Star Trek Into Darkness is the latest offering by sci-fi god, J.J. Abrams. To me, the funny thing about Paramount choosing Abrams to reboot the Star Trek franchise is that he seems like a Star Wars guy, not a Star Trek guy. (In case you didn’t know, Abrams is also directing the next Star Wars movie.) I totally believe he’s the right guy for Star Wars, but I never saw Abrams as an obvious choice for Star Trek.Trek is deeper, smarter, and wastes valuable screen time by sitting its main characters around a conference table for hours on end. Star Wars is simplicity itself and focuses on special effects and things going boom. That’s the sort of thing Abrams is good at.
Despite this, I liked the previous Star Trek movie. It could have used some of the smarts that went into the TV shows that came before it, but it was totally enjoyable. And, most importantly, the characters felt right.
As those who read some of my earlier Star Trek commentaries already know, the Trek franchise isn’t my favorite in sci-fi land these days. Sorry uber Trek-nerds, but the show is just too sterilized and bland for my tastes. I’ve been hoping for a much needed reimagining (or at least a reboot) ever since Star Trek: Enterprise first hit the airwaves. Then, low and behold, J. J. Abrams came along and made it happen! (Insert a chorus of angels singing here.) I’m sure many hardcore Trekkers began weeping openly when Abrams admitted he wasn’t a big fan of the series, but this only encouraged my dream for a better version. And by “better,” I mean one where humanity still has a long way to go before achieving paradise, or where battles are actually fast paced and (dare I say it?) exciting.
So … did my man J. J. Abrams deliver the goods? Or does the Star Trek reboot need a boot up its ass?
Expert opinion is, at the end of the day, still opinion. But why would you not want to know what experts have to say? When you make a dental appointment, do you want your dentist to be an expert or not? If you build a house, do you want a professional architect or your next-door neighbor to draw up the plans? One might be tempted to say that in the case of the historical Jesus it is different since, after all, we are just talking about history; experts have no more access to the past than anyone else. That, however, is simply not true. It may be the case that some of my students receive the bulk of their knowledge of the Middle Ages from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but is that really the best place to turn? So too millions of people have acquired their “knowledge” about early Christianity—about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the emperor Constantine, the Council of Nicaea—from Dan Brown, author of the aforementioned The Da Vinci Code. But at the end of the day, is that such a wise choice?
NOTE: This is how I feel about apologists and creationists and those who take their word above that of real experts. Why would you ignore the word of experts unless you simply don't want to have your views challenged?