Kelvin timeline – new Star Trek?
Kelvin was the name of the ship that changed the Star Trek universe we know. Kelvin went down with its captain, George Kirk, who sacrificed himself to save the future – his son. Now, I am not a big fan of reboots, but I wouldn’t call “new” Star Trek films that. Sure, the characters are the same and general story line matches. A lot has changed and I loved it. After all, I cheated my way into watching them!!!
Catch up on previous Star Trek run-downs:
Well, I hate to break this to you, but Starfleet operates in space.
Let’s start with the basics – what exactly is the Kelvin timeline? Well, it is an alternative quantum universe created by Romulan Nero. He traveled to 2233 and destroyed the Federation starship U.S.S. Kelvin. Whatever happens next is different from the “prime” universe we know. But that does not mean, those worlds don’t interact. But I will tell you about that later.
I must give it to J.J. Abrams – he knows how to start. Maybe not necessarily how to drive and navigate through the idea, but I like his beginnings. Giving Star Trek new life with a Kelvin twist was a great idea. Perhaps even better one than with Star Wars. There, I said it. But this is the truth – structurally, it was not a copy of its prototype. There are similarities – but it is an alternative reality.
Playing with different timelines and creating new realities is always fun, but one must be careful. Oh, wow. I just realized that the original timeline should be called prime. Okay, no. Never mind. My point is – fans get easily upset with big things like this.
If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sounds familiar, no? Sherlock Holmes said it as well. That is the beauty of Star Trek, that I am still discovering. Spock said it twice in the franchise: in Undiscovered Country and 2009 film. Sherlock Holmes used that phrase in The Sign of the Four. Isn’t that just wonderful?!
But back to my point – giving a new life to something so groundbreaking, something that shaped generations (and I mean GENERATIONS, starting in the 60s) is risky to say the least. Star Wars aside, because it is completely different for me, but DAMN!!! Reviving Star Trek through the Kelvin timeline was a great choice. And it started with out-of-this-world casting.
I mean… Just by looking at the pictures I knew it’s going to be great. Dammit, Jim! It is so hard to pick the right people, not just who resemble the looks, but the small traits of characters. The cockiness of Kirk, the logic of Spock, the fierceness of Uhura, the reason of Bones, the wit of Scotty, the cheekiness of Chekov and calm of Sulu. I knew the new crew was going to be great – just by looking at the pictures. How often does that happen?
Like I already mentioned, the story kicks off on the deck of USS Kelvin, and shit hits the fan. Kelvin’s tragic end gave roots to the new timeline and story line. Is it more enjoyable? Hard question, how can anyone beat humpback whales and meet God? But since Star Trek was in need of a makeover, going into different directions with characters we love was a good idea.
I really liked the childhood bits – Kirk’s origins (explored in detail in the novelization) and Spock’s rough childhood, spiced up with inner conflict. Actually, since Spock is one of my top characters in the Star Trek world, seeing how torn he was between the sound logic of Vulcan and heated emotions of Humans, was so damn good.
I think I have already mentioned the Kelvin version of Kobayashi Maru, but! There is something bigger coming soon with this particular Star Trek element. For now, I don’t want to tell you more, but keep that in mind. It turns out to be quite more complex than one would think – this is why I asked experts in leadership on how to handle no-win scenarios. Dammit, Jim. Guess I told you a bit more, right? Ah, okay.
One more thing I want to mention is the romantic relationship between Spock and Uhura. Generally, I am not very fond of “unnecessary” love stories, but this was different. First, it’s Spock and Uhura. Two very mentally strong characters, that don’t bend easily (OH MY GOD, SO I AM LISTENING TO Into Darkness soundtrack and guess what just came in? Yes, SPOCK AND UHURA, thank you). It was so refreshing to see something so different!!! One of the best pairings in space ever.
Now, plot wise the film was really good – basic one would say, but that’s good. It is a first installment, where we are introduced to old characters in a new way. It was sad – Vulcan got destroyed, leaving Spock in an emotional void. Throughout the entire movie, I had no idea what to expect, and it didn’t disappoint.
Star Trek: Into Darkness
All I knew about it is that Benedict Cumberbatch will play Khan – the best and most vicious villain in the Star Trek universe. He killed Spock in the Prime timeline. Well, Spock sacrificed, but still, I blame Khan. Second part started with a wonderful blast of colors – that scene, called in the soundtrack “Pranking the Natives” was so damn fine! I love Bones, did I mention that? He is golden, but with Karl Urban’s charm… Oh, ladies – you will be in so much trouble!!
For me, it was the best part of the Kelvin trilogy (for now, I am soooooo waiting for 4th part, coming in 2022) – it was darker (pun intended!) and had to face the echoes of the past – this was the direct link to the Prime times, with Kelvin twist. The death, even though temporary, was absolutely devastating. I was crying, yes. At 6 am in my bed, on a Wednesday or whatever day it was.
The changed ending emphasized Spock’s inner conflict between being Vulcan and Human. Oh, it was so painful yet so entertaining to watch! Sure, the Prime Spock was conflicted as well, but Kelvin Spock struggled – and it began when he was still a child. Zachary Quinto was wonderful. I love my Spocks, gotta be real with you, Lot.
Star Trek: Beyond
I liked it, because the crew of the Enterprise got separated, but not divided. Even though they were playing against the odds, they acted like a team till the end. And they come out on top! New enemy, completely different and perhaps even more dangerous than ever. Could it really stop Kirk and his people?
Two things – Spock and Bones; Spock and Kirk. Let me start with the latter. My heart was breaking when Spock decided to carry on with Prime Spock responsibilities on the new Vulcan (side note, that was such a sweet tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy). At the same time, Kirk was considering taking Admiral’s position in that fancy space city. That would be the end of Enterprise as we know it, right?
But the real show stealer is friendship / banter between Spock and Bones. Name better onscreen duo, I dare you! I am wondering how oblivious Spock really is, or is this all an act? To play on Bones’ nerves? I don’t care, their interactions in this film were amazing – had me laughing and wiping tears almost at the same time.
The plot resembled a real “no-win” scenario, their very own Kobayashi Maru. Kirk had learnt his lesson, so we could witness a change of approach. He was willing to risk his own life to protect his people, friends and space family. Same for Spock – even though he parted ways with Uhura (pshh), he chose to save her, no matter the cost.
Because you needed each other. I could not deprive you of the revelation of all that you could accomplish together, of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot yet realize.
Kelvin timeline will be the one, I’ll come back to often. In fact, I already have. Please don’t judge! You know how I feel about the Prime universe – it’s fun, engaging and ridiculous. I honestly can’t wait to see what kind of animals the Kelvin universe will save. Maybe some endangered species, like Javan rhino? Or Asian elephant? Whatever comes, I will be super excited and ready to watch. Live long and prosper!