Lost and Star Trek

What’s with the new obsession with time travel?  By the way, if you haven’t seen the Lost Season 5 finale or the new Star Trek film, don’t read this, because I’m going to talk about concepts that will spoil the shows.  Is it me, or did the new producers of Star Trek just reboot the franchise, using time travel so their new actors for old characters wouldn’t be annoyed by having to live lives consistent with Star Trek’s history? 

I remember the summer of 1966, when NBC first ran ads for Star Trek, and how excited I was for that new season to start.  The 1966-1967 TV season was my all-time favorite.  I grew up and got married and eventually watched all the Star Trek shows through Voyager, and some of Enterprise.  I’m not a fanatic fan, but seeing the new movie stimulated many nostalgic rushes.  I wasn’t bothered by the changes in the new characters, and really liked that Spock was hooking up with Uhura, but when Spock’s mom died it rattled my brain because I wondered how they were going to fix the plotlines to all those classic episodes, so the Star Trek world that we know and love could unfold properly.  Evidently, we’re living in a new Star Trek universe.

But I don’t like time travel paradoxes.  If bad Romulan Nero goes back in time and destroys Vulcan, wouldn’t Spock 2.0 know not to be late in his future date to save Romulus, and thus piss off Nero for a second time, which would start the loop all over again?  Or will future history lessons on Romulus teach young Nero in school that one day he will travel back in time, destroy Vulcan and be killed by Captain Kirk?  That sounds like something Kurt Vonnegut would write.

And now, let’s turn to Lost.  Is it me, or did Jack and crew, murder a horde of people just to solve their own sniveling little problems?  I’m totally into the story, so I’m trying not to be critical, but I’ve just got to worry about the ethics.  Here’s the deal, if setting off Jughead, the H-bomb in 1977, seals up the mysterious energy source that will pull Oceanic Flight 815 from the sky in 2006, the TV show that we know as Lost never gets to happen.  (Are we expected to forget we ever watched it?) 

Ignoring the obvious time paradox, what about the murder of all the people on the island in 1977 that weren’t there by time travel.  They are dead, and they will have no future timeline at all.  And how many people and their timelines does this event avert?  How many people never get to come to the island after 1977?  And how significant might these changes be to the entire history of Earth?

I’m getting to hate time travel stories.  Time travel plotting totally hosed Heroes.  I’m worried about Lost and Star Trek.  Wouldn’t Star Trek have been much better if the new stories fit within the existing Star Trek universe? 

Finally, were there no line of command officers on the Enterprise?  There should have been dozens if not hundreds on a ship that size, so why does the punk Kirk get to go immediately to the Captain’s chair?  Weren’t there any career officers busting their butts for decades to be in line for command?  This new Star Trek reminded me of the old Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland movies where the high school kids get to throw together a Broadway musical in two weeks.  In other words, this new film feels like the Star Trek kids get to take over the Enterprise and save the world.

JWH – 5/17/9

4 thoughts on “Lost and Star Trek”

  1. Too much damn time travel in science fiction these days, almost always badly handled. Enough! Let’s ban it for a while and force people to think about plot and story without magic weapons.

  2. I’m guessing the creators of the new Star Trek felt they must wow the audience with an idea bigger than any ST show or film that’s ever been made, and thus a time travel plot that doesn’t fix things back to the way they were is a way to top all other ST efforts. I would have been happier with a smaller character driven plot about the younger Enterprise crew at Starfleet. Hell, they could have skipped the save-the-universe again plot altogether, and gone with just academy hijinks.

    I enjoyed the film as it is, but the implications that all the shows we’ve seen before ST-11 are now meaningless is depressing.

  3. I thought the whole point of starting a new time line for the characters was to stave off the inevitable loss of tension that comes from everyone knowing the future history of all the characters in the original series. This way you can actually put all of them in jeopardy in future movies.

    However, I agree, the time travel stuff was overdone in the new movie. So was the WTF science. But I won’t go there, Phil Plait already did it much better in his film review.

    I would have loved to have seen more of Spock’s family in future movies, so I was disappointed with the whole destruction of Vulcan thread.

    Over all though, it was one of the better Star Trek movies thus far.

  4. I totally agree about the shock of Spock’s mother dying and also the new universe. Vulcan destroyed. After that happened, I waited through the whole movie for them to undo it somehow. Yes, the Kirk character was indeed a punk; it did not live up to the Kirk I know. I’ve been watching the original episodes, and perhaps no one can outdo Kirk for suave doing-it-his-way antics without the smart-alecky attitude.

    Did I see the Enterprise being built on Earth? What kind of destruction would have ensued when it blasted off? Would there be an Earth left?

    Back to the Kirk character–what in the world was that Kobyashi-Maru scene with the apple-eating doing in that movie? That might come up as a brain-storming idea, which was dismissed as laughable and not applicable and should have been then thrown out! Kirk wouldn’t wave that kind of flag when he was circumventing the Establishment!!! Maybe Chris Pine would have had a chance at portraying Kirk, but the writing was consistently bad.

    I would love to see a new franchise, but let’s get it right! I’ve gone back to watching the episodes of the wonderful three years of the original Star Trek–with my son, Kirk. 🙂 May the original “live long and prosper”!!!

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