Star Trek (film)
Star Trek is a 2009 American parody film directed by J.J. Abrams. It is the eleventh film in the Star Trek franchise, and is also a reboot/alternate timeline that features the characters of the original Star Trek television series portrayed by a "hip, young" new cast, as the first in J.J.'s Nu-Trek series. It received generally positive reviews from critics, breaking the curse of odd-numbered Trek films getting bad reviews.
In 2233, the USS Kelvin stumbles upon a black hole near a distant sun. Emerging from it is the Narada, a Romulan mining vessel captained by
Emperor Prod Captain Nero. Nero kills the Kelvin's captain and forces the Kelvin crew to abandon ship, with many crew members lost. While the survivors flee the devastating battle, a young boy is born amongst them: James T. Kirk, son of Kelvin first officer George Kirk, who sacrifices himself and the ship to buy time for his crew's escape. This incident ultimately causes a split away from the campy timeline of Star Trek: The Original Series, into a new timeline with more CGI explosions and lensflares.
In this new timeline, James T. Kirk grows into a douchey, rebellious young adult until he is recruited by Capt. Christopher Pike to join Starfleet. As Kirk makes smug waves at Starfleet Academy, the Narada and Nero reemerge after years in hiding. The United Federation of Planets scrambles its fleet to confront the warship, deploying the flagship Enterprise for the first time. Most of the fleet is decimated, with only the Enterprise surviving due to
plot armor them being late to the battle. When the Enterprise engages the Narada, Captain Pike is taken hostage. When they learn the Narada is from the distant future and begin to piece together the events that lead to that future, it falls on the shoulders of Kirk and his emotionless rival Spock to overcome their bickering, and on the ship's hastily put-together crew of young TOS characters cadets to somehow save the day. Kirk ends up meeting Old Spock from the alternate timeline, and together they defeat Nero and save the day.
Cast and characters
Casting was announced as follows:
- Leonard Nimoy as Old "Fringe-wasn't-enough-exposure" Spock: A decrepit old Vulcan who has apparently forgotten everything he ever learned in The Original Series and mind-humps Chris Pine with reverb and repeater effects borrowed from his great grandson's guitar equipment and some peyote probably obtained through Danny Trejo. Sadly reports he never got to beat on Chris Pine. Further noteworthy were his efforts to block William Shatner from appearing and stealing what's left of his career, until voiceover work on Transformers: Dark of the Moon could begin. Originally cast as a science officer in the original version, he is now suffering from Space-Alzheimers and doesn't think there might be a problem with a planet being sucked into a black hole visible to the naked eye, without running for his life and with no ill effects on the surrounding area of space.
PinePyne as James "The Douche" Kirk: Reimagined as a juvenile delinquent who's every antisocial antic is rewarded by those around him. "Just like real life," according to writer Alex Kurtzman, drawing comparisons to JFK, George W. Bush, and William Shatner. "Lists of offenses committed by Cadet Kirk are a source of jokes at West Point and Annapolis," Kurtzman elaborated. This James T. Kirk is apparently completely unable to defend himself in any situation or capacity; even after three years at a quasi-military academy. His promotion to Captain of the Enterprise was completely expected, not having had to earn it AND skipping over six paygrades past his peers who have toiled their way through for promotion must surely have awarded him the due respect of his classmates and crew.
- Zachary "Bean" Quinto as Young "Heroes-wasn't-enough-exposure" Spock: An inept young Vulcan who never watched The Original Series and beats the tar out of Chris Pine. Leonard Nimoy disallowed him the use of the reverb effects. This character is also apparently, though Vulcan by upbringing, not affected the Vulcan need to get funky once every seven years, going as far as to jeopardize his career by having an affair with a cadet under his command. He is further noted for putting Winona Ryder out of her misery.
- Eric "Banana" Bana as The-only-interesting-character-with-pointed-ears-in-the-movie-Nero: Bana relished the role of Nero and gave his all with complete apathy in the characters emoting and evidentally took cues from Christian Bale's Batman for when he was really put out. He got to beat on Chris Pine too. Bana apparently won the role after Russell Crowe announced he "...wouldn't be caught dead after readin' that!" then gathered his self respect, punched out a reporter, and remade yet another Robin Hood movie (good move, Russ...).
- Zoe Saldana as Nyota "A-Whore-A" Uhura: This version of Uhura is only loosely based on Nichelle Nichols portrayal of the dignity of the character, making clear innuendos about oral sex to Quinto's Young Spock to secure a position aboard the Starship Enterprise; Valley-Girl vocal intonations and all. Even she got to beat the crap out of Chris Pine (...before she took her clothes off, no less — you GO girlfriend!). She's been widely praised as approaching the role with the grace of a stripper.
- John "Chocobo" Cho as Hikaru "I-got-the-job-because-J.J. Abrams-shot-milk-out-of-his-nose-watching-Harold & Kumar" Sulu: Cast as the Asian stereotype helmsman. During a fight scene obviously meant to downplay George Takei's coming out, flips out an oversized Swiss Army Knife, securing further Takei/Sulu-centric phallic extension jokes. He was even given some lines.
- Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Just-killing-time-til-Mission Impossible IV"-Scott, aka "Scotty": For no good reason made jokes in his introduction as a character referenced by innuendo James Doohan and his weight gain. Unknown to audiences was Pegg's overjoyment of his role that he completely missed the fact that he was only given token face time, playing a character who did nothing to advance the plot (no seriously — watch it again, Nimoy does all the work). It was reported that the water pipe scene in the Engineering section wasn't scripted, and Abrams continued to roll camera as Pegg nearly drowned. He wanted to beat up Chris Pine, but it would have led to his scenes being deleted.
- Jason Matthew as Unnamed Enterprise Security Officer, a.k.a. "Cup Cake": Yet another character who can apparently easily kick Chris Pine's ass.
- Chris Hemsworth as George "I-got-ten-minutes-in-the-opening-then-it's-off-to-film-Thor" Kirk: The patriarch of the Kirk clan who got only a little screen time, but manages to prove that the Kirk family is good at getting the snot beaten out of them. I mean *really* — Scotty's alien midget sidekick showed more backbone...
WayneGreenwood as Admiral Chris "I-don't-see-any-issue-placing-cadets-in-command-of-my-ship-in-a-warzone" Pike: A largely unknown Canadian actor filling the shoes of the late Jeffery Hunter. The wheelchair Greenwood occupied at the end of the film was actually needed as the oversized cockroach he was forced to swallow was in the fact, the real thing in an attempt by Eric Bana to ensure he wasn't upstaged. Chris Pine wanted to beat him up.
Star Trek in its various shows, spin-offs, tie-ins, eat-outs and gross merchandising expense has been around since 1966. Who would have thought that a tinpot space saga would have lasted so long but it did. So there was a slight break between 1969 and the first film with the old cast released in 1979 but after that, the films rolled on for the next decade or so until it became obvious that the Star Trek cast were now geriatrics in Space. The Starship Enterprise was like the Golden Girls as no amount of SFX, make-up, corsets and padding could disguise the fact that William Shatner was eating a fridge full of food in a week. It was time to put everyone to pasture.
In 2007, Paramount/CBS/Viacom decided that the horse had not been beaten enough, and decided to ask J.J. Abrams, well known ventriloquist dummy of Steven Spielberg, to reboot the Star Trek universe. Not a single great writer/director team was available at the time, so the competent leftovers had to do. The studio executives had already cornered J.J. in the schoolyard, wedgied him, and taken his lunch money. At first J.J. hesitated, but changed his mind shortly after his pupils reformed as dollar signs magnified by his enormous nerd glasses. He saw an opportunity to earn money to buy the custard in the Paramount Cafeteria, and had nowhere left to go with Lost anyway. He signed on writer Roberto Orci, a Second Grade Dramatic Writing Arts graduate, and a waiter named Alex Kurtzman to reboot the franchise. No one is quite sure who Damon Lindelhof is or what he does, but rumors persist that he was found living behind a couch eating slow mice and licking condensation from the windows.
The Starship Enterprise itself was redesigned for the film to resemble a 1960s automobile, complete with fins on the nacelles and a Buick hood ornament on the saucer. Notable on-board amenities include an Apple I-Store on the bridge, a Budweiser Brewery in the engineering section, and giant metal tanks in the communications centre... makes perfect sense.
In 2009 the Hollywood production of Star Trek was released to cinemas... assumedly. The film featured so many on-camera light flashes that audiences around the globe blanked out and urinated themselves on any attempt to actually concentrate on the film. J.J. Abrams has stated vehemently that this is a "GOOD, GREAT" technique that shows "SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENING ON SCREEN" while nothing really very interesting happens on the actual screen. The film was generally well received except by people who brought sunglasses to the theater to see past the lens flares to hide the special effects flaws (Vagina-monster on Hoth, people...). Unfortunately, there was no such filter available for the bad plot and dialogue. Others who are generally mesmerized by bright and shiny objects, fast pacing, and frantic dialogue reportedly enjoyed the film; George Lucas, director of slow-paced franchise prequels, declined to comment.
In 2011, Robert Orci emerged from the Paramount Cafeteria with custard-smeared paper and announced the screenplay for
Star Trek II Star Trek Into Darkness was ready. It began shooting in January 2012, aiming for a 2013 release. Orci stated he wasn't worried because "if the Mayans are right, then no one will see how awful this is"; he then savagely beat Chris Pine. Another sequel was released in 2016, Star Trek Beyond.