melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2009-05-11 12:29 am

Mother's Day!

Hello to new subscribers! And everybody else! I will getting to all the online stuff I need to be doing soon, I swear. I've been offline all weekend, more than I was planning to be, and I am *so* behind.

By which I mean, [personal profile] stellar_dust and I went to see the new Star Trek movie with Mom yesterday!

From here on in, there may be spoilers in cuts and comments on this entry. !! I haven't been reading anyone elses' reaction posts, but if you posted it in the last two days, chances are I have it open it a tab to read as soon as this goes up.

To start with, I liked the movie. It was a good movie! It was fun! It was laugh-out-loud funny in many places! The characters were great, the characterization was great, the actors all did either a great job mimicking the originals or a better job than the originals. It was deeply geeky and full of glee and was clearly made by somebody who loved Star Trek and thinks Kirk and Spock are doing it.

And now I am going to be one of the people in that Onion video and list all the things that were wrong with it.

1. It didn't feel like a Star Trek movie; the design was all wrong - the sets, the cinematography, the soundtrack; it didn't read as Star Trek at *all*. I got to liking the Enterprise sets. And the uniforms were awesome all around. But the rest of it? Not Star Trek. And the music not only wasn't Star Trek, it made no impression on me at all, which is enough to kill half my chances of fangirling a movie right there.

2. Way, way, *way* to many Star Wars references. If I never have to think of Kirk as Luke and Spock as Obi-wan again, it will still be too many times. >:( (I adore SW, I just don't want it in my Trek.)

3. It missed the point of Star Trek. By which I mean, too much death. Too much killing. The whole point of Star Trek is that there is a way that doesn't involve killing, and that we, we people, *will* be able to find that way if we just try hard enough. This is a message I believe in. It is the thing that makes Star Trek worth watching. Kirk doesn't win his Kobayashi Maru by killing a bunch of weaponless, defenseless Klingons that can't fight back; Kirk wins his Kobayashi Maru by progamming the simulator so that the Klingons think he is The Great Captain James T. Kirk and surrender without a shot fired because they know can't possibly win against the famous Captain Kirk. Then they help rescue the crew, and Kirk invites the Klingon captain to dinner on the rec deck.

This is how it works in the *real* Star Trek, anyway. I get that they wanted a "darker, grittier" Star Trek, but the whole point of Star Trek is that it's a shining white hope against the darkness. Not gritty. What possible purpose on Earth is there for a Star Trek that's just like every other Sci-fi movie and show in existence? (Yes, we've had "darker, grittier" already with, like, the last fifteen or so seasons of Trek tv. Which is why I never watched them. At least now instead of just denying that they exist, I can pretend that they actually belong in reboot!continuity instead of real!continuity. ...I now declare that Real!continuity is Rihannsu!verse and all the stupid non-Ael compliant Romulan stuff is in Reboot!verse. Yes.)

4. The plot made no sense. Like, there was basically no point in the plot at which it made sense. Name me any plot point, and I will point you to how it either made no sense, or requires significant fanwank in order to do so. Also, OMG, Starfleet *makes no sense*, in that everything involving the way Starfleet works was made of dum and 12-year-old-boy. In fact, I wrote a Starfleet that made more sense when I *was* twelve. I will grant you that in a Starfleet in which George Kirk wasn't around to teach Captain April & his contemporaries about "rules", and in which the Garth of Izar thing happened very differently through lack of Kirks, Starfleet regulations might not be the same. I cannot grant you a universe in which a Starfleet that apparently operates like the one in the reboot movie is actually *functional*.

5. They managed to take two steps back in handling both race and gender. Two steps back from *1966*.

That takes *effort.* OMG.

How hard would it've been to put an active, awesome, kickass female character on the bridge of the Enterprise? (ANSWER: WHERE THE FUCK WAS NUMBER ONE, YOU FUCKING MALE CHAUVINIST BASTARDS, OMG, I ACTUALLY SHOUTED AT THE MOVIE SCREEN, IF YOU'RE DOING CAPTAIN PIKE'S SHIP, WHY THE FUCKING FUCK DID YOU WRITE OUT NUMBER ONE? IT'S NOT LIKE YOU'D HAVE HAD TO MAKE UP A NEW CHARACTER IN ORDER TO GET BETTER GENDER BALANCE, BECAUSE RODDENBERRY DID IT FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. BASTARDS. SHE BETTER SHOW UP IN THE SEQUEL OR I WILL QUITE POSSIBLY EXPLODE.)

/end capslock. (That is maybe possibly a direct transcription of what I shouted over the credits. Which may or may not have had people on the other side of the theater laughing at me and telling me to find my control. Writing out female characters is not c'thia. Bastards.)

But. Yeah. Cast that has one female character, you turn her from an independent, competent scientist into a clingy girlfriend, and you write out at least two canonical kickass chicks and add in a sexy green alien bimbo instead? I am literally trembling at this point, I didn't know I cared this much, but DAMMIT STAR TREK IS SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN THAT.1

They did mildly better on race, in that the only canonical characters they wrote out were white ones not counting Francis Drake Reed. And Sulu and Uhura still both rock. They more or less completely missed the point of Chekov, though. Note to producers: Chekov's ethnicity was relevant not because he had a silly accent, but because they put someone we were fighting an ideological war against on the bridge of Earth's flagship. You missed your chance to put in Pakistani or Iranian bridge crew, to sit with everyone else and face the universe. (Possibly a female one! Imagine a character who wares a modest version of TOS female uniform! Would that not have been the rockingest thing ever?) Either this production team learned nothing from watching Star Trek, or we have moved *backward* since 1966 in terms of what we can portray on a screen, and either way, y'all suck.

And the other sense of "race", a hundred species of people who are as different as can possibly be, working together in concert and prosperity -- wouldn't it be nice if they'd used some of their effects budget to show non-human people who didn't look like humans wearing latex protheses, even just in crowd scenes? One Sulamid, one Denebian, one hyperintelligent shade of the color blue - but no. You added a green space babe, some guys you hired from Mos Eisley spaceport, and a useless dwarf apparently modelled on the one from the He-Man movie. Who is also possibly the most offensive portrayal of a non-human intelligent alien since before Jar-Jar. He's a freaking Star Trek officer, he is not a useless comical sidekick! Note to producers: people who don't look like you can actually play roles other than harmless, loyal tagalong to white male. I know. It's a shock.

I haven't decided yet how I feel about the fact that Captain Pike apparently ends up in a wheelchair in every universe. Poor guy. I wonder what they'll do with that in the sequels. By which I mean, I bet he never gets mentioned again.

1I like both new!Uhura and green chick, don't get me wrong. They both have potential. I just hate the world that made them the only girls other than mothers in the movie. ...okay, I kind of hate the clingy!Uhura, but that doesn't stop me from wanting the OT3 fic anyway, in which fangirls have helpfully written the clingy out.

Also, Spock is still totally a mind-slut.

ANYWAY. It was a fun movie. If you have any interest in Star Trek, or SF action flicks, or both, it's probably worth seeing. It has a lot more Leonard Nimoy in it than I was expecting, and plenty of old!Trek outtakes, and a lot of fun non-ST-specific sci-fi summer movie stuff. They considerately made it officially AU, so I don't have to be angry about the way it ruined canon. And it has rekindled my love of the real Star Trek.

... by which I mean the fanfic and the early Bantam and Pocket Books novels. If you know them at all, you may have noticed up in the cut there that I kind of live in the world of the books (and the animated series). C'thia! Rihannsu! Klingon Chess! Captain April's cardigans! The clone of Captain Kirk who the female Romulan Commander won in a duel and dragged off to dress up as her frilly delicate boytoy! That one where they all turn into mermaids! That one where they all get genderswapped and girl!Kirk is totally about two seconds from sleeping with Captain Kang before Spock interrupts! The fact that T'hy'la totally means 'soulbond', no, Jim, I don't care how many footnotes you write denying it.

You know what I'm talkin' about.

Anyway, now I'm working on putting together a packet of e-books that people who like the new movie should read. You know, 'Star Trek the Gay High School AU: the Original Version'.
Preliminary list (short version):
1. Best Destiny (I would have *hated* young!Kirk in the movie if I hadn't already gotten Best Destiny to sell me on it. And I'm tinhatting that the cliff scene was totally a reference.)
2. The Kobayashi Maru (For Kirk's real Kobayashi Maru. And Chekov's. And Sulu's. And Scotty's.)
3. Spock's World (Spock, Sarek & Amanda backstory, also why you can't ever destroy Vulcan, OMG.)
4. Crossover (In which Old!Spock gets to be Jesus instead of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Scotty and McCoy rock, and much love and nostalgia is had for Constitution-class ships.)
5. Shadows on the Sun (McCoy in Starfleet Academy, young!McCoy having incredibly strong UST with a hot assassin)
6. Dreadnaught! and Battlestations! (for 'bunch of ensigns straight out of the Academy save Earth', about equally ridiculous and Mary-sueish as the movie, but at least this Starfleet makes a *little* bit of sense.)

What else am I missing? Emphasis on backstory, old-school crack, and tie-ins with the movie. (I'm tempted to put in "Enterprise:The First Adventure" or "Strangers from the Sky". And somebody needs to tell me if I have to finally read "Uhura's Song".)

Am tempted to make a Dreamwidth community [community profile] starry_sea, specifically for the sort of Star Trek fans who know what "Starry Sea" is a quotation from. To which I could upload e-books and host discussions about things like the Ruling Queen and T'hy'la and Spockanalia and David Gerrold and stuff.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13


Should I do it?

View Answers

Yes!
7 (53.8%)

no.
0 (0.0%)

I have no idea what you're talking about. But it sounds fascinating.
4 (30.8%)

Spockanalia had ticky boxes.
2 (15.4%)

(Wow, there's like twelve new DW communites with "Star Trek" in their interests since Thursday.)

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