Star Trek Retrospective and Preview of Into Darkness
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Verdict: See It!     
Brenna's Review
There are many reasons I love Star Trek, particularly The Original Series, including the usual: great characters, fun stories, campy effects, etc. But the main reason I love the show is probably because I watched it with my dad growing up. My dad and I are huge sci fi nerds, and it was just another thing we bonded over. Less sappy reasons would probably include the strong morality and good messages of the show. Not only did the stories have good morals (don't judge those who are different, violence as a last resort, respect the rites and rights of indigenous peoples, due process, etc), but the production of the show itself was progressive and ground breaking. It's diverse cast proved that people of color could exist in genres other than sitcoms, like in fantasy and sci fi (working on the fantasy bit, I blame Tolkien), with non-white actors like Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Ricardo Montalban. . It should also be noted that I enjoy The Next Generation, mainly because Roddenberry had more control over the message of that iteration, and some of the morals were stronger. Also Sir Patrick Stewart is awesome, but Spock is my one true love and always will be.
As far as Star Trek films are concerned, I know everybody's favorite is Wrath of Khan, and it's mine as well, but there's good reason for it: it's a great film, and it reignited interest in the Star Trek universe. The genius of Wrath of Khan lies in the production's embrace of their actors aging; instead of pretending like everything was how it was in The Original Series, they don't hide their age, and they actually make it a central theme of the film. Vengeance is an important theme as well, but the thought of aging and facing death is a much more accessible one. Also the film touches your heart in so many ways, whether it's from ear eel revulsion or death bed confessions of friendship. As with all reboots and remakes, I was terrified when the Star Trek reboot was first announced, but despite the beaten dead horse of lens flare, I enjoyed it. I was most scared about Spock since, I don't know if you know this, I love him. But Zachary Quinto did a fabulous job, giving life to the character and embracing all the aspects of him I love without falling into mimicry. I think another less fangirlish aspect I loved so much about it was that J. J. Abrams didn't try to remake the originals, but instead made his own story using the characters we know and love; that way, he was free from the shackles of the canon and was able to do something new and exciting with it. Now I spend a lot of time on the internet, probably too much, and I've spent a lot of time on fan forums engaging and reading in fan theories and speculation, and I want to present my favorite/most likely ones here. I'm a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan, so imagine my doubled delight when I heard he was in it, and even more when I heard he was the villain (I like villains). I've heard that he may be Khan, but everything is so hush hush, and J. J. Abrams' ability to break free of canon may lead him to have a completely new villain. Either way, I'm excited to see Cumberbatch on the big screen. I do have one big fear for Into Darkness though, and that is that it appears to take place primarily on Earth, forgoing the "Star" part in Star Trek that made me love the originals so much. While it still may be a fantastic film, I'm concerned that we may lose the central theme of Star Trek in character development and awesome action sequences.


Scott's Review
One of the reasons the 2009 reboot was so brilliant was that it made an alternate timeline part of the story. So rather than feel pressure to be locked into the plot points established by an almost-50-year-old mythology, the writers were now free to start from scratch and make "Star Trek" their own No one has any idea where "Star Trek" is going, and that's really exciting.
The last movie had to do a lot: re-introduce all the characters and tell an engaging stand-alone story. But now that all the set-up is done, the filmmakers can just focus on telling a great story that's action-packed. And as a tip of the hat to the enduring appeal of the Original Series, the story (about a terrorist) will be timely and provocative. And if it does top its predecessor, it could go down as one of the all-time great sci-fi sequels - up there with The Empire Strikes Back,Aliens" and The Dark Knight.
-While the previews and TV spots are promising an exciting ride with lots of action, I hope the action doesn't come at the expense of the characters. As I stated, the characters are what I love the most about "Star Trek," so as long as the movie stays true to them, then "Into Darkness" may just top "The Wrath of Khan" as the biggest, best and most exciting "Trek" of them all.


Salim's Review
To be honest, growing up, I never really liked Star Trek. I watched a movie here and there, sometimes caught episodes of The Next Generation when they were on TV, but in my mind, the Star franchise to follow was Star Wars. And in my time you had to pick one. I picked Star Wars mainly because of it's scale, epicness and world. I also saw the Star Wars films way before being versed in anything Trek, so that when I finally got to Trek and the TV series, it seemed like a lesser or scaled down version of Star Wars. Almost as though they couldn't get the budget for say a Star Wars TV show, so they had to settle for Trek with its lesser production values. Indeed I robbed myself of a Trek experience based off nothing and would probably have never given it a chance if not for the J. J. Abrahams Star Trek reboot. Immediately from the previews it gave me what I had previously received from Star Wars, action and great production values! Then when I watched it, I realized I had missed something huge in my childhood. Written by Transformers scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, one can tell from the very first scene with Captain Kirk's father doing a suicide mission, that this was going to be an incredibly tight, funny, heartfelt and grounded movie. The CG was also amazing, the action and world feeling incredibly lived in and real, so much so I wanted to be apart of the Star Fleet. All characters are intriguing it their own ways, especially the always logical Spock, played wonderfully by Zackary Quinto as well as the over confident Captain Kirk played by the astute Chris Pine. Its fun to watch these two opposing personalities play off each other. The sequel, Into Darkness appears to continue what J. J. Abrahams started five years ago, with the incredible production values and action appearing intact, as well as the promise of a very mysterious and epic villain, played by the wonderful Benedict Cummerbatch, whom we can only hope and assume will steal the show.