Saturday, March 30, 2013

Star Trek Thoughts

I watched through the original series films again the last few days, and here are some quick thoughts:

  • Search for Spock for me is more satisfying than Wrath of Khan, and this is an opinion that only seems to increase over time.  I appreciate Khan's importance to most fans, but the better film to me is undeniably Spock.  Half of why Khan is so memorable is that it unexpectedly picks up a thread from a prior story, which to that point in Star Trek history just didn't happen.  It was something that was far more familiar in the post-Star Wars era, which was the whole reason Star Trek hit the big screen to begin with.  Yet it's Spock that really knows what to do with the idea, Spock that builds an entirely coherent story out of it, because there's a much greater reason for it to exist than to simply have the crew stumble into a random foe from the original series, whom they have apparently lost all track of, which I suppose is reason enough for him to go completely blind with rage and lose all that supposed superior intellect in his bid for revenge...Anyway, Spock at the very least works better for me as a fan.  Maybe part of the reason is because I watched both films for the first time well after their original release.  Fans who watched them in theaters will probably always have a much different perspective.  And fans who simply accept the common beliefs of Star Trek fans will probably always have the same perspective, too.
  • The Voyage Home is not only the conclusion of the Spock Trilogy, completing the journey of what happens after the Genesis Device is deployed and how it affects one of the franchise's key characters, but is also pretty blatantly Part 1 of the Mission to Redeem The Motion Picture.  Like the first film, the fourth features a mysterious probe.  Unlike the first film, the fourth film pretty much ignores the probe itself, which to conventional wisdom is a really good thing.  Although I happen to be a big fan of The Motion Picture.  Yeah, you read that right.
  • The Final Frontier, meanwhile, is pretty blatantly Part 2 of the Mission to Redeem The Motion Picture.  And that may be another reason why fans don't like that one, because unlike Home and its whales and humorous interactions with the 20th century, Frontier just has Motion Picture's quest for greater meaning, this time reversed, a humanoid figure looking for the divine rather than a machine looking for a humanoid figure the divine.  I like Frontier more and more, too.  I know, fandom blasphemy, but if there's any reason at all for the Star Trek Fan Companion, it's to blast away the musty opinions of yore and establish new ones.  And yes, I'm aware that the previous statement can be construed to mean I'm forming new musty opinions.  Because otherwise what else is an unerring capacity to embrace an entire franchise good for?  The needs of the many, the needs of the few...Logic, as Spock says in The Undiscovered Country, is the beginning of wisdom, not its end.

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