Star Trek is not an action sci-fi series

I'm going to spell this out for you in the clearest way possible: Star Trek is not Star Wars. I liked the 2009 reboot of the original series and the creation of a whole new timeline. The one aspect that I didn't really care for, and this is going to piss off people who loved the reboot, were the action sequences.

Yes, the original Star Trek which ran from 1966 to 1969 had it's share of space battles and bare-fisted brawling. Yes, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) was a bit of a cowboy and Yes, the ladies (alien and human) were hot. That was not why you watched Star Trek.

Star Trek was about searching for new worlds and new civilizations. It was about discovering how similar and different other cultures can be from our own. It was about a guy with pointy ears (Leonard Nimoy's Spock) pissing off mere mortals with his odd mixture of detachment and dry humor.

One of the best of the original's first season, "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", dealt with the issue of the Enterprise appearing in 1960's earth and accidentally catching the eye of a young air force pilot. When the Enterprise tries to stop the pilot's plane using a tractor beam, the crew transport the pilot to the ship. Though they saved his life, the young pilot's knowledge of the inner workings of the Enterprise would cause the future to be changed drastically. There was no villain, no space battle, no need for Kirk to snog the hot girl in order to save the crew.

That is Star Trek.

Last night Roger Ebert tweeted a link to this article written by Omer Mozaffar in which he declared Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan as the best Trek film ever. He even goes on to assume this is the case with this opening line:

We know that "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) is the best of all of the "Star Trek" movies. I am not stating anything new here.

First of all, who are the "we" who agree that this is the better entry of all the others? Was there a poll done for Star Trek fans that declared this? I'd like to argue that, and this is just me, that Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the best entry in the series. Yes, it requires that you watch Wrath Of Khan and Search For Spock to understand the full emotional arc, but it's still a good story that actually could stand alone as it's own film without even the Trek name.

And this scene.

Moments like this which are in The Voyage Home are more of what Star Trek is about than The Wrath Of Khan. That entry in the film is more of a Captain Kirk story than it is about the rest of the characters. Voyage Home actually had scenes for everyone including Uhura who got a chance to help out while wearing actual pants.

I certainly hope that with the coming Star Trek Into Darkness that they don't ramp up the action. If that's the case, Star Trek truly would become divorced from what it truly was: a show about exploring space. 


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    I am sorry to disagree, but Star Trek was always about exploring the human condition. Space exploration was only the way they did that. ...but yes it was never about action.

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