I went to see the movie somewhat unspoiled (save from the trailers but that's all) so I was persuaded that the movie was about the young members of the crew (Kirk, Spock, McKoy) meeting and having their first adventures. I had no idea about the alternate universe and I was awfully slow on the uptake. Uhura had to spell it for me, you know. And even knowing this, until very late in the movie, I was persuaded that there would be a reset at least for Vulcan and for Amanda so I didn't feel their loss as keenly as I should have. I had a very Vulcan emotional distance about all this. You see, Vulcan and Amanda were there in TOS so for me there WAS going to be a reset. Same for Sulu, I was sure he wasn't going to be killed on the plateform because he was part of the crew in TOS! Boy, any member of the crew could have been killed! (and isn't that interesting for the next movie?)
So when I got out of the theater, I was mulling over all this, trying to decide if I liked the idea of rebooting the series that way or not. I guess I was mourning over the original canon and time line, until I realised that they still existed somewhere and that this was about giving ST a second chance.
Then I was struck by the audacity of doing something like this knowing it was going to piss off a good deal of long-time ST fans.
Sure the movie is flawed, I still have things that annoy me after 3 viewings but then which movie isn't flawed? What counts is my overall impression: I love that movie in spite of its flaws and shortcomings because this IS Star Trek. What was there at the beginning is still there, albeit a little different.
I'm watching TOS again after 20 years (bought the remastered DVDs) and I realise how much this is the same spirit. I have these strange flashes where I picture Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto or Karl Urban in some scenes instead of the original actors. This is how spot on the cast of the movie is for me.
Some changes have been made for Kirk and Spock's characters and it's all the more obvious when you re-watch the original show but it only make things more interesting for me. I can't wait to see how they are going to interact in the next movie now that they are past their "I hate your guts" phase.
The changes in Spock are the more interesting for me because he has always been my fav character. In TOS he was ashamed of his human origins ("Naked Time") and it took him decades to accept this heritage and live with it. NuSpock* isn't ashamed of his human side and it's obvious even as a kid. There's a "I love my human mother" factor that didn't seem to be enough in TOS for Prime Spock to be more acknowledging of his human side when he was young. You can see that again with the Vulcan council "fuck off" scene.
It becomes even more interesting when Sarek's attitude, which was previously close to Prime Sarek's, changes after Vulcan's destruction and Amanda's death. I would have never dreamed to hear him say to Spock that he's glad he's got him (widly paraphrasing here, bad memory and movie dubbed in French) and that he married Amanda because he loved her (that scene is wonderful). He even encourages Spock to use his emotions!
That is going to change Spock a great deal and it can already be seen in the transporter room with Uhura (it took me 3 viewings to understand and accept that scene).
What I can't understand are the nitpiks about nuSpock being too emotional. IMO if Prime Spock had lost both his planet and his mother in TOS, even being ashamed of his human emotions, he would have reacted the same way. I've not re-watched half of the first TOS season and already I've noted that Prime Spock shows more emotion than I remembered.
I've been a fan for almost 20 years and I love the new cast, I love what they've done with the characters while still loving TOS.
I can't wait for the next movie!