Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek

Star Trek on a sunny Monday evening in Andover.

What an excellent film this is. The key to understanding it is to recognise that we're back in the aftermath of the 2000 US Presidential election. The space-cadet hard-drinking, womanising, brattish James T. Kirk is the (ex-) hard-drinking, womanising, brattish Dubya; the cerebral, conceited, robotic Spock is Al Gore.

In the starfleet status game, Gore seems ahead on all counts, but the sheer animal spirit and bravado of James T. Kirk wings it.

Kirk/Dubya is haunted by the memory of his authority-figure, do-it-by-the-book father.

The Romulan enemy figure, Nero, is some composite of Saddam Hussein and bin Laden, seeking revenge for harm done to his people. Of course, most of us would get a little upset if our planet got to be destroyed through Federation negligence. What do they usually call it? Collateral damage?

A spaceship ramming a large structure completes the picture (albeit piloted by a good guy).

Star Trek is a reprise of Starship Troopers, another wonderful coming-of-age buddy movie with aliens and irony.

There have been a lot of science blog comments on the science in this science-fiction movie. C'mon guys, stop being so Vulcan about it! It's not about the science.

They play fast-and-loose with unimportant stuff, but they get the big questions right: the traversal through a Kerr black hole delivers the Romulan Nero (and a future Spock) back in time to another universe, not their own (NB Sunday Times critic); the collapse of the Romulan ship into a self-induced singularity would indeed create gravitational gradients which might affect the Enterprise's warp engines - assuming it wasn't torn apart by tidal forces, of course.

So, a lot for fan-boy chew-over!

Bottom line: good story - holds your attention. Go see it.