This image is the first official still released from the upcoming feature-film reboot of Star Trek, and our first glimpse of what the good ship Enterprise is going to look like in this all-new take on the classic TV series. Just consider it the photo that launched a thousand blog posts. Click on it to be taken to a nice, big, magnifiable version that we can all obsess over.
As you can see, it depicts our old friend under construction. It's a powerful image, capable of inducing Pavlovian drool responses in old-school fanboys like myself, not to mention the spontaneous generation of truly astounding levels of geeky analysis.
(I could mention, for example, that this "rebooted" Enterprise appears to have the same contours as the original television starship, but the surface detailing of the version that appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It's a compromise the pleases me greatly, as I've been concerned that the producers would do horrible things to the old girl that would leave her barely recognizable. However, I will say that I'm not liking the apparent coloration of the ship. Granted, this is a very dark scene, but the Big E looks to be the dark and gloomy gray of the ships in later incaranations of the long-running franchise, like the last couple of Next Gen movies and the disastrous final spin-off series, Enteprise, and it's a look I don't care for. Yes, I could mention all this... but I won't. Because that would be too revealing of the depths of my geekiness...)
The image is also symbolic of the philosophy that apparently lies behind this movie, which is that we're literally starting over at square one, beginning with the building of the most famous starship in all of science fiction. It's a very clever marketing strategy, when you think about it. Releasing this particular image first simultaneously reassures the older fanbase that J.J. Abrams isn't retooling things so drastically, but it also entices the young kids with the "kewl" factor. And it is, in my not-so-humble opinion, a pretty damn cool picture.
(The trailer from which this image comes is pretty cool, too; it's apparently playing in front of this weekend's big monster-movie release Cloverfield, which is also an Abrams flick. I don't know of any official version of the trailer out there on the web, but I have seen a bootleg that was shot by some guy with his phone-cam or something. It's good enough quality to tell what you're looking at, if you're curious; the audio tracks of famous historical "space recordings," culminating in the familiar fanfare as we pull out to reveal the Enterprise hull, raised the hair on this old fanboy's arms. Can't wait to see a decent-rez version.)
That said, however, I'm still not very excited about this movie. A lot of other bloggers are, but I just can't muster much enthusiasm for a movie that I think is totally unnecessary. As much as I love Star Trek, I think the premise was mined out long ago -- what can possibly be left to say about or within this particular universe after five long-running series and ten feature films? And that's not even mentioning all the other series that have been heavily informed by the Trek premise. (I'm thinking specifically of Stargate SG-1, which was essentially Trek without a ship.)
I also think -- no, I know -- that I'm going to have a hard time accepting a new cast playing the iconic Trek characters. Sorry, kids, but William Shatner is always going to be The One True Kirk. I really wish the fans who won't let the franchise die and the producers who are always eager to squeeze a little more blood out of the turnip would just back off and let Trek be what it's always been: a 40-year-old television series that was remarkable in many ways, which inspired a remarkable phenomenon, but is ultimately, as Shatner said in that infamous SNL sketch, just an old TV show. It's over, and it ought to be allowed to be over and stay over. We'll always have our DVDs (preferably the original, unaltered versions)...