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A Part of Me Rages

Category: Rants and Raves

Published May 8, 2009

Despite all my hemming and hawing, there was never any doubt that I was going to go see Star Trek as soon as humanly possible. I got tickets for the 7:00 PM early showing. And it’s time for a reaction. But I gotta get something off my chest before I can actually review the movie...

And for those who can’t guess, there’s gonna be plenty of spoilers ahead!

A part of me has a literal mind. I really, really like to have a story that makes perfect, logical sense. I guess I’m a lot like Spock: I have certain expectations about how the universe should work, and have to learn to deal when things don’t make sense to me.

The trivial details of things are my obsession. I spent more than a year helping to get Memory Alpha off the ground, writing dozens of articles, often from memory. I’ can often identify a specific episode of any series just by watching the first ten or twenty seconds of the show. And I have a movie poster that I won this evening by being the only person in the theater audience who could answer a trivia question. (For the record: what was Gene Roddenberry’s original name for the ship that became USS Enterprise? The answer: USS Yorktown.)

And so, as I sat back and enjoyed Star Trek on the big screen, a part of me raged about the inconsistencies, the inaccuracies, the divergences from established canon. Delta Vega was an uninhabited planet! Transporters can’t beam anyone further than 40,000 kilometers, much less across a solar system! Nobody’s supposed to even know what Romulans look like, let alone have any contact to study their language at the Academy!

Sure, there’s convenient explanation that the timeline was changed. But realistically, that’s an insufficient excuse. The destruction of one single starship, even if it took place 25 years before, could not radically change the look and feel of technology. Sure, people would change. Personalities based on decisions made differently would take someone in a vastly different direction. But the fundamental building blocks of the universe would be the same.

A starship based on technology decades in development wouldn’t look that different. Warp drive wouldn’t suddenly become thousands of times faster, allowing travel between Earth and Vulcan in 15 minutes or even a couple hours. (Fact: Travel from Earth to Vulcan, a distance of about 16 light years, in three hours would require a speed of Wf 36, or 46,750c.)

(At least nameless redshirts still die for no good reason!) ☺

But I’m not upset. It was still a great movie, and better yet, I think it was a worthy rebooting of the franchise. I just had to suspend some extra disbelief that other, more casual fans didn’t have to worry about. And I couldn’t be a true fan(atic) if I didn’t at least address my outrage, even if I could set it aside to enjoy the show.

I’ll post a wider review of the movie itself in a couple of days.

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