Sunday, February 01, 2009

I saw the Superbowl Star Trek spot--still leaves the same impression as the first trailer--JJ Abrams and co. are aiming for a special-effects-laden action movie that can hold its own with Star Wars. Because we all know that the reason why Star Trek hasn't been able to compete with Star Wars is because it is filled with too much dialogue and quiet time, and its space battles are not spectacular enough. I actually might agree with the second criticism, but for some reason Americans have difficulty creating space battles for the silver screen. While the final battle in Return of the Jedi was ok (though it focused too much on the fighters and not enough on the capital ships slugging it out), I found the battle scenes in the 'prequels' to be rather messy. The Japanese do a better job, I think, of coming up with plausible war tactics in space; the same is true of certain American science fiction writers.*

There was the Dominion War in Deep Space 9--but that was really just a big melee involving two massive fleets. Perhaps there wasn't enough money in the budget to put something more detailed on the television screen, but I think it has been a weakness of the franchise. The battle between the Enterprise and Kahn's Reliant in Wrath of Kahn was ok, but the battle with General Chang in Undiscovered Country was rather lacking. (I have read that the filmmakers wanted to do more, but weren't able to because of budget limitations.)

Chris Pine's Kirk is still too young.

Fans would like to think that B5 was more realistic than Trek--but what about the Minbari ships and the Minbari-designed ships of the Rangers?

*I find the depiction of spaceship combat in Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series to be rather realistic, and he tries to adhere to a contemporary understanding of physical laws.

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