I have always been a fan of the Star Trek franchise, at least since The Next Generation which my father introduced me to (who was a fan since the original series). I enjoy the science fiction (although not the techno-babble), Gene Roddenberry’s universe, the stories and the characters. Deep Space Nine is probably my most favourite because it was so different and pushed the boundaries of what the franchise was about, going against many of Roddenberry’s tropes – and being all the better for it.
Enter a reboot for the franchise from JJ Abrams (who would go on to make Star Wars if you have not heard). I was not sure what to expect from this movie but when I saw it in IMAX (my first experience of the format – at least since a kid going to the Science Centre) with my brother I was thrilled. This was Star Trek for the 21st century. The action was fast and explosive, not shying away from the tragedy of people being killed either. The story was also strong and featured a great ensemble cast led by Chris Pine as James T Kirk.
One thing to bear in mind here is this is not meant to be the Star Trek we have known for nearly 50 years. Rather, we are given a convoluted explanation about this being a parallel universe where things may be slightly different from what we are used to. I understand why this was the case but I think we could just as easily accepted this being a newer version of the franchise. Still, I expect Abrams did not want to get bound by Star Trek cannon and being in a parallel universe allows him to do things he may otherwise have been unable to do.
What I like most about this film is it has an energy to it which seems to emanate from most of Abrams projects. Even though he has said he is more of a Star Wars fan (and that film certainly shows his appreciation for the franchise), this movie gets everything right about Star Trek. It looks great (too much with the lens flare on occasion, which has led to a great Internet meme), sounds great and is very entertaining. All of the actors do a great job with their characters, mindful of the franchise but not feeling bound by cannon.
This movie is everything I imagined for the franchise, and I hope with a new TV series on the way JJ Abrams has managed to set the bar high enough for what we can expect from a series I cherish.
A fantastic reboot for a series I am very fond of. Yes, JJ Abrams does make his Star Trek out to be more like Star Wars but all of the heart and spirit we find in the Star Trek franchise is there. A solid and entertaining movie which sets the bar high for what I hope we can expect more of in the future.