erik lundegaard

“Star Trek”/“Star Wars” Parallels

Anyone else notice the parallels between the latest “Star Trek” and the original “Star Wars”? Examples:

  1. Opening battle between a small ship and a GIGANTIC ship, which immediately has us rooting for the small ship—the underdog. Meanwhile, what escapes from the small ship is the key to the eventual destruction of the gigantic ship.
  2. The fatherless, seemingly parentless, farmboy gazing up at the stars, at what he might be.
  3. Star Trek poster, J.J. AbramsThe destruction, a third of the way through the film, of an entire planet and its billions of souls, which affects several main characters greatly.
  4. The discovery of the hooded wise man in the cave, who teaches the young buck the proper way and his proper destiny.
  5. The destruction of the bad guys by the two archetypal characters: in “Star Wars,” innocent and rebel; here, extrovert and introvert, emotion and logic. In both films, these two characters start out enemies but become fast friends.
  6. In the end, the triumphant farmboy is feted at a medal ceremony in front of the entire fleet. 

That's just off the top of my head. More? Anyone?

ADDENDUM: In this construct, Uhura has the Princess Leia role: the feisty girl the farmboy is after and the other guy winds up with. In the original “Star Trek” series, the threeway was between Kirk, Spock and McCoy, with Kirk listening to input from both logic (Spock) and emotion (McCoy) and then deciding on the best course of action. But in this film, Uhura seems to have a bigger part than McCoy. Part of the “Star Wars”izaton of the series? Who knows?

ADDENDUM: Via a back-and-forth on Facebook, we got this:

Spock: Jim, the statistical likelihood that our plan will succeed is 4.3 percent
Kirk: Spock, it'll work.

Compared with:

C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1!
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds!

ADDENDUM, 8/7: “Star Trek: Confusion”

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Posted at 12:54 PM on Sun. May 10, 2009 in category Movie Reviews - 2009  


Aaron Reid wrote:

So we're saying destroy SW Ep 1, 2, & 3 and give JJ Abrams a budget comparable to what Lucas had and see if he can give us a better Prequel trilogy? I'd pay to see that...
Comment posted on Mon. May 11, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Mister B wrote:

I would pay to see that, too.

(spoiler alert)

As for the parallels, after that scene where Kirk as a boy drives that classic car off that cliff, I recall thinking, "Geez, another main character in a sci-fi story with 'lost daddy' issues."

Here's another possible parallel: Uhura as Princess Leia. Young, sexy, intelligent, bit of an attitude -- and almost nothing else to do but be interested in both guys to the point of maybe playing one off the other (like Leia did more obviously in Empire -- and Uhura's kissing scene with Spock in the transporter room reminded of Leia and Han's scene before he was encased in carbonite).
Comment posted on Mon. May 11, 2009 at 03:56 PM

Tim wrote:

"Playing one off the other?" Not remotely. Kirk saw her as a challenge, the hard-to-get gal. Uhura would have had nothing to do with him had it been up to her.

Otherwise, E, you're right and I really didn't much notice. I never conflate the two; to me "Star Wars" was always its own fantasy thing while "Star Trek" was "reality" by comparison. Of course, Abrams clearly doesn't see it that way, resulting in rather fanciful plot points that I really wish had been attended to with more care. I saw it again last night with Abrams' intended audience, the non-Trekkie avid moviegoer. She loved it, further indicating that the film did its job despite any complaints from the Geek Gallery (present).
Comment posted on Mon. May 11, 2009 at 06:59 PM

Erik wrote:

BTW: Just checking, Mr. B, that you can see the addendum in the post. Your comment implied that you couldn't.
Comment posted on Tue. May 12, 2009 at 07:37 AM

Tim wrote:

Spock was quoting odds long before C-3P0 was.
Comment posted on Wed. Jun 03, 2009 at 06:54 PM
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