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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Star Trek - My squee, let me show it to you

Let's start with history, shall we? I have been a fan of Star Trek since I was three years old. I have cherished memories of watching it with my father a"h during the original run - specifically, I remember the intro to "Operation: Annihilate", when Kirk talks about his brother. When it was shown nightly on WPIX (channel 11) I'd miss half of dinner so I could watch it. I read any and all books, I memorized titles and plots, and I can still identify any episode in moments.

By the time I was eleven, I was writing fanfic for it. By the time I was twelve, I'd had my own alternate universe. And I drew pictures, too. The only thing I didn't do was slash it - I saved that for Starsky and Hutch, although I think the episode "The Empath" is what made me the slash fan I am.

I loved NextGen. I adored DS9. I watched about half of Voyager, and slashed it in public. I could not watch Enterprise. I watched all the movies except Nemesis. Some were dreadful; some were wonderful. V never happened.

I have never loved it uncritically - I love it too much for that. Because I do love it. But it was getting old and I was less and less enthralled by the newer entries.

And Thursday night, I fell in love all over again.

Chris Pine (aside from the beautiful blue eyes that should have been hazel) was perfect as Kirk - brass, impulsive, honorable, and after anything he can get. He wasn't quite the Kirk we knew - but he isn't supposed to be. He's younger than Kirk Prime was when we met him and he's had a different life.

Zachary Quinto was Spock. No more, no less. Again, not Spock Prime, but still very Spock.

Zoe Saladana was Uhura as she was supposed to be - I hope Nichelle Nichols is proud. I love that we met her as a competent, intelligent woman not to be messed with or insulted - that she speaks multiple languages and tops her class in her speciality - and THEN discovered she was dating Spock. And I really loved that - she and Spock worked well together. Maybe it will last, maybe it won't and they'll be adult about it, but right now they're together and it's good.

Karl Urban, in the way, WAS McCoy. It was a bit over the top, but we could see how his deep friendship with Spock began. (Also with Kirk, but that was easier.)

As for the rest of the cast - oh, yes. Chekov was his own problem - but the actor is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, and he was just as puppydoggish as Chekov was. I do have a quibble, but I'll get to that later. John Cho - oh, they made the fencing relevant, instead of joke. YAY! Simon Pegg WAS Scotty. Ben Cross was Sarek. Bruce Greenwood's Christopher Pike was everything he should have been - the role model *this* Kirk needed.

And while I wasn't enthralled with the Romulan plot, one thing made me very happy - that Nero wasn't a starship crewmember, wasn't a member of the military in that very militaristic culture. He was a *miner*, earning a living for his family. We don't see those - we never see those. We never see the school teachers or the cooks or the people who fix the roads. The overarching plot doesn't allow for that normally. But we did this time. And that's just very good.

As for the heart of the matter - I like the reboot. I like the changes (well, except for the loss of Vulcan and the loss of Amanda. Can't be happy about either of those - but, oh, won't that make the future interesting.)

Before we knew that things had changed, I was picking at nits - how could Uhura be *older* than Kirk and yet still a lieutenant while he's a captain? What happened to Gary Mitchell? To Finnegan? To the shiny cadet uniform Finnegan wore in "Shore Leave"? What happened to Kodos?

But the change - killing George Kirk - makes those things disappear. Note that the major part of the movie happened twenty-five years after George died and Jim was born. Which means Jim was 22 years old when he joined the Academy. Jim Prime joined when he was 17, following in the footsteps of the father who raised him. Five years makes a huge difference - he doesn't meet Gary, he doesn't encounter Finnegan (and the uniforms could certainly change) and it's entirely possible that Uhura is four years younger but follows a career path that doesn't lead to superfast promotions. And 14 year old Jim Kirk was stealing his stepfather's antique car in Iowa, not doing whatever he was doing on Tarsus V. It all WORKs.

(EDIT: according to canon, Jim Prime met Gary when Gary was a cadet and Jim Prime was an instructor. That means at LEAST five years. So they might have been classmates, but this Jim has already met McCoy, and he's a somewhat different person. Which also explains no Gary.)

What doesn't work is Chekov. Not the curly blond hair. Not the fact that he wasn't around first season - that's in the other universe anyway, and nine years later. No, it's the timeline itself. Chekov Prime is 22 to Kirk Prime's 34. That's a twelve year age gap. If Chekov is 17, Kirk has to be 29, but he isn't - he's 25. Which would make Chekov 13, and he's clearly not. And that makes my head hurt.

However, now we have a Kirk who is still a bit rebellious and VERY young working with Spock (as it's meant to be) on the Enterprise, a Spock who not only has a relationship, but is on speaking terms with his father - and grieving for his planet and his mother. (Still not happy about those.) And I have absolutely no idea what the future for *this* universe will be, or how things will play out if they do encounter any of the same problems, and that makes me very happy and very hopeful.

As for the slash - I can see it but I don't need it for this incarnation of Trek, and that's just fine by me, too.


I have trouble with the age issues too. We're going to see it tonight, so I can't address them all yet but how about this: Chekhov Prime's mother had a miscarriage when Kirk was 4 years old. She always wanted to name a son Pavel, & a few years later, she got the chance.

Ah. Yes. We're having this same conversation on my Dreamwidth account. I just think that he'd have a different personality.

re checkov: Where are you getting the ages? Canon, secondary canon or referential canon (like the encycolpedia) b/c I SOME of what they incorporated was early book canon (extra details added onto the one lines from the series), but like, I'm fairly sure McCoy's bitter divorce was secondary canon more than primary. So I ask b/c his age could be you know, less confirmed than other things.

I can't answer for mamadeb, but I had this discussion with a friend last night, and part of the reason that Chekhov Prime went into Starfleet in the first place was that Kirk was his hero. I don't know if that was ever made explicit in canon, however.

This I hadn't heard, but clearly that wouldn't be a motivation in the new universe.

Yes, rather obviously.

Did you never read Kobyashi Maru? Not canon, of course, unless the books are considered canon, but.

I said to artslave last night "I hope Wil sits down with Anton and says, 'Do not let them have you save the ship.'"

Ah. Yes, I own that book. Julia Ecklar *loves* Sulu, doesn't she?

Given that he beat the game without cheating...

And I've heard that it wasn't intentional about the ship-saving for Wesley. They had a bunch of scripts with that theme on hand, but were only going to shoot one. And then the writers went on strike and they had to go with what they had. Which meant, well. Poor Wil.

Edited at 2009-05-10 05:07 pm (UTC)

I don't think he beat the game - I think he refused to play.

That wouldn't surprise me about Wesley. But I did have a button back in the day that said "shut up Wesley in an airtight box." ;)

Poor Wil, then. But he's done quite well for himself now. :)

In "The Deadly Years", Kirk said he was 34 years old. In "Who Mourns for Adonais", Chekov says he's 22. Completely canon.

d'oh! Hmm. Maybe Kirk is 29 in the movie (26 when he enters the academy, which personally makes sense b/c he was 16 originally but this time maybe he fucked around for 10 years first)? I mean Spock is all the way to commander (which he didn't make till years after Pike was Captain). In order for him and McCoy to have gone through at the same time, it does have to be a bit later, b/c McCoy is already through med school and his internship and I think residency.

I would have thought that, but it's made explicit in the movie that the main action takes place 25 years after the initial attack. I WANT to think that. Which is why Kirk HAS to be 22 or so when he enters the academy.

I assume that McCoy is, in fact, in his thirties or so - that he had a career as a doctor already, before joining Star Fleet. There is no reason to assume McCoy is the same age as Kirk - I've always assumed he was five-ten years older.

Uh. If it's 25 years later, then Kirk ENTERS the academy at 25 and finishes at 28. Remember there was a "Three years later" after the shuttle launch. And of course McCoy is older, but he didn't go through command school until years later than Kirk Prime b/c of marriage and medical school outside of Starfleet medical. So if Kirk is going through it 9 - 10 years later, then they could easily be classmates.

No - the Klingon distress call is 25 years later. Nero keeps talking about 25 years later during the main part of the film - including to Kirk. Which is three years after Kirk joins. I'd love it to be different, but it isn't.

That is film time line:

0 - Nero's ship comes through/Jim Kirk is born/George Kirk dies
22 - Jim joins the academy.
25 - Spock's ship comes through/events of the film

As for McCoy - he doesn't join Star Fleet until after his divorce. In the Prime universe, he doesn't meet/become friends with Kirk until after "Where No Man Has Gone Before", because Kirk was already out of the Academy as an ensign. Possibly they meet with Kirk as an instructor, but it's not necessary. In the new universe, he happens to join Star Fleet (meaning he has to go through the academy) at the same time as Kirk, who is five years older than Kirk Prime was. I'm guessing there's no age limit to going to the academy.

Edited at 2009-05-10 05:21 pm (UTC)

I'm literally watching the movie now. *shifty* There's a "Three years later" after Kirk's shuttle for the academy takes off now I just have to look back at the how many years later they give us. I think 25 years might be easily subvertable b/c Nero is not neccessarily familiar with Earth time frames and/or it's just a rounded off number. *FANWANKS*

25 ROMULAN years?

i saw it last night, and it was a lot of fun.
but... Weirdest. Alternate. Universe. EVER. :-P
(or maybe that's why it was so much fun)

I'm just happy they didn't have a reset button.

This review is sheer fannish fun to read. Thank you for it.

:) It was fun to write, too.