He’s (back from the) dead, Jim!

One of my first memories of sexual curiosity happened to me when I was less than 5 years old.

I was watching television at my parent’s house in (Wil) Wheaton, Md., and on this afternoon on local T.V. Channel WTTG, an episode of “Star Trek” was playing, which I often watched as a kid.

In the closing credits, there was a picture of a green-skinned, dancing woman, which I was instantly fascinated with. (At the time, I did not have the command of fictional exobiology and alien cultures that I do now, and did not realize that this was an Orion slave girl). All I knew was that I had a thing for green chicks; though I of course had no idea what I would do with one should I come upon her.

Why do I share this embarrassingly nerdy and private preference for spring-green skin?

Because apparently, a young Captain James Tiberius Kirk has my same fetish for viridian-hued, athletic women, at least in the new film, Star Trek. At last, I feel validated.

But this was only the first of many in-jokes for fans hidden so well in a shiny, pop-culture friendly package. And, at least this reviewer felt that the movie worked. About 99 percent of me was completely satisfied with the return of Star Trek to its more muscular, high-octane space opera roots, as opposed to the sometimes needless faux-intellectuality of TNG or unrealistically dark direction of DS9 and Enterprise. And, with apologies to the Kaiser, Voyager simply sucked.

It’s good to see a work of fiction treat the future with optimism, for a change. Unlike the recent spate of science fiction works which go in a much darker direction for the sake of “gritty realism,” Star Trek presents a world where human ingenuity and determination can solve any problem.

And it did not come a moment too soon. When even animated movies targeted at children, such as 9, which was advertised before the film, and seems to be set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity’s surviving legacy is represented by sapient rag-dolls, we could use a dose of optimism.

That’s not saying that I am not looking forward to Terminator: Salvation, but part of me is just exhausted with nihilistic, sadistically violent and pessimistic fiction. Bond films, Batman and even Observe and Report have all been recently guilty of perpetuating this trend.

I am, after all, a Star Wars guy at heart: I like space fairy tales with happy endings.

Which is not to say that Star Trek is without its darker moments, or flaws. I found that at times, the convenient location of Federation outposts and the patience of the villains were less believable plot devices that time-line altering black holes, but these were really my only problems with the film, and if I am willing to accept transporter beams —which would not be possible without a computer that is smarter than God — I can suspend my disbelief in favor of enjoyment.

And as far as dark moments, one of the most controversial divergences from established cannon is also one of the most tragic moments in the movie. I almost had tears in my eyes twice while watching this film, at two times when heroes lose something irreplaceable. Let’s just say that in Star Trek, if six billion people are killed by a super weapon, it carries much more emotional weight than the Death Star destroying Alderaan.

But that’s enough of my take. Star Trek isn’t a great movie, but it’s damn fun, and I think I will be seeing it at least two more times this weekend. Make up your own damn mind if the Space:90210-vibe is too much for you. But to those who can’t let go of “established continuity” enough to enjoy a good space adventure, let me invite you to watch the original series and count the number of times writers violate continuity. Even in the second pilot, Jim Kirk’s middle initial is “R.”, not “T.”

Trust me, you’ll be able to forgive the little nits, unless it’s your goal to be nit-picky.


One Comment on “He’s (back from the) dead, Jim!”

  1. Tito says:

    Star Trek never played as much of a vital role in my… erm… development, which probably prevents me from having very strong feelings one way or the other about this movie. A rare case where I’m not going to something as a fanboy… no preconceived notions to be either shattered or stunningly realized.

    That being said, the movie was tons of fun. Well-realized characters and great action sequences — exactly what a summer movie needs. There might have been more than a few things plot-wise that didn’t make a bit of sense, but all in all it was too entertaining for me to really care. I definitely agree that it was a refreshing change to see a bit more optimism in our entertainment, though we got some of that last year with “Iron Man.”

    P.S. I’m not so sure if “9” is supposed to be targeted toward children. And speaking of that trailer, I’m getting really fucking tired of the phrase “from the visionary director…”

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