My initial reaction was reflexively negative, simply because of what it is. But now after a cooling-off period, I can see that it has a lot going for it. It's exciting, in that jittery, over-caffeinated, fast-cut style that The Damn Kids seem to like these days. It contains a number of striking images, including some that remind me of commercial illustrations that caught my eye as a kid and have stayed with me over the years...
Bennion also considers the gap between our two opinions of the trailer:
I guess the bottom line here is that the trailer has left me ambivalent. I'm not entirely dismissive of the project, but I'm not sold on it either. John Kenneth Muir...points out that this Star Trek isn't really for people like me, not for the Boomers and Gen-Xers who grew up with ST 1.0, and that "even if the new Star Trek is a great movie, my generation is going to have a tough time living with it." That sums up my feelings pretty concisely. The big difference between he and I, though, is that he's more confident it will be a great movie, and I am not. Moreover, he wants Star Trek to continue. I was perfectly content with the idea that it was over...
Jason is right about this. I really do want Star Trek to continue. And gazing inside, I wonder why that's so important. Why do I feel so invested in the continuation of a franchise? I mean, I'll always have Paris, right? I've got three TV seasons, an animated series and six movies, all just waiting for another re-visit.
One possible answer: I've always felt that Star Trek represents a pretty good lens for viewing the world, a philosophy. I would like my young Joel to have ready access to this world as he navigates growing up. But, of course, -- again -- I can just pop the classic series DVD in the blu ray player I haven't bought yet, and he can soak up all the wisdom there.
If he's even interested in Star Trek. To coin a phrase, it's probably "highly illogical" of me to assume Joel will be interested in Star Trek. With my luck, he'll like the new Battlestar Galactica.
Spock reminded us that "all things end," yet Jason Bennion is right in his interpretation -- I cling stubbornly to Star Trek. I don't want it to end, because I believe it has been and always shall be a positive force in what is largely a negative world. Star Trek reminds us that human beings at their best can be clever, compassionate, inventive, and capable of solving problems. It reminds us that we can overcome racism, sexism, and even species-ism (!). It's also daring in the best sense of the word: the next vista is never enough. Star Trek reminds us that we can go further...that there's always another vista, another adventure just over the horizon.
Star Wars could end today and I would shed no tears. I'd remember it fondly for the special place it held in my youth.
But if Star Trek ended today, I'd miss it. This is an object lesson for what happens when someone grows up with TV instead of organized religion, I suppose. The tenets of Star Trek are that important to me....akin to a belief system. All of which makes me a weirdo, for sure, but...an optimistic weirdo.
I don't know. Star Trek just isn't done with us yet. Kirk and Spock and Bones have more life in 'em. More to tell us. More to teach us.
If the new movie stinks, no one will be more disappointed than me. (And nobody will be quicker to write -- in agonizing detail -- about the failures of the enterprise). On the other hand, I cling to the belief that Star Trek can survive this turning point. I believe that Star Trek -- even sexed up, jazzed-up, and likely dumbed down -- can be relevant and important today.
Historical example tells us this is so. Remember, the original pilot "The Cage" was rejected by NBC as too cerebral. So Roddenberry tried a second time -- only this time eschewing big concepts for fist fights, false gods, and ripped tunics. The result of that "dumbed down" second pilot was the beginning of a forty-two year legend.
Maybe J.J. Abrams can re-start the franchise now with the same success.