I saw the new “Star Trek” movie this weekend, and I’d recommend it to Trek fans without reservation. (If you want to see it but haven’t yet, don’t read on—thar be spoilers here.)
I’m still not comfortable with the whole “let’s reset the timeline” thing introduced in the 2009 movie, which I suppose means I don’t like it. While I appreciate that the new writers and producers don’t want the new stories in what they hope will be a whole string of movies to be constrained by the history established in six previous television series (counting the animated series, 726 episodes in total) and ten previous movies, so far I can’t help but think “that’s wrong” each time I see something that didn’t happen in the original timeline, especially the lovestruck Uhura. Maybe I’ll get over it.
With that in mind, I have to say I was disappointed in myself for taking quite so long to see the parallels between the new movie’s story and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Of course I remembered Khan (“I grow…fa-tigued again.” “ADMIRAL? ADMIRAL Kirk?! “I’ll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition’s flames before I give him up!”), but I didn’t recognize the hero-selflessly-saves-the-Enterprise motif, with Kirk and Spock exchanging roles and dialogue, until it was completely unmistakable to anyone who saw the 1982 movie.
Back then it took another whole movie to bring the hero back from the dead, but today it just took the last ten or so minutes of this flick. And I took it all in as presented, jumping right from resurrection of the captain to the relaunch of his ship a year later without giving any consideration to what probably would really have happened in the wake of McCoy’s greatest feat of medical prestidigitation. Fortunately, our friends at The Awl have turned up the good doctor’s own recollection…
Ridiculous, to think it all started over a tribble. A lifeless bundle of fur. I always kept a dead tribble in my Curio of Maladies in those days, for medical reasons, and was especially glad of it when they finally hauled Khan’s body aboard for study after the battle.
Kirk was particularly dead that day; I remember because everyone was crying and the science woman kept all of her clothes on. As is my habit, I injected several of Khan’s more personal fluids (super-fluids, if you’ll pardon the medical terminology) into the tribble to see what would happen.
The tribble returned almost immediately to life. I remember because I thought to myself, “Ah, I seem to have conquered death. Tremendous,” at the time.
As a doctor, this made my job a great deal easier.
As I mentioned before, Kirk was dead—terribly dead—being chock full of radiations and so forth, so I decided he’d make an excellent second test subject for my Home Death Remedy and plugged him with a bit of the super-blood a few minutes later.
Within a week, the Federation had clawed itself into thirteen warring factions, all ready to destroy entire star systems at the prospect of getting their hands on that serum.
Kirk was immediately taken to a research-torture facility by a group of scientists from Section 31. In a way, I think we all failed to take into account the interest this shadowy government organization, with the resources to build a super-advanced death-ship in absolute secrecy, might take in a serum that reverses death.
I tried to tell them I was a doctor, but it didn’t even slow them down. They killed most of the crew in their raid, which I thought damned inconvenient, until I remembered the immortality serum I had developed, from super-blood.
The rest you undoubtedly know. The wild-eyed men and women who took to showing up at my offices at all hours of the night, bearing the fresh and mangled corpses of their loved ones in their arms, begging for serum. The armies of the frozen half-dead, the resurrected children brought back to crazed and formless life by their deranged, grief-stricken parents, the Blood Colonies.
You wanna talk about changing history…