We can't seem to find any 2009 Star Trek images! So William Shatner in a pile of fuzzy things will have to suffice. Image from scificool.
Though we probably missed a lot. Since its beginning as a TV show back in the day, Star Trek's influence has spread far and wide in pop culture. So even though we knew nothing of who was who and who did what, we did recognize key pop cultural relics. "I'm givin' her all I've got, Cap'n!" being one example. ("KHAAAAAAAN!" being another.)
Thankfully, the new Star Trek presupposes no special background info to get into the fun. And fun it is, full of black holes, stoics who are softies on the inside (OMG, Spock hotness alert), a Singularity shout-out (!), a Stanislaw Lem shout-out (!!), and much more of our favorite geek things. The director, J.J. Abrams (of Lost fame) has a special eye for capturing the particular majesty of old school, classical sci-fi: there are some wide-scope space panoramas of breathtaking beauty, and the internal ship is suffused with light from infinite sources. It looks sleek and gorgeous. Backed by a score that is just as traditional and large-scale as its glorious imagery, it makes for some pretty hard-to-resist viewing.
Beam me up, hotties. Image from screen.ology.
The movie follows an alternative history (apparently!) of the first Star Trek crew: Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine, stud factor=meh) the Stereotypical American Hero, Spock (Zachary Quinto, stud factor=hotness) the sensitive logician, Ahora (Zoe Saldana) the only woman on the entire ship (!?), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) the comic relief, Scotty (Simon Pegg) the other comic relief (he can't take much more of this, Cap'n!), McCoy (Karl Urban, stud factor=maximized) the badass doctor, Sulu (John Cho) the cute. Oh yeah... and Spock (Leonard Nimoy). When not busy battling black holes, time loops and angry Romulans (led by a nearly unrecognizable Eric Bana), the crew have the usual personality clashes. We also get a very emo Spock (yay!). Then we get two Spocks (best film ever?!).
Anyway, as is usual in these highly mainstream Hollywood hero myths (Dark Knight... Lord of the Rings... Star Wars...), we at the PPCC find the Stereotypical Hero insufferably boring (imagine no Batman! no Frodo! no Luke! sigh, wonderful). With his blue-eyed, tough guy cowboying around, Captain Kirk is our unfortunate companion for much of the film. And alas, Chris Pine has none of William Shatner's demented, self-referential genius. The supporting cast, however, is colorful and lovable - indeed, they make the film.
Waddup, homes? From toybender.
In the land of Geekdom, Star Wars fans and Trekkies hold an ancient rivalry. A rivalry which we at the PPCC, in honor of our love, were more than happy to uphold. But the wall has come down. Bridges are being built. We are abandoning our prejudices and welcoming the Trek people with open arms. While we have long secretly admired the Trekkies for their pioneering work in fandom (dammit, man, they invented slash!), we can now openly say: Star Trek is a cultural force to be reckoned with, and we are now more than happy to reckon. In fact, we'd be quite happy to reckon with it a little more... perhaps via a sequel? And, as this article argues that maybe an Indian actor should be playing the Indian character of "KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!" in any Star Trek: Wrath of Khan remakes, may we suggest... Anil Kapoor? Or have you your own suggestions, PPCC readership? Make yourselves known!