Cracked has a pretty great post (because there are two people in the world, those that like Star Wars and those that like Star Trek, and I’m the former) about why Star Wars is better that Star Trek.
What I didn’t realize until I read it, and I have to kinda apologize for this, is that J.J. Abrams did essentially make the Star Trek movies into Star Wars. That’ probably why I was alright with them and so confused by the plethora of hatred that was directed toward them.
Before I dive into this, they definitely have their problems. The first one was ridiculously forgettable (I know Vulcan gets blown the fuck up and there’s the whole time thing,
but that’s all I got) and Khan’s “surprise” visit annoyed me as much as everyone else, but they were fun. I like the whole time displacement that has given them a reason to reinvent things. I like the people they have playing everyone, and for that brief moment where the Klingons showed up (and they were fucking AWESOME!) I was in hog heaven.
But that is not Star Trek and in a lot of ways, that really is wrong. Star Wars is better, but that doesn’t mean Star Trek was bad.
Okay, yeah, a lot of it was.
But some of it wasn’t. Captain Picard is one of the best characters ever, and really a lot from TNG is awesome. I am also one of the few that loved Voyager, partly because that was something my mom and I watched together.
Star Trek is, in the end, a cerebral show. It comments on social issues, human issues, and isn’t about the action. Picard and Kirk differ, Picard was always more of a diplomat than a fighter, but both respect and fight for cultures across the galaxy, fight for their crew, and take care of the galaxy in their own ways.
As a general rule, they do not blow it up.
Star Wars offers epic moments. It offers adrenaline and fantasy and awesomeness. Lightsabers! It offers lightsabers!
TNG, and Star Trek, made you think, offered you incredibly emotional moments. I remember watching Star Trek: Generations. In the beginning Picard discovers his nephew died in a fire. A central theme to that movie is about how Picard gave up a family, of having a child, to become the person he is. It’s moving. Then I went back and saw the episode where you first meet Rene.
Tying those two things together is heartbreaking.
Then there’s Picard’s flute. God! If you’re not touched by that, you’re dead inside!
That’s what Star Trek does. So, I apologize for not realizing what was lost in the Abrams movies. In that type of retrospect, I’ve come to hope the next one is better. I’d love to see some kinglons play a big role, as well as some of the more interesting writing Star Trek is known for.
And hopefully Star Wars: Episode VII will benefit from those two movies being action packed disaster porn fiestas.
If that’s what it took, I totally take back my apology.
Sorry, like I said, there are two types and I know which I am.