Thoughts on the new Star Trek and will it be more gay friendly?

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Star Trek NCC-90210

A break from your regularly scheduled programming…

When the pretty faces of the new Star Trek film were announced last year this Trekker (not Trekkie….HUGE difference) was filled with an overwhelming sense of dread. First, that the corpse of the franchise was not sufficiently cold, and it was far too soon to extract its Katra from the ashes that were the last seasons of Voyager, Enterprise, and the most recent films. I also feared that the old fans would be hung out to dry, as this new youthful and nubile crew cavorted across the stars in some slicked up hotrod of a starship with a license plate reading NCC-90210. Perhaps a more apt name for this new chapter in the Star Trek universe would be something more along the lines of Dawson’s Trek or One True Klingon.

The early trailers did nothing to soothe the sinking feeling that this film would be a total disaster. Was the young James Tiberius Kirk going to be just as smart-alecky and untalented as the young Anakin Skywalker? You mean the Enterprise wasn’t constructed in space dock? Why is Kirk hitting on and bedding Uhura instead of an Orion slave woman, and coming off like some out-of-work extra whose last credit was American Pie 7? What is this?! A Michael Bay movie? Jerry Bruckheimer? All action with absolutely no redeeming dramatic qualities whatsoever?

Kirk and SpockBut packed into the desperate mess were glimmers of hope. The casting of Zachary Quinto as Spock seemed spot on. Karl Urban who plays Dr. McCoy reminds me very much of the ship’s Chief Medical Officer, his eyes belying that same southern mischief. The effects of course look top notch, even if they do seem over the top. It’s nice that Captain Christopher Pike makes an appearance. And I’m understandably curious about the early years of Mr. Spock, especially when the first Pon Farr kicks in. But the characters of Kirk, Chekov and Sulu have seemed woefully miscast since the beginning.

So now the opening of Star Trek is almost upon us the and the dread is finally beginning to ease. Perhaps this is the much needed shot of cordrazine the franchise needed. The reviews are trickling in and they are frankly stellar. General consensus thus far is that there’s plenty of meat to gnaw on for both old and new fans. Chris Pine may have been the right choice for Kirk after all—jury’s still out for me on Sulu, Checkov and Scotty however.

I am also beginning to think that this new Star Trek universe may be more gay-friendly then those of the past. I don’t mean to say that the previous incarnations of the show were homophobic, just that there were plenty of missed opportunities to showcase tolerance, one of the bedrock themes of the original series.

And nor do I mean gay-friendly just on the eyes (I never said the male leads weren’t cute). But this new installment takes its cues from the next generation of moviegoers, who may be more comfortable with the idea of two male ensigns ducking into a jeffries tube for a quick smooch. Hopefully that is something we can look forward to in the inevitable sequels.

In case you’ve been stuck away on a boring away mission and haven’t seen a trailer, I feel the condensed TV spot below is the best of the lot…

I’ll be taking a shuttle (I hate getting scrambled in a transporter beam) over to the movie theater on Saturday. Until then… Live Long and Prosper.

Post by ILO on 05/05/09 at 7:04 pm