Archive for the ‘Star Trek’ Category

There’s this flaw in “Into Darkness”

May 28, 2013

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I’ve seen “Star Trek Into Darkness” twice now. I don’t think it’s as good as the first reboot film, but it’s better than I feared. And there’s a massive logical flaw towards the end that probably no one besides me cares about. But I hate it.

The thing I disliked about the first film was its whole premise, the altered timeline. I don’t want an alternative future developing without Vulcan. So even if the film was very good, I worried where its sequels would take us.

On that score there’s no problem in this film. Sort of a reworked homage to “The Wrath of Khan” (also the second film in its series), it works. I especially like the revamp of the climactic scene from the end with the roles of Kirk and Spock reversed.

There are flaws…there’s no explanation for the weird landscape on Qo’noS (a supposedly deserted province is covered with buildings, albeit in ruins), the scene with actress Alice Eve in her underwear was totally unnecessary, and while Benedict Cumberbatch was great in his role, the role of Khan required either someone who looks like Ricardo Montalan or who looks like a Sikh.

It’s as if Brad Pitt was supposed to be playing Jackie Robinson.

But it’s the logical flaw at the end that really bothers me.

(Spoiler alert)

The shoot out in space supposedly happens close to the Earth, only 280,000 kilometers away. That’s closer than the Moon, so the part about being pulled towards the Earth after the battle works.

But there’s no way that shoot out can take place so close to such a huge audience, to make any sense at all it has to be secret. At that distance, not only would the whole planet be watching, the surrounding space would be filled with ships. No way comms would be out, no way the admiral would be allowed to destroy another federation ship, no way there wouldn’t be ships and space stations helping the crashing Enterprise.

So why do it that way? Does JJ Abrams think we’re too dumb to care? (It’s a bit like there being absolutely no ships left close by when Alderaan gets destroyed. Where’d they all go?)

Review: Star Trek Vanguard Storming Heaven

April 13, 2012

“Vanguard: Storming Heaven” is the eighth and final book (seven novels and a collection of short stories) set in the period of the original Star Trek about a Federation space station in the mysterious Taurus Reach far beyond the Federation’s boundaries. The series has been fascinating, and has suffered only because of the lengthy period between publication (on the average about a year between books, in one case almost two years).

This has had the drawback of making it difficult to remember the story arc when a new book arrives. Fortunately the concluding novel fills in a lot of information right at the start, easing that problem.

Photo: David Cross, Simon and Schuster

Another difficulty is anachronism, if the Taurus Reach is so important, why no mentions of it in other Star Trek offerings? This book also mitigates that unavoidable weakness.  A handful of previous Star Trek characters have been in the series, and more are in the final book. Carol Marcus, former lover of Captain James Kirk, and whose research plays a pivotable role in the film “The Wrath of Khan”, is not only in both of the final two books, we learn exactly how she ended up on the research station where Khan tried to steal her work. There’s even an explanation for why the planet Khan was stranded on by Kirk in the original series episode “Space Seed” suffered a disaster.

Best of all, Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise play small but important roles in the final days of the Vanguard station.

It’s sad this series couldn’t just continue forever, but if it had to end, “Storming Heaven” is a good ending.

Author David Mack’s web page about “Storming Heaven” is here.


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