In the past few days, I have watched 2 Star Trek movies I never saw before: 'Nemesis' and 'Star Trek'. I had never seen them before partly because I do not subscribe to premium movie channels, partly because I do not like going to movie theaters, and partly because I thought the Star Trek franchise had died an ugly death with the TV series 'Star Trek: Enterprise' (starring Scott "Quantum Leap" Bakula, who I always thought was best cast as a handsome fool - I suspect he is the inspiration for Brewster Rockit in the comic strip).
So I avoided the subsequent Star Trek movies, giving up on them after 'Insurrection' and 'Nemesis'.
I have been returned to the flock!
The original Star Trek TV series started when I was 16 and well into reading serious and thoughtful sci-fi books (at 12 I had exhausted the library collection of "young adult" sci-fi and the librarian had granted me access to the "adult" books - not that there was anything very shocking about "adult" sci-fi back in 1962). But by 1966, when Star Trek appeared, I could tell it was different from the sci-fi movies of the time. I instantly recognized that each episode contained a social statement (perhaps a best example being the [literally] reversely half-black and half white opponents in an episode); and no, I am not really a trekkie who can recall episodes by number, name, or cast of special characters.
I was, like many, saddened when the original Star Trek was cancelled and watched it on syndication for years until the new Star Trek: The Next Generation came on in 1987. I watched a few and quite frankly, I didn't like the crew. I ignored it for a couple of years. Picard wasn't Kirk, Number One wasn't Spock, etc. Then, from boredom, I assume, I watched a few episodes and realized there was some "there" there. The characters were more defined, the situations were more complex, and "different" wasn't "worse". I grew to admire the new characters (and the actors who played them).
Star Trek: Voyager was a whole new leap, but I accepted the whole premise. Sci-fi requires the willing suspension of disbelief, and I have never had a problem with that in specific situations for a book, a movie, or a cat blog, LOL! So given the setup for Voyager, I had no problem and came to admire the series.
I watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with interest, but not much engagement. It was brilliantly conceived, expertly acted, and had wonderful new characters and enemies. I LOVED the idea of taking control of an enemy outpost and struggling to manage it. Just as a personal note, as a minor beauracrat with some responsibilities but no authority, I appreciated the day-to-day problems (though writ larger on a cosmic scale). I only gave up on that when Captain Sisko became a slightly paranormal messianic figure. I stuck with Voyager til the end, fascinated with 7 of 9 struggling back to humanity (the counterpoint of Data) and the Borg (truly one of the best opponents of all time).
Then came the disasterous 'Star Trek: Enterprise'. I tried to follow it, really I did, but I couldn't get past Scott Bakula in 'Quantum Leap". And I actually enjoyed that show many times. I just couldn't accept him as a Star Trek Captain. Ever.
I never saw a Star Trek movie I didn't like. I can't even pick a favorite. Each one was pleasing and impressive in its own way. I will nominate 'The Voyage Home' as the most Trekkie cult movie for all the inside jokes and interactions. I will nominate 'Star Trek' (2009) as one of the best origin prequels.
One of the things I admire about the Star Trek franchise is the "original" characters. The original had Spock, TNG had Data, DS9 had Odo and Quark, Voyager had 7 of 9.
I will place Spock out of the "unique" characters. He is too integral to the series to be unique to any one. So Data and Seven were my favorite unique characters. My apologies to Dr Picard, but he was limited in his interactions. Still, if I recall correctly, there was a time in the holodeck when he stuggled to the holodeck door to save a patient and he seemed as fully individual and sentient as anyone.
So, the point of all this is that I will wait for the latest Star Trek movie to show up on the non-subscription TV. Or I will brave the local movie theater. Its 50-50.
SO! I am sure glad I watched 'Nemesis' and 'Star Trek' this week.
Let's see Star Wars match that...