Sunday, November 22, 2009

Prepare the Red Matter!

So now that it is finally out on DVD, I finally watched the "reboot" of Star Trek.

So, Fred, you're a trekkie from way back, what'cha think of it?

Sorry, but I am not a trekkie or a trekker. I am a science fiction fan who is a big fan of the original Trek series (but not to the extent that I ever owned a costume or even attended a Trek convention, or even, past a certain point, continued to follow the series via books, etc.) In fact, I've been pretty much out of the Trek loop since I gave up around the end of Next Generation, the middle of DS9 and the first season or so of Voyager. I haven't seen most of the past several movies or run out to buy a Blu-Ray player to get the latest iteration of the DVD's...

That having been said, I did want to see the movie (Real Life (TM) intervened) and bought the DVD. I watched it and...

There is much I enjoyed. My head did not explode over the meddling in the "canon" given the reasons for it (branching universes). The actor's pretty much nailed the characters (although the one shot of Chris Pine in the "big chair" had me wondering how they let a ten-year-old on the ship). The story was OK, but pretty "meh" when you boil it down (the villain was ludicrous, sorry). Special effects were very nice (and makes me wish I had seen it on the big screen), most of the sets were nice (although I think the number of ship interiors that take place in obviously redressed chemical factories was...odd).

But. Red matter? Really?

Look folks, the universe is a pretty wonderous place. There's a lot of nifty stuff out there (real or theorized) that would make some pretty fascinating stories. Look at the SF of Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, David Brin. Look at Alastair Reynolds, Greg Egan, Kim Stanley Robinson. Haul down off your shelves any number of anthologies. You mean the best we could come up with was some stuff from a lava lamp that gets injected into a big hypodermic needle and hand-loaded into a spiky-looking torpedo and causes a...black hole?

Another thing that really irked me: the universe is big. Really big. Really, really, really big. So a supernova would threaten a galaxy? And create a wavefront that would destroy a planet? And when you turn one planet into a black hole a guy can stand on another planet (in a different star system because of the name) and be able to see the process (with the view being larger than how we see our Moon) and not be affected? A bunch of ships come out of warp, get whacked and the follow-on ship flies through a debris cloud thick enough to scrape the skin off their ship?

O.K., it is a movie. There is sound in space. Ships the size of skyscrapers are flying like jet planes. Why am I complaining about this stuff? I just keep hoping that we'll finally get a movie that can be both exciting and somewhat accurate, maybe?

(And I didn't even bring up how silly it was to build something as big as a Constitution class starship on a planet's surface!)

3 comments:

Jvstin Tomorrow said...

(And I didn't even bring up how silly it was to build something as big as a Constitution class starship on a planet's surface!)

As I recall from ST:TNG, the Enterprise-D was said to have been built on Mars. That's almost as silly, too.

Now, the ST movies and ST: Enterprise DOhave ships being refit and rebuilt in orbit...

Fred Kiesche said...

I thought the shipyard at that point was in orbit around Mars, but was given a name of a feature on Mars. In fact, the TNG "tech manual" says "above Mars"...

Jvstin Tomorrow said...

I may have misremembered the episode in question, or misunderstand what Picard was saying when he said he went out to watch the ship being built while he lived on Mars.

I suppose you can interpret that as looking *up* to see it.