"Star Trek" aims to stun fans

Tue May 5, 2009 10:50am EDT
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By Frank Simons

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When director J.J. Abrams dreamed up the new "Star Trek" movie, he took the prologue to the original television series to mind, and at least one key person approves -- Mr. Logical himself, Spock.

For new "Trekkies" -- and there will likely be many when the movie debuts in U.S. theaters on Friday -- the 1960s TV show started with a prologue about the voyages of the starship Enterprise and its crew that would "boldly go where no (one) has gone before" in the "final frontier" of space.

To reignite the franchise that spawned five TV series and 10 movies over roughly 40 years, Abrams has done exactly that -- gone where no other "Star Trek" storyteller had gone before -- with a tale of how Captain James T. Kirk, Dr. "Bones" McCoy and the Vulcan Mr. Spock came to be shipmates.

But changing the "canon" -- events and characters that shape "Star Trek" lore -- could leave legions of old "Trekkies" thinking Abrams had done something "highly illogical," as Spock might have once said. Old Spock Leonard Nimoy begs to differ.

"Canon is only important to certain people because they have to cling to their knowledge of the minutiae," Nimoy told Reuters. "Open your mind! Be a 'Star Trek' fan and open your mind and say, 'Where does Star Trek want to take me now'."

Where will audiences be taken? Backward is the way ahead.

They will learn confident Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) was a brawling bad boy from Iowa who joins the Star Fleet Academy, and beats the impossible "no win" simulator test that was dreamed up by the young and "logical" Spock (Zachary Quinto).

Together with crew mates McCoy, Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and engineer Scotty, they board the Enterprise as young men and women on their first adventure in space.   Continued...

<p>Spock (Zachary Quinto, left) and James T. Kirk (Chris Pine, right) in a scene from the new "Star Trek" film. REUTERS/Paramount Pictures/Handout</p>