I'm just trying to articulate something that has been rattling around inside the soggy Pot Noodle that passes for my brain.
A friend of mine summed up his feelings about STiD by wondering aloud if it is a little bit too much "in orbit" of the 2009 movie.
What he meant by this is that, despite the relatively lengthy time-gap between the production of the two movies, there is precious little to show for it "in universe". It doesn't feel like STiD has progressed much from the end of the previous movie, and indeed we end STiD pretty much where the previous movie ended... Kirk and company, on the bridge, sailing outwards into space... the characters have
moved on, but they've moved on to a point that we might have expected them to have reached after the first movie, given where and how the 2009 movie ended.
It's like the 2009 movie has a leash... and it keeps pulling STiD back towards it... but given four years passed between production of both movies, we kind of expect the characters to have moved on 'off-screen' in that time...
It's kinda like with The Motion Picture
. One thing which does disappoint me about TMP is how it came ten years after TOS ended, and everybody anticipated
it for that long, the actors all looked ten years older, we might reasonably expect the universe to be substantively further along... but then we're told it's been only 18 months or something like that since the TOS series ended. TWOK feels more satisfying because from the off it works on the assumption that the characters aren't the young officers they were in TOS. It assumes the universe they inhabit has developed, that time has 'moved on' since their glory days as the heroes who came back from the five year mission triumphiant. It's easier to accept this, because it tallies with all the visual evidence of it being "ten years later" production-wise.
Of course, we then had the obverse scenario with the rest of the TOS movies, which all seem to take place cocurrently over only a year or two (at most) despite it being more like a decade in 'real time' and the actors all looking inappropriately older.
I don't know. Maybe I set myself up for disappointment when I expected, from the final scene in the 2009 movie, to see our heroes 'boldly going' out into space. The opening scene of STiD captured that feeling beautifully, but the main plot just felt like a continuation of 2009 (in fact, in places it sometimes felt like a reset button, particularly the character of Kirk). Or maybe just that the writers heard a few of the criticisms of the 2009 movie, and felt they had an opportunity to address some of those by explicitly setting it not-too-long afterwards.
Really, I guess I'm saying, I hope the third movie doesn't tie itself chronologically so close to the first two. It'd be nice to feel that the crew have been 'out there' for a while already when the movie begins...