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Monday, July 25, 2016

Star Trek Beyond (spoiler alert)

So we still do summer blockbusters, but now the experience is more civilized. Almost every motive theater is the region has now converted to  armchairs and reserved seating. We chose our time to see Star Trek Beyond based on where we'd be able to sit.  Lovely experience.  (Just don't remind me about the increase in the cost of a ticket.)

And of course we had to see Star Trek Beyond, we loved the original series, we love the spin offs, and we're really enjoying the reboot.

the internal logic of the rebooted series involves time travel.  A Romulan form the 24th century travels back in time, arriving in the 23rd century, specifically on the day James T. Kirk was born.  the timeline is therefore altered, everything we, the audience, thought we knew has been erased.  Essentially the creative team hit the "reset" button.

Star Trek often employs deep character interaction and heavy doses of philosophy and moralizing.  This is not one of those times.  The plot is basic, the movie focuses on epic battles between spacecraft, stalking/shooting scenarios and hand-to-hand combat. The special effects make the movie -- see it in IMAX 3D if you can.

The storyline is basic.  The Enterprise is restocking at the Yorktown Space Station when an alien makes a dramatic entrance, and begs assistance for her stranded crew.  The Enterprise  goes on a rescue mission, only to be attacked.

But what makes the movie so enjoyable...the "Easter eggs", the little "Extras", the in-jokes and references.  This movie pays homage to every version of Star Trek that has gone before.  We caught quite a few of them.  Example, early in the film Kirk mentions that they've spent 966 days in space -- the original series premiered in September 1966. Kirk complains that his life feels "episodic". In a salute to Star Trek: Voyager, Kirk reports to Admiral Paris.  The bridge of the USS Franklin looks much like the bridge of Scott Bakula's Enterprise. 

But the funniest Easter egg?  The set up happens at the very beginning of the movie, the punch line isn't delivered until the very end of the movie. 

At the beginning of the movie, in a scene reminiscent of The Wrath of Khan, Kirk and McCoy are having a drink in honor of Kirk's birthday.  McCoy has purloined a bottle of Scotch from Chekov's locker.  He comments, "I always thought he was a vodka man."  Later, at the end of the movie, Chekov delivers a line:  "Scotch was invented by a little old lady in Russia."

Now where did we hear that line before?  David Gerrold must be kvelling.

The most intentionally poignant moments come when Spock is told that his other self, Ambassador Spock, has died, and later, when he goes through Ambassador Spock's personal effects. A fitting tribute to Leonard Nimoy. 

But Anton Yelchin as Chekov....sigh.

Not the best movie in the series, but we really enjoyed it.

If you want to find more of the Easter eggs, I've included several links:

Seven Easter Eggs
All the Star Trek Beyond Easter Eggs
25 Easter Eggs

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