New Star Trek movie lacking

So my wife and I went to watch the latest Star Trek movie.

It was a little disappointing.

I’m not a huge Trekker (or Trekkie, if you prefer), but I had some major problems with this film.

Just as a heads up, there’s load of spoilers coming (including part of the ending), so don’t read unless you have seen the movie or don’t care about knowing what happens.

While I like science fiction movies, I find anything to do with time travel has me rolling my eyes.

I was a little disappointed in the new Star Trek movie.

I was a little disappointed in the new Star Trek movie.

I wrote about this in dealing with Lost last year:

The other problem with time travel happens when you start thinking about it logically. Say you know someone who gets hit by a car while crossing the road and is killed. You’re upset about it, and spend the next 10 years building a time machine. You go back in time to a couple of seconds before the car hits your friend and save his life. So he never gets in that accident. If he’s not in the accident, you don’t spend the next 10 years of your life building a time machine. So if you don’t build the time machine, who goes back to save your friend?

That’s kind of what happened here in Star Trek. They have changed the timeline. I understand not everything can be perfectly done so all the characters are the exact same as the originals, but to completely change the characters is silly.

The other problem with time travel has to do with the fact that anything can change. Star Trek has already proven this, by killing Spock’s mother, thereby negating all the other times she’s appeared in the series. But who’s to say that they won’t go back in time in future episodes to stop any of this from happening?

That’s the major problem I have with the movie, and the major plot hole. If they can change the timeline, then they can use it to change anything they want whenever they want.

Even Spock would probably find movie time travel plots illogical.

Even Spock would probably find movie time travel plots illogical.

But by changing the time line, they’ve pretty much wiped out everything that has happened that we’ve watched for the last 40 years. It also means that anything can happen in the next few movies. Maybe Scotty dies in a future episode. But if that happens, how does he help save the Next Generation crew in one of their episodes?

See the conondrum?

A lot of movies have the same problem. In the original Superman movie, the good guy was able to wipe out destruction caused by an earthquake by spinning the earth backwards, thereby sending everything back in time. He then had the time to save Lois Lane.

But after that, what do you do for a sequel? Didn’t save the kid from being eaten by a tractor? Go back in time and try again. Didn’t stop Lex Luthor from sending nucleur weapons into space? Go back in time and try again.

Star Trek is now in the same situation.

Two and a half stars is a good rating for this movie.

Two and a half stars is a good rating for this movie.

Besides that, the movie was pretty good. With Spock and Kirk both showing their youthful rebllious sides, it was a good lead up to their meeting for the first time.

The action was good, the comedy was fine. Zachary Quinto was the best choice to play Spock, and was the closest to the original character than any other member of the crew.

But I just can’t get past that time travel problem.

I agree with Roger Ebert on this one: 2.5 out of 4 is a good grade.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “New Star Trek movie lacking

  1. Nathan

    See, there’s where I thought they did fine. They acknowledged EVERYTHING that ever happened in the original series. Then they went and said “Well, all that has changed.” It allows them the freedom to do whatever they want; and all movies (specifically Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.) require a lot of suspended belief.

    But your points are all valid. I just happened to like how they did things. The time machine argument only works if the timeline had stayed the same (as in, all the events of the series still happened). They even say in the movie that it’s like an alternate universe now.

    As per Superman, I think we’re supposed to believe that he can do things on a massive scale when he’s triggered. Even Superman can’t be in all places at all times and children are dying all the time. Were he to turn the world backwards, it’s still just him (not multiples of him showing up around the world). So he COULD theoretically find out who died and choose to become God and levy out the judgment on who lives and dies. But making time reverse in order to save Lois, well, he can do that. Plus, the nuclear weapons in space wouldn’t be reversed – he didn’t make time itself reverse, just the Earth’s time. Anything in space would’ve been unaffected (maybe?). Now we’re getting into theoretical physics…

  2. Steve

    Parallel universes. That solves your time travel problem.

  3. Graham

    Alternate timelines. As soon as you change something you start a new timeline. So the old timeline still exists. Just accept it and enjoy the show. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” does a good job with timelines. Did you see that one?

  4. Sorry Tom, I agree with the rest of the commenters, different timeline, different story. It’s like the new Batman movies, it’s just a new/different take on the same old characters.

    I suppose they didn’t have to have the whole time travel thing in the Star Trek movie to open up unlimited possibilities for future stories, but I bet the nerds would have had a fit if JJ just did whatever he wanted without at least having a pinky toe planted in the already established ST universe.

  5. Orthography police

    You spelled ‘conundrum’ incorrectly.

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