Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nerd Alert! Star Trek + JJ Forever

When I was in fourth grade, I was watching cartoons one afternoon and caught a commercial for an all-new Star Trek series called: The Next Generation. I vividly remember trying to convince my parents to leave Shop Rite quickly one Saturday afternoon so I could get home and catch the full two-hour pilot episode. We made it just in time and I was hooked. Okay, I’ll admit it. For the next decade I was a frequent watcher of the various Star Trek series. I can easily say that they totally inspired me to eventually go to film school.

However, ever since high school, I just haven’t been interested in Star Trek much and let’s face it, nothing too exciting has been happening with the franchise… until now. Last summer, when the first Star Trek teaser hit the big screen prefaced by the Bad Robot bumper, you had to know something special was about to happen. Imagine, the Star Trek universe skillfully wielded in the hands of one of today’s modern mystery masters.

Well, Mrs. Kyality and I caught it last night and of course, JJ’s take on Star Trek was nothing less than spectacular. It was a tight narrative that was emotionally compelling but didn’t take itself too seriously. Even the parts that were a bit cheesy were cheesy in a good way. But every detail was considered, casting was spot on and the film was just straight up beautiful. In all honesty, I’m ready to see it again right now. Now stop reading here if you haven’t seen it yet!

The most amazing aspect of this flick is that it was utterly Abrams. Within the opening seconds, JJ pulls an epic Alias Season 2-style twist with a bit of LOST-ian (yes, it’s a term) time travel, which immediately skews the entire film into an alternate timeline from The Original Series that we know and love. What’s simply brilliant about this move is that all of a sudden JJ isn’t required to be bound by the dogmatic Trekkies who demand strict and constant adherence to the holy canon of Trekness. JJ frees himself to play with these classic characters in completely new and intriguing ways. Like I said, fa-reaking brilliant.

So this now beckons the question: do the LOST-ian rules of time travel apply in JJ’s version of Star Trek? I mean, if you’ve been following the radical dialog between Hurley and Miles in this season of LOST, we already know that the classic Back to the Future rules don’t apply. So again the question is, do JJ’s rules of time travel apply across the entire Bad Robot spectrum? If so, according to Miles’ explanation, JJ’s Star Trek is actually a sequel rather than a prequel. Whoa, just blew your mind, didn’t I!
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