I did not watch original Trek during its original run, being that I wasn’t yet upon this earth. Growing up geek, I always caught a few episodes when they ran on whatever channel in whatever syndication, but I never invested.
Until The Next Generation showed up.
TNG nabbed my interest right away — ridiculous space jelly fish and all. It turned into appointment television. After TNG, I watched TOS, and fell deeper in love. I was wary about DS9, but it soon reeled me in (darker Trek? IN.), and by the time Voyager debuted, friends and I were getting together for episodes, ordering in food, staying long after the show ended to talk about it.
I started a fanzine because of Star Trek, and wrote my first fanfic because of Star Trek. It was a Tasha Yar story, of course it was. The first fiction I sold to a professional venue was in the Strange New Worlds anthology series. Friends and I went to conventions. We collected autographs. We rubbed shoulders with actors and oh god they were all gracious and kind and… Leonard Nimoy was at the first convention I attended, and when he sits down and talks to you about whales, well. Fangirl for life.
I was wary of a reboot, a retool, a a re-whatever, because Trek, in my mind, was always fine. Dudes having space adventures! Why mess with it? WHY. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do.
Star Trek Beyond holds to Trek traditions and still pushes into the future. I love that in movie three, we’re still blowing up the Enterprise, because that’s how it went down before. I love the idea that here are people we know, but here’s a slightly different path they’re on. It’s the Trek we have always loved, but it’s striving to be better. Can they escape the paths their other selves have been down? Time will tell.
Are there things that still need improving? This is Earth and we who build our entertainment are human, so absolutely. Would I love to see a stronger Uhura who isn’t shunted into the role of the girlfriend? Yes. Do I wish the Carol Marcus undressing scene in Darkness didn’t exist? Oh yes. Do I wish they’d cast someone else as the rebooted Khan? YEP.
It’s Trek as it ever was — it’s Bones being a butt and yet loving everyone impossibly well. It’s Kirk playing the hero, but being weary deep down inside. It’s Spock struggling to bridge two worlds (not necessarily Vulcan/Earth this time, but his verse with the alt verse). It’s losing your home and discovering oh, you didn’t lose it at all because home isn’t a ship.
(And the Leonard Nimoy tribute.)
Fangirl for life.