“The Negative Space” (w/ Dave Ward) – Issue #1: NEW STAR TREK (and why it sucks)

The U.S.S. Enterprise – as seen on Star Trek: TNG

Hi, I am Dave Ward, and this is The Negative Space. Now don’t let the name fool you, I am not a giant green grouch in a can that hates everything, but with the resurgence of so much classic material being re-hashed in terrible ways it brings one to wonder how/why people love these cinematic pieces of crap. Television doesn’t get a reprieve either as there has been just as much crap strewn there as on the silver screen. Each month I will go off on a tangent on something about the fandom world that has just been done, or is being done hideously wrong. Without further adieu, I will start off with something that is very near and dear to my heart, and has been since the tender age of four; Star Trek.

Star Trek, created by the visionary Gene Roddenberry, created a future for humanity that spanned past racial and xenophobic barriers into a world of space travel, alien ship fights, mystery, and philosophical debate all rolled into an hour-long episode. Trek turned into a key element of sociopolitical goings on at the time with the Civil Rights movement, and helping to bridge animosity gaps between people. After the 3 season run of the original series, and subsequent syndication, Roddenberry began in 1979 with the first of 6 movies featuring that original cast, that developed into a storyline that lives with fans to this day. During the 1980’s, along with putting out a movie every 2 years, Roddenberry got Star Trek: The Next Generation off and running, no one thinking that it would develop into a massive success running 7 seasons, and having 4 movies of its own.

Star Trek: TOS

After Roddenberry’s death, the rest of the Trek alum soldiered on, creating 3 more wonderful TV series. Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and Star Trek: Enterprise; all adhering to basically the same guidelines Roddenberry set forth originally, and all being very good shows. It however seemed that Trek had begun to fall out of mass public favor, counted as a trend that had finally died out and only the truly faithful of the fans (the “Trekkies” if you will) remained to recollect like a bunch of Firefly fans wondering why Jersey Shore stayed on the air for so long.

Star Trek: TNG
Star Trek: TNG (shut up, Wesley)

Enter J.J. Abrams and his new incarnation of the original Star Trek crew, when they were barely out of adolescence, and somehow magically all at their current posts with just one big battle under their belts.. We start out with young James T. Kirk basically just being a smug asshole to everyone he comes across; now don’t get me wrong, I am sure Kirk was a bit of a cowboy in his youth, but the distance the smugness was taken was way over the top, and the only slight amount of credit I will give J.J. Abrams here is the fact that he tried to include his rigging of the Kobayashi Maru Test, but even then the acting and the smugness displayed did not sit right. After the academy, we start to meet the rest of the young crew, with there already being animosity between Kirk and Spock from the academy, we find out that there is a love affair between Spock and Uhura, and Uhura (who was once a role model to women everywhere) is now a snotty brat. Simon Pegg was a terrible choice to play Scotty, not the type to look like he would end up as battle hardened as Montgomery Scott. John Cho and Anton Yelchin were believeable as young Chekov and Sulu, lets not forget that Chekov did not show up until much later in Star Trek originally, he was the “new guy”. The only actor that I thought just nailed their character was Karl Urban; Dr. McCoy was really the only saving grace cast-wise, he exuded that old Tennessee/Kentucky southern attitude and wit like DeForest Kelly displayed.

Star Trek: The (Kind-Of) Remake?
Star Trek: The (Kind-Of) Remake?

Overall, between the 2 movies, the ship design, CGI, and the acting, the story-lines were all head shaking at best; the first movie you have a Romulan seemingly breaking through the mighty Federation with a mining vessel and nothing happened to him until the U.S.S. Enterprise got there. Spock can’t return to his own time?? HUH?? Have we not seen you time warp quite a few times prior?? Or was that my imagination? Second movie was more hideous. HOW can you take one of the greatest Sci-Fi foes ever, Khan Noonien Singh, and turn him into a pissed off Federation member hell bent on destroying it all?? Both movies have just enough names, bits, and pieces pulled and mangled into the new ones for old fans to recognize and try to like. The ships and CGI are an outrage honestly. You take what sounds like cheesy 80’s Spaceballs special sound effects and apply it to a horrendously bloated looking ship with weapons fire taken straight out of The Empire Strikes Back. Ship internals are also a nightmare, turning the bridge of the Enterprise into something more of what I would normally see at a discoteqe. Ship corridors look like sparkle candy land paths, and MY GOD, whose idea was it to think that engineering would be brilliant filmed in a brewery?

The New New New New (and probably a few more "New"s too) ship
The New New New (and probably a few more New’s too) Enterprise

Really, just take another dump the whole thing, why don’t ya? Philosophical aspects have been entirely stripped away and replaced with your modern standard action hero, lets see how many fights and explosions we can put in 100 minutes, with minimal storyline.. It is no wonder that both of these new “movies” are continually rated the WORST two Star Trek films ever made. J.J. Abrams didn’t save Star Trek… he murdered it.

-Dave Ward

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed by Mr. Ward in The Negative Space are his and his alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of Nerd Nation Magazine, or anyone else… so please, don’t be a d-bag and try to sue anyone over the stuff he writes. It’s called an opinion… don’t like it? The internet is a big place. Just read something else… preferably on here! =)



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