A Movie Entry – Star Trekkin’ Across the Universe

On the starship Enterprise under cap’n Kirk…

In which I discuss my views on the six movies with the original series cast only.  I may end up with my nerd card revoked for this one.  There is a saying about “Star Trek” movies – “Even-numbered Trek movies don’t suck.”  This implies two things – odd-numbered Trek movies do suck, and the best that can be said about the others is that they don’t suck.  This is not a very high bar for a set of movies.

I liked the original television series, for all the low-budget movie props and badly choreographed fight scenes.  I’m not entirely sure what the creator of the series intended, but I always thought the idea of Star Trek was to explore ideas, some controversial, within the relatively safe shell of science-fiction (it’s not pointed satire, it’s make-believe, see!).  Not all the episodes were very good.  Some had interesting premises but the execution was poor.  Of course, the series wasn’t exactly high-brow cinema either.  Captain James T. Kirk seduced women and often punched people.  Dr. McCoy was comically curmudgeonly at times.  Chekov was adorably foreign.  Sulu was capably foreign.  Scotty was contractually obligated to perform miracles.  Uhura answered the phone which was considered progressive for both women’s and civil rights.  And Spock watched it all, supposedly unemotional but definitely bemused/irritated, and made sarcastic comments on the illogical behavior of his shipmates.  For the time, the cast really was diverse.  I should also probably note that I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation before I got a chance to see the original series, so that may be affecting my opinion.

So, where does this leave the movies?  Well, I’m going to say it – I don’t think all the odd-numbered movies sucked.  I know, I know, that’s totally against conventional wisdom.  I will at least explain why, so perhaps my nerd card will not be revoked.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – This is actually the most Trekkie of the original movies to me.  There’s a strange alien life form headed to Earth, and the crew is sent to investigate.  It’s pretty cerebral (and I am told by a co-worker who saw it in the theater after smoking some…cigarettes, shall we say, that it was also pretty darn trippy).  The alien captures one of the crew members (one of the hottest bald women I’ve ever seen in cinema) to use as its ambassador.  The alien calls itself “Vger” and is looking for its creator, which it believes is on Earth.  There is of course drama as the crew has no idea who the creator is, and Vger becomes more and more agitated.  And also, the brash new captain (who of course clashes with Kirk) who was not in the original series is in love with the woman who became the ambassador.  When they find out that “Vger” is actually one of the Voyager spacecraft (both of which despite being launched in 1977 are still working and well on their way out of our solar system) that was found by a race of intelligent machine-aliens and upgraded.  Once Vger had attained sentience, it decided to return home to find its creator.  Vger wasn’t exactly thrilled to find out its creator was in fact an advanced species of primate, but ended up merging with the crewman who was in love with the bald woman to create a brand new life form.  It also has a 44% freshness rating, and a rating of 6.3 out of 10 stars.  I think people thought there just wasn’t enough action.

And it doesn’t suck because – This sounds to me like a darn good Trek episode.  There’s a love drama (not with Kirk, although he was clearly checking out the bald woman), Kirk trying to prove he’s still Kirk to an upstart youngster, and a mystery to solve that could have dire consequences.  Who is Vger?  What is Vger?  Why does it want to get to Earth so badly?  I thought the reveal that Vger was one of Earth’s own spacecraft was a neat twist.  It begs the question of what is God, and what is a lifeform?  What are the consequences of sending bottles out into the cosmic ocean?

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – this is a movie made for Trek fans.  The main baddie comes from an actual episode of the original series and the end of the movie has no emotional impact unless the audience know Kirk and Spock.  Khan’s overacting was a great match for Kirk’s overacting (much scenery was chewed), and the end is legitimately emotional.  It has a 91% freshness rating and 7.7 out of 10 stars.

And it doesn’t suck because – I’m not going to say this sucks; not at all.  But I don’t think it’s the best of the original six movies either (which could also get my nerd card revoked).  On the surface, it’s really a pretty generic action plot:

–Brash Hero is now middle-aged is now removed from the action and teaching the next generation, but longs for his glory days.  Coincidence leads him to an Old Flame he left 20 years ago when he was young and stupid.  Old Flame has a child (in this case a son) about 20 years old.  Hero does not put two and two together.  Old Flame is working on a world-changing technology that in the wrong hands could be a terrible weapon.  Enter a Bad Guy from the Hero’s past to take the technology and also takes Old Flame and Child hostage.  In the course of this, Hero finds out Child is his child.  Bad Guy kills Old Flame and/or Child to hurt Hero (in this case, just the Child).  Hero swears revenge but is outmatched by the Bad Guy at every turn.  When all looks lost, the Hero’s unorthodox, out-of-the-box, brash thinking combined with the Bad Guy’s arrogance wins the day, although at further great cost in the form of a heroic sacrifice (in this case, the Hero’s Best Friend).–

To me, this is one of the least Trekkie of the movies precisely because the plot is so generic.  I know, there are only so many plots, but when a plot could as easily be set in the modern day as it could space, then I feel it’s barely science fiction.  Also, I’m not saying action is bad, either.  The first movie would have benefited from some more action.  But this movie is almost entirely action.  What makes this a Trek movie is, again, the emotional reaction from the audience pretty much relies on knowing who these people are.  And if you do, wow, is that ending a punch to the gut.  Otherwise, it’s a medium-budget, serviceable action flick set in space.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock – This is actually a direct sequel to “II” and picks up right where “II” left off, with a despondent crew and a dead Mr. Spock.  Spock’s father Sarek tells Kirk that Spock’s thoughts survived inside of Dr. McCoy’s mind and that they need to try to find his body.  Unfortunately there’s a problem in that Kirk loses command of the Enterprise and is told to go back to his desk job.  Kirk being Kirk, he’s not about to let pesky little things like rules or regulations keep him from saving an old friend, even if it means effectively stealing the new Enterprise.  Having buried the body on the planet that was being terraformed by the world-changing technology in the last movie, they head there while McCoy is having serious multiple-personality issues (occasionally to comedic effect).  It turns out a technology that can bring a dead planet to life can also bring a dead Vulcan to life, although it also turns out such technology is incredibly unstable and dangerous.  And of course, everyone’s favorite Trek baddies the Klingons get right in the middle to mess everything up.  In the end, Spock and McCoy are returned to their own bodies with perhaps just a bit more respect for each other, and Kirk destroys the brand-new Enterprise he just stole.  It got a 78% freshness rating (not bad at all for an odd-numbered Trek) and 6.5 out of 10 stars.

And why it doesn’t suck – The premise is interesting, if perhaps a little comic book-ish (I am 95% certain “dead dude stores brain in someone else while waiting for resurrection” describes what’s going on with Charles Xavier right now).  The actor playing McCoy does a good job portraying a man literally of two minds.  Kirk is Kirk, as I said, and damn rules and regulations because friendship is magic!  I mean, important.  A lot of this does rely on those relationships between the crew members the audience is expected to be familiar with.  The movie also shows that creating life is not an easy task, and that humanity has a long way to go to be on par with God.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – Really, II-IV are one big trilogy.  So having fetched Spock and gotten him and McCoy in their right minds again (well, McCoy more than Spock since Spock basically had to grow up all over again), the crew are heading back to Earth presumably to face some serious charges of insubordination and theft.  Their ship back is a stolen Klingon ship, because nothing says, “Please don’t charge me with mutiny,” while returning in your sworn enemy’s spaceship.  Fortunately for them, an alien spaceship is in the process of destroying the Earth and they are the only ones who can save it.  Except they can’t.  Spock informs them the aliens are trying to talk to humpback whales, which are extinct.  But Kirk is Kirk and won’t let pesky things like “the laws of physics” and “ripple effects in the space-time continuum” stop him from saving Earth.  They go back in time to late 1980s San Francisco to find some whales and steal them (and just happen to have a ship with a cloaking device).  This allows them to take full advantage of the “fish out of water” premise (ba da dum!), especially since Spock is still kind of loopy.  Also, I guess when they get the two whales back to the future, the whales tell the alien probe everything’s fine and then later the poor whales find out everything’s wrong.  Anyway, it has an 85% freshness rating and 7.2 out of 10 stars.

And why it doesn’t suck – it doesn’t.  It’s part of the reason conventional wisdom says even-numbered Trek films don’t suck.  It’s a wholly different tone than the previous three movies, or even the two in this trilogy.  It’s much more comedic and has a nice, if unsubtle environmental message.  I like this one and think it’s a good Trek movie.  There isn’t as much generic action flick action plot and it plays around with the concepts of unforeseen consequences and time travel.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – Spock’s fully Vulcan half-brother is the hippie-dippie leader of a peace cult that steals a spaceship to go find God at the center of the galaxy.  Sybok also has the ability to use the Penance Stare, I mean, help people face their “inner pain” which has the net effect of brain-washing them.  Also, it turns out God is just a trapped alien and Sybok sacrifices himself to allow the crew to escape by using his Penance Stare, I mean, making the alien face its inner pain.  It has a 21% freshness rating and 5.2 out of 10 stars.

And why it doesn’t suck – yeah, it sucks.  It totally sucks.  I only said I didn’t think all odd-numbered Trek movies sucked.  This one really does.  The premise might have been interesting considering the other movies do have underlying questions about the nature of God, but the execution was poor and the “twist” was something everyone saw a mile away.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – Kirk and McCoy are about to retire from Starfleet once and for all.  The Federation is busy negotiating peace with the Klingons when a high-ranking Klingon official is assassinated and Kirk and McCoy are tried, convicted, and sentenced to a prison planet for the crime.  Spock and Co. head out to find the real culprits, exonerate Kirk and McCoy, and salvage peace negotiations.  Kirk and McCoy try not to get killed on the prison planet while working on their own investigation.  Eventually the crew all meet up again and have discovered the assassination was a Klingon plot to frame Kirk and McCoy and start a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.  It has a freshness rating of 83% and 7.1 out of 10 stars.

And why it doesn’t suck – it’s pretty good, actually.  There are definitely some comedic elements to it (“Captain, not every species keeps its genitals in the same place”), some lively action sequences with a scenery-chewing bad guy, some investigation and conspiracy theories, and in the end a crew that has done great things but is still trying to define their place in the stars.  They fly into space to decommission the Enterprise using a line from Peter Pan.  It’s a very Trek send-off, to my mind.  The way it ends indicates the journey isn’t really over yet.

How would I rate them?  I’d put VI at the top and V way, way, way, way down at the bottom.  Every other movie is better than V by at least an order of magnitude.  But I don’t think the Motion Picture and III actually suck.  I think they’re pretty decent.

So, can I keep my nerd card?

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Fifteen-minute Movie: Star Trek

or, “This is an Alternate Universe and Anything Could Happen Damn it!”
or, “I am Not Spock

The final frontier:
[[A big hole in space complete with space lightning opens up near the USS Kelvin]]

Captain – Space lightning?  Seriously?

Science Officer – Yep, space lightning.  But I’m acknowledging it’s impossible.

Lens Flare – Hi everyone!

[[A mysterious ship emerges from the hole and blows the holy living hell out of the Kelvin]]

Nero – What’s up?  I’m jamming all your transmissions and transporting.  Send your captain over or I finish blowing the holy living hell out of your ship.

Captain – That Romulan is totally going to kill me.

George Kirk – Wait, we know what a Romulan is?  I thought they were introduced a bit later in the original series.

Captain – If you’re actually going to compare this to anything that happened in the original series or the previous movies, you are going to be really disappointed.

Kirk – But their ship doesn’t look Romulan and since when do Romulans have tattoos?

Captain – Don’t think too much about this.

Kirk – Duly noted, sir.

Lens Flare – Me again!

Captain – Kirk, you’re in command.  Evacuate everyone while I buy us some time.

[[The captain goes over to the Romulan ship where they conveniently speak Federation-lish]]

Nero – Give me Ambassador Spock and his little ship.

Captain – I have no idea who that old guy is or what you’re talking about.  What century are you from anyway?

Lens Flare – Cool!  Time travel and alternative universes.  That’s bold!

Nero – It doesn’t matter to you, only the audience.  And I’m going to kill you now. [[does so]]  Okay, blow up that ship.

Lens Flare – I’m over here!

Nero – Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Lens Flare, are you going to be doing this the entire movie?

Lens Flare – Pretty much.

Nero – Why are you here?

Lens Flare – To build dramatic tension!

Nero – But that’s what the script is for, and the actors are for.  Are you saying that instead of trusting in a good script and good actors to produce dramatic tension, the film-makers are going to opt for a cheap special effect?

Lens Flare – Pretty much!

Nero – *facepalm*  Fine, fine, let’s get back to the blowing up of things.

Lens Flare – Can do!

[[in the meantime, Kirk has given the evacuation order, which includes his wife who is, in a wacky sitcom hijink turn of events, going into labor with their first child]]

Kirk – Okay, if I just set this thing on autopilot I may still be able to get out of here… [[the autopilot is broken]]  “F@#&!  Even in the future nothing works!”  Self-sacrifice it is.

Mrs. Kirk – What?!?  ARRRGGGHHH!!  [[Lens Flare helps give birth to little Kirk; the Kirks agree on a name before the Kelvin smashes into the Romulan ship]]

Iowa (Really?  Looks kind of desert-y to be Iowa; damn global warming):
Li’l Kirk – “Head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure…

Cop – Hold it!  Hold everything!  I know that the filmmakers have to show Kirk is a badass.  I get that.  But how does “Kirk is a badass” get to the point of absurdity in which I am chasing down a ten-year kid who is driving a nearly three-hundred year old car!  There is so much suspension of disbelief required here I can’t even believe the filmmakers are asking this of their audience!

Li’l Kirk – I’m also about to wreck it spectacularly and not get so much as a scratch. [[does so]]  See?

Cop – I-I have no response to this.

Vulcan:
Vulcan Child – Hey, li’l Spock.  I’ll bet being half-human makes it easy to get you angry and violent, so I’m going to provoke you.  [[this works and li’l Spock ends up beating the hell out of him]]  Note to self: it is not logical to provoke an emotional being to anger and violence.

Li’l Spock – Dad, they said mean things about you and Mom.

Sarek – Because I am Vulcan, I will say something cryptic and unhelpful.

Vulcan (A bit later):
Venerable Council – Spock, you are accepted to the Science Academy.  Also, I will say this in the most dick-ish way possible.

Spock – How is it logical to be a dick for no good reason?

Venerable Council – You know, because.

Spock – Yeah, I think I’m going to join Starfleet.

Shady Bar (on a Utopian Earth?  Sure, Why Not?):
James Tiberius Kirk – Hey, you’re hot.

Lens Flare – You really are hot!

Uhura – Thank you for summing up my character in this film so succinctly.  Let me round that out by telling you to go to hell, you drunk frat-boy.

Kirk – If I was a drunk frat-boy, I’d be in a brawl by now due to my macho posturing.

Random Cadet – Hey, leave her alone.

Kirk – Oh, right, here we go. [[“and the man in the back said everyone attack/and it turned into a ballroom blitz;” which is broken up by Captain Pike]]  I would’ve had him if I hadn’t been blinded by Lens Flare over there.

Lens Flare – It’s my job!

Pike – Kirk, you can be a better man than this.  Your father was awesome and you have good test scores.  Clearly this means you’re meant to be a great leader.

Kirk – Seriously?  You’re giving me the generic wise mentor speech that we’ve seen in so many movies?  You don’t even know me.

Pike – It’s what I got.

[[This is enough to cause Kirk to join Starfleet and he ends up shipping out with Uhura’s class; also Bones is there and probably drunk]]

Starfleet Academy (three years later):
Kirk – I am so ticked off I can’t beat the Kobayashi Maru!

Bones – It’s supposed to be impossible.  Just get over it.

Kirk – Hell no! I’m James T. Kirk and I am always going to be winner!  [[Kirk proceeds to be the smuggest dick imaginable as he cheats his way to victory in the test and wastes the time of all his friends and future fellow officers and Lens Flare]]

Starfleet Academy, Board Room:
Board Member – Kirk, Commander Spock says you cheated in his test.

Kirk – I am going to act genuinely shocked that anyone would have thought I cheated even though I acted like the smuggest dick imaginable when I beat the test.

Spock – So you concede you cheated?

Kirk – Nope. I won.  I always win.  I’m James T. Kirk goddamn it!  You watch; I’ll get the Board on my side and they’ll graduate me.

Board Member – That will have to wait.  We just received a distress signal from Vulcan and as we have at least six ships docked nearby and apparently almost no other staff, you cadets are going out.

Kirk – Hey, my name isn’t on the list.  Even Lens Flare is getting on board.

Bones – Don’t worry, I’ll sneak you aboard because…well, you know what, I have no idea why but I do it anyway.

[[After a brief error with the anachronistic parking brake, the Enterprise takes off]]

Enterprise:
Kirk – Hey, that kid with the funny accent said space lightning!  It’s a trap!  I have to warn Captain Pike!

Lens Flare – Wait for me!

[[Kirk manages to make his way to the bridge with Bones and Uhura trailing after him.]]

Kirk – It’s a trap!

Pike – Why are you even here?

Kirk – I have to warn you…

Pike – No, not you, Lens Flare.

Lens Flare – I’m building dramatic tension for you!

Spock – Security, escort this man off the bridge, and I mean Kirk.

Kirk – What, Lens Flare stays and I go?  Hell no, pointy ears!  I’m right like I always am!  This is the same thing that killed my dad.  That ship is waiting for us!

Uhura – I am only here to confirm his story?  Really?  Fine, yes, I intercepted a transmission two days ago that supports his crazy story.

Pike – Okay, let’s put up shields in case something bad is waiting for us, like a debris field of our former fleet and a ship that blows the holy living hell out of us.  [[yeah, that]]  At least the shields are up.

Sulu – Are you sure?  I thought was just Lens Flare again.

Chekov – What good are the shields even doing?  The debris is scraping our hull!  Also, there appears to be a giant drill thing drilling into Vulcan!

Nero – Hey, Enterprise, what up?  Send your captain on over, okay?  Laters!

Pike – Well, I’m going to die.  Spock, you’re the new captain.

Spock – I accept this assignment with all due dignity and lack of emotion.

Pike – And Kirk’s your XO.

Kirk – Awesome!  And I didn’t even graduate!

Spock – What the hell?!?!?  I mean, what, sir?  He’s reckless, he’s on suspension, he’s insubordinate, and this is highly illogical!

Pike – Just go with it.  Kirk, Sulu, Red Shirt, you parachute out of the shuttlecraft to the drill platform and destroy it.

Red Shirt – What can possibly go wrong?

Drill Platform:
[[An exciting sequence follows in which Kirk, Sulu, and Red Shirt are in fact color-coded and plummet towards Vulcan and the drill platform with Lens Flare in tow; Red Shirt gets sucked into the plasma beam and Sulu is forced to cut his parachute before it retracts; then Romulans emerge and the fight starts]]

Romulan 1 – Why am I fencing with you?

Sulu – Because it’s awesome and a shout-out to the original series!

Romulan 1 – Seriously, why am I fencing with you?  I have a gun!

Sulu – Oh.  Then I have no idea. [[Kirk and Sulu dispatch the Romulans.]]  Damn it, Red Shirt had all the explosives.

Kirk – Wait, what?  This was an extraordinarily dangerous task that could have killed all of us, albeit unlikely.  Still, if the explosives aren’t cumbersome, why didn’t we all have enough to blow this thing?

Sulu – I have no idea.

Kirk – Well, hell, let’s use these guns the Romulans dropped and blow it up old school tommy-gun style. [[they do so]]  I’m sure that won’t endanger us at all… [[the platform disintegrates and Sulu falls off leaving Kirk to dive after him because apparently Starfleet has never heard of a back-up parachute]]  I’ve got you!  [[his parachute promptly breaks]]  What the hell?  Our tech sucks!

Lens Flare – Don’t worry, I’ll save you!

[[Actually, Chekov saves them despite some technobabble about how it’s dangerous to beam them while they’re in motion]]

Kirk – Ouch.  Well, at least we saved Vulcan.

Nero – [[drops the itty bitty bomb]]  Yeah, about that… No you didn’t.

Spock – Damn it!  Evacuate everyone!  I’m going to down to save the Vulcan Council at least.  [[Only a few members get squished as they escape the cave]]

Chekov – Don’t move or I can’t lock on!

Mrs. Sarek – Um, are you sure I can’t move to slightly more stable ground?  I mean, I know you’ll lose the lock but hopefully you’ll have a few more seconds to re-lock on me instead of me standing here hoping you beam me before the ground falls out from underneath me.

Chekov – Sorry, you can’t move.

Mrs. Sarek – Damn it.  [[falls to her doom prior to Chekov saving everyone else although Vulcan is pretty much hosed]]

Enterprise:
Kirk – We need to rescue Pike!

Spock – We need to meet up with Starfleet and work out a better plan.

Lens Flare – I’m here!

Kirk – You’re a jerk!  We have to rescue Pike and I’ll start punching people until I get my way!

Spock – And this clearly proves you are ready for command.

Kirk – Is sarcasm logical?

Spock – It’s not illogical.  Also, Vulcan neck pinch.  [[Kirk takes a little nap]]  Get him off my ship.

Turbolift:
Uhura – I’m really sorry. [[kisses him]]

Lens Flare – Hey, you two are actually dating?

Spock – Yes.

Lens Flare – But you were her teacher, and no place of academia allows a teacher to date a student, and now you’re her commanding officer, and no military allows this kind of fraternization with the subordinate staff.  I mean, I know this is supposed to be an enlightened century and all, but this still seems wrong.

Uhura – You can just shut the hell up while I tenderly comfort my man!

Not Hoth:
Lens Flare – Wake up!

Kirk – What the hell?  Did Spock actually throw me off the ship?  That jerk!  Just because I was insubordinate, violent, and unhinged doesn’t mean he actually had cause to discipline me!  Argh, so unfair!  [[Kirk heads out and eventually runs from monsters in a sight gag that actually made more sense in Star Wars I and finally stumbles into a cave and is rescued]]  Lens Flare, move.  I can’t see that guy’s face.

Lens Flare – Sorry!

Kirk – Yeah, that doesn’t help.  Who the hell are you?

Mysterious Man – You are James T. Kirk.

Kirk – I know who I am.  I don’t know who you are and I don’t know how you know who I am.

Mysterious Man – I’m Spock.

Kirk – Okay, trapped in an ice cave with a crazy man and Lens Flare.  This is shaping up to be one hell of a day.

Old Spock – Let me try telepathy; don’t worry, it’ll only trigger a flashback. [[does so]]

Flashback (Old Spock narrating) – 129 years from now, Romulus’ sun will become unstable.  I’ll promise to save them by using “red matter” to create a black hole to absorb their sun which in retrospect really just exchanges one problem for another.  I am, er, was, or will be, anyway, I didn’t get there on time and the sun exploded.  Nero happened to be there and chased me down.  I used the bomb to stop the sun explosion and ended up accidentally creating a hole in space-time.  Nero’s ship got through first and destroyed the Kelvin, then waited 25 years to capture me.  Nero took the remaining red matter and destroyed Vulcan as revenge against me.

Not Hoth:
Kirk – Okay, let’s assume all that made sense.  Now I know that Nero’s ship is over one hundred years more advanced than anything we have and he’s got this super-bomb stuff.  What do we do now?

Old Spock – First, don’t tell young Spock about me.  Time paradox and stuff.  Second, you have to be best buddies with Spock.

Kirk – We hate each other, so I don’t see that happening.

Old Spock – Damn it, you have to be best buddies!  There isn’t time to build up an actual emotional attachment between you two.  Okay, third, you have to command the Enterprise.  Make young Spock emotional.

Kirk – This is not going to make him want to be my best buddy here.

Old Spock – Worry about that later.  Finally, we’ll go find the Federation outpost which happens to have exactly the person we need to get out of here.

Federation Outpost:
Old Spock – Montgomery Scott.

Lens Flare – Hey, Scotty!  We’ve missed you!

Scotty – I know, right?  So I’m totally going to steal every one of the few scenes I’m in, okay?

Old Spock/Kirk/Lens Flare – Sounds good.

Scotty – Right, now, let’s try some highly experimental technology to beam onto a ship in warp that will never be used again!

Enterprise:
Spock – How in the hell did you beam aboard my bridge?

Lens Flare – Magic!

Kirk – You’re a jerk.  A jerky jerk uptight emotionless jerk who saw his mother and whole planet die and is acting like nothing’s wrong.  Boo hoo my planet is gone and I’m not sad at all.

Spock – KILL! [[tries to strangle Kirk]]

Kirk – Note to self: it is not logical to provoke an emotional being to anger and violence.

Spock – Oh, no, I am too emotional to be captain.  I will resign my command and leave the bridge.  [[does so]]

Kirk – Well, this makes me captain and we’re going to save Earth!

Lens Flare – Hi again!  I know what’s going on, but you don’t, and this guy just provoked Spock to make him step down so he could take over.  Doesn’t that seem suspicious to anyone else?

Everyone else – Nope.

[[Nero’s ship puts down the drill into San Francisco Bay as the Enterprise hides in Titan’s atmosphere so they can sneak up on the ship to beam Spock and Kirk and Lens Flare over or sabotage Nero’s ship and stop the drill]]

Nero’s Ship:
Lens Flare – Oooo, creepy!

Kirk – I’m going to kill Nero and save Pike!

Spock – I’ll stop the drill and then somehow we’ll get back to the Enterprise!  Hey, a ship in a ship that seems to recognize my voice commands.  Obviously we need to have a chat when we get out of this.  [[Spock steals Old Spock’s ship and blasts his way out to destroy the drill]]

Kirk – Nero!  Surrender!

Nero – Wait, really?  You’ve been nothing but brash and stupidly reckless this entire movie and now you decide to follow protocol and demand my surrender?

Kirk – It shows I’m maturing as a leader. [[he is promptly disarmed from behind and some random Romulan starts to strangle him]]  Note to self: maturity is overrated.

Nero – Ha!  Now you will witness my revenge!!!!

Kirk – Your revenge is lame.

Lens Flare – It is!

Nero – No, it’s awesome.  See, I imploded Vulcan and I’ll implode Earth too!

Kirk – Lame!  You have a ship that is more than one hundred years more advanced than anything in this time period.  You also know the exact day Romulus’s sun is going to explode because you were there!  Why the hell didn’t you go back to Romulus?  Your engineers could have taken this ship, reverse-engineered it, and given the Romulans a technological advantage so great they could have just conquered the Federation and everyone else!  And they could have started to try to save their sun or evacuate the planet since they have over a century to plan!  Instead you waited 25 years for Old Spock and now you’ve got the most powerful explosive in the galaxy, you still haven’t thought of going home to save your planet?!?

Nero – *blink blink blink*  You thought of all that?  Just now while watching the movie?

Kirk – Yeah.  It’s kind of obvious.

Nero – Damn it!  I’m insane! [[notes Spock’s ship goes into orbit]]  Follow him and kill that guy!

Romulan 2 – But he had a good point, actually. [[Kirk kills him]]

Kirk – Okay, you and me, cinematic fight!  [[the fight is inconclusive but not in Kirk’s favor]]  Um, I’ll go rescue Pike now. [[this he manages to do as Spock rams his ship into Nero’s]]

Enterprise:
[[Against all odds, Scotty manages to beam out all three people to safety presumably using a refined version of the technique Chekov used earlier.]]

Kirk – Okay, we’ll offer Nero and his crew another chance to surrender.

Lens Flare – Um, no one thinks maybe we ought to get out of here considering his ship is about to become a giant black hole?

Spock – It’s important for him to mature as a leader.

Nero – Go to hell!

Kirk – Okay, well, even though you’re going to die anyway, I’m going to open fire on you!

Lens Flare – But-but the black hole!

[[Nero’s ship is imploded and destroyed]]

Sulu – Sir!  The ship has turned into a huge black hole and is sucking us in!  I don’t think we can escape!

Lens Flare – Yeah, that!

Kirk – Scotty, you are contractually obligated to save the ship against impossible odds!

Scotty – Eject the warp core!  The explosion will push us away from the black hole and not tear us apart!  Probably!

[[This works and the Enterprise and Lens Flare escape]]

Earth:
Board Member – Even though you cheated on the test, stowed away on board the Enterprise, got thrown off the ship for mutiny, manipulated the captain into resigning so you could be captain, and in general behaved like a spoiled child who always gets his way, we’re graduating you with honors, the rank of captain, and giving you the Enterprise to command.

Kirk – Like I said, I am always right and I always win.

Earth, A Bit Later:
[[Old Spock meets young Spock]]
Spock – You’re me.

Old Spock – Yes.  Obviously I can’t talk to you too much, but here’s what you need to know.  I manipulated Kirk and you two need to be best buddies.

Spock – That is beyond illogical.

Old Spock – Damn it, be best buddies!  Trust me, it works out fine, or at least it did in the original six movies.  Live long and prosper and all that.

Space, The Final Frontier:
Old Spock – These are the reboots of the Starship Enterprise.  Its continuing mission is to exploit cheap dramatic tricks, seek out new lens flares and new CGI action sequences, and to predictably go where so many movies have gone before.

–fade out–