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Trek4Kids: How Star Trek Has Been Received by Kids August 4, 2009

by James Trowbridge , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film),Trek for Kids , trackback

It has been a little while since the last Trek4Kids article, but I have been busy over the summer asking kids in my class at school and in my summer program about what they thought of the new Star Trek movie. So has the new Star Trek made a difference with the youth of today? Find out below.


Do kids like the new Star Trek?
To find out how the movie was doing with my friends, I first asked if they had heard of Star Trek before the release of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. I then asked if they saw the movie and and how they would rate it on a scale of 1-10. The most important question I asked them was if, after seeing the new Star Trek, would they want to see more. I was surprised to hear that most of the kids really liked the movie. This was a surprise because before the movie came out, when I talked about Star Trek, everyone would say that I was a geek or a nerd. But after the new movie came out, when I asked my friends about it, everyone started quoting sections such as the scene when Kirk and the Romulan first officer were fighting and Kirk said, “I’ve got your gun.” Most everyone
thought it was the BEST SCENE EVER!!!

Kirk got his gun

About a week after the movie came out I surveyed four of my friends (all boys aged 11-12, three of whom I had previously surveyed about the marketing of the new movie see previous article). Three of them had seen the film (with the fourth wanting to go see it), and when I asked what parts of the movie they liked or didn’t like, I liked their answers. They said that the action sequences were the best parts of the movie. Almost everybody said that they liked how Star Trek (2009) had a different version of the characters, such as Kirk never joined Starfleet until later because of his father. They also liked the humor scenes such as after the fight Kirk had in the bar when Kirk told Pike “You can whistle really loud you know that?” Two of the boys who had seen the film rated it 9 out of 10 and one of them liked it so much that he
gave it an 11.9 out of 10! It really felt great that my friends liked it, because before they teased me about my interest in Star Trek. It was nice to be able to talk with my friends about something I like without having to worry about being made fun of for it.

Kids liked the action

After I started summer camp, I surveyed a different group of kids. By this time, the movie had been out for almost two months and there were seven boys and one girl (ages 10-13) who participated in my survey. The seven boys had seen the new movie and the girl had not yet seen it. Only three of the boys had heard of Star Trek and previously seen it before going to the new movie. Compared to Star Trek (2009), the three boys thought that the original Star Trek was two-dimensional because they could always guess what would happen. For example, they know that if Kirk gets into a fight, he will always win. Of this group of eight, six of the boys would be interested in seeing more Star Trek movies and episodes, but one of the boys and the girl were not interested in seeing more Star Trek. All in all, the new Star Trek movie seems to have really had an impact on kids my age.

And kids liked that Kirk didn’t win every fight

To wrap up the article, I wanted to talk about the promotions of the Star Trek film, especially the Burger King glasses and toys. I am not sure how many of my friends knew about the movie because of the promotions, but I think they reminded people about the movie. My little brothers, ages 3 and 5, thought that the shuttlecraft, the Jellyfish, and the communicator kids meal toys were awesome. They were playing with them for three days straight. I thought that the toys were helpful to the movie, but I did not like how the characters’ heads were so large compared to their bodies. When we went to buy the kids meals, we also got a set of the glasses, which were awesome. I like the design. It is especially cool that you can look through the delta shield insignia and see the image on the other side of the glass. I also like how the frosted section of the glass has the Star Trek logo and blueprints of different ships such as the Enterprise, the Kelvin, the
Jellyfish, and the Narada.

Some kids liked the toys, but I preferred the glasses

The cool kids like it
Overall, I think that the movie has been very successful with my age group. When I was taking my survey, two people who had been very rude to me in the past (because I liked Star Trek), came up to me and said that they had seen the new Star Trek movie and they wanted to tell me how cool they thought it was. Then they apologized and left. At that moment I had this feeling: I thought that if the “cool kids” who hated the franchise started loving it through the new movie, then there are going to be a lot more fans of Star Trek. Since Star Trek (2009) has made over $380 million worldwide so far, I can gladly say that the Star Trek franchise has gained a new fan base! I am thrilled and honored to have attended the Hollywood premiere of the most successful Star Trek movie of all time and the movie that has given Star Trek new life!



1. Cobalt 1365 - August 5, 2009

Interesting how much opinions can change, and how people have a tendency to mock what they don’t understand. Great article and excellent insights

2. SolFlyer - August 5, 2009

The best moment of the new Trek for me was the 2nd time I saw it (at the big THX theater). While we were waiting in line for munchies there were 2 kids, probably about 10 years old, that absolutely COULD NOT WAIT to get in the theater. Mom had to keep telling them to be patient while she got their food. They were, quite literally, jumping up and down with excitement.

While not old enough to have seen the original airings, I grew up on Trek, watching reruns on Saturday afternoon in the late 70s. Now days, many of my friends are hard core Trek geeks, those that attend conventions(and movie openings) in full costume, and I have NEVER seen anyone as excited about Trek as those 2 kids. The furture of Trek is here and the nest generation of Trekers is, obviously, ready for more!

3. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

Great article. Nice to see how points of view can change.

4. Falo: "El Champeón" - August 5, 2009

This article couldn’t be any more of a waste of time. Kids these days are never ging to give a crap about something like Star Trek. They’re too busy acting cool by watching mindless junk like transformers revenge of the fallen. Why the hell would K/O co-write such a terrible film eludes me.

So according to this article the new film had an impact on young audiences just because this kid talked to something like twelve other kids about it. That’s supposed to be an accurate representation of kids all across the country? The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
The trek toys keep warming the pegs at every toy store because kids don’t care about Star Trek and parents don’t make an effort to introduce them to quality programming like Star Trek.

All the tracking on the film showed it was mostly people over 30 that turned out. It doesn’t matter if Star Trek finds a young audience or not, what matters is that the film sold 380 million dollars worth of tickets. Who cares if it gained a new audience or not. Lets not forget the importance of the loyal older fans who’ve sticked with the franchise through thick and thin. Wanting to make a movie to please kids these days is a disservice to the franchise.

It feels like trekmovie wants to have multiple articles posted everyday so badly that they will post any pointless write up they can find in order to make their quota. I’m not trying to come down on the kid who wrote it. Its actually better written than the self absorbed junk people like Mark Altman contribute, but lets try to keep things real.

5. Vulcan Soul - August 5, 2009

Abrams Trek is indeed great for kids, and we are so very pleased Trek is cool with the masses again and we can feel cool ourselves now. We all love to teach our kids a little genocide, so they grow accustomed to our deeply idealistic world more quickly.

More mindless genocide in movies, I say!

6. Darrell Kaiser - August 5, 2009

Ehh… kids are really fickle. They’ll think one thing is neat and love it and then find something else. Star Trek could be just considered to be a flavor of the month. Let’s wait and see how they like that sequel.

7. Bill Peters - August 5, 2009

Funny that Trek fans don’t care for the New Kids but the New kids are what will keep trek Alive!

8. Anthony Thompson - August 5, 2009

Thanks for the interesting article! Great news!

9. Anthony Thompson - August 5, 2009


Genocide is a fact of life in the real world. Should kids be sheltered from that fact and only presented with rose-colored views of human nature?

10. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

Thanks for the cool article, James!

I have to agree on the quality of the Burger King glasses; they were really well done, some of the best tie-in glasses ever, and if I was a kid I’d want two sets :) As it is, the glasses that rocked my kid-world were Empire Strikes Back glasses, but I’m old, see.

#4: You must be so much fun at parties.

#6: Or if they even _remember_ it a year from now :)

#7: No evidence of that so far, but we’ll see.

11. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#9: “Genocide is a fact of life in the real world. Should kids be sheltered from that fact and only presented with rose-colored views of human nature?”

Um, a bunch of entitled yuppies in unconvincing Star Trek uniforms showing up, committing genocide as a form of action-comedy, and sailing off to glory _is_ a rose-colored view, sport.

12. trekkerguy - August 5, 2009

I find it more surprising that you were surprised at their positive reaction
than the fact they liked it.

13. Duane - August 5, 2009

I’m glad to hear this, and, prior to seeing the film, I would not have suspected that kids would like it.

I paid a friend to take five kids (all girls) to see the film. They loved it. I also took two 20 year old females to see the film. They liked it but were disappointed that Spock has a girlfriend. It seems they wanted him all to themselves!

14. greenappleman7 - August 5, 2009

I totally agree! I’m around that guys age group too. People love Star Trek now. Quite a few people liked it before hand , but now it’s “cool” (at least for a bit). I expect the sequel will make huge blockbusting bucks.

15. Eking - August 5, 2009

I’m a life long fan (46 yrs old) I took my eight year old daughter to it and she loved it. She jumped at all the right times got scared at all the right times and was excited throughout the movie. My favorite part watchiing her was when the Enterprise came out of warp near Vulcan and the Enterprise nacele was scraped up. She got a great look on her face like “mom is going to kill me for messing up the ship!”

16. Brandon Thomas - August 5, 2009

Hmmm… I don’t know any 11/12 year old kid who would write, “all boys aged 11-12, three of whom I had previously surveyed about the marketing of the new movie.”

While I guess it’s cool that kids like Star Trek now, I do think it was kind of a lame premise for an article…

17. Captain Rickover - August 5, 2009

Star Trek 2009:
Main target: Kids
Status: Mission acomplished!

18. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

As long as the kids realise there is more to Star Trek than this one movie then that is cool, if the kids only watch this movie and the future movies then thay will be getting exposed to proper Star Trek.

At least I have two friends who started watching Star Trek after the new movie and now they love it

17 If the kids are only going to watch JJ Abrams version of Trek then it is a mission fail, I hope there will be more kids who want to watch the past 5 shows and movies to see and live in the universe which is Star Trek.

19. Brett Campbell - August 5, 2009

10 – Mr. Ross, I was about to give #4 a piece of my mind for his denigrating cooments on the article that the talented young James wrote, but you slammed him better than I could have dreamed.

James, don’t pay any attention to wet blankets like #4. You are a very gifted young man, and a very intelligent one to conduct research the way you do before you publish your findings.

I think you have a career ahead of you as a writer and a scholar if these activities continue to interest you.

I hope that you and your friends will continue to appreciate Trek and to take a closer look at TOS to see why the writing and the acting kept this series in the public eye, mind and heart for more than forty years.

Keep writing, young man.

20. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

it seems the only people that Abrams Trek is not for is the hard core fans


I liked the movie but it was far from the best Trek. I am sorry for NOT hailing it as the best Trek film, because it wasn’t. I liked it

I still believed the new Trek was dumbed down from its true potential. Guess its the nature of the beast, but films in genral are dumbed downb even more these days.

hope these kids get to see proper Star Trek

21. Brett Campbell - August 5, 2009

Er… Comments, not cooments.

22. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

Try and be less angry to people who do not like the film.

I happen to like TWOK, TUC and FC a lot more than this film.

23. James Cannon - August 5, 2009

Having been a Trekkie for nearly 25 years, Its amazing how many people who said I was a geek, a nerd, a weirdo, for liking Star Trek are now coming out of the woodwork saying: hey that film is cool.

I was a bit annoyed though when a young girl (19) who works in our office said she went to see it. I said I didnt know you liked Star Trek?
“Oh yeah… that Chris Pine is sooooooooo cute”….

Great… Oh well… at least she saw it! :-)

24. captain_neill - August 5, 2009


you know waht also annoys me?

When people say that the new actors are better than the originals. The originals are better but also these actors are playing diff versions of the characters we know so there should be no comparison.

A lot of mainstream audiences are only watching the movie because it has sylar from heroes. Not many of them have any love for what Star Trek is.

I love the stories of how it is opening the eyes of newbies into the Star Trek shows we all love.

25. BurntSynapse - August 5, 2009

A dumbed down, depraved, violent, self-righteous, inconsistent film whose advocates openly value popularity and profits more than virtue or inspiration.

Detailed examples and analysis posted at Star Trek by the Minute:

26. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

you should have factored has it opened their eyes to watch the rest of Trek

27. JimJ - August 5, 2009

#4-Try decaf, it works great…and you seem the type that needs a little boost. Or perhaps a wee bit of scotch?

I love when how a kid tries to communicate with the rest of us, SOME adults are condescending and “thank them” in such a way that they’ll probably never try it again PLUS will have a poor point of view about adults in general.

Then, while you’re at it, you may as well rip the best damned Star Trek site ever created on the internet and those who created it/run it! GADS!!!!

AP-sorry, I heard your podcast about how sometimes the threads that complain about other people who post are even more annoying, but give me a break. As a teacher, I resent people that treat kids this way, especially when today’s youth needs more encouragement than ever.

28. Jeffery Wright - August 5, 2009


Excellent and detailed review of the new movie, and hard to argue against.

I suspect that a similar detailed analysis aimed at any other Trek installment would produce a similarly scathing conclusion, however…

Imagine scrutinising “The Voyage Home” for instance! Cringe!

29. JimJ - August 5, 2009

#25-You have WAYYYYYY too much time on your hands. “I dare you to do better…enlist in Starfleet.”

30. mayday - August 5, 2009

Don’t forget the young girls! My 8 and 10 year old girls really related to Uhura. The 10 year old wants to be her for Halloween so that is great praise. I think they also were excited because mom is such a big fan. I asked them who they thought the “hero” was. My 8 year old said Dr. McCoy since he sneaked Kirk on board and if Kirk wasn’t there then Nero wouldn’t have been defeated. They were definitely able to follow the story and it brought up interesting conversations about what genocide is and how important it is to be well educated. They saw Starfleet Academy as college which was pretty cool. It was their first PG13 film so the fight scene on the Narada at the end was a bit intense for them. They set the table every night with the Burger King glasses.

31. Athlan - August 5, 2009

From this article it is quite clear, by which criteria a good movie is being evaluated by the younger audience these days.

My mother was about 12 years old when she got in touch with Star Trek the first time. She loved the characters, the stories and the optimistic outlook of the show. Special effects, and “tall-talking”-guys where not needed, or at least non essential to it.

In my opinion, those kids are overfed with “cool films”, so they fail to recognize the true message or essence of a good franchise or film.

32. Hat Rick - August 5, 2009

What a great article!

James, please don’t be discouraged by negative reactions here; every writer, even the greatest ones, receive criticism, and sometimes very harsh criticism.

I could not DISAGREE MORE that this article was as waste of time! It was a well-written piece and, James, you have a future as a writer.

Also, it’s great to know that kids today love Trek!

I loved your description of that humor scene where Kirk says, “Got yer gun….” That was one of my favorite scenes, too!

Thank you for the article, and please keep up the good work!

33. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

30- but will they like TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT

I hope so

34. Mike Ten - August 5, 2009

#5, Star Wars had the Death Star blowing up planets and killing possibly billions of people and that was considered a children friendly movie back in 1977.

#11 it wasn’t yuppies in startrek uniforms that blew up Vulcan and committed genocide, it was Nero the Romulan and crew.

35. SolFlyer - August 5, 2009

To all of those who say the kids aren’t recognizing the “true value” of Trek, please consider yourself at that age(assuming you can).

When I was that age, watching the original for the first time, I couldn’t care less about the message. I didn’t run through the yard trying to save the world from some ideological threat. It was all about the cool laser guns and teleporters and scary alien monsters. And I had a LOT of fun doing that.

Let them enjoy Trek any way they want to. They will start seeing it for what it “truly” is only if they are watching it to start with.

36. oby - August 5, 2009

My 8-year-old loved it. Saw it twice.

37. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

Excellent article! It’s great to hear a youngster’s thoughts and research about Trek, especially in such a well-written article. Ignore the haters, James!

Speaking of the haters…. At the risk of getting in trouble with Anthony, I’m going to say that the poster of #4, “Falo: “El Champeón”, is a jackass. (Sorry, Anthony! I usually play nice, but he has it coming to him!)

Falo, your comment just spouts your hateful comments. Fine, you don’t care if kids like the movie; well, then why the hell did you read and comment on an article about kids liking the movie? THAT is a waste of time.

And since there are many days when Trekmovie doesn’t post any new articles at all, your complaint about posting “any old write up” is meaningless.

Complaining about “kids these days” is stupid, especially here. Kids are the same as they’ve always been; most of them react to the loud, flashy action more than the deep philosophical stuff. (Not that this film had anything really deep.) In fact, that is true of most fans; I’ve heard more discussions of why the Enterprise bridge is different in each film than about the deeper ramifications of a 7-year mating cycle for Vulcans…more discussions about the accuracy of someone’s uniform piping than about the seeming contradiction of a highly militaristic Starfleet and an “age of aquarius” idea of humanity…

And for Trek, that superficial love of the action and the hardware often leads to a love of the deeper issues, ideas, and characters. I was heavily into the Tech Manual back in the ’70s, but I drifted away from the tech into the personal and philosophical stuff.

Apparently, Falo doesn’t remember what it’s like to be a kid–especially a kid who likes Trek. Thankfully, James Trowbridge is the one getting published here, not a troll like Falo.

38. Anthony Pascale - August 5, 2009

Falo#4. That is uncalled for

skip articles not interested in don’t turn it into flame.

I think some have forgotten what being a kid was like. Most trekkies became fans at an early age. ThAt is one reason for this periodic column

39. Alisa - August 5, 2009

I am a HARD CORE TREK FAN, and I grew up with the original. I prefer the original to NextGen and that generation of Trek Shows. I know why Gene Roddenberry did that and that was to bring the show more in line with his vision and bring it up to date. Even so the original will always carry favor for me. Now as the the new movie IT ROCKED! As a HARD CORE TREKKIE if I SAW IT ROCKED IT DID. The franchise needed up to date and changing the timeline was a brilliant idea. The timeline was changed just enough to where all the experiences that happened with the crew perhaps would turn out differently. Pike for instance, did not get a devastating injury where Spock would have to “take his old captain to a forbidden planet to save his life.” Pike is alive and even well, and we may see more of him in future stories.

And for those who don’t know the reference that I just made, BUY the DVDs of the Original Show and watch The Managorie. The original show was very well written and had a hopeful message. My hope is to see this show RETURN to the SMALL screen where it also belongs, along with that HOPEFUL message of the future. It’s what inspired people to create the gadgets that we are now taking for grante today, like our laptops and our cell phones. Let’s remember, when the orignal sow was out (the 1960’s), we didn’t have those things, and everyone thought they were considered COOL to have.

Kids today NEED to be taught a little TREK history in order to understand just how far we’ve come.

40. captain_neill - August 5, 2009


they will obviously understand its value as they get older

I just hope that they watch the rest of Trek instead of just this movie only.

I first got into Star Trek watching TWOK on TV when I was 6, my mum allowed me to stay late to watch it. I was in tears when Spock died and mum told me that he comes back in the third one and inmediately wanted to rent it out then followed by 4, at this time TNG was starting on BBC2 in the UK and then TOS was being repeated a few years later. I was hooked and have loved it ever since.

Stayed with it till the end of Enterprise. I have seen the new movie 5 times, it is dumbed down and not my favourite Trek. I do not like a lot of the changes JJ Abrams made but I still enjoyed it as a movie and it is the best film this summer. But it aint the best Trek movie.

I just hope they don’t go in the khan remake direction as it would belittle the future of Trek to remakes. Well no matter what direction it goes in I will always have the Star Trek I loved growing up and it will always be there.

41. SerenityActual - August 5, 2009

I would like to thank the author of this article for the work they put into it, and the courage it took to put it out and take the shots from people who should know better.

Whether or not you agree with what was written, realize this was written by one who is part of the next generation of Trek fans and at least be supportive of their contribution.

The original generation of fans is beginning to start that slide down and we need to be supportive of those who follow, I’m not saying support the film if you do not like it, but be supportive of those younger fans who will be following us.

42. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

I can accept the new maovie is an alternate timeline, it is a nice way to get round canon incosistencies. But remember it is saif to be a parallel timeline that runs parallel to our universe, it does not erase it. Our universe is still there.

Also There is NO WAY in hell I am having JJ Abrams tell me that the last 40 years of Trek is now the equivalent of that dream sequence in Dallas.

43. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

getting younger fans I am all for

I just hope that they will watch the other Treks and not just stick to this movie

Know what I mean?

44. star trackie - August 5, 2009

#4 “This article couldn’t be any more of a waste of time. Kids these days are never ging to give a crap about something like Star Trek. ”

Better grab a broom and get outside, I think them no good kids are playing on your lawn!

45. Athlan - August 5, 2009

@ 35

Maybe you are right. I am just a little concerned that through all this “coolness” the new audience might forget Roddenberrys vision behind Trek, thats all. I did not intend to tell anyone how to love it.

In my opinion however, Trek should be considered cool because of this value in the first place. But perhaps you are right, since I started simply watching it too – with my mother as the “teacher” in the back ;)

I am glad that a new audience is being attracted and I look forward to a new, loyal fanbase!

46. Athlan - August 5, 2009

@ 39: fully agreed :D

47. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

Trek is cool

always has been in my eyes

I am just eager to see more kids get into the rest of Trek, there is so much more to Trek than this ONE movie

48. Shadowcat - August 5, 2009

What an excellent article. It is nice to see the perspective of a young person and their reactions to the movie. I have heard the same positive reviews from my nieces and nephews.

I took my nieces and nephews ages 7-13 to see Star Trek and they loved it. My oldest nephew saw it again in IMAX with some of his male and female friends from school. He actually sent my husband and I a text stating how much he and his friends liked it. He is a big fan of Hereos and likes Zachary Quinto. He is mad about cars and recognized Simon Pegg from an episode of Top Gear (it is shown on BBC America in the US). The younger kids thought it was cool and most of their friends had seen it too. Their parents are fans and they have seen a few of the TOS and TNG episodes but they admitted they didn’t really know much about Star Trek. I became a Star Trek fan at age nine and my husband at age tweleve so it is not surprising that today’s kids would enjoy Star Trek. My husband and I own all of the episodes and TOS and TNG and we plan to gradually introduce them to our nieces abd nephews when they come for visits.

49. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

@42,43 – Captain Neill, Abrams hasn’t said that the last 40 years of Trek are a Dallas dream sequence. In fact, your post says as much by pointing out that it is a PARALLEL universe. (Though it doesn’t run parallel to “our” universe; it runs parallel to the Prime Trek universe. A fictional universe, unlike ours–as far as we know.)

As for younger fans watching the older stuff, we’ve already seen that happen. Lots of fans got into Trek from the movies, TNG, or other shows, and then went back to watch the earlier stuff. Some liked it, some didn’t.

And if you take a few minutes to go watch some YouTube reviews of the new Trek, you’ll find plenty of new fans who are interested in the older stuff. One reviewer, a guy in his late teens or early twenties, starts his review by saying, “That was a good movie. You know what, you can tell when a movie’s really good when it makes you want to go back and watch the original stuff.”

He goes on to say that he’s going to get the first season on blu-ray, after admitting to knowing nothing about Star Trek.

So, no worries; just like always, some new fans will embrace the original, some won’t. But the film has inspired many new fans to go back to the originals.

50. AJ - August 5, 2009

As a parent who has tried to get his kids (7 and 9) into Star Trek since they were born, I was gratified that JJ made a film which caters to today’s shorter attention spans, but also truly reflects the spirit and characters of TOS.

As a Trekker dad who was unsure if the film, or if the last years of ‘indoctrination’ had had any impact at all on my kiddies, the most gratifying moment for me was when my 9-year old daughter, witnessing the Uhura/Spock kiss in the lift, said “daddy, that’s stupid.” Old school! She gets it!

Indeed, for many of us, Star Trek is all about growing up in front of TOS, or any of the newer shows, and the bittersweet irony of how something so great can go through cycles of insane popularity followed by silent downtime. Our kids have so many ‘franchises’ thrown at them that ‘Star Trek’ will eventually get lost in the shuffle unless the spirit is kept new and alive. JJ has made a brilliant first step.

Great article, James, by the way. Come back when the DVD is out, and let’s see what your classmates think then.

51. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

when I said ourt universe I was refering to our Trek, the one we gre up loving, it is all fiction and wonderful fiction at that

52. captain_neill - August 5, 2009


and the spin offs as well I hope

it is the same when Doctor Who came back, many kids embraced the classic Doctor Who but get annoyed at the kids who never bother watching the classic ones.

53. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

So much negativity in some comments, present and past. I am surprised at how much anger can hide in a lot of trekkers.

54. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

sorry I meant the Trek universe, when I say our, just referring to the Trek we have followed since we were kids, it was quicker to write it like that.

55. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

I think my concerns are around how the films perceive mainstream as dumb these days, very few films have title sequences these days and plots become thinner these days. It has nothing to do with Trek, just how films are being catered for the kids these days.

I am glad that kids will be getting into our Trek through this film.

I have two friends who cannot get enough of Trek thanks to the new movie. This is great news.

My friend has watched all TOS and first 6 movies. I am lending her season 1 of TNG this week. She is loving it

56. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

51/54 — hehe, I know you meant the Trek universe we’ve had all these years. But there are SOME folks around these parts who can’t seem to make the distinction between our Trek universe and our REAL universe.

And I’m not a big fan of the spin-offs, so I don’t mind if new fans just go back to TOS. Personally, I’m thrilled that the focus of “official” Trek is back on the TOS characters because none of the spin-offs ever felt quite like “Star Trek” to me.

But I’m pretty sure that new fans who find and like TOS will then go on to TNG, etc. It’s they way most of us have been, right? We find something we like, so we dive into that universe and devour it all.

Why should new fans be any different? I don’t think they will be. :)

57. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

great article and keep trekking

58. Nata - August 5, 2009

My sons aged 10 loved the movie, and what’s more, started to watch TOS with me!
I loved TOS show when I first saw it on TV in early 90s, but I never was a true, obsessed fan. Just loved to tune in every evening and admire Spock & Co. This new movie made me into a true fan: I’m obsessed with all things Star Trek, I’ve bought and rewatched TOS on DVD, and I’m so happy I can share it with my kids.

They love watching TOS with me, they can’t wait till next episode, we discuss it afterwards and it is such a pleasure! They love cool stuff but get some of the deeper message too: like how it is dangerous to let computers run your life, how we still have to use our brains, not be lazy and be in control. Or how it is important not to demonize someone, to try and understand other cultures.

As for the movie: they loved action scenes the most, one of the favorite scenes is with Boy!Kirk driving a car, but that one with “I’ve got your gun” is a favorite too.
Also, we started watching Big Bang Theory with kids, they loved Sheldon too and loved that they could get St jokes now. :)

And James – you did a fantastic write-up, I enjoyed your article very much!

59. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

56 – I love all 5 shows. TNG is a personal fav show of mine, I watched while growing up and Picard and Data are just as iconic as Kirk and Spock. So I am hoping the new fans will discover this great show as well as the great TOS.

Know what I mean

60. Edwin - August 5, 2009

I went to a Star Trek convention in NJ last weekend. It was sold out both days! One thing i really noticed is that there were way more kids there than usual — and many had started watching the original series as a result of the movie! Star Trek has a future once again!

61. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

I’m getting tired about the “dumbed down” thing. I don’t think that all Trek episodes are shakespearean masterpieces. When I was a kid, my first thought about the most celebrated and succesful ST4:TVH was: “they turned Trek into a dumb comedy”.
Sooner or later we will have our new 2001, but in the meantime let’s enjoy some fresh new Trek with open minds. And relax.

62. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

58 — I’m glad the new film helped you connect with your kids and Trek!! That’s the best thing about it so far!

Reading your comments made me think about my reaction to the film. I’m 38, and I’ve been watching Trek since I was 3 or 4. When TMP came out, I realized I was one of these “fans” I’d read about. I was 9 years old.

This new film made me feel a bit like that 9-year-old again. I didn’t care about the bad logic, the idiotic physics and such, because I was having fun with characters I like. Just like TOS, the film was filled with great character moments mixed into the action and dazzle. Trek09 isn’t perfect–far, far from it–but it’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s Trek in a way that none of the spinoffs ever felt.

59 – I understand you loving all Trek shows, but I’ve never been able to love TNG or VOY. I liked the first two seasons on Enterprise, but then it became too much like the TNG stuff for me; the first seasons were classic TOS, lots of action and sexiness and strange new worlds. It was fun in a way the other spinoffs weren’t for me.

I don’t think that Picard and Data have become iconic at all, at least not in the general population. They simply weren’t the same kind of characters; TOS was a bit more Shakespearean, and the characters a bit more mythic. TNG never reached that (despite Stewart’s history with the Bard).

One reason I think the new film reached a new audience is because Kirk and Spock ARE iconic in the general American psyche, whereas Picard and Data are really only icons among TNG fans. More than 40 years later, the general public has an idea of who Kirk and Spock are; just 20 years after TNG started, most people have no clue who Picard or Data were.

63. Trek Nerd Central - August 5, 2009

#16. Actually, I read that & was duly impressed. An 11 or 12-year-old who correctly uses “whom” in a sentence is not to be sneezed at.

Man, there’s a lot of negativity on this thread. Give the kid a break; give Anthony a break; give the pessimism a break. The kid is excited because his friends are excited, and we should be excited, too. Whatever we regard as Trek’s enduring qualities (and yes, they include character and story), I think it’s significant that the franchise has attained a level of coolness that ensures its future. Kids liking “Star Trek” IS A GOOD THING, PEOPLE. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

64. starfleetmom - August 5, 2009

My kids loved the new and OLD Star Trek! Both girls, one is 17, the other is 6. The 17 year old’s friends didn’t know anything about Trek until the new movie…now they are all fans thanks to Karl Urban and Chris Pine. the 6 year old’s friends had no clue what it was. They didn’t understand when she told them she went to a Star Trek Convention last year. Now they know what it is, and they play with her Star Trek Bridge Playset with her!

65. Rhett Coates - August 5, 2009

I enjoyed reading about how the younger generation is taking to the new film. As we all know (and have read), Bob and Alex are considering bringing in some real “meat” to the bones that this film had (if one can call it that – I hesitate to, but then, I’m speaking from an “origin story” point of view). ST XI might be considered a re-introduction to the franchise for A NEW GENERATION, getting them interested enough to go back and see what all the “fuss” is about from those of us who have loved ‘Trek since the beginning – and everything since then.

James, you keep right on reporting, dude! Fine job. Fine job. Now, to answer what some might post here concerning their likes or [in some cases extreme] dislikes about ST XI (or, rather, the eleventh Star Trek movie), why not ask Rod (Gene’s son) what his mom, Majel, thought about the movie? Did she ever get to read the whole script or know what it would be? Those insightful answers might put a lot of harsh criticsm about this film to rest once and for all: if she liked where Bob and Alex were going with the story, her perspective (added to Leonard Nimoy’s) might turn some of [the above] sour-puss feelings around a bit, and might also help people (like #4, above) reconsider their thoughts on the matter. If not, so be it: it’s an opinion.

As for me, I liked the movie – a LOT, and so did EVERYone else I know who saw it – including a lot of people who had, to paraphrase the familiar opening words spoken by Kirk Spock and Picard, never like Star Trek …. before.

Kudos to you, James. Again, I say: GOOD JOB, my friend.

66. VZX - August 5, 2009

#4: Why waste your time writing about an article that you state is a waste of time? To quote a phrase: highly illogical.

Anyway: I think this kid is too pre-occupied on how Star Trek is viewed as “cool” as opposed to “nerdy.” I really don’t care how it is viewed either way, and most fans also don’t care. We embrace our geek/nerd culture and rejoice in our differences to the “mainstream.”

Well, I loved it. My 9-year-old son loved it. My 7-year-old daughter fell asleep to it. And my wife said it was exciting and funny, but I don’t think it was her cup of tea. Also, the many teenagers I have in my class (I’m a teacher) that saw it loved it.

67. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

66 — If you don’t understand the author’s preoccupation with Trek being “cool” or “nerdy,” then you don’t remember being a kid. That’s a HUGE issue to kids, and being labeled a “nerd” at that age isn’t the badge of honor that adult fans seem to think.

When everyone at school mocks you for being into Star Trek, or teases you for reading instead of playing at recess, you are VERY aware of the cool vs. nerdy issue. It’s fine for a grown-up to say “I really don’t care how it is viewed…,” but for kids who are surrounded by peers pressuring them to be cool, how it is viewed is a huge issue.

I think too many fans here have forgotten–or revised in their memory–what it was like to be a kid.

I’m glad James wrote this article; he’s a voice of the younger generation of fans, and he sparked an interesting discussion.

68. dunsel - August 5, 2009

The thing that bothers me about the new film and it’s impact on kids is that it lacks the ethics and morals of TOS. Growing up idolizing Kirk and Spock instilled a sense of ethics and inclusive values that is woefully lacking in the new film . It’s not a Roddenberry, that’s for sure.

69. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

#68 “…it lacks the ethics and morals of TOS”

I don’t agree. Imo, Kirk and Spock in ST09 are deep, troubled characters that overcome their differences to work together and succeed. Strong values.

70. CarlG - August 5, 2009

@11: What’s with the “yuppie” thing?

71. CarlG - August 5, 2009

@69: Don’t you know? William Shatner nailing every green chick in existence is far, far more upstanding than Chris Pine nailing every green chick in existence.

72. allister gourlay - August 5, 2009

Ive got to daughters 18 and 16 – they had always took the mickey out of me for being a 50 year old Star Trek fan.. took them to the IMAX on the opening night here in glasgow – they totally loved it! They cant wait for the DVD!

The next night we all watched The Wrath of Khan – which they also loved!

When my wife and I went for a 2nd viewing 2 weeks later – you want to have hear the disappointment when they found out we went without them – and all their friends also loved the film!

Yeah Star trek is again cool!

73. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

Paul B

Prob true but in the 90s TNG became a phenomenon in its own right, it was huge, just getting the feeling that this site is very anti TNG and I love TNG as much as I love TOS.

I would argue Picard is iconic, remember the Kirk vs Picard debates in the 90s?

74. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

Paul B

You make it sound like TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT will get forgotten but they add to the Star Trek mythos.

I will also be penalised for believing that First Contact is a better film than the new one.

75. captain_neill - August 5, 2009

TNG was also created by Gene Roddenberry so it is as important as TOS.

Please also remember I am a huge TOS junkie, I love it all, I love Kirk. But I get annoyed that the spin offs get a bad rep on this site

76. Trek Dad - August 5, 2009

My 4 year old and 7 year old have seen it twice each. The second time was as a birthday present to me. I thought they only agreed to go for my sake. ‘ve seen the movie 3 times. Yesterday we went into Wal-Mart because I had promised to pick them each up a toy. I offered my 4 year old a Transformer’s toy or Power Rangers. Suddenly, he lit up. He said, “I want Captain Kirk.” I had not seen the endcap with all the Star Trek toys, but he did. He was so excited and now wants the whole set. My wife told me that I should be proud of myself, and while she was being sarcastic, I did feel proud. Is that sad?

77. star trackie - August 5, 2009

The spin offs are just that…and mostly spun off of TNG. A lot of people like them, I don’t. TOS is it’s own unique animal. That’s why I like it and that’s why I love the new movie. Compared to the style and type of “Trek” that has been cranked out of the Berman assembly line over the past 20 yers, JJ’s throwback to the spirit and fun of TOS is fresh, it’s different, it’s fun and it’s little wonder a whole new generation is having a ball with it. The drought is over!

78. Will_H - August 5, 2009

It’s insane now how it seems like everyone I know that went and saw it thinks I’m less of a nerd now cause Star Trek is suddenly kinda cool. For my friends that didnt see it, they still look like idiots saying its stupid in front of those that saw it and know better. As for the kids, though, its good box office wise I guess, but honestly, this isnt a kids movie, so their opinion doesnt matter too much to me.

79. DATA476 - August 5, 2009

Sorry but I don’t buy it… You cannot just say that ALL kids have the same opinion as the ones that have been spoke to here.

I actually don’t think kids in the UK (BRITAIN) are that aware or bothered about Star Trek. Sure many obviously went to the see the movie, but at the end of the movie Im fairly certain that many just thought this – “hey, good movie, MIGHT get it on DVD. Wonder what else is out this summer?”. The fact Star Trek has isn’t STAR WARS. You don’t tend to get these big massive explosive battles all the time, Star Trek is much more about the characters than anything else and the my generation on the whole are a very GADGET-CRAZED-FASHION obsessed bunch … Star Trek doesn’t represent or reflect my generation at all actually. Don’t get me wrong, I think the new movie has certainly improved Star Treks image, but not enough really, unfortunatly it never will I feel fully embrace my generation – which is why I worry that Star Trek could be dead and burried within the next 10 years. I love Star Trek but my mates and fellow age group/sub age groups certainly don’t really care that much about Star Trek, its not part of their lives. FULL STOP. Of course maybe the MAINSTREAM american kids do like it. If that is true then BRITAIN really isn’t going to sick the Star Trek Franchise is it really. So if that was the case then Star Trek is gonna be safe for the future providing the we don’t get the overkill of the 90’s all over again (Personally I don’t think paramount would ever do that again – however I am very optimistic that providing the next sequel is a success that paramount will consider a bran-new TV show. we’ll have to see I surpose).

80. Gustavo Valente - August 5, 2009

Great article!

I’m cool now because here in my town I was regarded as a geek, but now I am considered a True ST fan! LOL….It’s Great to share opinions about Trek with people you never thought would discuss such a thing with you….My brother now is a great fan of romulans, and after I showed him Balance of Terror, he just went crazy!

Can’t wait to see ST on DVD in november
Greetings from Brazil

81. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

Captain Neill (73-75),

You won’t get penalized by me for liking First Contact more than Trek09. :) (I’ll be honest, I don’t like FC very much, but it’s better than the other TNG movies and has some great Trek moments.)

But I disagree about Picard being iconic outside of fandom. It’s simply not true. Yes, Picard vs. Kirk was “big” but mostly in fandom or in publications geared toward fandom. Picard and the rest of TNG never entered the public mind the way TOS did.

Now, I’d also admit that Picard is a better commanding officer, a far better diplomat, and a better actor. ;) But I’d still rather watch Kirk in action than watch Picard in contemplation. (Simple contrast between the two shows, using actual (or near) dialogue. On TNG, Picard orders Wesley to “Lay in a course to remove us from this vicinity.” Kirk, meanwhile, said, “Sulu, get us out of here!”)

I’ve been yelled at for dissing TNG here, so I don’t think it’s an anti-TNG bias. I simply think that many fans like to complain no matter WHAT folks like us say, so if we like TNG, *they* hate it. If we like the new movie, they hate it…

As for the spinoffs all being forgotten, I don’t think that’s implied in what I said. But just as those spinoffs only captured portions of Trek fandom, they will likely only attract portions of new Trek fandom. Forgotten? No. But aside from TNG, none of the spinoffs really grew the fan base.

TOS, the movies, TNG, and now Trek09 have been successful at reaching new audiences. I think future versions of Trek will likely still to the TOS and TNG characters because those are the two versions that worked best.

Of course, we’re just swapping opinions here, so who knows? In 100 years, it’s possible that all Trek fans will be watching “Voyager: The Next Generation” and wearing Neelix hairpieces while asking, “Who the heck is this Spock guy?” :)

82. ML - August 5, 2009

OK… at first I thought this was a post from Anthony… and I was really confused that he was hanging out with young boys, calling them his friends, and being relieved that they have stopped calling him a nerd.

83. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

79 — You make plenty of valid points about your experience with other fans, but you started you post off with a false claim. NOBODY here said that “ALL” kids have the opinion expressed this article. The article clearly talks about only a portion of fandom, a small sampling of kids that the author talked to.

It’s common research practice to use a small study group to draw conclusions about the larger group as a whole. In this case, James Trowbridge clearly states his OPINION about what he found: “Overall, I think that the movie has been very successful with my age group. ” See that word, “think,” in there? That’s him stating that it’s his opinion, not a fact.

So, nobody’s claiming all kids think one thing or another.

And I agree, I hope a successful sequel will prompt Paramount to think about a new Trek show. I’m pretty sure it’ll be back eventually, in some form.

84. Shadowcat - August 5, 2009


I am fifty years old and my husband is fifty-one. Unfortunately we have no children. My oldest nephew is thirteen and loved the frineds did too. He saw it in IMAX in Glasgow. We live in Leith which doesn’t have an IMAX theatre.I was born in the US and lived there until June. I was ridiculed as a nerd and a geek grwing up because I loved Star Trek. My husband is also a Star Trek fan and grew up in the UK. He was teased incessantly by family and friends about being into Star Trek. We already pre-ordered the Blu Ray from Amazon UK.


My nieces and nephews are all gadget nuts too, but they all seem to like science fiction. My brother and sister in law like Star Trek while their spouses don’t really care for it. My neices and nephews have seen a few episodes of TOS and TNG and know some of the main characters. They love televison shows like Dr. Who, Primeval, and the Sarah Jane Adventures.They are a bit too young for shows like Torchwood or Being Human though. I am from the US but moved to the UK in June. While Star Trek doesn’t seem to be as popular here as it is in the US, I think ST XI has changed that somewhat. Only time will tell.

85. EddietheEagle - August 5, 2009

I am at the park with my two kids everyday and have yet to see any kids playing with Star Trek toys. (We go to 3 or 4 different parks.)

Lightsabers? Yes. Transformers? Yes. Bakkumen (sp?) ? Yes.
Star Trek? Nope.

Maybe the DVD will help.

86. Chris H - August 5, 2009

I would have been the fifth post here as I logged on in the UK immediately after 4. Unfortunately I couldn’t post from work, but now – and quite a few hrs later – I still want to say that I thought 4’s comments were just downright mean. He could have put them somewhere else, not straight underneath this great, enthusiastic and literate young author who was doing some great work.

IDIC? I really wonder sometimes………………

87. dmduncan - August 5, 2009

@4: Lighten up on the Kid’s article you bonehead. He’s a kid, which means he’s learning. I congratulate Trekmovie for publishing it.

88. Chris H - August 5, 2009

16: ‘While I guess it’s cool that kids like Star Trek now, I do think it was kind of a lame premise for an article…’

Yeah, a real lame premise: shame that there might be any kids on here who might like to read it.

A few have already posted about how they discovered Trek as kids; here’s my experience. My first ep ever was ‘Arena’. This new uppitty US show replaced Dr Who in the UK in 1969, and it grabbed this kid by the scruff of his neck. Even then I could see that it was something different even if the main thing I still remember was the truly monstrously scary Gorn. That was it: hooked for life; was buying the UK Corgi Blish adaptions at 9 and the best ever Xmas prezzie ever was the original Franz Joseph Tech Manual at 14. Long before Amazon, we had to wait agonising months over here for it to arrive.

My love for Trek as a kid and teen helped me through a lot of stuff; a repressive religion, an awareness that I was different from most of my mates, and an awareness that on top of the above, I loved a show and characters that spoke to me and told me that I was alright through my early yrs. God what I’d have given for the internet then! Or would I? My point being is that 4: just think of how your mouthy peice of self-regard might seem to any young fan posting in or watching this.

89. cagmar - August 5, 2009

Wow, great article from James Trowbridge! What a talent! Awesome work.

My favorite part of the movie was the opening scene with the Kevlin. The most moving sequence EVER in a Star Trek movie. One of my viewings was with a Chinese woman that speaks sparse English. She and I watched TNG a lot together, and often asked me to stop and explain for her. She loves the visuals of Star Trek, the imagination, and finds a lot of satisfaction in having an explanation of the events that can lead to questions and discussion…. Anyway, without understanding 100% of the opening Kelvin sequence, she cried. THAT is amazing. There’s something instinctive about that scene.

Also, I have to give a shout out to the scene where Sarek and Spock are talking in the transporter room about the loss of Vulcan and Spock’s mother. For a moment, the movie slowed down and there was substance and eloquence. It reminded me of old Trek. But I’m glad the kids liked this new one, so they can come back to catch more of it as it matures (hopefully) alongside them.

90. colonyearth - August 5, 2009

Chris H:

I completely agree. I read some much trash talk from Trek fans and degrading language. I read hate and malevolence.

What happened to the IDIC principle? They say they value the morals and depth of Trek, but they don’t walk the space walk, so they? Sad really.

I became a fan of Trek very young and have loved it ever since. I’ve had many beefs with it over the years, especially the Berman years. But many on here are correct when they remind us to think back to our youth. It was the coolness and spacyness that attracted us…let’s all be honest.

Kirk and Spock were cool and tough. The messages were there, but brought us along over the years of love and devotion.

Even the new film, while playing to a new generation has sparked deep thought and conversation. Over genocide, over friendships and how we see each other. Over not judging someone outright, but looking beneath the surface to discover a friend you may well have for life.

To those who say this film didn’t have any meat on its bones…I say…you weren’t looking closely enough! Your rage blinded you.

And that brings me right back to IDIC.

Thank you for your time, folks. And James…keep writing! You’re brilliant!


91. Laura - August 5, 2009

What a great article, and what a great kid! Love it!

My ten-year-old daughter absolutely loved it. She’d seen a few Trek episodes and knew who the major characters were, but wasn’t sure she’d like the movie. About 20 minutes in, she turned to me and whispered, “This is a good movie, isn’t it?” She was surprised and pleased, and just gushed over it when we went out for chocolate fondue afterwards. I know that someday, I’m going to look back on that experience as one of the best times we ever had together.

Also, she is MUCH more open to watching TOS, TNG, VOY and especially DS9 now, much to my surprise. Love it!

Thanks again, James!

92. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 5, 2009

While I’d probably be one of the first to harp on how self-serving, for the industry, the movie ratings system is, and that it uses inconsistent metrics which make it almost impossible to be of value to parents, I have to say I’m surprised at the nonchalance that young and old alike are taking in relating tales of mostly under 13yo children attending a PG-13 movie with nary a mention of discussion with parents/guardians as to whether they were ready to handle the themes and intensity of the action?

I hate to resort to the trite but “Where are the parents in this story?”

Also, as I don’t know many under 13yos that attend Hollywood premieres, I’d have wonder that Mr. Trowbridge’s sample is not likely to be close to typical?

FWIW, the 7yo and 9yo in my purview that were expose to ToS (and like it) before this movie was a twinkle in Gail Berman’s eye, looked at all the ads and promotions and decided on their own that “This movie’s not for kids.”

They still ate up ST09’s merchandising: glasses, bigheads, transporter beacons, etc. But oddly, none of the more expensive child-oriented toys.

Out of curiosity I asked the 6yo how many classmates/friends saw ST09? Survey says – 0.

Same question to 9yo: Survey says – 0.

93. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

#90 “I read some much trash talk from Trek fans and degrading language. I read hate and malevolence.”

Sadly true, and I’m really shocked. Just because a movie doesn’t meet one’s expectation, I see hate and poison-spitting. Trek should have taught tolerance.

94. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

#90 “Even the new film, while playing to a new generation has sparked deep thought and conversation. Over genocide, over friendships and how we see each other. Over not judging someone outright, but looking beneath the surface to discover a friend you may well have for life.”

Sorry for the double quoting, in this and in my previous post. Just to say how much I agree with these words. Imo, the new movie had a lot of morals and ethics. Too bad that new visuals and, omg, a bigger ship, blinded the enraged fans.
Gene Roddenberry would be very proud of ST09, in my humble opinion.

95. RD - August 5, 2009

#92 – I have to admit I had a similar reaction. Especially after my 4PM Sunday afternoon Matinee of “The Hangover” where numerous pre-teen girls and boys were in attendance. They thought the Tiger in the bathroom was funny among other quasi-juvenile things.

I also have to add, I grew up with Star Trek. I was playing Star Trek when I was 6 or 7. That’s when you hook kids. Not 10-13. I was 11 in 1977 and Star Wars had little to no effect on me – never bought a single Star Wars toy, some models, the album, but no toys. TMP had it right with the “G” rating, unfortunately there was nothing in it particularly objectionable for kids, there also was nothing in it for them either. And I’m still stuck on the fact that the most logical of all the characters in the film tells Kirk to forget his pseudo-ethics for political-gain in his offer to rescue Nero, he did a bad thing – blow him to hell. If this is the message Trek is presenting for the future generation of Trek fans, it is only a matter of years before we bring back the Federal death penalty in the US – An eye-for-an-eye: it was good enough for the bible … it’s good enough for the USA. F*ck justice!

96. The Original Spock's Brain - August 5, 2009

Great article James!

97. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#69: “I don’t agree. Imo, Kirk and Spock in ST09 are deep, troubled characters that overcome their differences to work together and succeed. Strong values.”

Laying aside the wildly differing views we have of the morality (or utter, absolute lack of morality) on display in ST09, what has me gobsmacked is someone referring to these cardboard stock-footage caricatures as “deep.”

#70: I’m not sure, either. Near as I can tell it’s just another marketing decision.

98. AJ - August 5, 2009


You have a point, in that Kirk should have done whatever possible to save as many of Nero’s crew as possible so that they could stand trial, and provide intelligence to the Federation which could give them a competitive advantage.

In the end, however, it is no more stupid than marooning Khan and his followers on an unknown planet, or not trying to save him as the Genesis device geared up for activation. Star Trek ’09 takes the genocide angle as a reason to kill all the evil Romulans. In fact, Spock expresses his desire to kill them (“Not this time…”) which is uncharacteristic of the character. A flaw in an otherwise worthy Trek film.

99. RD - August 5, 2009

#98 AJ wrote: “A flaw in an otherwise worthy Trek film.”

You say that like that was the only one. LOL My point was really more about the values the film espouses, not the stupidity, there was more than enough of that, too though.

I didn’t hate this film, it was a fun popcorn ride and I don’t really want to debate the franchise worthiness of it here. But, the question of values has been raised for kids. One could even say Space Seed was a better moral lesson than offered here: Kirk gives Khan a chance to be the man he is, rather than lock him away for simply being what he was created to be. The stupidity is really starfleet not monitoring the situation. Why didn’t they beam off Khan after he started Genesis? Who knows, at least they didn’t have a conversation about how they were going to blow him away for revenge because of what he did.

In addition to the immoral and stupid one man judge, jury and trail method of dispatching Nero presented here, there are other questionable depictions in this film as well, which taken as a whole offer dubious messages for kids, regardless of which “high ideals” the film allegedly otherwise presented. In particular, Kirk’s whole rise to captain. I defer to this well written analysis of the situation for my take on that:

100. Shadowcat - August 5, 2009


Unfortunately I DO remember how I was treated for being a Star Trek fan by my peers. I grew up in the United States in the 1960’s and 1970’s and in my racial group, excelling in math and science as well as being a bookworm made me an instant outcast. I am female and female geeks/nerds are even less acceptable than male geeks/nerds. I played the violin in my school orchestra which opened me up to even more ridicule. I had very few friends and Star Trek became my escape. I loved the characters and the egalitarian society portrayed in Star Trek intrigued me. I dreamed of a place where I could be accepted for myself. Honestly, I think Gene Roddenbery’s vision of a society where individuals were valued for their skills and intelligence and differences were accepted attracted me and so many others. I was never able to fit into mainstream Black American culture, After years of rejection, I met my husband rather late in life. Like in Star Trek, I married someone of another race and nationality. My husband is also a long time Star Trek fan. I recently relocated to the UK and I am in the process of becoming a citizen.

You are right when you say young people are worried about fitting in and being “cool”. No one wants to be bullied and ridiculed. With Star Trek becoming more appealing to mainstream audiences, maybe this generation of young people won’t have to experience what me and others have suffered for relating to and enjoying Star Trek.

101. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#95: “F*ck justice!”


Finally, we have a subtitle for the next film to replace “something something!” It sums up the ethical stance of the new approach, it’ll fit easily on a poster, and it’s easy to remember.

#98: “Star Trek ‘09 takes the genocide angle as a reason to kill all the evil Romulans.”

Given that these Romulans seem to be the last of their kind (relative to timeline), it can be said (and has been, but here we go again) that Star Trek ’09 takes the genocide angle as a reason for genocide.

The immorality and stupidity go hand-in-hand, though. To “justify” their ending, they needed Nero to behave like an idiot madman, thus being “evil enough” to be wiped out (we’ll never know just how complicit his crew was, only his closest sidekick-types). Thus, his motivation became ridiculous and fed the overall stupidity of the film in order to prop up the film’s lack of solution.

And the usual disclaimer: I liked the film, for what it was. But I’m also disappointed in what it was.

102. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

95 — You said, “TMP had it right with the “G” rating, unfortunately there was nothing in it particularly objectionable for kids, there also was nothing in it for them either.” I disagree entirely. I was 9 years old when TMP came out, and that’s the film that made me a permanent Trekkie. I’d already been watching the show, reading the Blish novelizations and such, but after seeing TMP, I became a fanatic.

TMP is my favorite Trek in many ways. It’s the only one that shows the crew really exploring something unknown, and even at 9 years old I liked the character arcs. (Kirk is insecure and out of his element, Spock is cold and searching for answers, Decker is trying to make his mark but being pushed aside. As the film progresses, each of them finds what he needs. Meanwhile, the core crew is relearning how to be a family, and only after Spock comes aboard does it start to happen.)

So TMP did reach 9-year-olds. And kids of that age are capable of enjoying a film’s deeper elements. Just thought I’d share a perspective on the “right age to get hooked” talk. :)

103. Anthony Thompson - August 5, 2009

34 (and 11)

Yeah, I don’t believe that S. John Ross saw the same movie which you, I and the rest of the planet saw! Care to explain, Johnny?

104. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

95, 101, etc. — I share your distaste for the final Kirk/Nero situation in Trek09, but I don’t think it guts Trek’s morality the way you claim. Kirk was right.

First, Nero refused Kirk’s offer of help. Remember that–Kirk OFFERED before shooting. Did you complain in ST3 when Kirk offered to save Kruge and then kicked him to his death? In both cases, the villains refused help before Kirk killed them–and in both cases, Kirk had very little time to act. (True, there’s a difference between killing one Klingon and killing a shipload of Romulans, but only in degree.)

Second, the Narada was falling into a black hole. How the hell are they supposed to beam anybody off the ship in time? We already saw how hard it was for them to beam half a dozen people from a planet’s surface because of the black hole. But in the later scene, there wasn’t even a solid body to beam from, just a moving ship that was falling into the black hole; not only that, but the later black hole was formed form a vastly larger amount of red matter, probably making it much more powerful.

Third, Nero couldn’t be allowed to escape, and since he’d previously traveled through a black hole (or singularity–whichever they called it), there was reason to think he might survive falling through THIS one. So the Narada couldn’t be allowed to fall through the black hole intact.

Fourth, we saw that Enterprise barely escaped the black hole as it was. They couldn’t stick around longer, trying to save Nero’s people, without dooming ALL of the people in BOTH ships.

So…what was Kirk supposed to do? Let Nero go, and risk that the Narada would survive the black hole, giving Nero the chance to wreak havoc in another time? No. Beam them all aboard? No, because we already saw that wouldn’t be possible.

Despite the many flaws in the film, I don’t think this is one of them. Kirk is in a situation where he has to act, and he makes the right choice. Is it a pretty choice? No. Is it the ideal solution? No. But we all know that ideal solutions are rarely possible.

Just as sure as I am that Han Solo shot first, I am sure that Kirk made the right choice.

And if the writers are worth anything (are you reading, Orci?), they’ll have Kirk feeling the effects of such a horrible-but-necessary command decision.

Also, S. John Ross at #101 said, “Given that these Romulans seem to be the last of their kind (relative to timeline)…” Uh, no, they aren’t. In the Prime timeline, an entire Romulan Star Empire still exists. Only the planet was destroyed. So these aren’t even close to being the last remaining Prime-line Romulans. Thus, “genocide” has nothing to do with it, not by any stretch of logic.

105. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 5, 2009


That’s all a very fine bit of reasoning, but the question remains: what exactly was Kirk going to do if Nero had said “I accept. Save my crew!”? Or was it, by your apparent reasoning, actually just an empty offer done with an eye towards future political expediency?

106. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

105 — To be honest, it might have been an empty offer. Kirk might not have expected Nero to accept.

But, based on Prime Kirk’s behavior, I would guess that this Kirk would have risked ship and crew to save Nero’s people, if Nero had accepted. I can’t be certain, especially since this Kirk’s upbringing didn’t include his father: his moral compass might be out of whack.

A clue to Kirk’s behavior–either Kirk, I believe–is found (again) in ST3. The Klingons have killed Kirk’s son and forced him to destroy Enterprise. After killing Kruge, he beams up and points a phaser at Maltz (I think) and says something like, “Help us or die.” Maltz says, “I do not deserve to live,” and Kirk waves him off with, “Fine, I’ll kill you later.” Obviously, we know he didn’t kill him. (Well, we don’t have canonical proof…)

Again, Kruge’s men killing David isn’t the same as Nero killing Vulcan, but Kirk’s character is the kind to show mercy when given the chance.

So, I think he’d have risked–and lost–Enterprise to save Nero’s people. HOWEVER, despite your hypothetical question, my reasoning remains: Given the events of the film and the facts of the situation, Kirk made the right decision.

Can anyone offer a solution that would have fit the facts of the film? Once Kirk is faced with Nero falling into the black hole, and at the moment Nero refuses his help…what else could Kirk have done? What was the best possible choice?

I think he made it.

107. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#104: “Uh, no, they aren’t. In the Prime timeline, an entire Romulan Star Empire still exists.”

Fair enough; I must have been inferring something erroneously from the non-canon tie-in material. As for the rest (the Kruge thing, etc) see previous threads where that horse has already been well-lashed.

#105: Indeed.

108. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

107 — If the rest (Kruge, etc.) has been well-lashed, then what’s the answer? What else could Kirk have done, given the situation?

Unless you can offer a better solution than the one Kirk used (blasting Nero), I stand by my argument–no matter how much it’s been lashed.

Just because we don’t like the choice doesn’t make it the wrong choice.

109. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

107 – part 2 (sorry–gotta fix something)

To be fair to you, I haven’t read the non-canon tie-in material (except the novelization), so you might not be wrong about what it says. However, in canon, there is no reason to think the Star Empire is gone–so there is no canonical genocide. (say that five times fast)

I might be an argumentative ass, but I try to be a fair one–and I admit you probably know info from the non-canon stuff that I don’t. :)

110. RD - August 5, 2009

#104 – much of your arguments are based on supposition. Little of your assumptions are canon, so I won’t address them. But, IF ANY of those arguments had ben made on camera instead of what transpired, I would be happier. Instead they chose the Arnold Schwarzenneger action film way out – Fulfill the blood lust.

First: Kirk says he only offered to save Nero because he thought that’s what Spock would want him to do and it would earn political favor with the Romulans. THIS IS NOT a moral or ethical reason a decision should be made on to save people. Put it in perspective: WWII, a US aircraft carrier has just defeated a Japanese battleship, the boat sinking, the captain defiantly going down on the bridge. Instead of rescuing the survivors, the aircraft carrier opens fire on the Japanese men in the water, killing them all before it speeds away to avoid the vortex of the sinking ship, not even attempting to save any of them.

Second: Spock basically says not this time (as if saving enemies for political gain is often an acceptable motivation) and to blow them up in retribution.

Third: TSFS argument has come up before and the biggest problem is Kruge not only didn’t want Kirk’s help, but tried to take Kirk down with him. Kirk had no choice but to kick him off. Nero was in no position to harm the Enterprise any further, he was of no further threat. In the time it took to blow the Narada to smithereens and then smack their satisfied lips, they could have been beaming survivors off … as many as they could until they could no longer stick around and have still launched photon torpedoes to hasten the destruction of the Narada on their retreat. There is plenty of precedence for the Enterprise to multitask at this level. But none of that defends the thought process that went on on the bridge instead.

Add to that the promotion from cadet to Captain for meritorious vengefulness in the line of duty, following his illustrious academy achievements such as cheating his way through classes, following a mis-spent youth as a rebellious repeat offender and you’ve got quite a morality tale and role model for the kiddies.

111. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#108: “Just because we don’t like the choice doesn’t make it the wrong choice.”

Nobody has argued otherwise. If you’re going to beat the horse, beat the horse, but leave the strawmen out of it; they’ve done nothing to you.

112. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#110: “But, IF ANY of those arguments had ben made on camera instead of what transpired, I would be happier. Instead they chose the Arnold Schwarzenneger action film way out – Fulfill the blood lust.”

And, stepping outside the fictional events themselves, Abrams also played the sequence for cheers and laughs, which is a directorial decision that magnifies the sense of the film discarding morality for cheap expedience, and celebrating doing so. There’s little in the tone of the scene that suggests that Kirk was having anything other than FUN at the prospect of killing everyone aboard Narada. At both screenings I attended, the audience did, in fact, laugh.

(And yes, I understand that apparent directorial intent and audience response aren’t canon … I don’t forward this as an argument; I’m just observing that it magnifies all the rest and leaves a nasty, cheap taste in the mouth)

113. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

(to clarify: they laughed at the Kirk/Spock exchange about the decision at hand, and I can’t see any evidence that Abrams didn’t _intend_ it to be funny; it seemed very deliberate that we were supposed to consider this conversation chuckleworthy high jinx).

114. Buzz Cagney - August 5, 2009

Glad to see the kids enjoyed that ‘iv got your gun’ line- I loved it but everyone around me seemed unimpressed- certainly they did seem to get the kick out of it that I got!

My 9 year old boy totally enjoyed *new* Trek (as did I) so to JJ, Bob and Alex and everyone else- keep on doing what you are doing. ;-)

115. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

110 — My “suppositions” are based on what is shown in the movie, as I explained in the post. Those are the given circumstances as shown in the film.

Unlike you, I won’t try to dismiss your argument with an empty “those are suppositions” line.

I want to concede your point about Nero not being able to further harm anyone vs. Kruge’s active attempt to drag Kirk down–except, as I pointed, if he survives the black hole. That’s what is at risk: Nero surviving into another timeline, where he would likely cause far more damage than anything Kruge was involved in.

That’s a key point: The Narada already traveled through time via singularity once, so there is CANONICAL, on-screen reason to worry that it could survive the later black hole.

As for your first point, Kirk did not say “I ONLY did it because I thought you wanted….” We can nitpick the words, but there’s a big difference between “I thought that’s what you wanted” and “I only did it because that’s what you wanted.” You are reading into it something that isn’t stated onscreen–you are reading into Kirk’s motivation something that isn’t shown or said.

Just because he thought that was what Spock would want doesn’t mean Kirk didn’t want it, too. Again–based on what is spoken in the film.

Your second point is a good one, and it’s something that I felt bad about laughing at (Spock’s comment re: saving Nero). But I also think that it wasn’t terribly out of line for Spock to speak his mind and to be vengeful. He’s half human, remember. And Vulcans have a savage streak that runs deep (Amok Time shows it well). And Nero had just murdered Spock’s mom and entire paternal lineage. WE already saw him driven into a berserker rage where he beat Kirk mercilessly. Is it hard to believe he feels vengeful?

And he’s not the Prime Spock. Again, I think it fit THIS character, given the facts of the movie. It’s a point of departure for the character, a challenge he’ll have to deal with–that is, if the writers dig deep. Just as Kirk has to face having made the command decision to blast Nero, Spock should wrestle with his rage and his vengeance.

To me, that makes the character interesting again. We’ve already seen Prime Spock grow through his challenges and become a mature, whole being; why watch him go through the same thing all over again? Instead, just as this Kirk has a different background to overcome, this Spock has new challenges to face.

116. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

112 and 113 — I agree! Absolutely, the scene should not have been played for laughs. Like I said, I felt bad because I laughed.

But I wouldn’t change the dialogue or the decisions. I wouldn’t play it for laughs at all, so we’re all in agreement on that.

117. RD - August 5, 2009

#113 – Well you can’t say their isn’t precedence, though the SPCA might have been more concerned than the ACLU:

I seem to recall Kirk and the gang had a hearty laugh at the end of The Trouble With Tribbles when Scotty admitted to beaming all the tribbles into the Klingon’s engine room before they went to warp, where there would be no “tribble at all”. Never mind they would starve to death, or more likely be viciously and cruelly exterminated by the Klingons.

Oh my what a happy ending for that episode.

118. RD - August 5, 2009

#115 – fine. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that Nero or the Narada would survive the black hole, or that it was even a concern of Kirks or Spocks. In fact, if you want to go by what was shown on screen, the Narada was devastated, the red matter literally exploded within the Narada and the black hole formed within the decimated superstructure of the ship. The Narada was not going to survive a trip though the black hole. If anything the ship was being ripped apart by the singularity from inside, as were the occupants. Prove me wrong. That’s why I didn’t want to discuss it and because it’s ultimately irrelevant to the point.

Second, I have no problem with people feeling vengeful. I have a problem with people acting on it – gleefully no less. In Space Seed Spock comments on Kirk, Scotty & McCoy glorifying Khan, in which they are forced to explain the difference between admiring traits without condoning actions.

Finally, nit-pick all you want. Kirk still basically said: I did it because I thought that’s what you wanted … NOT BECAUSE it was the right thing to do. THAT IS THE ONLY POINT HERE.

Defend Kirk & Spock all you want, nothing can mitigate the appalling lack of morality and ethics displayed at the end of this film.

119. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 5, 2009


Or inferred possibly from the actions of the character Nero himself who, after 25 years to ponder his time travel, still chose to behave as if they were all dead to him even though they hadn’t even been born yet.

I must say the movie’s plot would have been much more interesting if Nero’s character actually voiced that approach, that by his understanding, his future friends, family and entire civilization was impossibly erased (or at least impossible to return to) due to the time travel Spock’s solution induced even if Nero’s own actions may have contributed to making it so. Being an inexperienced time-traveler, he could have been horribly wrong in his reasoning…but at least it would have been a far more understandable motivation for his actions and attitudes toward both Spocks.

Or Orci could have even used the two characters’ Nature of Time “sparring” to lay out how time travel was going to “work” from now on. I mean Nero’s being able to predict when and where Spock Prime would emerge would only seem to confirm Nero’s view to himself, right or wrong.
For that matter, Orci could have left the “true nature of time travel” matter unresolved between the two on screen but at least got his pov voiced.

120. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

#97 “what has me gobsmacked is someone referring to these cardboard stock-footage caricatures as “deep.”

Yes, I think that Kirk and Spock in ST09 were deep and well depicted characters. Points of view.

121. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#116: “I wouldn’t play it for laughs at all, so we’re all in agreement on that.”

And now, the brief and manly hug.

122. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#120: “Yes, I think that Kirk and Spock in ST09 were deep and well depicted characters. Points of view.”

I believed you the first time :)

123. S. John Ross - August 5, 2009

#115: “that is, if the writers dig deep.”

And now, the brief and manly laugh.

124. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

#121. – Ewwwwwwww!!!!! :)

I’d have settled for a brief and manly high five.

125. Paulaner - August 5, 2009

As for Kirk letting Nero die (after laying a helping hand), correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember the Enterprise crew trying to save Ru’afo in Insurrection.

126. NX-2000 - August 5, 2009

7. – I agree. After all… we’re only mortal. How can we expect this story to live on forever, without giving it room to breathe, and without having faith in the young ones who must carry the torch – as fans and the filmmakers behind the Trek that is to come – when we’re all dead and buried?

127. Paul B. - August 5, 2009

Would it have been murder or genocide if Kirk had blown up the Narada in open combat? Most people cheered when Kirk and Sulu blew away Chang’s ship in ST6, so I guess it’s the timing of the killing that makes it moral or immoral?

Is it because Nero couldn’t fight back? But since he isn’t an innocent–in fact, he is the most deadly villain in all of Star Trek as far as I remember, having murdered billions of Vulcans–and he refused the offer of help, does that matter?

If they had been in open combat and Kirk had disable the Narada, asked Nero to surrender, Nero refuses, Kirk shoots….would that be murder? Isn’t that how it usually plays out in bad-guy-dies endings? The hero always offers redemption…grabs the villain’s hand or coattail….

I think the only problem with Kirk/Spock here is the “laugh-it-up” direction of the scene. Played seriously, with the gravity it deserved, it would be great. (Imagine if Kirk seemed shocked at Spock’s vengefulness, and if Spock sounded horribly ashamed when he says what he says….)

Oh well–I’ll leave the dead horse alone for now. But it’s an argument I think worth having mostly because I hope Bob Orci will read it. Doesn’t matter who comes out ahead or gets the last word.

This is the kind of debate and depth that is needed to make the sequel a great film. We’re having it, so maybe they will, too.

128. --Mandalore-- - August 5, 2009

@118-Defend Kirk & Spock all you want, nothing can mitigate the appalling lack of morality and ethics displayed at the end of this film.

Well don’t forget the fact Nero and co. just destroyed Vulcan, killing billions, wiped out the Federation fleet above Vulcan, killing thousands, wiped out an entire Klingon fleet(as stated in the movie), and just about destroyed good ol’ Earth.

So if you were in Kirk & Spock’s position, would you still want to save them? Still lend a hand to a very disturbed Romulan who sole intent was to completely destroy Vulcan and the rest of the Federation?

It’s obvious had Nero succeeded in destroying Earth, that he wouldn’t have stopped there, as is described in the film,

“Nero placed the blame for Romulus’ destruction on Ambassador Spock, who had promised to prevent the disaster, and the Federation, which he believed did nothing while Romulus was destroyed.” –

So logically he wouldn’t have stopped there, he would’ve continued on his rampage by destroying the other Federation members worlds. So therefore as Spock put it, “The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.”

On a lighter note, great article James!

129. HotStove - August 5, 2009

Bottom line for my family –

– I’ve been a Trekkie since the early 70’s and I enjoyed the movie.
– It was the first Trek movie my wife and I went to (starting with FC) that she did not take a nap at some point.
– My 14 year old son loves the original episodes in syndication and also loved this movie
– My 8 year old daughter has never cared for TOS, but after seeing this movie she quotes both Kirk and Uhura, and loved the scenes with Scotty and Keenser.

Mission accomplished, Abrams and Co.

130. --Mandalore-- - August 5, 2009

Or even Kirk in TUC, when told about the destruction of Praxis and the eventual inhabitability of Qo’Nos,

Spock-“They’re dying Jim..”

Kirk-“Let them die!”

Talk about a lack of morality and ethics.


131. --Mandalore-- - August 5, 2009

Hate to double post but I forgot to add something.

*Or even Kirk in TUC, when told about the destruction of Praxis and the eventual inhabitability of Qo’Nos, and the fact that he was volunteered to be the Federations first “olive branch,” *


132. Paulaner - August 6, 2009

#130 #131

Agreed. Picard is an all-time pacifist, but Kirk has always been kind of borderline when it comes to treats, dangerous villains and/or personal matters.

133. MC1701B - August 6, 2009

93. Then talk to the newbies here who have done nothing but tell us older fans to “go watch our DVDs”. Not a single “thank you” for our refusal to let Trek stay dead in the ’70’s, without which there would be no Rick Vermin Trek, nor an ST09 to debate.

Nothing but vitriol and name-calling.

134. S. John Ross - August 6, 2009

#130: “Talk about a lack of morality and ethics.”

(A) Ethics isn’t relevant; Kirk isn’t in a position affect the outcome; nobody depends on his words and he’s just talking bitter-hearted smack.
(B) The morals aren’t lacking; they’re right there in the scene; they’re just not invested in Kirk at that moment. Kirk is wrong to say what he says there and the movie doesn’t let him get away with staying wrong. That’s much of the point of that film.

Kirk is a man, not a paragon and not a superhero. He can be wrong, and has been wrong on several occasions. Sometimes he pulls himself back over and makes the right choice; often Spock, McCoy or some other character has to help him find the way. But the story always acknowledges his human flaws and shows him overcoming them, not succumbing to them in a flourish of action-comedy wakka-wakka violence and getting patted on the back for it for it with a promotion and closing-credits fanfare.

If “Let them die” were followed by a group high-five, an air-guitar riff and McCoy saying “It’s Miller Time!” then you’d be in JJ Abrams territory.

135. S. John Ross - August 6, 2009

#127 “I think the only problem with Kirk/Spock here is the “laugh-it-up” direction of the scene. Played seriously, with the gravity it deserved, it would be great. (Imagine if Kirk seemed shocked at Spock’s vengefulness, and if Spock sounded horribly ashamed when he says what he says….)”

I think it’s the thing that highlights most clearly what the movie is saying about what’s going on.

Again, that’s meta … but it ain’t nothin’.

136. Paulaner - August 6, 2009

#134 #135

I agree on the lack of gravity. I, too, felt that something was wrong. But what I really missed was Nero expressing his troubled feelings and emotions in a compassionate way. In the end, I wish I could sympathize with that ill-fated romulan.

137. USS Manila NCC-99232 - August 6, 2009

My little brother really likes Star Trek even if he’s just 7 yrs. old. He already got a USS Enterprise vehicle.

138. star trackie - August 6, 2009

#117 “Oh my what a happy ending for that episode.”

I laughed.

139. RD - August 6, 2009

#127. Paul B. wrote:” But it’s an argument I think worth having mostly because I hope Bob Orci will read it. … This is the kind of debate and depth that is needed to make the sequel a great film. We’re having it, so maybe they will, too.

Don’t hold your breath. If it won’t sell tickets, they ain’t discussing it. They had their chance to do the right thing and they opted for a Hollywood ending. There’s an episode of the Simposons in which Homer helps Mel Gibson re-cut his remake of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, a result of which is Gibson exacts his revenge on the senate and cuts off the presidents head. That is the crowd Orci & Kurtzman are pandering to here. There’s no reason to believe they are suddenly going to find their moral center here. They certainly didn’t in Transformers 2.

#127 & 218 – What shapes morality and ethics here has very little to do with what the enemy does to warrant defeat, but rather how the enemy is treated in defeat.

It doesn’t matter what Nero has done. You stop him in whatever manner is necessary. A ship coming at you guns-a-blazin’ gets taken out however possible. If you equate Chang’s destruction with Nero’s then you are completely missing the point (and scaring me). No matter what Nero did, if you catch him, the goal is to bring him to justice, not murder him in cold blood. If Nero finds a way to keep fighting, then to protect life you take him out. It is a fine line in terms of actions taken, but morally it is miles wide.

If the Russians had been so fortunate as to capture Hitler alive, what would have been the point then for some bereaved Russian foot-soldier to put a bullet in his head? Now if Hitler had pulled a weapon, then all bets are off. While Hitler is a horrible villain in history, what separates us from the apes is that we don’t beat our criminals to death for their crimes. We hold them accountable. Trek has been on record since the first season of TOS (Dagger of the Mind) about how criminals should be handled.

140. Paulaner - August 6, 2009

#139 “That is the crowd Orci & Kurtzman are pandering to here. There’s no reason to believe they are suddenly going to find their moral center here.”

Again, I have to point out that this is not the only Trek story having the bad guy killed in the end, so putting some kind of blame on O&K is unfair.

141. Paulaner - August 6, 2009


I mean, having the bad guy killed instead of bringing him to justice.

142. captain_neill - August 6, 2009


I agree that is the crowd they pandering to. I ended up liking the new film despite hating a lot of the stuff JJ Abrams changed, yet to me this was Trek dumbed down to appeal to the mainstream audience.

I am not looking to criticise the film, just pointing out the nature of the beast in Hollywood these days.

Given that the mainstream audience wants to see shiny stuff and explosions rather than a plot then it was.

Trek has a lot going for it but misses so much, i felt Kirk’s ‘olive branch’ was right but the way it was done did not work as well for me, it felt shoehorned in.

Its not my favourite Trek movie, but its a fun Trek movie. Best film I saw this summer, just does not represent Trek’s finest hour.

I still believe TWOK, FC and TUC are better films

143. The Last Maquis - August 6, 2009

Hey make the little Bast%#ds watch the Original series, if they can sit through that, then we’ll talk.

Oh and Did they even Have to fire On Nero at all?
He was already being sucked into a BlackHole!!

“Oh Yeah, well We’re gonna Make You Die!!……while you…die..”

so stupid.

144. AJ - August 6, 2009

TUC has been mentioned here several times.

I thought Kirk’s “bigotry” was contrived and unrealistic. As someone who tried to talk an alien enemy out of suicide (Balance of Terror), and whose friendship with Spock is meant to embody racial tolerance and the beauty of diversity, it was quite out of character for him to describe an entire civilization as “animals.” His excuse, that Kruge killed his son, whom he abandoned for Starfleet, and whom he knew for only a few days, just doesn’t jibe. The “lesson” he learns at the end is one the TV-Kirk had already absorbed, and that the writers simply ignored.

In the end, it was natural for Kirk to offer Nero and his crew a chance for life. The film makes it seem as if it’s part of the job description, instead of a genuine offer from Kirk. When Shatner’s Kirk offered the Romulan a chance for survival, I was absolutely convinced he did so from the heart. Pine’s Kirk did it to tick a box and move on. Blame it on the new timeline.

It has certainly made it difficult to pin down who Kirk actually is. I’ll just cap it off at STIV. Those who handled him afterwards, including Shatner, really didn’t get it. The new Kirk can still grow. Let’s hope he does, and that they show it on the big screen.

145. James Heaney - Wowbagger - August 6, 2009

Man. After reading this review, I wish this movie had come out when *I* was twelve.

Instead, I got the first season of Enterprise.

I loved ENT, but let’s just say that watching it did *not* help my coolness cred in any way. Perhaps this new movie means the decades of teasing are finally over!

146. Nata - August 6, 2009

#104 Paul B. — about justification for Kirk and Spock actions vs. Nero in the end.

That’s how I tried to explain it to myself, and you gave a pretty good advocasy.
I enjoyed the movie overall, and tried to explain away the ugliness of that ending mainly so that I could keep enjoying it. But it ain’t working, and the deeper I go into Star Trek lore, the harder it is to accept it, as it goes against what ST is all about.

Precisely because of the light way that scene was portrayed, and because there were no reprecussions for the characters, no reflection from K&S on what they’ve done (but you guys here agreed on that too).

I’m not sure we’ll get any follow-up on this in the next movies.
If there will be, I’ll be thrilled – at least Spock would need to come to terms with his going to the dark side! Yes, everyone told him it was OK to let his ugly side show, but Spock we knew from TOS was always the hardest judge on himself.

But what repulsed me even more was the ending in the novelization, which was based on the original script by O&K.
I’m talking about a scene where Kirk teaches Spock how to torture Romulans, and Spock cheerfully goes ahead with it. Which was again played for laughs.
Now to their credit O&K discarded that scene, but thinking that it’s even originated in their heads is a bit scary…

I watched ST-TUC yesterday and I think it was the 1st time I watched it in full in my life. What an excellent movie, and what a contract in moral treatment of an enemy in that movie and in ST-11!

For example, Spock there had to be rough with Valeris in extracting info, and he goes so far in mind-raping her that she, a Vulcan, is crying out! But we also see how Spock is profoundly shaken by it, as well as everyone else who was watching.
That’s what makes all the difference – not the choices themselves, but how they affect the heroes.

And the point was already made that while Kirk started out hating Klingons and wishing them dead, in the end he overcame it, and that was the whole point of the movie.

147. AJ - August 6, 2009

Being “cool” was never an issue with me. I had an 8th-grade homeroom teacher who would start every morning with an informal talk about what we all watched the night before. Inevitably, it was either Monty Python or Star Trek, and with only 13 channels, we all watched them. I had Trek toys, was bad at sports, and was still 8th grade class president. My Trekker friends were similarly not abused.

I have never understood where the bad rap came from. The recent “Family Guy” describes a Star Trek Con as a place where “once a year, sci-fi buffs take their lips off the barrel of a loaded gun and spend half a day adjusting their eyes to sunlight.” Why?

The NJ con last weekend had families, hot chicks, handsome guys, and lots of regular folk of all ages.

Many Trekkers look at their obsession as a badge of shame, or emphasize their own geekdom in order to ‘not’ fit in with their peers. They assume they will be abused, and then simply ask for abuse.

If one’s life is spent on a couch in front of a TV, it has nothing to do with being a Trekker. That’s a separate problem altogether. Remember, Trekkers are doctors, astronauts, scientists and leaders. It would be nice if abused ‘nerds” or ‘geeks’ stopped associating Star Trek with their inability to socialize. They bring it down.

148. Shatner_Fan_Prime - August 6, 2009

#142 “I still believe TWOK, FC and TUC are better films.”

TWOK will always be the best. It was a movie that rose above its low budget status because of its tight script and great performances. But TUC and FC. enjoyable though they were, struck me as simply tv fare on the big screen; they were kind of lazy. Almost everyone involved in ST 09 brought their “A” game to the production. The passion that went into making it showed.

149. Shadowcat - August 6, 2009


No one asks to be abused or ridiculed. You are fortunate you had peers that were more enlightened and tolerant of differences than the ones I had to grow up around. I didn’t spend all my time on the couch in front of the televison. My parents enrollled me in activities where I could meet other kids that shared my interests in music, science, and math. By the time I went to universitiy, I met a group of like-minded students who loved parties, alternative rock music, and Star Trek. I am well educated and have an advanced degree and so does my husband. I used to attend a lot of science fiction and fantasy conventions and that is how I met my husband. We have lifelong friends that we met at cons. In relating my tale of woe, I was making the point that back then Star Trek was viewed as “uncool” and now that seems to be changing with the new Star Trek movie. Stereotyping all Star Trek fans as nerds and geeks is quite inaccurate and this mischaracterisation seems to be perpetuated in the media.

150. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 6, 2009

Eking, mayday, oby, Shadowcat, AJ, Nata, starfleetmom, VZX, Trek Dad, Buzz Cagney, HotStove, and USS Manila NCC-99232,

What I’m curious to know is what deliberations took place which led the children that the ratings board says are age inappropriate for this film to and yet you say went:

1. to decide that this was a film that they would want to see, i.e. that it was a “kid’s” film?

2. to mutually decide with their parent/guardian that they would be able to handle the concepts and style of storytelling employed?

151. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 6, 2009

#100. & #149.

It’s not overt but there does seem to be a disturbing subtle subtext in the reporting/commenting that many seem to be responding. And that seems to be that the new ST being “Bully approved” is somehow a good badge for this movie and Trek in general.

While I understand the eternal optimism of Trek fans, i.e. that bullies being attracted to Trek will be transformed into nobler beings, I have to note that it is just as likely that they are being attracted the less nobler aspects of the production and unlikely to change, i.e. you are still going to be bullied – only this time FOR possession of your Trek lunch box instead of BECAUSE you possess one.

152. S. John Ross - August 6, 2009

#144: “When Shatner’s Kirk offered the Romulan a chance for survival, I was absolutely convinced he did so from the heart. Pine’s Kirk did it to tick a box and move on. Blame it on the new timeline.”

I blame it on the new director, because, when it comes to movies, there’s really only one guy who makes it.

“It has certainly made it difficult to pin down who Kirk actually is. I’ll just cap it off at STIV. Those who handled him afterwards, including Shatner, really didn’t get it.”

I really don’t think we _ever_ got Star Trek on the big screen, not really. Star Trek: The Motion Picture decided that Trek was sedate, self-conscious and unsexy; Star Trek II put a “villain” in the Star Trek universe, skewing everything thereafter (Khan was there before, but as a foil, not a villain), and from then on it was all just confused.

I dig all the films to varying degrees, but none of them – for me anyway – have really hit the mark.

None of which excuses Abrams, and it bothers me when people try this “Well, this element sucked in that episode of TNG, and that therefore excuses all suckage here and forevermore.” Prior suckage does not excuse present suckage or future suckage. That which sucks, sucks.

153. cagmar - August 6, 2009

Sorry guys, you’re being way too closed-minded with the nay-sayer S. John Ross. He has a very good and valid point. I’m with him on this.

If you have any questions, as is often the case, consult Batman. “I won’t kill you. But I don’t have to save you.” THAT would have been the right and appropriate decision for Kirk and Spock when faced with eliminating a group of Romulans that were for all intents and purposes an endangered culture.

Star Trek is far far more moral and far more sensible than this movie made it out to be. This MUST be addressed by the writers. Don’t let them get away with destroying Trek’s heart and mind.

154. S. John Ross - August 6, 2009

#153: “Sorry guys, you’re being way too closed-minded with the nay-sayer S. John Ross. He has a very good and valid point. I’m with him on this.”

I’m not a nay-sayer; I’m a chipper and upbeat voice for positive Trekness, surrounded in a radiant halo of feelgood, slightly trippy colored light and welcoming, huggy warmth.

I’m just fucking snarky about it, is all :)

155. AJ - August 6, 2009


I’m not sure I fully understood the question. I take the ‘Parental Guidance’ moniker literally. As a parent, I was with my kids watching and explaining things. Sometimes, I was softening the impact of scenes (Vulcan genocide), or I was (desperately) trying to make the two Spocks comprehensible to my two gradeschoolers (7 and 8 at the time), and I did (We later watched the Matrix, and boy, were there brains activated by that one).

With Star Trek, I want my kids to get into it because I believe in the message. If it takes a fast-paced flawed version to draw them in, at least they’re in. My 9-year old daughter understands Spock’s duality, and my 7 year old son enjoys space-oriented action, but he’s already a Star Wars kid. This film was supposed to be the for dads to bring the kids into the fold, and it’s been successful to a certain degree. Debates above aside, it’s a fun ride with parental guidance included.

156. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 6, 2009


I admit, that my wording was clumsy, I’m not even sure I was trying to question anything so much as simply curious as to the various approaches to the PG-13 and some reassurance that families were addressing it.

In spite of that, your response was exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks.

157. AJ - August 6, 2009


“Star Trek” is a show that delivers for several age levels. At its best, it delivers its message at the most basic level. Sometimes, as a child, if you stick with it, it reveals more and more. Look at the ‘best of the best’ of TOS, and you get that. JJ’s Trek does in fact succeed on that level. Hopefully, our kids can look at it in a few years, and have the same measured debate.

158. Buzz Cagney - August 6, 2009

#150 The boy had absoltuely not worries watching this film- and I had already seen it and was comfortable that he would be able to cope with it. I’ve seen far worse pre-watershed on the TV.
As for Harry Potter- a kids film remember- he won’t watch them because they are too frightening! Go figure! Just goes to show the Classification boards can’t get it right for every one I guess.

159. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 8, 2009


One thing I’m extremely grateful for with respect to quiding while watching. is that Drive-Ins are not extinct in my area. Also, they seem to be about the only places these days that have double features.

160. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 8, 2009

#158 Reminds me of the screening of a PG movie similarly themed to HP I once attended. Someone thought it would be appropriate for their 4yo daughter and it clearly wasn’t. I would have thought by her child’s fourth blood curdling scream the mother would have got the message but she never did.

It always amazes me how many don’t seem to know that theater management are very understanding about a movie turning out to be inappropriate for a child and will readily give you tickets for an alternate selection at a future date if the situation requires that you withdraw.

#159., that should be “guiding while watching,”

161. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 11, 2009

FWIW Kyra Sedgwick recounted a tale of taking a group of 10yo boys to the Samuel Jackson remake of SHAFT on the TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN:

162. 12YearOldTrekker - May 30, 2011

Saw the movie in 2009, and I enjoyed (I saw it twice, in fact). Then I started watching TOS, and thought that the movie, yeah, that was cute. Kinda entertainment to the masses.

But people, don’t worry. The TOS and TNG shows are popular within the
11-14 age group. Most of them first saw anything Star Trek related from the movie. Me, I was lucky to have seen all of TNG by the time I was 7 (my dad being a trekker and all). is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.