Star Trek 2009 Rant

I saw Trek yesterday and have a few comments and concerns (don’t bother to read any of this rant if you are trying to keep all plot details secret for some reason).  I thought it was pretty good overall, but there were some issues with it that could ruin it for a fan of the original series, or of course, if you just think too hard (not a problem for most movie audiences).  Although it was fun to see the characters as young cadets, those who were supposed to be the youngest and had not joined the crew until later (second or third season from the original series) were all together at once, thrown on the ship with seemingly the Capt of the ship (Pike) the only senior officer aboard, with a bunch of trainees.  This was akin to the cadets of VMI going off to fight for the confederacy before they had a chance to graduate.  That could have worked (and did) in the civil war, but the machines of war are a bit more complicated in the 23rd century than the 19th.  No Naval (or even commercial ship for that matter) today could possibly accomplish its mission with an entire crew of trainees.  Where were the precommisioning crews for this armada? 

As far as the sets go, I didn’t understand the transparent 3′ diameter pipe with some kind of watery fluid running through it, bizarre engine room looking more like it came from the "alien" series, with "turbines", and a valve that dumps the watery fluid onto the nice tiled deck.  Apparently, there is plenty of space to design machinery rooms in the distant future. 

Automated damage control features for recoverability seemed to be less effective than systems we have today, although when the hull starts to crack, but still is able to maintain pressure, its pretty amazing (or stupid). 

Kirk not only gets a well deserved medal (he would have received the Congressional Medal of Honor for what he did in the movie today), he gets promoted all the way from cadet to Capt of a star ship in a few days (at least I think its a few days, as no one ever sleeps, eats, pees or anything real people have to do in these movies).  I undertand he is a gifted officer, but to skip from 3rd year cadet to senior officer is a bit much.  I guess we have a true meritocracy in this utopian future. 

Another pet peeve: anyone who knows anything about giant construction projects such as ship building would be amazed that so many new star ships are being built and all ready at once, with no legacy crew to man them up.  Imagine the US building like 5 aircraft carriers all at once, having them all be able to be deployed at once, without any trials, testing and certification process or outfitting period.  I also like the way the enterprise is constructed in Iowa – how it gets to the space dock in orbit, I don’t know…

And as far as the ginormous drilling machine Nero uses to facilitate the destruction of planets, how does it all fit in the romulan ship? and why not just create this singularity on the surface of the target planet (and how does that lava lamp red goop create a black hole in the first place)?  All of the matter is going to get sucked in anyway. 

Don’t the most advanced planets of the Federation have any planetary defenses at all?  If spock’s ship could sever the drill bit, you’d think Earth or Vulcan could send up a couple of 23rd century fighter planes to do the job.  And why does the drilling machine stop the transporters from working again???  Too much EMI, I suppose.  In the end, I think there is about as much fantasy in the movie as Lord of the Rings, but at least LotRs happens in an alternate reality.  I have no problem suspending belief for these movies really, I just like them to have a certain level of plausibility that seemed to be missing in this one.  Still, its certainly one of the best trek movies, none of which has really been all that fantastic.  I forgot to mention, special bonus points for the Umpa Loompa first assistant engineer to Scotty.  I need to get one of those guys to help around the house.

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