“Star Trek” and Wonder
Cinema & New Media Arts | On Mar 05, 2013
J.L. Wall writes on Star Trek over at First Thoughts:
“Saturday evening, burned out and brain-dead after two weeks of grading papers, I plopped down in the living room to take advantage of my weekend by watching the first two Star Trek films. It had been, probably, fifteen years since I watched the 1979 Star Trek, and it was every bit as strange as I recalled—even more so at times. But behind that weirdness was a decision to strive for a particular type of science-fiction. Of course it’s weird: there are weird things out there in the universe, the movie says, and can we do anything other than marvel at them? Gene Roddenberry’s future might be one without religion, God, or money—but it is one that hasn’t lost its sense of wonder.
The trailer for the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness shows some wonderful-looking shots—the coloring, one might say, is almost wonderful. The new movie, like many Star Trek films before it, takes some kind of imminent threat to the Earth as its plot-line. But where the renegade space probes in I and IV are also invitations to wonder or marvel at something about the universe—even its weirdness, its potential destructiveness—I don’t see a universe that one can wonder at in this (brief) clip: only one that is dark and fearful.