I had an opportunity to see the new Star Trek movie on Thursday evening.
Going in, I had some misgivings about the movie. I knew it was going to be the original Enterprise crew, I’d heard it would be the story of the TOS crew first coming together, and I’d heard Leonard Nimoy would be reprising the role of Spock. The concern with this is that over the past 43 years, Star Trek has a lot of established continuity. Throwing that to the wind would upset a lot of fans. (Putting new actors in familiar roles was a concern as well, though I think Star Trek: Phase II – formerly New Voyages – has demonstrated that this can work.)
J.J. Abrams managed to have his cake and eat it too. Hardcore TOS fans may very well be disappointed by the way the plot is resolved; but by doing the unthinkable this movie does open the door for new adventures in the TOS timeframe without breaking continuity. What’s more, new and casual fans may become interested in both new stories and the existing ones.
Among the things that struck me about the movie:
- This is a much grittier universe than we’ve ever see. The newly launched Enterprise is all shiny, but what we see of other ships and Federation facilities look a lot more lived in.
- In the past, all we ever saw of any starship was a room with four walls, a floor and a ceiling. The ships in this movie have actual superstructure.
- This was a much different style of film making with tight close-ups of faces and shaking cameras. Even the shots of the Enterprise were all close-ups.