So we finally managed to get to see the new Star Trek last night and all I can say is that J.J.Abrams is an absolute genius and this comes from a long time Trek fan. Genius I say!
Now, I will tell you that yes I love Star Trek but I don't go so far as to learn Klingon or dress like Uhura once a year or build the U.S.S. Enterprise command chair in my living room. But, I will tell you that I have seen all the original episodes more than once (or twice for that matter) and I have watched almost all of the episodes for Star Trek: The Next Generation and a fair amount of Deep Space Nine. After that my knowledge is lacking but I don't think that matters.
If you haven't seen the movie and are planning to then you might want to stop now because I am going to talk about the thing and there will be spoilers and I don't want you to get all, "Well now I can't see it because she spoiled it for me!" So you have been warned.
Parallel history, red matter, Romulans, Spock old AND young, Captain Christopher Pike. Characters that were familiar and well loved but slightly altered. I wasn't there when this movie was planned (obviously) but I would think that one of the primary thoughts in the planning was how to make a successful movie and re-energize a VERY well known and VERY well loved franchise without alienating those people who love it and at the same time bringing in a whole new generation of Trekkies. What to do?
The original actors are too old to do more Star Trek movies and besides that series has been played out in the theaters (and really only Wrath of Khan is worthy). The actors from TNG have already done all the movies that that series can sustain, the actors from Deep Space Nine, Voyager or Enterprise didn't make as big an impact all though they have their loyal followers. What to do, what to do. Then the light bulb must have gone off in someones head. Hey, lets do a "prequel" of sorts. But.... anyone who is even a moderate ST fan knows the back stories of Kirk and Spock and the other characters. To do a straight prequel wouldn't really capture the audience that they needed. Yes, it would bring in the hard core trekkies but not the newbies. Who wants a rehashing of things that are already known and besides you REALLY don't want to fall into the George Lucas prequel trap. I mean, have you seen the sweaty stinky mess that are Star Wars I, II and III!?!
The idea to change one thing in history, that changes everything else in that history without changing the essentials of the characters is brilliant. You "reboot" the series, you have characters that people know something about but you can do what you want with the characters and situations to come.
And to top it all off the movie was just plain fun. Visually appealing, action packed, with enough intermingling of established Star Trek lore and characters to make Trekkies go AHHHHH. I am sure that I will be seeing it again so that I can pick up more of the nuances of the story.