Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Bit Of Brilliance In The New Star Trek Film

We went to see Star Trek Into Darkness a couple weekends ago, and both of us enjoyed it.  It's certainly got its share of faults and no shortage of plot points that make you go, "Huh?" but overall it's a fun, action-packed adventure of a film.

There's one thing in it that really impressed me.  Unfortunately, I can't describe the scene without giving away not one but two surprises from the movie, so consider this a SPOILER WARNING before you read on any further.

OK, so if you're still with me, you've either seen STID or just don't care if I spoil a bit of it for you.  Here's the part that I loved: they set up the Khan character as being greatly superior to 'mere humans,' just as they did in the original TV series and in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.  And yet, of course, once again the Enterprise crew has to somehow outsmart him.  In this case, it's Spock who has to get the upper hand on Khan, specifically by beaming a bunch of armed torpedoes into his ship.  Logically he shouldn't be able to come up with a plan that Khan couldn't predict and be able to thwart, right?  The way they made it work, however, was pretty clever, I thought: Spock contacts the older Spock, left over from the first JJ Abrams Trek film and the original (now obliterated) Trek universe, and gets him to break his vow not to divulge information from his own, destroyed timeline.  It's that unexpected play by new-Spock, which Khan presumably couldn't have anticipated, which basically allows the current crew to cheat (by using other-timeline information that they shouldn't have had access to).  That little twist made the movie for me because it provided a rational explanation for how they could pull off what should have been impossible.

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