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Old December 2 2011, 02:11 PM   #69

With regard to the first two issues of "Star Trek Ongoing" (repost from the Trekmovie talkback message board):

In a comparison between the Prime Verse television episode and the New Verse comic book story, personally, I find it of particular interest to note, how some relatively minor plot changes do result in a subtle, yet rather significant shift concerning the two pieces' main narrative themes.

Examining the original TV episode, I would identify two distinct, thematic motives at the story´s narrational core. The more prominent one, being of a largely philosophical nature, centers on Gary Mitchell, Kirk Prime´s´s former pupil/
good friend and revolves around the effects of uncontrolled access to power on the human psyche by extrapolating possible dangers and consequences of such a situation. The other important, but from my point of view ultimately supplemental story motive, Kirk´s personal conundrum in this episode, explores a smaller scale, more intimate topic, namely the ties of friendship and the limits of loyalty.

The Abrams et al. Verse´s comic book story on the other hand, at least as I understand it, seems to emulate the new film´s approach to story telling by once again prioritizing domestic/personal issues over social/political/philosophical ones. The introduction of one small, additional plot element absent from the original television episode, i. e. New Spock' s disclosure to New Kirk of his unauthorized mind-meld with an unconscious Mitchell, effectively eliminates the entire "fallible human beings should never be trusted with uncontrolled power"- angle of the story. The overall change of narrative direction is based simply on the Vulcan´s revelation of THIS Mitchell´s complete erasure by some form of non human entity described as a force "... with no conscience. No sentience of any kind". Such a development strongly suggests, that New Kirk´s old classmate and confidant has indeed, for all intents and purposes, died/seized to exist.

In my personal opinion, the implied, complete loss of New Verse Mitchell´s human person-hood relatively early in the course of the comic book story represents a substantial retooling of the original Prime Verse narrative due to the additional plot aspects´s profound impact on both of the television episode´s main themes. The revelation of a decidedly external, otherworldly and apparently quite hostile force as the piece´s true antagonist (and potentially important, future New Verse adversary?) largely eliminates the original dilemma based on the frailties of human nature. Simultaneously, i would argue, this new situation not only centralizes Kirk´s personal crux as the main narrational theme, but it also re-focuses the character´s conflict by diminishing issues of loyalty while emphasizing the previously established story motive of a young, brash captain experiencing the heavy burdens of command for the first time.
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