Saturday, May 09, 2009

Star Trek: The Beginning

A 1995 Hallmark ornament of Captain James T. Kirk sits in front of the backdrop of the new "Star Trek" movie's bridge. Picture C. David Claudon.

Earlier this week I watched an episode of Star Trek that I had never seen, and having been a loyal viewer of the show, I was surprised. It starred Jeffrey Hunter as the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I knew Hunter from his 1950s work in such movies as The Searchers and King of Kings (mocked by many as Jesus for having shaven armpits at his crucifixion). Hunter starred in the 1965 NBC pilot of Star Trek as Captain Christopher Pike, in an episode called "The Cage."

When the series was picked up, William Shatner took over as Captain James T. Kirk. That first season began in 1966, the year I began teaching, and continued until 1969, when I moved to my second job in Park Forest.

As was probably intended, after seeing the episode, I was primed to see the prequel.

Today I went to see the film and was delighted. The film had great special effects, the wit of the original, and great action sequences. The new crew pay enthusiastic homage to their predecessors. Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock make a fun duo. I found myself laughing with the recognition of the new crew:
Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), the cynical Dr. "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), Mr. Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) who does great action sequences, Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin), and the comedy relief of "Beam me up, Scotty" (Simon Pegg). Eric Bana makes a good villain. And there too is Capt. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) as Kirk's mentor and father-figure.

I saw the film on large-screen with a top-notch sound system and can urge you to run out and see it while it's still in the theatres.

If you need inspiration, check out the movie website, here and watch the trailer. The movie is as good as the trailer.

If you want to know more about the Starships, check here.

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