In New 'Star Trek,' A Successful Personality Splice

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Spock and Kirk i

Lend Me Your Ears: Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), version 2.0. Paramount hide caption

itoggle caption Paramount
Spock and Kirk

Lend Me Your Ears: Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), version 2.0.

Paramount

Star Trek

  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy/Adventure
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

Rated: PG-13

With: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana

(Recommended)

Enterprise Crew i

New Kids On The Block: From left to right, it's Chekov, Kirk, Scotty, Bones, Sulu and Uhura. Paramount hide caption

itoggle caption Paramount
Enterprise Crew

New Kids On The Block: From left to right, it's Chekov, Kirk, Scotty, Bones, Sulu and Uhura.

Paramount
Eric Bana as Nero i

When In Rome: Eric Bana as Nero, the tattooed Romulan villain in the newest installment of Star Trek. Paramount hide caption

itoggle caption Paramount
Eric Bana as Nero

When In Rome: Eric Bana as Nero, the tattooed Romulan villain in the newest installment of Star Trek.

Paramount

Here's a challenge: How do you implant an alien organism into a body that needs the implant — but might die if things don't go just right?

No, it's not the plot of an old Star Trek TV episode. It's the back story of the new Star Trek motion picture.

It's no secret that director J.J. Abrams was brought in to reformulate the venerable space-opera franchise, which was viewed as requiring a jolt of energy.

And he's been successful, partially because the new film has been positioned as Star Trek: The Young Years.

Back we go to the maiden voyage of the Starship Enterprise and to the conversation between a young, rebellious Jim Kirk and a Starfleet captain trying to get him to join up.

"Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes," Bruce Greenwood's Captain Pike tells Chris Pine's sneering, cynical Kirk. "He saved 800 lives — including your mothers, and yours. I dare you to do better."

The new Star Trek has come up with a serviceable "Earth must be saved" plot involving sci-fi staples like alternate realities and black holes. Then there's its villain — a tattooed Romulan evildoer named Captain Nero, who looks like the frontman for a nasty rock band from the north of England.

The plot is also the frame on which are hung the big-ticket special effects and action sequences all the Hollywood franchise movies simply have to have.

But the traditional Star Trek embraced a humanistic, utopian world view that didn't depend on elaborate special effects for its effectiveness. Given the philosophical differences between the Star Trek ethos created by Gene Roddenberry and what this movie had to include, its amazing that the new venture works out as well as it does. Live long and prosper indeed.

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