over the new year’s weekend i decided to watch 12 star trek movies, hoo boy! i skipped the first one and started with the wrath of kahn, then went all the way through star trek beyond.
i realized that picard may be the more diplomatic captain, but kirk as captain makes for a more adventurous and better movies.
i also like how the messaging in the movies is still so current, especially movie 6, where things are changing and people are scared.
“Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness?”
“Some people think the future means the end of history. Well, we haven’t run out of history quite yet. Your father called the future ‘the undiscovered country.’ People can be very frightened of change.”
“If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it.”
(movie 6, “the undiscovered country,” is my favorite.)
and since i like lists, here is a list of the 12 movies, ranked! (to note: i liked them all. but some more than others!)
12. ST: 5 – the final frontier. this one is weird, with a non-vulcan vulcan and a weird non-god search for god, but i do enjoy the humor at the beginning. “it’s a blizzard! whoosh whoosh.” “my sensors show sunny and 70º…”
11. ST: Insurrection. this one is the second of the full next generation/picard group, and it really just seems like an extra long episode more than a movie. it’s about a group of people who relocated to a planet with regenerating capabilities (extra long life), and a group wants to destroy the planet to harness it.
10. ST: Beyond. while the graphics are super awesome on this one, and i love the character of jaylah, i just couldn’t get behind the story as much as other movies. i do like the line where spock called the beastie boys classical music. and how much screentime scotty got! i have to admit, they really beefed up the “supporting” main characters in the reboot.
9. ST: Nemesis. the final show for the TNG crew, and it featured a cloned picard (tom hardy with a nose prosthesis). the interesting thing is watching all these movies and seeing how the romulans and klingons interacted, along with different time traveling ships, and how the rebooted timeline uses references to those.
8. ST: generations. i really liked the interaction between the captains in this one, and how they worked together! of course it sort of threw off the whole notion of kirk knowing he’d die alone, but when you morph from one crew to the next, it’s always a little weird. it was also interesting to note when some of the original crew’s movies were running, the TNG tv show was airing. also, we get this gem.
7: Star Trek. the reboot! a new timeline! a new crew finally coalesces! spock prime! vulcan’s destroyed! karl urban knocks it out of the park! we finally see how kirk overcame the kobiyashi maru! the timeline is canon? also, how fortuitous that kirk just happened to find the cave where spock prime is hiding out.
6. ST: voyage home. this one was just fun, having the crew time travel back to present time (1980s) to get a humpback whale to save starfleet from a probe. it’s nice to throw some levity in there after the wrath of khan and the search for spock. that was a lot of heavy stuff, so it was time to lighten it up!
5. ST: search for spock. after spock’s untimely demise in khan, bones starts acting a little funny. then we learn that there is an old, long-ago-tried method of putting the mind back in the body. so while bones is hosting spock’s head, we hear from sarek (spock’s father) that they need the body – which happens to be MISSING FROM HIS TUBE that was shot onto the genesis planet. bum bum buummmmmm…. to top it all off, the enterprise is compromised!
4. ST: into darkness. i feel like this was the kelvin timeline movie that was enough of a throwback while also going over the top with the campy factor, which turned out to be the best kelvin film. that’s what i like about the original movies and the kelvin timeline movies – it’s cheesy action!
3. ST: first contact. the best TNG movie. there’s action, it throws back to picard’s borg days (a harrowing end-of-season cliffhanger!!), and the crew has to save the universe from the borg while ALSO preserving the history of first contact due to warp drive. this one is all action! like i said, i like some camp/cheese in my star trek movies, but first contact is a nice deviation from that among the top movies.
2. ST: the wrath of khan. the start of the trilogy within the series! we learn about the genesis project, and THEN the END trips off the next three movies.
1 ST: the undiscovered country. this movie has everything. a peace mission gone wrong, a klingon trial (complete with worf cameo!!), a mystery on board the enterprise, a mole, a shape-shifting rat, a prison sentence on a frozen planet, a forceful mindmeld, a klingon cloaked ship that can FIRE TORPEDOES WHILE CLOAKED, the crew saves the day, and best of all, an etymology lesson on the word sabotage! there is, as noted in the quotes above, a lot of talk about how change is hard and will meet resistance. a note on the new crew taking over? a nice lesson in how to be better people? i know it can relate to current times! anyway, i love this one.
“there is an old vulcan proverb: only nixon could go to china.”
so, what can we learn from star trek?
- if someone tells you they’re from the future, at least check it out
- be open to other cultures
- never trust anyone who claims to be able to get you out of rura penthe