Thursday, February 16, 2017

Star Trek Beyond

I didn't bother to see Star Trek: Beyond in theaters, and only in the last month got around to watching it on DVD. Watched it with company (people talking and moving about) and it seemed a little bland; watched it again alone (in the dark with perfect audio) and that was a much better experience.
Pro: Tons of well-placed callbacks to TOS.
Pro: Running through the Enterprise when gravity's askew.
Con: Endless plotholes.
Con: Nobody but the bridge crew (plus token ally) are allowed to even attempt to achieve anything.
I'm not going to fault the movie for having plot holes--they aren't exactly new to Star Trek; and I'll only fault the movie a little for being an action movie--it did manage to work in a few character arcs, and it did try to pit the Enterprise against a type of challenge they've never faced before. I do like that the writers tried to address the "humanity must struggle" theme from TOS, which TOS maybe didn't handle very well, although Star Trek: Beyond didn't handle it with much depth either.

I hope the token ally, Jaylah, returns for future movies the way Lieutenant Saavik should have. I'll even double down on that hope because I'm only now realizing how much potential she has as a Tasha Yar analogue. (Not as explicit a match as Ro Laren or Kira Nerys, but better positioned to mash up the Geordi/Tasha and Scotty/ensign-spacelegs relationship arcs.)

I said last year that I wouldn't describe myself as a particular fan of Star Trek, and I should probably qualify that by saying I am still a fan of Star Trek; someone gave me this trinket for Christmas, and I'm quite tickled to have received it:

Sorry that the scan is a bit muddy. I know a few tricks with photoshop, but not enough to clean this up.


  1. We watched with our godchildren, who loved it. Now the actor who played Chekov is dead perhaps Jaylah can join the crew, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that happening.

  2. I also watched it--I think I live-tweeted it--and I felt much the same way; it was really, really good except for all of the bad things. It sounds like a really tautological view, but...I can't think of better words.