Well Don and I have just gotten back from the new Star Trek movie, and I wanted to throw out some of my thoughts on it. Don't worry, no spoilers.
First off, I am a huge Star Trek fan. My first professional fiction sale was for a Star Trek anthology titled "Strange New Worlds 10." So I was interested in this latest installment of the Trek universe.
I liked the movie. And when I first heard about it, I wasn't sure I would.
Prequels are tricky things to pull off. If you are writing a prequel, you are bound by what has happened already. For example, if Mr. Smith exists after the prequel, you can't very well kill him off during the prequel.
Fans of Star Trek can be a challenge to please. There have been five series, an animated series, and a number of movies. Some fans have taken almost an ownership attitude with the series, feeling that they and only they should dictate what should and should not happen with the franchise.
I tried to go into the movie with an open mind. I loved the original series. I wasn't sure how I'd react to other actors playing Kirk, Spock, Scotty and the rest. Would there be anything familiar, or Trek-like in it? Or would it feel like someone just slapped "Star Trek" on a movie that bore no resemblance to that universe?
I was impressed. They managed to pull it off.
There are echoes of the original series throughout the movie. The actors playing the characters have done their homework. Some do better than others (the actor playing McCoy just nailed the character) but overall I didn't watch this thinking, "That isn't so-and-so!"
And they do find a way to get around the predictability factor prequels labor under. I won't tell you how, because it's a spoiler. Let's just say it's Trek-like.
I can see future movies with this crew happening and being done well. And I would love to see this one again. A fellow writer got to see it in an IMAX theater, and I admit I'm terribly jealous.
If you like the concept of Trek and are willing to see a somewhat different version of how our beloved characters turned out, you will enjoy this movie. If true Trek only means Shatner, Nimoy, etc., you will have to let go of that if you want to see this movie. And if you don't, you'll be missing out on a good flick. Your choice. Your loss.