Today I thought I might as well scare my readers of by revealing my nerdieness. I AM A TREKKIE FAN!! And now I’m going to discuss my love for sci-fi.
I blame my mother. I have always been aware of Star Trek. I’ve been watching it for as long as I can remember. I have watched every single series of it except the original. Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise. So you can see I have a deep love for Star Trek. Also Star Wars, my mother loved Star Wars. Star Wars and Star Trek shaped my childhood. So it was natural when Stargate SG-1 started that I started watching it. (Yes I do notice all the ‘stars’ in my series titles). Other series which I grew up on was the original Battlestar Galactica, SeaQuest, Earth Star Voyager, Deep Water Black, Space Island One and some other series which I’m sure you have never heard of and I actually don’t know the names of. (I’ll give run downs of mentioned series another time)
I love Star Trek; I love the idea of exploring the galaxy, that even with all their technological advances they are not infallible. Spaceships are just awesome. I seem to remember that Next Generation had civilians living on the Enterprise, I don’t recall them explaining why or fully using it to their advantage but having civilians interacting with your space soldiers brings an interesting dynamic to the show. I think this idea of civilians and soldiers was further explored in Star Trek Deep Space 9 and Stargate Atlantis. I like the kind of series where each week they are exploring something new, so continually new stories are been presented and yet an overall main storyline that spread over a season. Stargate follows this same idea, weekly individual adventures but one overall foe or event that builds up until the climax at the end of the season.
What I love about sci-fi is that, more than any other genre, anything goes. You have complete and utter freedom. The only boundaries within this genre are the ones we as a society create for ourselves. Although sci-fi books and comics have a wider range and more freedom than television does. In television you are hindered by your budget, especially if it’s a live action series, animation you have more freedom. I love sci-fi comic books although I’m very picky about what I read so I don’t have many space comics, Crossgen’s Sigil and Negation were an example of really good sci-fi. The French have a very interesting approach to comics and to sci-fi; it’s very different to what mainstream comic books are like. (When I say mainstream I mean American publishers because their comics dominate the market) I don’t have any examples at the moment, but I’ll write a follow up later.
Some of the thing’s I love about Star Trek:
The Enterprise – damn that ship is sexy.
Beaming technology – so reliable and yet, when you really need it, it doesn’t work.
The Engine room – so powerful and at any moment could explode and kill them all!
The food synthesiser – it makes whatever you want! Such a cool idea.
The Aliens – they’re either grouchy and ugly, or they’re smoking hot and evil J
Space Battles – nuff said.
Data – human android from Next Generation.
Communicators – little badges with the Federation Symbol they tap to talk to each other – such an awesome idea.
Now that is what I remember from years of Star Trek in general. This is what I loved from the last series of Star Trek called Enterprise. The series ran from 2001 to early 2005. The storyline predates the original Star Trek series of the 70’s. It is the first Earth Ship to travel the cosmos.
Everything isn’t as clean.
Hot Vulcan first officer.
The Captain has a pet beagle called Porthos, who likes cheese.
They could only do warp 4! (If I remember correctly the other series could manage warp 10 easy)
They don’t have force fields yet and beaming technology is kinda dodgy to use (plus the crew doesn’t trust it).
The Andorians – aggressive, neurotic blue guys with antenna. Enemies of the Vulcan. General Shran is my favourite character.
Dr Flox – First alien doctor in Star Trek, one of the happiest characters ever. Also his species believes in multiple marriages!
The Vulcans are dicks – oh wait they always have been! Ha ha my mistake.
The Klingons – hairier and uglier than the originals, totally ruthless.
Chief Engineer gets pregnant in the second episode. And it’s a guy! BWAHAHAHAHAH
Since this is a Star Trek post I’ll leave Stargate for another time.
So I’m sure you can guess I was incredibly hyped for the Star Trek movie. Considering most of my sci-fi for the last little while has been TV series and anime, I really need a sci-fi movie of epic proportions. In fact the last sci-fi movie I watched at a cinema was, I think, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith in 2005!? (Serenity doesn’t count because it had a very small release in America and no release anywhere else) MY GOODNESS I HAVE BEEN COLD TURKEY FOR THAT LONG!!!!!!!!!! *takes moment to hyperventilate* YOU SEE THIS IS WHY I WAS SO EXCITED FOR STAR TREK.
Star Trek 10, the rumoured cursed number. No one would touch it. Till J.J. Abrams. Now, he did Mission Impossible 3 (which I really enjoyed and I’m not a Tom Cruise fan), Cloverfield (which I got motion sickness in and left after 30 mins – and I don’t get motion sickness!). So we won’t hold those movies against him, we will look at his TV series. J.J. Abrams the man that brought us Alias, Lost and Fringe, wonderfully weird and exciting and original shows.
Firstly, we get hardcore CGI – those space battles look frikken real! There is some stunning sound effects in the movie, just wonderfully weird sounding beeping and moaning and explosions. There are some very powerful scenes where they mute all sounds and just have the sound track playing while explosions are happening all around. This Star Trek is ‘bright’. When I say ‘bright’ I mean the sets, the colour, the lighting is ‘bright’ colourful – cheerful. The colour scheme matches the energy of the movie. This movie is exciting, fresh, they throw you into the action, into this futuristic world and you feel comfortable in it. Now as a Trekkie fan I can adapt very easily to different forms of sci-fi lingo, but for the average person too much fancy sci-fi tech lingo is going to lose the viewer. Not so with this movie! There is also a lot of great comedy in this movie. To my mind the comedy in Star Trek is like the first Pirates of the Caribbean – its natural, the actors don’t feel like they’re trying to be funny, more like they’re being dead serious when they say these stunning one liners.
Star Trek’s beginning is my favourite opening scene in a movie. I have three: Star Trek, Transformers and Underworld. All three have the most awesome beginnings. With Transformers it’s the attack on the army base in Iraq, the helicopter transforming and then blowing up the base, visually exciting, and terrifying. With Underworld its Kate Beckinsale sitting on the ledge of a window of a rundown church, lightening in the background, the colour is practically monotone until you see her bright blue eyes, and then she jumps from the window ledge! And lands on the pavement waaaaaaay below! So cool. And Star Trek’s beginning starts with a Federation ship being attacked by an unknown enemy with advanced weaponry, and in all the chaos and destruction, the newly appointed Captain Kirk makes sure his wife and their son, whom she gives birth to while the crew are escaping the ship, survive, by kamakazieng his ship into their enemy. WOW what a beginning, the first time my sister and I watched it at the cinema, we bawled our eyes out! Seriously we did not expect to cry ourselves silly in the first 10 minutes of the movie! We still cry when we watch it – although not as hard.
So, have I now thoroughly scared you off? You must understand one thing, when I was little, sci-fi and fantasy movies and books were not as widely published and produced as they are now. So I grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars (and later Stargate) because they were the best and only things available for those who wanted escapism. Ok so there are a lot of other stunning mind-blowing sci-fi movies but I can’t write about all of them. And escape I did. I spent my entire childhood in space travelling the stars, exploring new galaxies. It was awesome.
and here is the epic trailer: