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This movie has eaten my brain - Resist, by all means.

Date: 2010-01-05 18:56
Subject: This movie has eaten my brain
Security: Public
Tags:movies, star trek
Since I can’t stop thinking about this movie I might as well write meta on it.

So. James T. Kirk. It’s fair to say I’m a little bit in love with him. For some reason broken men always do it for me, at least until they do something truly vile. (Perhaps the only exceptions in my fandom life have been Lee Adama and Jack Shephard…Oooh and Michael Vaughn). But it’s Chris Pine’s Jim Kirk that I love. I’ve never really watched TOS and I have no desire to. William Shatner squicks me and I hope they don’t cast him in future films (which would require too much bending of timeline). I juts want to see the continued adventures of the people in nu1Trek, becuase they're all subtly different from the TOS characters, as they should be. Jim Kirk all broken and bloody in a bar in Iowa was gorgeous like burning, and I hope that he’s still this wild card underneath in later films. I don’t want his issues to be brushed under the guise of good leadership. All the characters in this film seem so much more broken than in TOS (from what I’ve read) and the ones that aren’t probably will be, because a) most of their graduating class is gone and b) they saw an entire planet – one of the Federation’s founding members - vanish into nothingness. Once the adrenaline fades, that shit is bound to HURT. Guh, this cast is So Fierce, I love all of them. 

I’d have loved to see more of the three years at the academy – I feel like the journey that took Kirk from being the obnoxious (gorgeous) drunk in an Iowan bar to the admittedly also infuriatingly cocky (still gorgeous) cadet would be, well, fascinating. Because at his hearing, Kirk isn’t joking around. He’s serious and there’s almost no trace of the cadet that put on this performance for the test administrators when he took the Kobayashi Maru. Starfleet means something to him and he doesn’t take too kindly to the notion that someone wants to take it all away from him for using creative means to bypass an unfair test. And then he gets hit with the dead father card, which is such a low blow, really, and he’s even less amused. During the crisis, too, he wants to be in the fight. All of which points to the fact that as aimless as he might’ve been before he enlisted, in the three years he’s been at Starfleet Academy he’s found something that he likes, maybe even loves, and he wants to serve. He wants to be a Starfleet officer – something that is reiterated in his expression when Spock Prime tells him he was captain in his reality, and the pride in his face when he’s being commended for his performance during the crisis and his field promotion is confirmed.

Also, he isn’t so much a creature driven by emotions as by instinct – there is a subtle but very important difference between the two and he’ll do what his gut tells him to do but normally its backed by what his head is telling him to do as well. In fact, he consciously doesn’t act on his emotions in the movie – during his academic review, he reacts to Spock’s “you of all people” with calm-bordering-on-resignation that of course someone would bring up his father and the Kelvin and pain but not emotionalism. It is Spock who reacts with violent emotion to Kirk’s goading him about his mother. Jim doesn’t go in all guns blazing when they have the Narada in their crosshairs. He’s the one who offers mercy in the hope of preventing future bad relations with the Romulans, despite the fact that his father was murdered by Nero. Spock is the one who wants to blow them to bits.

Indeed, there is little that Kirk does after his hearing that is illogical, especially in his worldview. It is Spock who abandons his position in the middle of a crisis, over-reacts crazily to provocation by his first officer who he doesn’t like by throwing him off the ship, almost kills said first officer when he just won’t go away and almost commits suicide at the end by driving the Jellyfish into the Narada without asking the Enterprise to beam him up. Beyond Kirk’s obvious bravado and his cocky attitude, and Spock’s outward implacability, they seem almost to have switched characteristics: Kirk is logical and is operating on reason, Spock is emotional and operating on a need for vengeance.

In conclusion: when will there be more, because I want, I want.

ETA that is inspired in part by excellent, excellent meta by seperis , whose analysis of how the destruction of the Kelvin changed everything is so spot on, especially the stuff about Scorched Earth Spock! And also by sainfoin_fields who made the excellent point that Kirk and Spock are co-protagonists in STXI.
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January 2010