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Old April 14 2013, 12:22 AM   #17
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

To quote Keith R.A. DeCandido's recent First Contact Rewatch on
As a general rule, I hate Star Trek movies. Trek is primarily about the exploration of the human condition, and it’s much harder to do that in a two-hour movie, especially in the post-Star Wars age of spectacle. Every once in a while you get a decent movie out of it—The Wrath of Khan, e.g., which had some powerful themes about aging and consequences of past actions, plus a superlative villain—but mostly you get high-octane stuff that barely qualifies as Star Trek. There’s a reason why you rarely see any of the movies in a list of finest Trek tales.
He says that to preface a discussion of how FC does work as a Trek story, but it's one of the few. Personally I think Insurrection and particularly Nemesis did good jobs of telling Trek-style stories about ideas and the human condition (though I know KRAD doesn't agree about NEM, but hey, I don't agree with him about TWOK either), but they both suffered from the way action sequences were tacked on to force them into more of an action-blockbuster mode. So they didn't work as well as they could as movies, nor did they work as well as they could as Trek stories, because the respective demands of those two things pulled in different directions.

So really, there aren't many Star Trek movies that are good Star Trek stories, even the ones that are good movies. That's not because there's something wrong with Star Trek -- it's because Star Trek is meant for television, not movies. Different media have different strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths of ST don't translate well to feature films (though I think -- and admittedly have a vested interest in thinking -- that they translate very well to prose).
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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