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