BitDepth 680 - May 19

Star Trek returns to the big screen with young faces and modern pyrotechnics.
Not your daddy's Enterprise

Kirk, check. McCoy, check. Spock, check. Miniskirt, check. Star Trek is back.

You may have heard that the new Star Trek movie is good. No big surprises here. 
It's a bright, hyperkinetic, well-written work of action movie adventuring that is above average for the form. It begins with blood and thunder and doesn't stop until cadet Kirk gets his ship.
But that really doesn't explain why it's so good and specifically, why women are freaking out over a Star Trek movie. That's right, women now dig the Enterprise crew. I mean, really dig it.
Lisa and Laura updated their Facebook and Twitter profiles with heartfelt appreciations of the movie. "Love it," wrote Lisa. "I <3 Spock," wrote Laura, using the ASCII for 'heart.'

These are smart women who have no reluctance dismissing creative works of a less than exemplary nature, so there may well be no better sign of an impending apocalypse, or at least a sudden temperature drop in the circles of hell than this.
The new Star Trek film was always intended to be a reboot of the moribund franchise of adventures that began with the five-year mission of Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner) and his first officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) on NBC in 1966.
Much has been made of the positive messages that creator Gene Roddenberry drenched his space opera in. The multicultural crew, the resolution of problems through intellect as well as weapons and the hope that mankind would survive potential nuclear war to launch itself into space was all there, but it wasn't all there was to Star Trek.

Short skirts and particle beams
The enormous energy that fueled Shatner's swagger, the sharp intuitiveness of Nimoy's acting and the genuine chemistry of the supporting cast made this an adventure show with a strong resonance of character and human presence.
Plus, there were phasers and mini skirts filled out with hot babes. 
In. Every. Episode.
Over the next 46 years, successive producers seemed to forget that in both the movies and the faltering television series. 

The misfires led to the Star Trek engine grinding to a halt after the confusing chaos of the tenth movie, Nemesis and the crashing bore that the Enterprise television series devolved into in its second and third seasons. 
What director JJ Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have crafted is a witty, sexy movie that chooses to be buoyed by 46 years and hundreds of hours worth of stories instead of being dragged down by the Trek legacy.
The Trekkie references are light and friendly, witty in-jokes that even casual viewers of the series will get, like the fate of Olsen, who carries the explosives into action while clad in red gear.

New Trek for a new audience
For those who never before had any interest in Trek lore, there is action, razor sharp space ships and... hot babes in miniskirts.
There is surprising heat generated by the supporting cast, who are treated more like equals in this film than in any of the six that returned the Shatner -Nimoy team to the big screen. 
But nods to the past remain just that. Things change in this new version of the Trek mythos (time travel will do that) and nothing has to proceed as it has in the earlier series, which Abrams signals with significant sparks among the cast, who do more than exchange pleasant banter on the bridge.

Star Trek is good because it acknowledges everything that's gone before, but is brave enough to suggest that it's possible to have tolerance and a positive outlook and build an interesting, fast moving story on top of that.
Old Trek would have spent more time teasing out villain Nero's motivations, and there's an excellent comics only prequel (Star Trek Countdown, IDW) that does just that. In the film he comes across a bit thin; all sweaty snarls, tattoos and unmopped floors.
But this new group has enough to do without having to cope with an interesting villain, and they get to the business of becoming a crew with engaging, eminently watchable enthusiasm.
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