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May 9, 2009 / Ryan Cohick

‘Star Trek’ is a whole new frontier

star-trekYou should know up front that I’m a huge “Star Trek” fan. Thanks in part to a Trekkie dad, I grew up with it. But now J.J. Abrams and crew have taken the dying franchise and have brought it back to life. Here is my take on the restart to the franchise.

Note: There are minor spoilers. Also, I’m going to approach this from a general perspective.

“Star Trek” has been around for a long time. It started back in the 1960s and was the vision of a one Gene Rodenberry. What made Rodenberry’s sci-fi space adventure stick out from others was its optimistic view of the future. Instead of space bandits or robots out to get us, “Star Trek” approached the future that the human race would endeavor to better itself, utilizing technology to make life better and easier.

J.J. Abrams has captured this spirit in the new “Star Trek.” He didn’t let the film drift into the darkness that space can be. Instead, his super-detailed perspective enriched the future, making it sleek and sexy, but accessible at the same time. In fact, Abrams’ goal was for everything to have a function while looking futuristic at the same time. Extending into this is the visual aspect of the film. Everything looks amazing. Industrial Light and Magic’s effects are stellar and look better than anything “Star Trek” has shown on the silver screen before. On the flip side, the non-effect details are suberp as well. Look for peeling paint and super-detailed uniforms when you see the film.

So the movie has captured the spirit of “Star Trek” and looks good. What about the story and the action? The action is incredible. Your heart-rate might be high throughout the whole movie. It will be the fastest 2 hours of your life. Packed into that is an origin story of sorts. The first 1/3 of the movie is devoted to showing just backstory and how the crew of the Enterprise comes together. The first 15 minutes of the film and how the legendary James T. Kirk is born is probably the best of the origin aspect. Born in space during an attack from the film’s nemesis, Nero, baby Kirk pops out just as his father captains and sacrifices the U.S.S. Kelvin to save his and the rest of the crew’s lives. The rest of the movie’s story is spent dealing with Nero and his attacks on Earth and Vulcan. Although this part of the plot doesn’t live up to its maximum potential, the origin aspect runs through the whole movie and fills in the gaps.

The big thing Paramount and Abrams are trying to achieve with this reboot is accessibility for everyone so that a whole new breed of fans can be created. Although it’s pretty hard for me to gauge this since I’m a diehard fan, I think it’s safe to say that the action and origin backstory make it completely possible for anyone to sit down and enjoy this movie. The film only skims some of its technobabble past and that chatter is never too much for anyone to handle.

The new U.S.S. Enterprise to go with J.J. Abrams' fresh and new 'Star Trek.'

The new U.S.S. Enterprise to go with J.J. Abrams' fresh and new 'Star Trek.'

As for the fans, there is plenty to fall in love with when it comes to this new “Star Trek.” First off, there are a ton of Easter eggs to keep an eye out for. I will tell you one since I missed it: Look for a tribble when Scotty is first introduced. Although the film veers way off of what is known about Trek in terms of canon and history, I think it’s safe to say that this is the “Star Trek” everyone has always wanted to see and experience. It’s a space adventure that grabs you at the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the very end. For me, one of the most exciting things might have been the Enterprise. Finally, the legendary ship that has taken Kirk and Picard’s crews to the stars is given the respect it deserves. It has a bit of romanticism about it, making it exciting to see the ship whoosh across the screen.

I know that I didn’t go into too much detail. I did that on purpose to encourage you all to go see it. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

If you want to check out news about the new “Star Trek,” the definitive source you should check out is trekmovie.com.

Have you seen “Star Trek?” Leave your comments and let me know what you thought.

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