One of the most heated debates in all Geekdom–Star Wars VS Star Trek. Even with my disdain of the prequels, I’ve always strongly favored Lucas’s space samurai’s and cowboys over Roddenberry’s peace keepers. I was even a proud member of the fan club for a number of awkward pre teen years, thank the maker for hormones, girls and rock n’ roll.
So it pains me a bit to write this but Star Trek Beyond is much better film than The Force Awakens.
Dagger. I never had to text an ole’ friend and former Star Wars fan club member if these acknowledge meant I was now doomed so kind of Geek purgatory for all eternity.
So with my soul on the line…here are the five things Star Trek Beyond did better than The Force Awakens.
1. To Boldly Go:
The Force Awakens is love song to the original three Star Wars films, it’s also a complete rehash of the first story with a few characters changing sex and a bigger Death Star with a dumber name. Starkiller? Was that taken from a Bond novel? From the sweeps to camera angles we’d seen it all before. Nostalgia is great, but wears thin.
Beyond lives up the Star Trek credo to Boldy Go. Justin Lin ramps up the energy to 11 and doesn’t look back in his first Star Trek outing. I don’t really care for the Fast and Hot Wheel movies, but Lin knows thrills and doesn’t disappoint. Beyond pushes every Star Trek button doesn’t feel out-of-place in the current cannon; it just brings the temperature up form medium to hot.
Kylo Ren has to get better in the next Star Wars film. I’ve never disliked a villain so much. I don’t care what you millennials tweet about him; he’s a spoiled brat that needs a smack and some Prozac. Apparently, Han and Leia bought into the we’re best friends with out kid and didn’t teach life is rough sometimes. And leave the mask on pretty boy!
Idris Elba’s Krull is man. He’s ruthless, lives off the life force of others. Kills, conquers, eats–he’s barbaric. He also has a better backstory and reason for his villainy. Krull is fantastic to watch on-screen and he’s actually frightening something Kylo Ren is not.
Beyond’s story is fresh, it’s exciting. While there are plenty of nods to the past (this is the Star Trek 50th aniv) they do them without a wink or nod, it’s just part of the story. Unlike Force Awakens, Kirk and crew have real character growth, real emotion. I’ve stated several times before that The Force Awakens was good, but not great. James Cameron is right when he says “jury’s out” on the new Star Wars flicks. Awakens was decent set up to hopefully something better, but the new characters didn’t impress me outside Finn and Poe (who need more screen time). As I written above, Krull was dynamic, also the potential new crew member (spoiler)Jaylah, a butt kicking lady alien they find on Krull’s planet is 2x the women Rey is. (boohoo Internet trolls)
I will say that Beyond’s Macguffin didn’t surprise me, in fact I told my wife about 35 mins into the film what I thought it was (gold star), but it will get some/most and I’m applaud Simon Pegg and Doug Jung for attempt. The script in general is funny, exciting and fresh.
Also any film that uses Beastie Boys “Sabotage” as an all-powerful weapon get’s an A+ from me. y’all and all.
Beyond’s special effects team deserves a huge pay raise. They were stunning and the details flawless. I saw the film in 3D, something I’m not huge on, but very happy I did this outing. It’s the best SFX I’ve seen this year by far.
5. JJ Abrams:
I have a love/hate relationship with Mr. Abrams. I dig 90% of what he does or attempts to do. I love the same films as he does. I love that era cinema, I know it shaped by childhood, but JJ I feel is better at producing than directing. I think he’s a big picture guy, and he knows how to assemble a team well. I know this is hearsay for some, but I enjoy the films he produces better than one he directs. That’s one reason why I’m excited about the next Star Wars film, Rian Johnson c’mon don’t let me down!
I think it’s tougher, I know it for me, to let go of a project and watch it from a higher level, so maybe it is for JJ. Do I think the man is talented, heck ya! Love Super 8, I haven’t seen a film I didn’t like of his, I just think the product is better when he’s not directing it but supervising it. Many thought he’d be the next Spielberg, but he’s really the next Lucas.