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Old May 19 2013, 12:20 AM   #2975
Lapis Exilis
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
It had a consistent theme to pull it together, but it lacks an essential element of the best Trek which is an idea at its center. You can't fault it too much for that though, because very few of the movies have managed to do that - really only TMP had a philosophical concept which drove the story action.
Both of Bad Robot's movies have focused squared on the "Nature vs Nurture" conundrum. And it continues to support, if not drive, the story action. How very different is Kirk in the two timelines?

And we have one Spock who was bonded to a Vulcan girl, played no-speaks with his father for 18(?) years, and embraced his human half in later years, versus a Spock who is in a romantic relationship with a human woman, loses his mother and his homeworld but maintains a positive relationship with his father, and embraces his human half at a much earlier age.

How don't those scenarios provoke philosophical conversations in the grand Star Trek tradition?
Because the characters within the stories don't engage with them. They are not in-story concerns, but fan concerns in terms of comparing one set of stories and the character interpretation presented in them, and another set of stories and the character interpretation offered as alternative. Yes, the two interpretations are thinly linked by some time travel hokum, but Kirk isn't making decisions within the story because he's thinking about who he might have been had the Kelvin not been destroyed and how his fate was changed by the different set of circumstances he grew up in versus the set of circumstances Kirk Prime grew up in - thus Nature vs. Nurture might make an interesting fan debate but it in no way affects what happens in STiD.

On the other hand in TMP, the climax of the movie hinges on Deckard realizing that he can achieve a new level of consciousness by allowing V'Ger to merge with his "creator" (i.e. a feeling human being). The philosophical questions of machine intelligence, the nature of sentient maturity, and the pivotal role of emotion in consciousness drive the story action.

Abrams' Trek is fun, entertaining and looks good - but it's not in the same ballpark. I think one review said it best when it dubbed the film "a Star Trek flavored action movie".

That doesn't make it "not Star Trek", since most of the movies more or less have the same issue. It doesn't make it bad Star Trek. But it definitely doesn't make it as good of Star Trek as it could be. One of the primary things that makes Star Trek, Star Trek, as opposed to any other space opera or SF, simply isn't there. But since Star Trek can exist as more generic space opera, and often has, this movie qualifies.

Doesn't mean I can't still hope for and miss that other thing, because it's the thing that always put Star Trek on top of the heap when it comes to filmed SF, at least in my book.
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