The Caffeinated Neurotic (jaylee_g) wrote,
The Caffeinated Neurotic
jaylee_g

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AOS vs. TOS and Trek Popularity

I just read a wonderful, thought-provoking essay here on the KS Archive, addressing the issue that supposedly a lot of ST:TOS fans were sort of put off by Reboot. The essay, of course, was defending Reboot (as well it should, mho).

The interesting thing about this topic is that my husband, mother and I had a discussion of a similar vein this past weekend. My husband is a gamer who gets a monthly magazine from Gamestop which highlights the new games coming out. One game it noted is that U2 is coming out with its own version of Rock Band, much like the one the Beatles released a few months ago. The critic in the magazine was not fond of this idea, stating, and I quote: "(U2) has twice the ego and half the talent of the Beatles". My husband, 34-years-old and ever the generation X-er, as all of us born in the 70's and raised in the 80's are, immediately jumped to U2's defense proclaiming 'I don't know how this guy could say this, the Edge's guitar riffs are way more complex than anything the Beatles put out.' And he said this in front of my mother, who was visiting us that day and who spent her young adulthood in the sixties, thus immediately getting her hackles raised. I've never seen anyone jump so fast to defend a band 'The Beatles music has endured for decades, wait about twenty more years and we'll see for U2.'

I sat there and listen to the two of them go at it, lovingly, of course, because they actually adore each other and my family loves to debate, it's what we do. Before I interjected with an "I like both. Why is that wrong? Why does it have to be a competition? Why does there have to be sides? I can listen to "With or Without You" and "Hey Jude" in the same playlist and consider myself blessed."

So I pose the same question to Trek fans. Why does there have to be sides?

Why do we watch Trek? I think the simple answer would be, because we enjoy it. It entertains us. It touches us on multiple levels.

As a child, Star Trek IV was one of my favorite movies. My brothers and I would go around the house asking for the 'nuclear wessles' or picking up our computer mouse and speaking into it 'Hello, computer'. We also liked to reenact TOS episodes, my favorite being getting to beat up my brother, the Gorn, and me the stalwart Starfleet officer, with pillows. ;-) Does that mean I didn't thoroughly enjoy Reboot? Hell no, I loved that movie so hard I saw it in the theater more times than I'd like to admit, got everyone I could think of to go see it, started writing fanfic for it, and put the bluray in my shopping cart as soon as Amazon had it up. Abrams, simply put, did one hell of a fantastic job.

But he also did something else, something magical. He got people excited about Trek again. Multiple generations and both genders. And let's be honest, when was the last time we Trekkers could go out amongst the world and admit, out-loud, that we love Trek, thank you kindly, complete with Vulcan hand salute? It's been awhile, has is not? Berman and Braga almost killed the franchise with over saturation (and a few other stupid moves, like blowing up Data, but I digress). I hate to say it, because I love it and I grew up with it and it in its many incarnations have brought joy to my life, but Star Trek was dying. Gene Roddenberry was turning in his grave, uh, flipping over in space, whatever.

And now, one movie, and that spark is once again alive and vibrant and just as bright as ever. Go you, Abrams, go you. And not only are people buying Reboot, but they're buying ST 1-10 as well, and television seasonal boxsets. Woohoo!

And now onto characterization, because I guess that is one of the main beefs held against the new movie, and an issue I've tried to address in my fanfic... fact: the characters are seven years younger than when we first saw their TOS counterparts. Seven years less experience as officers. Of course they're freakin different!

Pine's Kirk is more cocky and less serious than Shatner's Kirk, he's also had a completely different childhood, per Nero. But the movie did a good job of capturing Kirk's over-all compassion, and also his supreme gift at strategy, after all, who was it that first recognized the Enterprise was warping into a trap at Vulcan? In short, we saw a younger, edgier Kirk, but James Kirk was in there, and we saw his metamorphosis into the kickass captain we all know and love in front of our very eyes. And boy was it awesome. At 32, I'm around the age TOS Kirk was when he was first given the Enterprise, and at 32 I can tell you that I'm in a completely different place than I was at 25-years-old. That's life. Kirk would never admit it, but that's getting old. ;-)

Spock is more angry than we're used to -- true, boy is that true, that is truthness wrapped up in more truthness right there -- but again I say he is infinitely younger and had a lot of angst piled on his butt during the course of the movie. Hell of a lot of it. Poor guy had to watch his planet explode. Say what you will about logical beings, but ouch. The first time I saw the movie I almost couldn't believe it, I remember turning to Josh and saying "Uh, did they just blow-up Vulcan?! What the hell was that?!"

And Bones is Bones is Bones and I love him. ;-) Personally, having read Kelley's book, and hearing his co-stars go on and on in interviews on what wonderful person he was, warm and embracing, I think he would have thrown his whole support behind Urban the way Nimoy did with Quinto were he still with us. I really think he would have. Just mho.

Anyway, I'm ranting, and I got on a bit of a soapbox *sheepish grin* but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like both TOS and AOS and I guess that makes me pretty lucky, because now I have even more to entertain myself with in the Trek world than I did a year ago. And what's more? I can talk about it at work and have others respond to me about it who wouldn't have before. And that's fabulous.
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