it, until I read an interview with Abrams where he said that they felt Spock needed someone to confide in after his entire world was destroyed, and it would normally be Kirk, but since he and Kirk weren't friends yet it had to be somebody else. This is, I think, an instance where we see the downside of having someone who is not a fan of the franchise in charge. Abrams missed a phenomenal opportunity here. The whole character dynamic of the original series depended on this triangle friendship between Spock, McCoy, and Kirk. Why not use this opportunity to show how difficult Spock finds it to cope with his dual nature without these friends that give him the permission to be human when he needs to be. Of course he needs an outlet, that's exactly why you don't give him one! Then when he cracks and nearly strangles Kirk, the scene makes sense. Even the scene you object to regarding marooning Kirk, would have made sense. He's angry. He's not acting logically, he's acting emotionally and putting a logical face on it. He's been bottling up all of these feelings and KIRK is the one thing he can control, that he can vent his frustration on within the bounds of his logical conscience, and Kirk is the one who gets it when he finally snaps. This would, I think, be especially effective given that the movie went with a more human interpretation of Spock. TOS Spock really gave the impression that he had been living as a Vulcan all these years and that only with the help of Kirk and McCoy, is he able to accept his human heritage and break out of that mold a little. Movie Spock is still trying to cram his human feelings into a Vulcan mold, making his outburst more understandable and, I think, giving future movies the chance to explore his character in a way that differs from, but is still in harmony with, TOS Spock. (one more)

CraftNinja said...

Finally, I think the movie really played with the idea of destiny - that certain things are destined to happen no matter what. This crew is destined to come together; Kirk is destined to be captain; Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are destined to be friends, no matter how bad their start was, no matter how messed up their universe is, no matter how crazy everything else goes, these things had to happen. I don't know if it was really intentional, or if it only appears this way because of the external influences. That stuff really WAS destined to happen because it wouldn't be a Star Trek movie if it didn't. But, intentionally or not, I think the end result is that you look at these characters and you feel like this is what was SUPPOSED to happen. In that light, it makes perfect sense for Kirk to run into Old Spock; it's another part of destiny working for them. I felt that the movie used references to TOS very sparingly and effectively, so that when they showed up, it felt like a little touch of destiny. Pike in the wheelchair, for example - a short, subtle moment, but it made you gasp a little (unlike the Star Wars prequels, which were so artificially crammed full of lines from the original that they lost all effect).

One complaint that I've often had about movies lately is that they have no focus or clarity of purpose; the moviemakers lose their grip on what they were trying to accomplish and get caught up in subplots that don't matter, events that don't get followed up on, foreshadowing that never pays off. I don't think that's the case here; I think the moviemakers knew what they wanted to accomplish, they knew what was really important, and they didn't let the other elements of the movie grow so important that they detracted from the main purpose - much. In a movie as crammed full as this one was, I think that was an accomplishment, and I would rather see certain elements underdone than to see the most important point eclipsed by a complicated plot.

As a final note, regarding old Spock meeting new Spock, their conversation explains that Spock pretty much lied to Kirk about the paradox issue. Their conversation actually hearkens back to some of the scenes in The Final Frontier. Young Spock says "You lied." and old Spock says "I implied."

I hope you don't mind such a wordy response, but I too have been doing a lot of thinking over this movie!

Dragon Turtle said...


But how do you really feel about the new Star Trek Movie. =)

For me, the new movie was a decent, disposable popcorn flick, that may not sit well with true diehard Trek fans.

The biggest problem with the movie was the main villain, who made no sense what so ever, why not go to Romulus and tell them their sun is about to go supenova in a hundred years and prepare? Why wait around 25 years? Why not just go destroy Vulcan right away? Sloppy and lazy writing.

GreenWillow said...

Great points, CraftNinja. Yes, if one had to draw a comparison between TMNT and Star Trek (which NO! I am *not* doing except on this one point!)I think the character-driven conflicts between Leo/Raph and Kirk/Spock that left the respective villains sort of superfluous is certainly valid, and in both cases added depth to the films.

Also I totally agree with you that not giving Spock the emotional outlet needed following his loss would have set up a much more intense dynamic. Definitely a missed opportunity to crank up the, I mean *characterization*.


Mr. Monstar said...

okay, I'm not a Trek fan at all but I love this movie. I only seen it once but I understood everything and I'll put my input on your comments:

1) Nero's ship can't travel through time, he and Spock got sucked into the black Hole caused from the Red Matter. Although reading the novel Adaption it hints that Nero's ship has traces of Borg tech, take that as you will.

2) Spock wasn't trying to kill Kirk, he simply wanted him out of his way, thus he shot him off on a planet with a Star Fleet outpost. He totally meant for him to be rescued.

3) Old Spock needed Kirk and Spock to form their Relationship on their own, not because a future version tells them they become friends, so he needed them to fight/argue to finally appreciate each other.

4) Nero was angry because he lost his planet, not just his wife. So he wanted Spock watch his planet die just like he witnessed, because it was essentially his fault he thought.

Although I will agree, Why didn't Nero travel to Romulus and tell them about the Future? That does bug me a little. However I guess the damage was already done to his Universe, and he'd still be suffering.

But I thought it was great movie for non-Trekkie's, so sue me if I liked it. Along with Terminator I thought it was great, probably my fave out of the series, but I hated Wolvie.

~ tOkKa said...

-->> Much more entertaining and informative than the first TREK post ( still haven't seen the f9ilm.. ) .


OK, awesome !! !!


** ** **

" I still wish most of all that they'd done another movie in the TNG/DS9/Voyager century. Those are the folks I really miss. .. .. "


..o baby what a dream that'd be !! !!

gogreenmachine said...

Hey I'm just pissed they killed off my girlfriend. What? Wynona Ryder is my girlfriend. Shut up, it's true! *Pouts*

man...I would put stuff around my house for her to steal if it meant she would come over :-(

~ tOkKa said...

-->> L O L , Steph !! !!

Kevin "Jester" McGill said...

My fave Trek films are 2 and 6. WoK and Undiscovered Country are by far the best...and both share a director, so that may be the common denominator. I'm not a huge Trek fan, I enjoy the franchise and I enjoyed the movie, but I have found myself playing Peter Laird with my fiancee when we discuss it, as she loathes the old Trek primarily because of William Shatner. I say things like, "The whole old Spock thing was a cop out to make it more an alternate reality where the other Trek mythos still exists and this is a psudeo-reboot." She says, "Good I didn't like the old stuff anyway." and that Abrams > Roddenberry. Sacrilege!

agliarept said...I think its awesome how passionate you are about your star trek genre. Please remember this when the turtles movies is being produced, please dont have a future Donatello come back and take the turtles on some crazy adventure. I think i would die if that happened.

I dunna dude, Future Don and Raph coming back and getting the young turtles together for an adventure sounds good to me...*coff*Archie's Future Shark Trilogy*coff*

Lea said...

A few comments because I never said anything on your first post and had really wanted to.

Other then Turtles Star Trek has been my oldest fandom. I grew up through most of my Tween and early Teen years watching The Next Generation. I love the original show movies, but have never actually sat down and watched the whole series start to finish (something I plan to remedy after I finish rewatching TNG)

Basically I say all this to set the platform, yes I love Star Trek, but no I am not a hardcore original show fan.

I overall enjoyed the film. I saw it a few times in the theater, I enjoyed the overall positive mood of the film. And I love the opening scene with Kirk's Father.

Many little things bothered me, but I flat out hated the way they portrayed Spock in the film. I didn't have issues with them showing Spock had emotion (he is half human after all) but they made me so mean. It simply didn't sit right with me that he could take so much pleasure from being so vindictive. A few times I felt like I was watching Quinto's other character Sylar dressed up as Spock because of his attitude and facial expressions.

It also hurt Quinto to have Nimoy there, at least to me. Because Nimoy IS Spock and he has such a noble, regal bearing to everything that he does it just made Quinto's Spock appear even more out of place.

I actually think I liked this film more before I started re-watching TNG, and then little petty things started to annoy me. I actually hated Nero the first time I watched the film, but after reading the prequel comic am more at peace with his character.

I just remember reading a magazine and they stated we were finally seeing the "definitive Romulans" in a film. This really bothered me because Nero is NOT the proper representation of what is so terrifying about the Romulans.

So for me it's mostly Spock. And I have read a few rumors about them trying to think of a way to work the Borg into the next film and that displeases me greatly as Picard is suppose to discover the Borg. (I don't care if that is in the Prime time line and this is alternate and they can do what they want). I just really don't want Abrams touching TNG at all.

spdred said...

"The biggest problem with the movie was the main villain, who made no sense what so ever, why not go to Romulus and tell them their sun is about to go supenova in a hundred years and prepare? Why wait around 25 years? Why not just go destroy Vulcan right away? Sloppy and lazy writing."

Nero did say he wanted revenge on Spock. Plus Nero didn't wait for 25 years- he was captured and being held on a Klingon prison planet and then escaped. Thats what Uhura was talking about when she said she picked up a distress signal about someone escaping. Nero was somehow captured and broke out.

And just another thing I wanted to point out- Nero didn;t want to destroy Vulcan just because of his wife- he wanted revenge because his entire planet was destroyed and figured an eye for an eye. He singled out his wife because, well, she was his love. Plus considering he and his crew were miners, and more brutes then thinkers it seemed perfectly within reason that they would take their revenge up a ludicrous notch.

amicitia6 said...

On the subject of bad science: I particularly liked how the spaceships caught on fire, and got huge gaping holes in them, yet they didn't depressurize and explode. (Implode? I don't know. Anyway they should have been destroyed instantly.)

Lea said...

Actually the reason he didn't go and destroy Vulcan right away is because most of Nero's grudge is against Spock. He won't destroy the planet until he is certain Spock will be able to watch it happen and feel the same pain he felt when he lost his home world and life.

In the prequel comic Spock tries warn the Romulans of there impending doom. Nero is one of the only people to believe him and goes about risking his reputation, mining ship and crew in order to help Spock help his home world.

They end up on Vulcan and with the help a few other familiar faces try to convince the Vulcan council to allow them to use the Red Matter and the ship Spock Prime flies to save Romulus.

When the Vulcans refuse Spock vows to convince them to change there minds. Nero tells him he holds him responsible for saving his planet and that if anything goes wrong he is blaming Spock.

The time line of events is slightly different in the comic and Spock is no where near Romulus when it is destroyed but instead is only able to fly out later when Vulcan is then being threatened. Nero is furious because he thinks Spock used him in order to get the resources to save Vulcan and that he was never going to help Romulus.

Nero hates and blames Spock for everything which is why he goes after Vulcan.

buslady6301 said...

all i can say about uruha & the eppie "charlie x" it was hinted she had a thing for spock...they probably just decided to go with that.

buslady6301 said...

heh i realised i misspelled like half asleep...zzzz

spdred said...

plus i just think its lame to nitpick the science of something like star trek lol. you could poke holes through the science in every season of that show to be 100% honest

~ tOkKa said...

-->> But, dude .. STAR TREK predicted Cell phones and electric shavers !! !!


Colin said...

Wow Peter. While I respect your opinion, I wholeheartedly disagree. I loved the new movie. It nailed two key things for me, it got the characters right, and it was fun. I wasn't worried about the logic of the transporters and the red matter and whatnot, I was entertained from start to finish. I went to see it twice. It was funny, intense, it was excellent.

I loved the cast, espically Pine, Quinto, Urban, and Pegg. They were the best of the bunch. I loved the story. I like where they're going with series. I like the fact that now they can still use the old characters, but at the same time go new directions with them.

One thing I do have to point out in your "review", Nero's ship didn't have the ability to time travel. They got sucked into the past by accident and then waited 25 years. So he couldn't go back to save his wife.

But yeah, I loved the movie. I'll probably get crap for saying this but I loved it more than Wrath of Khan. Plus it's made me go back and appreciate the old series that much more. I'm sorry you didn't like it Peter.

Colin said...

Though I will agree that the Spock/Uhura romance was totally unnecessary.

PL said...

I want to thank all those who have posted thoughtful, articulate comments here. I am definitely going to see the movie again, to refresh my memory and see if I can pick up on some of the details which I seem to have missed.

I might even get to like it a bit more, but that might be asking too much. We'll see. -- PL

Splinter's Iroonna said...

Blogger Colin said...

....But yeah, I loved the movie. I'll probably get crap for saying this but I loved it more than Wrath of Khan. Plus it's made me go back and appreciate the old series that much more. I'm sorry you didn't like it Peter.

HOW could you like it better than WoK????


I mean, look at the last toon! The so-called new leader of the Foot was called KHAN!!!

Just nobody did the Shatner yell... missed opportunity.

Wait, maybe Viral-Shreds did, but I don't remember.

Khan: [quoting from Melville's Moby Dick] To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!

Ah, Ricardo!

Cynthia, scuttling away!

Colin said...

Hey I love WOK, it's a brilliant flick. I just liked the new movie a little more.

Big D said...


The writers say this was done in part to show Spock's rebellion from his Vulcan ancestry, not unlike how he joined Starfleet. It was one way in which he embraced his human side.


I see someone in the comments already covered this. It was basically an eye for an eye. Nero wanted Spock to watch his planet die the way he watched Romulus die back in Prime Universe.


He's basically trapped in this new offshoot universe, where a younger version of him exists. There's really no way for him to be with his wife again. And to warn Romulus about a future supernova seems pointless to him because he's already lost his world forever. He's kinda lost his mind at this point as well. He would rather die than take Kirk's help at the end.


It's no massive coincidence that Spock Prime meets Kirk on that ice planet. Nero dropped him there because it was next to Vulcan, and Spock dropped Kirk there as they were leaving Vulcan. Spock also was not attempting to kill Kirk. He sent him down in a safe escape pod, where, had he remained inside, he would've been picked up by the nearby Starfleet officers.


The writers explained the science behind this in a recent "Creative Screenwriting" podcast... they address some other issues raised by fans as well. I recommend people give it a listen.


The subplot where Nero is trapped in a Klingon prison and escapes in time to catch Spock Prime coming out of the black hole was cut, but I see someone pointed out that it is explained in a line of dialogue. So, not necessarily sloppy writing. They cut it because it took too much of the focus away from Kirk and Spock, and this needed to be their story.

Summer said...

The red matter really gave me a wtf moment. It apparently only took 1 drop to wreak havoc and destroy planets, yet the entire container full wouldn't have been enough to pull in Kirk's ship also? Seriously?

I completely agree about Terminator. I'm a huge terminator fan, second only to tmnt. Salvation had a lot of glitz but absolutely no substance as far as plot continuation. It ended with nothing at all having changed. It was definitely pointless and that really saddened me because it was the one movie I was really looking forward to this summer.

devilbanex said...

I agree with everything you said, Pete. It's all head-scratching. What we're supposed to believe in regard to Spock throwing caution to the wind as far as the Prime Directive/tampering-with-ye-olde-timeline is concerned is that Spock understood that he was in an alternate dimension, not just an earlier point in time... even though there's absolutely nothing to support the alternate dimension theory in the film itself aside from Uhura's little baseless comment. "Yesterday's Enterprise" and the business with Tasha Yar's daughter in TNG (whom Spock himself encountered in "Unification") would reason to say he wouldn't be apt to subscribe to him being in an alternate dimension at all.

Though I wonder... since Spock was obviously present in Star Trek IV and similar episodes in TOS... what's stopping Spock from just hopping in any old Warp-capable vessel and doing the loop-de-loop around the sun and time-travelling back a few days to stop Vulcan's destruction? Or time-travelling forward to stop him from ever going back in time (maybe, pulling the plug on the Red Matter business, or saving Romulus in time)? Though this same question I could ask of Voyager... when in "Future's End" the USS Voyager was RIGHT THERE at Earth in like Season 3, but in the 20th century. They were home, they were right there! All they had to do was just the loop-de-loop around the sun and BAM, they could go back to the 24th century and be done with it.

Surprised you didn't mention the McGuffin of the magic "transwarp transporter" technology that transported Kirk and Scotty to the Enterprise. I was mostly involved in the movie until around this point, but that was truly eyeball-rolling worthy.

Also, did you know that the new Enterprise is even longer than the Enterprise-E? I'm not kidding. Here's a size comparison:

Sarah The Anime Librarian said...

This one just occurred to me -- if Nero's ship has the ability to travel through time, why doesn't he use that ability to go back in time and SAVE HIS WIFE?!

Ypu know I thought the same thing. I've said that I enjoyed the movie, but I sgree there are some pretty odd plot holes.

They seemed to be saying that Nero coming out into the past was a mistake..they didn;t intend to time travel, but it just happened. I think that was the idea, since the first thing they ask the captian of the first ship they destroy is "Where is Spock" and then seem surprised at the date.

I had less of a problem with the Spock Uhura thing as a lot of the cannon novels after TOS hinted (and I believe outright said) they were in a relationship.

Sarah The Anime Librarian said...

Oh, I did have the same problem with the transporter thing. I felt like they could grab the two characters free falling from an ungoldy hight at an ungodly speed, but not Spocks mom falling from a cliff? They were already locked onto her, she was already starting to de-materialize.

And also I agree about the ice planet thing. While I figured that Spock sent him to a planet with a near by starfleet base (I think the idea was he would go there) the possibility that something would happen to him on the way was too great. I too asked why not the brig? That part was, I admit, very sloppy storytelling.

~ tOkKa said...

-->> Sarah , isn't there a monster or something they face on the ice planet ?!

The commercial i saw showed Kirk or something running from some big creature.

Maybe it's a Wampa .

Splinter's Iroonna said...

Blogger ~ tOkKa said...

-->> Sarah , isn't there a monster or something they face on the ice planet ?!

The commercial i saw showed Kirk or something running from some big creature.

Maybe it's a Wampa .

Or a tauntaun.... >.>

AdamBomb said...

Mr. Liard, this is completely off topic, but I had to share something, and couldn't find an e-mail address.

Anywho, I've followed you blog for a little over a year, and had always wanted a Turtle tattoo. About a year ago the post "Dan Inks My Turtles" caught my eye, and I wanted that Leo SO bad. Well, I finally bit the bullet and got him done yesterday. I hope you approve - I thank you for making my childhood what it was, and giving me something I have shared for six years joyously with my niece! The link to the tattoo is below, thanks again!

~ tOkKa said...


spdred said...

"So we go from a scene where the Enterprise computer controlling the transporter can't handle transporting two guys falling miles through Vulcan's atmosphere, to another scene where the same computer can't even handle transporting someone who JUST FELL OFF A ROCK."

well come on now, what she was standing on completely gave way under her and she fell straight down through a planet opening up beneath her. chekov had her position and was ready to go and before he had the time to react and get her locked again she was gone. why is it hard to believe that the computer, especially an early version of the one we know they eventually end up getting the kinks out of of, would need to basically know what its trying to teleport and their exact location?

spdred said...

im just saying, i think it was more chekov being caught off guard and not being able to grab her in time. he could do it, he just couldn't do it in time to save her. i mean he knew what to do because he had to use a special formula to teleport sulu and kirk when they were moving targets, and when he went from having spock's mom standing still and ready to go to the situation changing and him having to teleport a moving target instead of a still target he couldn't do it the standard way so he had to change the method, and just simply couldn't get her in time. we even see him frantically doing the same thing he was doing with sulu and kirk, trying to lock her and teleport her when she started to fall but...