In the new film, J. J. Abrams breathes new life into the long standing Trek Universe, taking us back to glimpses of Kirk and Spock as children and the paths that led them to Starfleet Academy. The reimagining efforts of Abrams balances making the franchise fresh and exhilarating while still remaining true to the characters and kind of stories that Star Trek has always tried to tell.
Like Batman Begins, Superman Returns and The Incredible Hulk before it, the setting and players in Star Trek are familiar yet wholly updated and relevant to the moment, engaging the audience completely, introducing the new viewer in a roller coaster of action, drama, comedy and emotion, while still being a comfortable fit and enduring new legacy for the avid trekker.
Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, lived up to the name without becoming the caricature of the original, but the show clearly belonged to Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban as Commander Spock and Chief Medical Officer “Bones” McCoy respectively. Where Pine in part had to make Kirk his own in order to shed the shadow of Shatner, both Quinto and Urban needed to remain faithful to the delicate balance of personalities that made up Spock and Bones both in the original series and the big screen excursions of the original cast. The stepped up to the challenge beautifully!
Zachary Quinto was a fearless combination of logical, almost smug, Vulcan, and vulnerable yet extremely confident and competent human, while Karl Urban was a flawless blend of the ever grumbling, yet loveable curmudgeon and still grumbling fiercely loyal friend. There was not a single misstep from first line to last, and for every second I believed it.
But this is more than an uber-positive (yet non-spoiler-y) review for the new Star Trek, it’s a celebration of the possibilities to come.
Will we see everything again? Surely not, (I’m still in denial that a few shows ever existed), but we will see a great deal. What favorite are you hoping will come to screen soon and what do you hope forever rest-in-peace?
P.S. I did not overlook the performance of Zoe Saldana as Lt. Uhura. She was strong, brilliant and genuinely likeable in a way that I hope made Nichelle Nichols proud. John Cho was an enduring and crush-worthy Sulu, while Anton Yelchin was an adorable and instantly likeable Chekov. As for Simon Pegg's Scotty...I smiled from the first moment he was on screen to the last. I simply can’t say everything I’d like about their performances without throwing in spoilery bits on character interaction, and I wouldn’t do that to you guys. *grin*