Sunday, May 10, 2009


Spoilers ahead. If you haven't seen the neww JJ Abrams Trek read no further. You have been warned. I need to talk about this so if you don't want to know go make yourself a cup of tea.

Alright then. First, I want to say that I loved the new film. It is full of energy and the spirit of the old Trek is certainly there. But. Didn't you know there was going to be a but? But, holy cow, did Abrams ever mess with the universe. By killing not just Kirk's father but Spock's mother and his entire planet, Abrams has tossed the Star Trek canon into the trash bin. I feel a little conflicted by that. Part of the appeal as a fan, is the knowledge of the "history" of the Federation from Archer through to the end of Voyager. Now, that history is gone, or at least in doubt. History has changed and not just a little bit. And that is disturbing to an old guy like me. An unknown future is bad enough, but a changed history (even a fictional one) is really bad.

I have thought a lot about what the consequences of this new reboot are. Amok Time can't happen because Vulcan is gone and T'Pau is probably dead as is Spock's fiancée. It is true that Balance of Terror can still take place, but the Federation now know what Romulans look like and they would be on guard for a sneak attack.

Also, the Romulan jealousy of Vulcan can never be explored anymore , because Vulcan is gone and its people are dispirited (at least by Vulcan standards) refugees. So, a lot of the tension between Romulus and the Federation during Picard's time is not going to happen. And speaking of TNG, does Khitomer come under attack by the Romulans now and does that lead to the Khitomer Accords between the Federation and the Klingon Empire; or is Yesterday's Enterprise closer to the reality of the new timeline? You see what I am getting at? Without the continuity of the timeline, anything is possible. Now that is good in some ways. It will foster the imagination of future writers, but it is wreaking havoc on my sense of "reality", and that makes me sad.

I am in a funny place. I am mourning happily. I mourn the loss of "my" Trek, but I am happy that the mythology lives on -- even in this new and unfamiliar form. I will get over the mourning eventually and I look forward to what the new future history has in store for me. What more can one ask from a popular entertainment?
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  1. hate to nitpick, but as someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of trek myself, Spock's mate was T-Pring. t'Pau was the Vulcan elder that was sitting in the sedan chair

  2. Hi McGuire. I guess I need to go back to writing school. My sentence wasn't as clear as it should have been. I did know that.

  3. I am similarly of two minds about it, as you know...

    I'm now happy, but I had to spend some extra time getting my head around it all...

  4. As for your comment about the timeline being ruined, remember this is Star Trek. In Enterprise, the last episdes of the Temporal Cold War story Arc involved an alternate WW2 where the Nazis invaded North America & it was eventually made right. Abrams has played it smart so far & I fully believe he's aware of this & everything will be restored continuity wise. There are 2 more movies in the works.