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Star Trek

Woah, I haven't been on in a long time. My apologies, and whatnot - a lot going on in my life, though maybe for once when I say that it's more good than bad.

BUT YEAH ANYWAY, whenever I partake of some particularly good entertainment, I have to write about it or it wiggles around in my brain. So brace yourself for my rambling about the sheer, somewhat unexpected awesomeness that was the new Star Trek movie. Oh and slash. Because I'm a whore.

That surprise being that Leonard Nimoy was in it - something I had managed to keep myself totally in the dark about until he came on screen and I SHIT A BRICK HOUSE. <3 <3 <3

If you're still reading now, I'll assume you've either seen it or don't care about being spoiled for the plot, so I'll say this: I really really really liked how they handled it. My biggest reservation was the feeling of "oh man it's already been done so well I don't know if it's smart to just tread over the same ground with a new potential series of movies". But lo and behold, they didn't do that! At all. They pulled an alternate reality trip where, to use a Terry Pratchett phrase, we're looking down the other Trouser Leg Of Time. The universe is similar to the one TOS is set in, but not entirely the same. Starting with Kirk's birth time is split, effectively leaving canon undamaged while still allowing a reprise of the original characters and story line. A note to George Lucas: THAT is how you reboot a decades-old franchise and have it still be awesome.

For the record, if you didn't know, this divergence in reality was caused by a black hole and an accidental case of time travel fucking up causality. Basically, a ship full of angry Romulans and elderly!Spock(omgomgomgomg got thrown back in time. Sort of shit I love, but that's beside the point.

The point, my friends, is that they managed to use the time travel and alternate reality in the slashiest way possible. Except not directly slashy. It's more like pre-slash except for the fact that it already happened in another world, so I'm just going to coin the term "re-slash" and be done with it. This was a re-slash movie.

I've watched it twice so far, and am convinced the movie has two main aspects. One is "oh my god look at these guys they're like little versions of everyone awwwwwwwww he sits in a chair just like William Shatner and I think I just came from all the nostalgia", and the second is a gloriously circular love story that continues directly from the original series and is hard to catch if you don't mentally segue them together.

The second plot of the part there? Leonard Nimoy totally carries it, and it's AWESOME. Here's a run down of what happens the way I see it.

Catastrophic things occur, and young Spock is left in charge of the Enterprise because young Kirk has led a troubled life without his father and hasn't advanced as far in Starfleet as he could have otherwise. Except Spock comes across as those "troubled dogs" on The Dog Whisperer, who aren't individually cut out to be in an alpha position but take it because they have to. I don't know, the comparison made me chortle when I first thought of it.

He and Kirk are rivals by this point and get on each others' nerves. Spock thinks Kirk is rash and careless and inflammatory, Kirk thinks Spock is a heartless pain in the ass. At this point in the theater I'm kind of B'AWWWing, because they're supposed to love each other and it's profoundly uncomfortable to see them fight.

Before I go further, I'll point out that in my opinion Kirk/Spock, in the original series, is absolutely canon. There are about a bazillion reasons I think this, but two of the big ones is Roddenberry, when asked whether the two are a romantic couple, saying that they absolutely love each other and that "the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century." Just oblique enough to avoid freaking people out, but clear enough for me. Also this. That clip will be important later.

Anyway, things get particularly bad between young Kirk and Spock, and Spock throws him off the ship. Onto the planet where Spock From The Future is. They meet, and it's painfully touching. Spock Prime tells Kirk that he has been, and always will be his friend, and Kirk is skeptical. Spock seems dismayed that the two of them aren't close in this time, and that Kirk isn't even captain of his own ship. In order to explain how there are now two Spocks and where the Romulans came from, they mind meld. When he's released, Kirk looks like he's been hit by a train and gasps out, "So you do feel." Here's the first kinda-hard-to-catch-if-you're-not-a-fan moment. Kirk's behavior towards both Spocks changes a bit from here on, and I think it's because of the meld. He's going to feel the grief over what's been happening, but I doubt that Spock Prime(as he's listed in the credits) is going to be able to hide the surge of love after being reunited with Kirk after over 100 years. After this point it's just a matter of both youngsters rediscovering the relationship they're destined to have, which in my opinion is a fascinating and original plotline, and you don't see a lot of those nowadays.

Kirk is tasked with getting back on the Enterprise and taking command of her by, as per Spock Prime's command, forcing Young Spock to admit he has feelings and that he's incredibly upset by what's been happening. Wow. Just wow. That clip I linked to up there? First time in the original that Spock straight up admitted that feelings are an important part of life. The only time I remember him mentioning his emotions before that was when he was under the influence of a plot-device-alien-spore and he was babbling about how he wanted to be a good Vulcan but he was so ashamed by how Jim made him feel. Yeah. Did I mention CANON CANON CANON. Anyway. This is a big fucking deal. This is Spock getting to go back in time and right the wrongs of his youth, to convince himself that he doesn't have to be ashamed, to try and reclaim all the time he wasted by being afraid to love. This is *epic*.

So long story short Kirk goes back and says some things to Spock to try and get him to show emotion. It takes a bit, but eventually he *rages out* and beats the living shit out of Kirk. And damn, the look on Kirk's face when Spock finally lets go of his throat just screams "holy hell look at all that passion simmering underneath the surface; no wonder future-me is into him". Spock staggers off and has a conversation with his dad along the lines of "maybe feeling isn't such a terrible thing after all, son" which would have done TOS Spock a world of good. But then he wouldn't have been Spock. Another reason why I'm loving the second-timeline thing.

What follows is adventures and shenanigans and Kirk and Spock learning to get along and then the crisis is resolved and it's back to earth, la la la, and suddenly Young Spock bumps into Old Spock and is shocked. Why, if there wouldn't be some kind of bizarre paradox, couldn't he have just come and told his young self what was going on instead of going through Kirk? Spock Prime says that he just wanted to make sure they became friends, because they were more important to each other than they yet knew. And follows up by telling himself not obsess so much on logic, and to let himself "do what feels right".


Cue the Enterprise being assembled properly with Kirk and Spock exchanging a bright smile, dramatic music, and a glorious recitation of the classic preamble. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

So yeah, it was pretty much the most touching and circuitous love story ever in addition to be awesome and oh-so Star Trek.

And for your viewing pleasure, the original Spock-learning-to-feel video, which oddly enough is almost the most important part of the new movie:

And because it's hella fun, the infamous back rub. I'm embedding the version where someone edited in the sound of a record scratch when he cuts off mid "Spoc-". Because I always imagined it anyway. X3


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
That whole thing with Uhura looked weird and wrong. WTF? Are they just trying to force a 'not-gay' wedge in there? It made me headdesk.

Although, the look on Kirk's face was pretty funny.

But yeah. Friendship is a code-word these days in fiction. Has been for quite awhile...
May. 18th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Yep. =/

And man, I was kinda annoyed about the Uhura thing, but I understand why they did it. They focused less on her as a member of the crew and made her the obligatory "someone has to be dating a girl here" character. Because, you know, otherwise it would be SO GAY.
May. 18th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
I hear that happens to creators a lot...they get a fandom, and they are happy until they discover that there is 'shipping' going on, and the most popular couple is one that they, for whatever reason, DO NOT WANT.

And some will grudgingly go with it and make it canon(Urasei Yatsura), some will (eventually) chuckle and ruefully shake their head - either ignoring or teasing the fangirls(Gundam Wing), or will go into all out panic, trying to do all they can to expunge this 'wrong' interpretation.(Star Trek)
May. 19th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Actually, I got a whole different feeling from the Uhura thing. It made me shake my head, yes, but it felt more like a bone thrown to the "there can't be any gay here crowd" rather than the other way around. It wasn't focused on or played up TO much, while the Kirk/Spock was central to the story.

I highly doubt Abrams would be able to go into this and not know the sea of shippiness he was walking into, what with Roddenburg's oblique affirmation, the fact that the first published slashed fic was written by one of Leonard Nimoy's friends, and the last movie was pretty much a love story without onscreen kissing.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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