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Live Long and Prosper

Here’s something that has lived long and prospered–Star Trek. The new movie is proof that the myth of Star Trek still has the power to capture imaginations.

I’ve been a Star Trek fan since the days of the original series. I was a kid then and fascinated with the logic of Spock and the dedication of the whole Enterprise crew. I learned a lot about honor, courage and loyalty by watching Captain Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, McCoy, Scottie and the rest.

The spirit of that original show has carried through TV series, movies and books for forty years. Part of the reason Star Trek survives is the cleverness of the creators and their heirs in adapting the franchise to changing technology and culture without changing the heart of the original series. We see a brilliant example of adaptation in this movie.

**SPOILER ALERT** Stop reading here if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know too much about the plot!

One of the repeated themes in Star Trek, right from the beginning is the concept of an alternate universe or alternate time line. The plot of this movie turns on this concept. Fans of the series or of sci-fi in general might expect the resolution of the conflict in this plot to take us back to the “correct” time line. Instead, the movie ends in this alternate universe in which Captain Kirk and his old crew take over the Enterprise from Captain Pike just as they did in the original series. However, their backstory is somewhat different–Spock’s mother dies, Kirk’s father dies. Even more interesting–Spock and Uhura have acknowledged the attraction they avoided in the original series. In this alternate universe, the crew can go on to experience many different adventures or they can repeat some of the original adventures. The writers are freed to change things because they are in a different time line. It’s a bit of a cheat, but I’ll take it because I look forward to more movies in this series.

I seldom shell out the bucks for two trips to the theater to see the same movie. Usually, I wait to rent or buy the DVD. I’m definitely buying this DVD, but I may just have to pay to see it one more time on the big screen.

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