Star Trek Movies – And In Conclusion…

Star Trek films are, in the end, a strange breed.  Born from the ashes of the Phase II project, The Motion Picture attempted to shift the adventures of the Enterprise from the small screen to the big one, but t’s worth reminding ourselves how unusual it was in 1979 for a TV series – a cancelled TV series no less – to make the transition to cinema. Star Wars, of course, is partly to blame / be held responsible (delete as applicable) for this since Paramount wanted a slice of the box office pie and had a handy space-based franchise just sitting there. But back in the beige, chilly days of the 1970’s this wasn’t a Thing That Happened. The likes of Kojak and Colombo might get a TV movie here and there but that absolutely was not the same thing. Now we live in an era where TV shows transitioning to big screen adventures can happen to almost any intellectual property, from The Addams Family (twice so far) to Mission: Impossible, from The Twilight Zone to Miami Vice. A dash of nostalgia here, a sprig of brand recognition inserted into the carcass of memory there and off we go.

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Star Trek Beyond 

Can the third Abramsverse Star Trek movie find something better to do than resurrect an old bad guy? Yes!

Third time’s a charm? After the standard-action-fare of the 2009 movie and the misguided attempt to use Khan in Into Darkness, can Beyond find a successful balance? 

Pre-Existing Prejudices: It’s the most recent of the three Abramsverse movies which means that there’s not a lot of scope for historical distance. But as with the other two Abramsverse movies I had generally warm feelings towards it on its release and I’ve watched a couple of times since. I like Idris Elba a lot but don’t remember him making a vast impression, and of course it’s hard to view Anton Yelchin’s performance objectively since his death. Neither a stand-out classic nor a total failure, I remember this as fine. We shall see if that’s still true… 

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Star Trek: Into Darkness

Khan II: Space Boogaloo. But can Into Darkness do anything to expand on the original?

If the 2009 Star Trek achieved anything it was finding an excellent cast to continue the adventures of the old crew in new times. But now the crew has been established, can Into Darkness find a way forward for them?

Pre-Existing Prejudices: All together now: KKKkhhhhaaaaannnnnn! Yes, it’s the most notorious of the three Abramsverse movies, and probably the most controversial. There are accusations of whitewashing, with Ricardo Montalban’s charismatic take being replaced by This Year’s Thing, Benedict Cumberbatch. There’s sexism, with the gratuitous Carol-Marcus-in-underwear scene. There’s the… well, actually is it plagiarism of The Wrath Of Khan? Not really I guess, since it’s an intentional reinterpretation of those events. Eh, anyway, it’s that movie. 

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Star Trek

The Next Generation have become the former generation as Nemesis signalled the end of the line for that iteration of the show. But what’s this? We’re going back to TOS with a new cast for the old crew? Well, Ok then…

Pre-Existing Prejudices: It’s the first of three (so far) Abrmbsverse Star Trek movies where we return to the era of TOS with a new cast and a new timeline. I remember vividly seeing this in 2009 and having largely positive reactions to it, with some moments working very well (the TOS theme on a massive cinema sound system!) and some not so much. I’ve seen it a couple of times since but this will be the first time I’ve sat down to actually analyse it rather than simply sticking it on. For what it’s worth, when I first saw this in the cinema with my other half, his reaction was, “that’s the best Star Trek movie I’ve ever seen in the cinema”. The one he saw previous to that was Insurrection…

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