JJ Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek is a laser-blast of popcorn entertainment. The film works on many levels, as a faithful addition to a popular franchise that works for faithful audiences and as a standalone sci-fi action film that will appeal to non-fans. I’m somewhere in the middle of those two groups. I’ve seen all the original-cast Star Trek movies, but I’ve never seen an episode of a Trek television series (and there have been five to date), plus I hardly understand the difference between a Romulan and a Klingon. I know enough to know that the cadet with the red shirt will get killed on any mission, but that’s about it. I grew up in the 1980s, so I grew up with the original Star Trek film adaptations. Those worked for me, and I do subscribe to the belief that the even-numbered editions (numbers II, IV, and VI) are the only installments that achieve any sort of cinematic quality.
By all accounts, this even-numbered rule held true during the latter-day Next Generation films such as 1996’s No. VIII First Contact (“good!”) and 1998’s no. IX Insurrection (“not good!”). This pattern was ostensibly broken with 2002’s no. X Nemesis (“also not good!”), the first even-numbered Star Trek film to not impress. So, that makes this new film, the 11th edition, the first odd-numbered Star Trek film to accomplish great things. It must be a parallel reality, indeed. That’s what the new film creates, a rift in the continuum (literally) that will create a slightly altered Trek universe for the next couple of films. I can’t wait for them to come, and neither can Paramount, who contracted the cast for at least two more features. My only hope is that the next installment (no. XII) will be a return-to-form for the even numbers. If not, I guess there’s the one after.