Posts Tagged ‘James Tiberius Kirk’

One More Reason To Love The Wrath

Years ago, I came across a cassette tape of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan soundtrack.  I loved it until I realized that it contained maybe a sampling of the entire score at best.  A few weeks ago, I learned that a remastered edition with the entire score with all the musical cues had recently become available.  I had to get it and I got it in the mail last Friday.  EVERYTHING FROM THE MOVIE IS ON IT!  Including the take of the first time that a character other than James Tiberius Kirk delivered the immortal “Space… the final frontier” soliloquy.  If you know who it was don’t ruin it for those who are not in the know.

Following the disaster that was the overblown, overbudget, snooze fest that is Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount Pictures demanded a totally new picture that would compete with Star Wars and hopefully win over a few of its diehard fans.  This even included a desire to scrap the music from the previous film (although many of the themes would later be used in subsequent films and television series including the Main Title and Klingon themes).  Ingenue James Horner was eventually chosen to compose TWOK.

There is not one bit of music in the score that does not stir.  The Main Theme combines Alexander Courage’s fanfare from the television series with a heroic march for Admiral Kirk plus a breathtaking nautical theme for the Enterprise, herself.  Captain Spock is given a mystical tune on the panflute that really invokes a sense of wonder into the character.  A menacing piece led by the French Horn adds even more villany to my favorite Trek villain.  (Where was I in 1982?  Ok… so I was 9.  Or better yet, where was I in 1963 when the character of Khan Noonien Singh was created?  I was -10 years old.)  “The Battle in the Mutara Nebula” is an 8 minute 7 second masterpiece of space battle excitement.

I have been asked at which point I would introduce novices to the world of Star Trek.  I always point to my introduction.  Although the plot is a sequel to a then twenty year old episode, my favorite theme of the friendship between two heros is what draws me to it time and again: “You are my commanding officer; you are also my friend.  I gave been and forever shall be yours.”  So says Captain Spock as he relinquishes command of the U.S.S. Enterprise once again to Admiral James Tiberius Kirk after a little training cruise runs into a wee bit o’ trouble.  I could sit and watch this movie  once a day, every day.  Twice on my days off.

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Their First Best Destiny

BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS (but I will try to avoid them)

I must say that the wait was well worth it.  I will say that the plot was typical J.J. Abrams.  Anyone who watched Alias or watches Lost knows that his plots can be convoluted at best.  That being said, everything that made the past series was present in the film but non-Trekkers should also enjoy it… provided that sci-fi is to their liking.

The how and why of the destinies (I don’t think the word is out of place, at all) of the two lead characters are laid out.  The brash, looking before he leaps and darn the consequences of Kirk was dramatically portrayed by Chris Pine.  The balance of the mixture of Vulcan/humanity of Spock was brilliant.  I almost thought that Zachary Quinto was a young Leonard Nimoy.  In fact, I thought the 7 ensemble characters of the Enterprise command were each portrayed quite well.  Dr. McCoy’s first impression of Spock is hilarious… and how did he get the nickname of “Bones”?  I still have a hard time seeing Chekhov on the bridge this early.  Maybe as a member of the crew in some smaller capacity, but it just seemed strange.  There is another relationship on board that I’m not quite sure fits.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away.  However, the villain sets out on a mission of vengance that could have catastrophic effects upon the universe.  Isn’t that the way all of these seem to follow?  Final verdict:  While the plot is somewhat out there, the characters fit like a glove and made the movie quite fun.   It was better than Star Trek V… so it was far from the worst.

taH pagh, taH be?

While searching for the perfect DVD to view on the new Blu-Ray (yes DVDs are able to be played on the machine), I decided to give Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country a long overdue view.  Released in 1991 (I remember seeing the film in a GOOD theatre setting while taking a break from holiday shopping in the city), the sixth film was the final voyage of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain James TIBERIUS Kirk.  I still say no one chews scenery better than William Shatner.  I was not disappointed in the experience as the space battles were given more punch and bang when viewed in high definition.

The tale begins when an important Klingon moon is destroyed forcing the empire to enter into peace talks with the Federation.  In short, the race has roughly 50 years of life remaining.  In a show of “arrogant presumption,” Spock volunteers Captain Kirk and crew to lead and escort the Klingon High Chancellor to peace talks.  In defense to Kirk’s bewilderment, the first officer offers an old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”

While the Enterprise leads the Klingon ship, the Chancellor is assassinated and Kirk and Dr. McCoy are found guilty of the crime and are sentenced to serve on the gulag Rura Penthe with no possibilty of parole.  Of course, the duo is eventually sprung from the penal asteroid and rejoins the starship to discover the truth behind the assassination and attempt to again begin the peace process

Several factors make this one of the finest Star Trek movies.  The plot parallels the climate in real world 1991: the end of the Cold War.  The veteran actors shine in their prospective roles and new characters are dynamically introduced.  Kim Catrall is introduced as Lt. Valeris who (as the first Vulcan to graduate at the top of her class at Starfleet Academy) is Spock’s personal choice to succeed him as science officer aboard the Enterprise.  Christopher Plummer is deliciosly hammy as the villainous Colonel Chang, a Klingon who is forever reciting Shakespeare either in English or the original Klingon.  Dr. McCoy becomes so annoyed with the outbursts that he would “pay real money if he would just shut up.”  Michael Dorn appears as Colonel Worf, attorney for Kirk and McCoy and grandfather of the security officer from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no *one* has gone before.