Friday, May 31, 2013

What you need to fully appreciate Star Trek: Into Darkness

I, for one, really enjoyed the most recent Star Trek film. There has been, however, a lot of grumbling and negative comments shot around. I feel these either come from Star Trek purists (who will always be dissatisfied by an action movie) and, from a lesser extent, those that have no knowledge of Star Trek beyond JJ Abrams.

I am not a Star Trek purist. In fact, I can count the number of full episodes and movies (pre-Abrams, that is) on one hand. I did, however, see ones that were referenced in the new movie and I fully believe my viewing experienced was improved by knowing what had come before.

If you've not followed anything about the new movie, the suggestions I have below will spoil the one major unveil for you. Even so, I strongly suggest you watch these episodes and movie before seeing the film (or seeing it again, if you've already been).

----------------------Spoilers if you haven't been paying attention-----------------------

Space Seed (Episode #22): This episode is the introduction of one of Star Trek's most famous villains, and is a major player in Into Darkness. This is a must see in my opinion, if only because it is more or less re-created during the new movie.

(Optional)The Trouble with Tribbles (Episode #44): This one is an optional episode but one of the best known in the series. It is mostly humorous and light-hearted. You might have heard about it in Big Bang Theory. This has only a minor reference/cameo, but is still worth a watch. Apparently it also has a reference in the first film, but I somehow missed it and will need to rewatch.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Movie #2): In this film, the Enterprise is reunited with an old enemy (first introduced in Space Seed). The major moments from this movie were recreated in Into Darkness, with a few important twists. If nothing else, you should watch this film before going into the new one. It is widely considered to be the best film out of any Star Trek movie. I myself found it dated but was able to enjoy it enough.
Worth it just to see this guy's insane chest. Seriously.

----------------------End Spoilers------------------------------------------------------

There you have it folks. Only two episodes and one film and you're well on your way to a better Star Trek experience. This is coming from someone who does not consider themselves a Star Trek fan, by the way.

The weakest parts in this movie were the treatment of secondary characters (they got very little focus at all) and the misuse of the female cast (talented actresses used poorly or just inappropriately). Beyond that, it's a good action film and I give it a solid 8/10.

Oh, and go Star Wars!

-The Nerd

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