Posted tagged ‘Trekkie’

1×23 – A Taste of Armageddon

June 11, 2013

Premise: Under the orders of an Ambassador who wants to establish a “treaty port” in the region, The Enterprise visits a planet called Eminiar VII, despite broadcast warnings to stay away. They discover a civilization that has been at war with a neighboring planet for 500 years – but instead of using traditional weapons, the two entities do battle via computer. Citizens who are labeled virtual casualties must report to disintegration machines to be killed. The justification for this method of war is that it prevents the wide-scale destruction that would otherwise end the civilization. A virtual attack ensues and the orbiting Enterprise is classified as destroyed, meaning that all crew must report for suicide by disintegration. Can Kirk and Spock save the crew and help the planet?

12:05 – Council leader Anan 7 has just revealed his planet’s method of war. Kirk is baffled, but Spock is able to understand the logic behind it:

Kirk: “Do you mean to tell me your people just walk into a disintegration machine when they’re told to?”
Anan 7: “We have a high consciousness of duty, Captain.”
Spock: “There is a certain scientific logic about it.”
Anan 7: “I’m glad you approve.”
Spock: “I do not approve. I understand.”

I think the world would be a much better place if more people sought to understand, like Spock does.

I always enjoy seeing how the guards of various civilizations are dressed – they seem to get the most oddball costumes. Check out those hats!

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17:18 – A really fascinating moment here. The landing party (Kirk, Spock, and three red shirts) are being held captive in a locked room, and a guard is standing right outside the door. We hear this interchange between Kirk and Spock:

Kirk: “Are you sure you can do it, Mr. Spock?”
Spock: “Telepathic abilities are inherent in Vulcanians, Captain. It may work, it may not.”
Kirk: “Do your best.”

Spock proceeds to walk over to the door and run his fingers delicately along it, sensing the location of the guard:

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Kirk watches with a look of wonder & admiration:

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Spock somehow gets telepathically inside the guard’s head, causing him to open the door, and Kirk is ready to take him out with a neck chop. Very cool, I had no idea Vulcans had the ability to manipulate people without physical contact! This Spock guy is magical. ❤

20:45 – Yet another Vulcan nerve pinch. I love the way Spock sets this one up – he walks right up to the the guard and says: “Sir, there’s a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder.” When the guard looks down at his own shoulder, Spock swoops in with the pinch. An incredibly calm and deft maneuver.

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A nice exchange at the end of the episode, when the crew is safely back on the bridge:

Kirk: “Actual war is a messy business. A very, very messy business. I had a feeling that they would do anything to avoid it, even talk peace.”
Spock: “A feeling is not much to go on.”
Kirk: “Sometimes a feeling, Mr. Spock, is all we humans have to go on.”
Spock: “Captain…you almost make me believe in luck.”
Kirk: “Why, Mr. Spock…you almost make me believe in miracles.”

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I just love the quizzical expressions on Spock’s face!

This is a fascinating episode – one of the best of the first season, I think. It raises interesting questions about war, diplomacy, human nature, and self-sacrifice for the greater good. Was Kirk right to impose his culture’s values on the people of Eminiar? Is mass destruction a necessary component of war? What happens when war becomes a societal safety blanket, a way of life? I think this episode would translate well to a full-length film. It’s also a good Scotty episode, for fans of the Enterprise’s Chief Engineer.

“Death, destruction, disease, horror – that’s what war is all about. That’s what makes it a thing to be avoided. You’ve made it neat and painless – so neat and painless you’ve had no reason to stop it.” – Captain Kirk

Lens Flares

June 1, 2013

I think it’s funny that some reviewers of Star Trek: Into Darkness are up in arms about J.J. Abrams’ use of lens flares. I didn’t even notice them the first time around, so I made sure to look for them during my second viewing of the film. They are mostly noticeable during shots of the bridge, and I like how they make the bridge feel bright, dynamic, and exciting.

Here’s a video from DNews that explains how they’re created:

Click here for a compilation of all the lens flares from the 2009 Star Trek film, via College Humor. It’s like watching an 8-minute version of the film! Pretty cool, actually.

VERDICT: I’m in favor of the lens flares.

Star Trek: Into Darkness – First Impressions (Spoilers)

May 28, 2013

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I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness the Saturday after its release, at the biggest & best theater in my city, and I am happy to say that I LOVED it. Thank you, J.J. Abrams, for giving me exactly what I wanted! For those of us whose love of Star Trek is based primarily in the Kirk/Spock friendship and Enterprise crew relationships, there was so much to hang our hats on in this film. But beyond the iconic characters, the film was simply an exciting and vibrant space action movie, with plenty of humor and a kick-ass villain. Here are some comments on my favorite/least favorite aspects of the film:

What I loved:

  • The density. I’m amazed at how much content was crammed into two hours. Not a second was wasted, but the pace didn’t feel too rushed, either. For me, this was pure escapist entertainment.
  • Star Trek references, character traits, & inside jokes. Bones’ metaphors! A tribble! Mudd’s ship! Gorn babies! Spock has emotions! I know that some reviewers find these things annoying or unoriginal, but I don’t want to see completely original reboot – I’m happy to see the writers borrow from the great stuff of the past.
  • Chris Pine’s acting. Christ Pine’s lips. Chris Pine’s blue eyes. Chris Pine. Although I am eternally Hot 4 Spock, Chris Pine really impressed me this time around. He got to display just about every human emotion throughout the film, and he did it all convincingly. He seemed to embrace every aspect of his role wholeheartedly. And he is so very pretty to look at.
  • Spock’s pursuit of Khan. I loved the sequence where a distraught Spock chases down Khan through the streets of London and unleashes all of his rage on the villain. Even though this is a distressing moment in the film, I always love seeing Spock’s physical power.
  • All things Scotty. Simon Pegg has incredible comedic timing and brings such heart to the role. I laughed out loud whenever he spoke to his little alien assistant.
  • Who’s the real villain? I enjoyed that back-and-forth ride of uncertainty as Kirk and Spock had to determine which side was in the right – Khan? Admiral Marcus? …Or neither?

What I didn’t love:

  • John Cho as Sulu. I’m not sure that I like Sulu’s character in the reboot films. George Takei’s Sulu seems to be lighthearted and a little bit dorky, with a serious/intense/swashbuckling side. John Cho’s Sulu seems quite steely and too-cool-for-school – almost bored. Hopefully I’ll change my mind with further viewings.
  • Plot holes. I don’t need a seamless plot by any means, but the film did leave me with a fair number of questions: Does Starfleet seriously think it’s a good idea to have all captains and first officers gather in a single, windowed room in times of emergency? How did Carol evade the ship’s security so easily, and why is her accent different from her father’s? Why couldn’t McCoy just use the blood of one of Khan’s friends to save Kirk? How did Khan’s ship survive the torpedo explosions to stay mostly intact and crash into London?
  • The gratuitous shot of Carol Marcus in her underwear. Seriously, she needed to get changed right then and there? I was as baffled as Kirk was.

No, the movie wasn’t perfect in every respect – but what movie is?? Part of what I love about Star Trek: TOS is the cheesy/bad/poorly-written moments, so I might as well embrace those moments in the reboot films as well. I would not change one thing about the new film with respect to the Kirk/Spock relationship. I experienced plenty of that excited, stomach-flipping feeling that I love. Bring on Star Trek #3!!

P.S. I don’t think this exact frame made the film cut, but the image is floating around the internet. I love seeing my heroes in peril – and Spock’s hands on Kirk!

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1×21 – The Return of the Archons

May 27, 2013

Premise: The Enterprise discovers a population controlled by a powerful being called Landru. Most of the citizens walk around slowly and placidly, speaking of peace and tranquility, except during a strange brawl called a “festival.” While investigating, Captain Kirk and his landing party are taken captive and slated to be “absorbed” into Landru’s control. The few rebels who have evaded Landru’s possession think that the Enterprise crew are the Archons, come back to save them. Kirk has to figure out who or what Landru is, in order to save his landing party and his ship.

The best things about this episode are the landing party’s costumes and the humorously archaic special effects. Here’s a taste of both:

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30:55 – Spock attempts to do a mind meld with Dr. McCoy, who has been “absorbed” into Landru. He says that it’s impossible because McCoy is “under extremely powerful control.”

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36:08 – I believe this is the first mention of the Prime Directive!

Kirk: “The plug must be pulled.”
Spock: “Sir -”
Kirk: “Landru must die.”
Spock: “Captain…our Prime Directive of non-interference…”
Kirk: “That refers to a living, growing culture. You think this one is?”

37:40 – Spock punches a guard and looks a little bit surprised at himself. Kirk says to him, “Isn’t that somewhat old-fashioned?” We’ve seen Spock punch people before, but it’s true that he prefers the nerve pinch. Speaking of nerve pinches, Spock uses nerve pinch #6 in this episode at 40:10.

46:53 – Kirk somehow talks Landru’s computer into destroying itself. The machine ran for 6,000 years with at most minor repairs, but then overheats when Kirk challenges its conception of how to create a peaceful, perfect society. Wow! Seeya, Landru!

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48:30 -Back on the bridge:

Spock: “Marvelous.”
Kirk: “What?”
Spock: “Landru, Captain. A marvelous feat of engineering. A computer capable of directing the lives of millions of human beings.”
Kirk: “But only a machine, Mr. Spock. The original Landru programmed it with all his knowledge, but he couldn’t give it his wisdom, his compassion, his understanding, his soul, Mr. Spock.”
Spock: “Predictably, metaphysical. I prefer the concrete, the graphable, the provable.”
Kirk: [Smiling] “You’d make a splendid computer, Mr. Spock.”
Spock: [With sincerity] “That is very kind of you, Captain.”

Haha, it’s cute that Spock takes it as a complement to be called a computer. I am certain that he would make a superior computer to Landru.

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This is a strange,  annoying, and repetitive episode, one of my least favorite of the season. It’s made a bit more worthwhile by seeing Kirk and Spock in some adorable suits. The name “Landru” must be spoken 65 times, with “peace” and “tranquility” not far behind. I still have no idea who/what the Archons are, and I’m really not sure what the purpose/meaning of the 6pm-6am festival was. Despite its flaws, this episode is important in that it contains the first reference to the Prime Directive.

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Trekkie vs. Trekker

June 23, 2009

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure whether to call myself a Trekkie or a Trekker. In my life before Star Trek, I’d heard the term “Trekkie” much more often, and of I’d heard of the film Trekkies. So I that’s what I chose. According to Wikipedia, “Science Fiction editor Arthur W. Saha applied the term “trekkies” when he saw a few fans of the first season of Star Trek wearing pointy ears at a science fiction convention” back in 1967. So it seems that Trekkie came before Trekker, which would make it the original, correct term. However Wikipedia also tells me that “in the 1991 TV show Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Special, Leonard Nimoy attempts to settle the issue by stating that the term ‘Trekker’ is the correct one.” Whatever LN says, goes!

I’ve perused the web on the subject and found a lot of contradiction. According to one web site, “Trekker” refers to someone who takes a more intellectual approach to the show, nitpicks the scientific accuracy, and appreciates the writing, production, etc., while “Trekkie” refers to someone who is more obsessed with the characters, storylines, and entire fictional Star Trek universe. In that case, I’m a little of both!

In my search, I also came across a clip of the the William Shatner “Get a Life” sketch from SNL, in which the fans are referred to as “Trekkers” by the convention leader.

I hope that the Trekkers out there aren’t scoffing at my self-proclaimed Trekkie-ness. 😉 Which term do you prefer?


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