Star Trek “Into Darkness”

Saw the new Star Trek. I liked it a lot, just not as much as the first reboot. The story is small – Vulcan isn’t destroyed and Earth isn’t threatened. Some of the plot points you can see coming a mile away.

The Kirk/Spock friendship is still the best part of the reboot. The other thing I like about the J.J. Abrams movies is how they seriously consider the realities of life in space. Last movie it was the lens flare. It was overdone, but it showed how raw and harsh life in outerspace would be. In the new movie there’s a scene where the Enterprise has lost power and artificial gravity and is falling sideways into a planet’s gravity. As the heroes run down a corridor they’re running on the wall. When they come to an intersection with a hallway they have to jump across the gap caused by the intersecting hallway. Wicked.

Spoilerific stuff for people who have seen Star Trek Into Darkness

This one really telegraphed the punches. In the first scene with Admiral Marcus isn’t at all concerned about all-out war with the Klingons. He’s all it’s inevitable and let’s just go ahead and get on with it, so you’re wondering if he’s just a little too enthusiastic.

Then he’s handing over a super secret black ops photon torpedo. That torpodo is suspicious because it never gets opened, despite characters wanting to open it or inspec it. That isn’t a small detail – Scotty resigns because he doesn’t know what the energy source is inside the torpedo or how will it affect the warp core. So right away it seems like the secret squirrel photon torpedo is a Trojan horse.

The thing with the Tribbles is likewise a big searchlight painting the sky. Why is Bones shooting Kahn cells into Tribbles? Sure, they’re doing fan service to Trekkies whose Spock Ears are no longer in mint condition, but come on. Things don’t happen in drama for no reason. And at least Wrath of Khan had the decency to let Spock stay dead until after the credits rolled. (Though I’ll admit Kirk dying to save everyone had me a little teary-eyed.)

As far as the villain … He was a badass, but even if he’s 5 times faster and 5 times stronger than a human, he’s still just a dude. Send 20 guys with phasers after him and he’s toast. And the Federation has starships. He just seemed too outmanned to be a threat.

George Takei Hates William Shatner

My wife is starting a new job. She couldn’t find her Social Security card, so one day while we were out and about we stopped by the Social Security Administration office.

In the waiting area there was a big TV showing information about Social Security. One of the videos starred Star Trek actor George “Sulu” Takei and Patty Duke. They’re dressed in Federation uniforms and making terrible Trek jokes about navigating through asteroid fields and how navigating is so much easier.

When Patty Duke is finished telling George Takei about navigating she says “It’s so simple Kirk could do it” and George Takei laughs heartily, because George Takei hates William Shatner.