Supposedly, they were supposed to run the trailer for Star Trek XI before the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, but having gone to see the movie this weekend, I can add myself to the list of people whose screening did not include this geeky treat. However, the trailer has been released online, downloadable in standard definition as well as 720p and 1080p HD. The site seems to insist upon the most recent version of Quicktime (or Quicktime Alternative, which I highly recommend), which gave me some difficulties in downloading the trailer, but once I updated, everything was cool.
The trailer definitely suggests that this Trek film will have a significantly different “feel” than any of the others. The spot opens with a car chase across a desert landscape, an unknown driver speeding along a dirt road in a red vintage automobile, with a motorcycle cop giving chase, siren wailing. The car approaches a cliff, the driver sends the car into a skid, and we see the towheaded driver leap from the auto as the car falls over the edge. Here we see the driver, a young boy, as he scrabbles back over the edge, getting to his feet as the motorcycle cop reaches him, though the motorcycle could be better described as a hoverbike, and the cop is a robot of sorts. “What is your name?” the robocop asks. “My name is James Tiberius Kirk,” the youth replies.
The rest of the trailer is a series of disjointed vingettes which allude to more blatant action than Trek fans may be accustomed to seeing, particularly in the era of Kirk and Spock. We also see flashes from the childhoods of Kirk and Spock, which leads me to believe that we may see either some rewriting of “history” or some greater detail regarding things that we already know about these characters’ backgrounds. The trailer also seems to allude to a continuation of the more blatant use of sexuality that we saw in Enterprise (which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it). My biggest problem with the trailer? The part where Kirk claps his hand on Spock’s shoulder on the bridge of the Enterprise and tells him to “buckle up.” Everyone knows there aren’t seatbelts on the Enterprise! I mean, how else are they supposed to go flying when the inertial dampeners can’t compensate for the concussion of attacks?
The film is beginning to feel more and more to be a sort of “reboot” of the franchise, something that seems to be working well for the James Bond franchise these days (among a few others), but the jury’s still out on whether this is a net good or a net bad. There seems to be concern, based upon the trailer, that this foray into the Trek universe by J.J. Abrams may result in the film having the feel of a “generic sci-fi movie,” rather than the uniqueness-bordering-on-quirkiness that Star Trek has. On the other hand, perhaps the intention of this trailer is to draw new blood to the film, and by extension, into the fandom. I have noticed in the time that I’ve spent at conventions that the youngest cohesive group of Trekkies/Trekkers has an average age of about 25. There’s the occasional fan under the age of 18, but those are typically “hereditary fans,” those whose parents or older siblings are fans.
Overall, I like the trailer. I’m excited about the movie. I have no doubt that my friends with whom I regularly watch Star Trek and I will be at the theater at the stroke of midnight May 8, 2009 for the debut of the film, maybe even in uniform.