J J Abrams Star Trek movie opened here the other day, at the Embassy movie theatre. Friends and I attended the 1.30 pm session, with only half a dozen other people scattered around the auditorium.
Perhaps it was empty because it was in the middle of a work and school day, or perhaps because the hardcore fans had attended the midnight session.
Still, we sat in the wide, comfy, leather seats near the front of the auditorium and settled back to be entertained. We were not disappointed. In fact, it was all enormously good fun.
I grew up with Star Trek. I was enthralled with the stories and was totally hooked in by the enormous possibilities of the future, where things could be different.
In the future women could go into space, unlike in the real-life space programme that was going on around me. Lt Uhura had an important role on the bridge, for example.
Spoilers ahead. Stop reading now if you haven’t yet seen the movie and don’t want to learn any details.
This movie gives us all new, young actors for the well-known characters of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Scotty and Bones. It takes us into the back-story though, showing how they all came to be together on the Enterprise.
We see Kirk, a defiant, reckless young man who has lost his way, challenged to do better than his dead father.
The movie shows us how he takes on that challenge, with 2 hours of pretty much non-stop action. It was a great ride as the team took on impossible odds, performed incredible feats of daring, and pushed everything well beyond the limits.
We even had flying cars (or motorbikes, at least), and the obligatory time travel. As I recall, though, the red shirt (poor guy) wasn’t actually wearing a red shirt.
Unfortunately, much as in the Original Series, the roles for the women were primarily screaming or love interest.
That aside, it was an excellent movie. I was so glad I saw it on the huge screen as the floor rumbled beneath our seats with the explosions and the visual effects were spectacular. I really enjoyed the shot of Saturn, straight from Hubble.
All in all, it put me in mind of the modern remake of BattleStar Galactica. Ronald D Moore took a rather hokey TV series from the 70s and turned it into a gripping modern story where several of the major characters were played by women. Starbuck was a male in the original series, but a female in the remake.
It’d be great to see a remake of the Original Star Trek along the lines of what Abrams has done with the movie, but with more women in real gutsy roles. Add in some ongoing story arc and a refresh of the utopian idealism that was part of the original concept and I’d certainly go for it.