Thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

So I recently watched Star Trek Into Darkness (and this seems to have won out as the proper stylization) and found myself having strong feelings (or I suppose if I want to get tech blog credit, “feels”) about it. And before you claim I’m overthinking it, or far too much of a Trekkie, let me explain myself

  • I mostly enjoyed the movie in the theater (with some exceptions)
  • I like Star Trek, but I’m probably a “Diet” Trekkie at best since I’ve really only seen The Next Generation (and still technically not all of it), Voyager, and Enterprise and little bits of Deep Space Nine and the original series (and read none of the novels or other things). For Trekkies who generally love DS9 more than Voyager, realize the preference there is related more to by bed time in elementary school when both of those were on. (Wow, I just admitted a bed time on the Internet, that was unexpected. Also, I just learned virtually every episode of every Star Trek series is on Netflix, so this excuse probably doesn’t hold anymore)
  • I do think there’s a difference between a good individual movie and a movie that’s supposed to fit into a franchise

So let’s talk about the experience in the theater as a singular movie. First, the pros. It delivered as an action movie and was a decent science fiction movie. Having only really seen Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock, it was interesting to see him play such a physical character. Spock, Kirk, and Scotty were all great and Scotty was pretty fun to watch when he was off on his own. But let’s also get to the two big things that really threw me off during the movie.

Depicted: A surprisingly accurate view of cold fusion compared to Star Trek Into Darkness

First, the entire opening scene was unintentionally hilarious to me.  The trailer clip of Bones and Kirk running in a gorgeous red rainforest is the start. And that was fine (wow, for once a trailer in recent memeory that didn’t spoil). But it turns out they jump off a cliff because the Enterprise is underwater? We find out the reason the crew is even on the planet is because a volcano is about to erupt and it threatens to wipe out a primitive alien species. Kirk and Bones are running because they stole some sacred scroll from the aliens and the chase would draw the tribe farther away from the volcano. We then find out Spock is in the volcano, preparing a cold fusion device. I’m not joking, that’s official. Okay, that sounds weird because cold fusion isn’t “cold”, it’s just fusion that takes place at like room temperature instead of the temperature inside the heart of a star. Like the arc reactor in Iron Man. That’s cold fusion (plus magic comic book science, but technically cold fusion). But okay, maybe I’ll give it a pass, this is like the far future so maybe it’ll do something like how the US government hoped to use nuclear bombs for constructive purposes. Then we see it go off. And the cold fusion device seems to cause the magma to ice over. Yep, okay, it’s as stupid as I thought. (Slight spoilers immediately after the cut, bigger spoilers further down)

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