May 13, 2009

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While I'm Thinking About It

The next Star Trek movie will gross over a billion dollars. If it has Klingons.

There are real Trek spoilers in this one. Just so you're aware.

The reaction I had upon leaving the theater last week was a very Keanu-esque "Whoa." Not just because it's the formerly-believed-impossible great odd-numbered Trek movie, but because the reset button never got pushed. Vulcan is still destroyed, and the future of the future is completely up for grabs.

But, upon further reflection (which does not mean I've already seen it again--I'm not that big a geek . . . anymore), not as much needs to have been changed if that's the way future writers choose to take it. Um, wow. That's a bad sentence. Let me see if I can explain what I mean with examples.

Kirk is still the youngest person to ever captain a starship. Except now he's even younger than he was before. He was never a lieutenant aboard the USS Farragut, which means he never had that first encounter with the smoke monster that would come back to haunt him and a member of his crew in the episode "Obsession." Which is a bit of a problem, but it's not like that's one of the episodes everyone knows about* regardless of how much they like the show.

The destruction of the planet Vulcan and near-eradication of the Vulcan race are a little tricker to deal with. First of all, with so few Vulcans left, I would imagine their first priority would be repopulation, which means some heavy rethinking of the various pon farr rituals and finding work-arounds for the seven-year mating cycle. The idea of an entire starship, USS Intrepid, being manned entirely by Vulcans becomes rather illogical, and therefore the Intrepid's destruction by the giant space amoeba in "The Immunity Syndrome" is unlikely to affect Spock. In fact, with a more diverse crew, there's a chance the Enterprise never has to get involved.

Scenes that actually take place on the planet Vulcan might seem a little trickier to handwave away, but it's easier than it looks. Just rename whatever planet most of the survivors decide to settle on. Vulcan logic is like that.

As for "future" Vulcans, well, there's no reason to assume Dr. Selar, Tuvok, Saavik, and Valeris don't exist anymore. Sybok's dead and gone though, which takes Star Trek V right out of the picture.

The really troublesome one is the episode "Journey to Babel." That's not the first time Kirk's met Sarek anymore, and Amanda's dead. Given the need for more baby Vulcans, it's not even logical for Sarek to take another human wife (as he did with Perrin sometime before the Next Generation episode "Sarek").

I promise my next blog post won't be nearly this geeky, okay?


*Such "universally known" episodes might include the one with the tribbles, the one with the giant space amoeba, and the one with the girls who steal Spock's brain (that last one, of course, for all the wrong reasons).


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