Series: The Alternate Universe Series
Release Date: May 7, 2009
Written by: Alex Kurtzman & Robert Orci
Directed by: J. J. Abrams
A crazed Romulan bent on revenge goes back in time and changes everything while a young James T. Kirk finds his destiny aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.
To say that the opening scene of this movie is a tear-jerker would be like saying the Enterprise is an alright ship. Here we see, for the very first time, George Kirk, the father of the soon-to-be-born future captain of the Enterprise. He is first officer of the U.S.S. Kelvin which has just come under attack by Nero, a Romulan with a mining vessel the size of a small moon which has been modified with Borg technology to support weapons and the ability to survive passage through a rip through spacetime. This is very inconvenient because, after letting his pregnant wife leave on a shuttle, George is forced to save the life of the crew by ramming the U.S.S. Kelvin into the Romulan ship like a hammer and subsequently dying. That's right. I just made an obscure Thor reference.
Well, now mother and child are left fatherless, but at least they decided on a name: James Tiberius Kirk. And a feisty child that one grew up to be. Turns out his favorite pastime is driving antique cars into rock quarries in rebellion of his step-dad. In fact, Winona Kirk married a jerk who collects antique cars and ends up not understanding and permanently scaring James?
|No doubt he used a voice modulator on the phone.|
Ok, so, yadda yadda yadda, they grow up, Spock refuses the Vulcan Science Academy, James meets Captain Pike and they all eventually end up in Starfleet academy together. Along the way James meets Leonard McCoy who's in Starfleet because he has nothing left after a messy divorce, and Spock meets the Starfleet computer systems which he befriends and programs into the Kobayashi Maru. And the two star-crossed lovers meet when Kirk cheats on the Kobayashi Maru. Unfortunately, while Admiral Madea is just about ready to punish Kirk for cheating, a distress call comes in from Vulcan. Obviously, the bulk of the fleet is otherwise engaged, so since it's just a simple rescue mission, we should send in all the cadets.
|Nice call, Admiral Madea.|
Wait, no, that's not really why they survived. Even with their shields up they wouldn't have stood a chance against the Narada. They really survived because Nero recognized the Enterprise and wanted to spare Spock so that he could watch what happens next. You see, it turns out the Narada had blasted every one of the cadet-ridden ships out of space as soon as they warped in because they were interrupting in the middle of his revenge. He's drilling a hole to the center of Vulcan with his space drill which also happens to be disrupting communications and transporters.
So, Captain Pike's first order of business is to shut down the drill. He sends Kirk, Sulu and Redshirt Olsen to do that while he boards the Narada for "negotiations". Welp, Redshirt Olsen dies, but the drill eventually gets shut down, Sulu and Kirk transport back to the Enterprise and Spock goes down to Vulcan to save his parents. Unfortunately, the drill had already reached where it was supposed to reach, and the Narada dropped some red matter into the hole. This is what really screwed things up. This is what caused a singularity in the middle of Vulcan and caused the planet to implode. And Spock is only able to save his father. Mamma's boy has lost his mamma.
|You poor, poor Vulcan.|
After running away from the Cloverfield monster, James meets Spock Prime, a version of Spock from the future who has come to the past and helped in creating an alternate reality. Spock Prime tells Kirk that he was going to save the Romulans, but Romulus was destroyed anyway and he ended up sending himself and Nero back through time. After this exposition dump, they go and meet Scotty on the nearby Starfleet outpost. And, genius engineer that he is, Scotty figures out a way to beam James back on the Enterprise while it's at warp.
This upsets the "emotionless" Spock even more. But not nearly as much as when James questions his love for his mother. That's what causes Spock to flat-out wale on James and then eventually realize that he has been emotionally compromised and relieve himself of command. With the acting captain gone, the acting first officer takes his place. Kirk is now captain.
|It just feels right!|
The Jellyfish warps after them, but such a small fish stands no chance against a huge whale, right? Well... unless the small fish has a nuclear bomb. Spock sets a collision course and understands that as soon as the Jellyfish hits the Narada, the red matter will explode. The Enterprise warps in and takes care of the missiles headed toward the Jellyfish and the little fishy just keeps on going. Scotty beams three people from two locations onto one pad, and Spock, Kirk and Pike are all safe on the Enterprise and finally... the red matter ignites. In the middle of the Narada.
A massive explosion causes one last singularity and, taken off guard, the Narada is unable to survive. The Enterprise even has a bit of trouble getting out of the singularity for a while, but Kirk's extraordinary captaining skills and Scotty's genius engineering eventually save the day and they warp back home... safe and sound. Where Kirk, instead of being punished by Admiral Madea, is promoted and given command of the Enterprise.
This is the most fantastic reboot of any franchise ever. Especially since it doesn't negate any of the story that had come before, but rather adds onto the existing framework of the show. There is really no telling the amount of love I have for this movie and I cannot wait until the next in the Alternate Universe series comes out. For more overall thoughts, you should listen to the podcast we did for this movie and stay tuned tomorrow for a post in defense of J. J. Abrams and the decisions he, Kurtzman and Orci made while writing this movie.