Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reboot: You're doing it wrong.

Buckle your nerd-belts kids, I'm about to complain about Star Trek again. In fact, if obsessively fanish nit-pickary about the vagaries of Star Trek canon aren't your thing you might want to hit the eject button now. Still with me? You are? God, we're nerds...
Strapped in? Good, it's going to be a nerdy ride.
Genetic super-men, sleeper ships,
mode 7 graphics, truly, the mid-90's
was a era of technological wonders.
So the subject of my current dork-rage is the announcement of a new comic mini-series about the origin of (and I'm spoiling Into Darkness's big twist here) Benedict Cumberbatch's version of Khan, the genetically enhanced super-human from the 20th century. Khan, at least in the original series, was one of a bunch of tyrants who took over the Earth in 1992, got overthrown during the Eugenics Wars and then fled into space in one of those sleeper ships everyone had in the back 90's. Don't remember seeing that on CNN? Me neither. Good thing they rebooted the Star Trek univer-

Let me repeat: gold fishnet bodysuits.
-oh, right, they didn't reboot the Star Trek universe. It's an 'alternate reality.' So how did they deal with Khan? He was floating around in a cryogenic tube while Nero was fucking up future history so by all rights he should look like Ricardo Montalban and run around in gold fishnet bodysuit. The screenwriters just straight up ignored the problem, cast Benedict Cumberbatch and had characters explicitly refer to him as being frozen for three hundred years (which would have made him from the 1950's) leaving nerds like me to fume at the writer's blasé attitude towards canon and their inability to do simple math.

The plan now is to spackle over the continuity issues with a goddamn comic book. They pulled this shit back in '09 with not one, but two series about Nero, the villain from Star Trek: The Rebootening...although neither tie-in explained Nero's motivations beyond 'he's crazy and evil' so I don't know what the point was.
"Soon, I will have my revenge for uh...whatever it is you did to me..."
-Chandler in episode 24: The One
Where Khan Moves in Next Door
I guess the Khan comic will try to explain all the shit they glossed over in Into Darkness. You know, like the fact that he's now a white English guy with Wolverine's healing factor. But wasn't the whole the rationale for rebooting Star Trek in the first place so that the writers could put a fresh creative spin on the series and divest themselves of almost 50 years of complicated backstory? By setting the film in an alternate history timeline they're still locked into most of the canon of the original series; like Khan ruling the world during the second season of Friends for example. Like, what did that accomplish?

I know it's just a movie, and that being consistent with Trek canon probably isn't as important to the writers as making an entertaining movie, but holy shit, if you need tie-in material to plug your plot holes, you're doing something wrong.
Hey, how about a comic book explaining where Admiral Marcus
got the uniforms for his crew? I mean they were a rogue faction of Starfleet,
did he take the time to design little outfits for them to wear while instigat-
-oh, well I guess that makes sense...
(extra nerd credit if you get that)

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