Quote of the Week: Star Trek 2009 Dis from CoG

sulu_uhura

This is a long one:

The new Trek makes it clear that the job of saving the universe rests exclusively with men, preferably white men. Indeed, Starfleet values white, male leadership so much that Kirk gets to skip up the ranks from Academy Cadet to Captain of his own Starship all in one go! Let me tell you, if I was on the Enterprise and had actually earned the rank of Ensign, Lieutenant, Lieutenant-Commander, or Commander, I would push for a mutiny against the woefully unqualified “Captain” Kirk.

Gay Prof

I don’t know what I love more, this quote and how well it analyzes one of my major peeves with the new film, ie that the original Kirk may have been a womanizer but he was also a gifted officer who had earned the right to swagger in his captain’s chair, or the fact it allowed me to use my favorite image from my favorite episode . . . :D  Honestly, I think the new movie does a major disservice to the Kirk legacy in many ways but both advancing him to rank with only one battle behind him, as if others did not help, and turning his status as the only one to pass the Kobayashi Maru test into him cheating & being arrogantly unfit for duty vs. praised for innovative thinking and using it as an opportunity to talk about how important it is to understand how we face death, were really the worst. (By the way, the original version of Kirk and the test is offered in the Wrath of Khan, proving once again that J.J. Abrams missed the point of Khan by doing this film as essentially a rewrite in which Kirk is displaced to highlight Spock. The Search for Spock wasn’t the best one in the franchise but the two work together and people who know the lore, know this.)

I also like how this quote is couched inside an insightful critique of the whole race-blind vs. race consciousness dilemma we find ourselves in right now in the U.S. So go read the rest of his review of the film, you know, after you’ve read mine. (directly below this post)

4 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: Star Trek 2009 Dis from CoG

  1. You know, they could have ended the film in a bitter sweet way with the cast parting company. Kirk (and the others) could have been recognized for their talents, but then dispersed throughout Starfleet to earn their actual ranks. Kirk could have even had a wry line about having a driving ambition to “one day” become Captain of the Enterprise. In between this film and the next, they could have suggested that he worked really hard to advance up the ranks.

    And, since I am harping on things, is the new movie suggesting that Captain Pike can no longer command a starship because he is in a wheelchair?

    • That would have been a much better ending, as it would not only give them time to earn their roles but also given Uhura time to establish her credibility outside of Spock’s shadow. The film completely glosses over the fact that her translation efforts are what saves the Enterprise from the destruction the rest of the fleet endured. It also would have been nice to set up a sequel in which we got to hear about how the characters had grown & been on their own adventures since last we saw them as cadets.

      I think the wheelchair thing was a throwback to the original series when Pike was an invalid. However, the way it is shot, he seems completely capable of running the ship and in the original he ran the ship while mute and paraplegic . . . I think I excused this moment b/c I remember those earwig things from Khan & how if they were left in too long your brain was mush. (Ok. Is it me or is this movie beginning to feel more and more like a massive re-write of the Wrath of Khan?!?)

  2. I think you guys are forgetting two key factors. One, they completely changed the timeline; so all of the old Star Trek rules went out the window. So it doesnt matter who the charatcers were then, they are diffrent now. Which is a good thing. Its 2009, and we realize now that not everyone is perfect, especially kirk. Its more appealing to see a slightly damaged young man trying to find his way..inseatd of a perfect pin up boy of a captain. Im nto claiming to know everythign about the original Star Trek, what I do know is everytime I tried to watch it, Id end up asleep. The directors didnt make this movie just for the original fans, but so that Star Trek can get new fans. They amde it to appeal to everyone, not just Trekkies.

    • welcome to the blog Leeya. Just a point of clarification, I am not a Trekkie, tho Gay Prof is and I applaud him on coming out about it.

      Star Trek has been a solid franchise for almost 50 years, so it does appeal to a wide range of people and has done so for 1/2 a century, even if it is putting some people to sleep. Few other franchises can say that.

      I totally agree with you about perfection being boring. Kirk is far from perfect. I’d like to believe that if Kirk was just a 50s Capt. America in Star Fleet uniform, the franchise would have gone the way of one dimensional heroes; it is the subtleties and connections between the characters that made it such a long lived power house.

      That said, I’m not sure how your comment relates to Gay Prof’s criticism about race and gender in the new Star Trek which, using your description, gives us an imperfect, “slightly damaged,” Kirk who jumps rank and receives little to no training nor experience before being put in charge of the best ship in the fleet. (He hasn’t even graduated Star Fleet academy yet!) No one else who helped ensure Star Fleet’s survival (Spock, an alien, Uhura, a woc, etc.) were given the same accolades. I have to agree with GP that this is far more problematic than giving us a Kirk who earned his rank and the respect of the people around him.

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