A new look at the Star Trek universe – worth seeing!

18 01 2010

Due to varying circumstances, until recently, I have not been able to purchase any new DVDs for my collection for a while. Not long ago, for the first time in several months, I finally was able to add to my collection, with the re-imagined edition of Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams.

Being pretty much a life-long fan of Star Trek, when it was first made known back in 2007 that a new Trek film was in the works with Abrams at the helm, I must admit, my first reaction was one of concern. Ever since the first series debuted (before I was born, admittedly, though I watched it in regular reruns as a kid), I had seen Star Trek as a vision of either Trek creator Gene Roddenberry or “spin-off series” co-executive producer/executive producer/co-creator Rick Berman, and in the 10 Star Trek films that preceded this 2009 release. I was worried at how a new set of eyes would look at the Star Trek universe.

Abrams has impressive credentials as a producer/director, his credits including Alias, Fringe and Lost. The new Trek looked to be in good hands, and it eventually became interesting to me how the Trek universe would look from another’s point of view.

Abrams and company did not disappoint.

The film stays fairly true to what we already know of the world of Star Trek. The basic shape of the re-imagined Enterprise is very familiar, and yet there are some significant changes in its overall look. And, as one of my friends described it recently, the interior is a bit more “industrial” than what we saw back in the 1960s. But the crew uniforms, though updated, are still in the familiar colours from the original series: gold for command, blue for science/medical and red for operations (communications and engineering, for example).

The casting of the younger versions of the Enterprise crew was excellent. My favourite casting decision was to have New Zealand actor Karl Urban (aka Eomer in the last two installments of The Lord Of The Rings) take on the role of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. This had to have been a challenge for Urban as an actor, having to turn in his New Zealand accent for the southern drawl of the Enterprise chief medical officer. And he nailed it! DeForest Kelley, the original Dr. McCoy, would have been pleased.

The story was very entertaining, involving a certain concept in time travel, in which we see two versions of Mr. Spock: the young officer played by Zachary Quinto, and the Ambassador known as Spock Prime, played by Leonard Nimoy. Quinto portrayed the younger Spock very well, and Nimoy, who applauded Quinto’s selection to be the younger version of the legendary Vulcan, was vintage Nimoy.

In terms of storyline, when I first saw the movie, I was a little confused, when certain characters (like Spock’s mother, Amanda) faced events that were unexpected, but after viewing the film a number of times, I realized that since a major portion of the story deals with time travel and what can happen when people from the future find themselves in the past, the events we see make more sense and, in effect, set up a whole new realm of directions the Trek universe could take – and therefore, open up the possibility for more Star Trek films. In fact, it has indeed been announced that there are plans for a sequel to this film, currently slated for sometime in 2012, in which Abrams is expected to be the producer.

If you’re a longtime Trek fan and haven’t yet seen this new incarnation, I urge you to do so. There’s plenty that’s familiar in the movie to keep you interested, plus a few pleasant surprises. And if you’re new to the Trek universe, this film is a good way to introduce you to Star Trek.

The movie is available as either a single DVD, a “Special Edition” 2-disc DVD set with a good number of bonus features, and a 3-disc “Special Edition” Blu-Ray set. Either way, I believe, it’s worth the purchase.

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2 responses

18 01 2010
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