As we are halfway through our return to the 25th Century we can pretty much settle into the rhythm of this show. It’s a bit of a clunky narrative but a lot of fun character work for new and returning players. Most discouraging but perhaps least surprising is for all the things Season 3 has done to get us those wonderful character moments, it can’t escape the Kurtzman of it all and has at its center a big dumb mystery around Jack Crusher.
Mercifully, Picard is not hiding the ball. A recurrent problem with a lot of serialized shows is setting up a lot of mysteries that are slowly dripped throughout the season and you have to hope the mystery at the end is worth it.
Star Trek has always wrestled with managing its legacy and the ability to do something new. Fans are always a prickly bunch judging a new series, movie, or a given episode as to whether or not it feels like Star Trek.
The day after the election, I received a message from a frenemy I’ve known since junior high. He has kept close tabs on me and my career, always presenting himself as “devil’s advocate” or “the rational voice of the other side of the argument.” Basically, he’s a book smart troll I didn’t block because of the insidious effects of nostalgia. His message was one line:
“What good is all that science fiction stuff, now that we’ve won?”
Thanks to CAPE (The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and AMP (Asian American Media Professionals), I got to attend a small screening of Star Trek Beyond at Paramount studios.
I won’t get into the story itself, but I must say to all my Trekkies: my solid ice cold anti-Trek reboot heart is starting to melt. I understand how this film had a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, making it a ripe tomato.
A little context before you jump into reading this: I’m a child of immigrants (access: child of immigrant experience) who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago: the not very diverse kind of suburb (access: white suburbia experience).
I’ve been a Trekkie since I was about seven years old when Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) first aired. Up until then, my father and I use to watch some old Star Trek episodes or the films… Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a favorite of mine. It was great to see George Takei up there, but I really loved seeing Uhura be the strong independent female especially by the time the films came out.
I’m an unabashed Trekkie. I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation, watching it at my piano teacher’s house between lessons. I watched Deep Space Nine and Voyager religiously when I was home from college. I crushed on the usual suspects — Wesley Crusher, Tom Paris, Harry Kim, and Julian Bashir — and consumed my fair share of Star Trek paperback novels in the lull between new episodes.
I saw every TNG full-length movie at midnight openings in theatres. I own the Star Trek Encyclopedia and even made a point to visit the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience exhibit, when it was still touring.
And, I loved Star Trek Into Darkness (which is being released on DVD and Blu-ray this week).