The New Star Trek Is Perfect Because Of The Villain

There will be some minor spoilers concerning the origin of the villain in the new movie. They’re not big twists or anything, but if you’re really worried about it, go see the movie first.

First of all, The Onion is right:

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As ‘Fun, Watchable’

Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a Trekkie. I’ve never been to a Trek convention, for example. I had absolutely no complaints about the new movie, so i’m definitely not a Trekkie. As someone who was a big fan of the original series when it was rerun shortly before The Next Generation started (I was excited to find out Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton was going to be in TNG), and more or less kept up with the various series over the years, I think the movie is absolutely perfect.

Think about it: The best Star Trek movies are the best because they leverage the classic villains really well. Kahn in 2, the Klingons in 6, the Borg in 8. If not the villains, then they leverage a good time travel story line in 4 and (again) 8. The biggest problem with Nemesis(10)? The Romulans didn’t get a chance to be the Big Bad, and they should have been instead of some dumb clone. The clone dude, who is so forgettable I don’t even remember his name, isn’t the worst Star Trek villain, but he definitely wasn’t good enough to upstage the Romulans.

The new film not only does absolutely everything right, it actually corrects what was wrong in past movies. Nero is not only a Romulan, and an awesome villain, he’s quite possibly the most memorable villain ever.

Now let’s think about this for a minute: Nero is basically an ordinary guy. He’s not royalty, doesn’t have funky alien powers, isn’t genetically enhanced, or even have much advanced technology compared to everyone else in his time. He doesn’t have any grand plans for domination. He’s just the captain of a mining vessel, the frickin Red Dwarf of the Star Trek universe. He even speaks like a regular guy. He’s a cockney accent short of being David Lister.

His villainous motivation? Greif. His planet gets destroyed but before he can work through all the stages of grief he’s dumped a century and a half in the past. He gets twenty-five years to work through Shock & Denial and Pain & Guilt but before he can work through Anger (bear in mind he’s a Romulan and they don’t deal with anger very well to begin with) he’s given a planet-destroying device. So he starts out as Lister but ends up somewhere between Stanley H Tweedle and Darth Vader. A bit of Captain Ahab too, but considering how loyal his crew seem to be, more like (and this is probably deliberate) Captain Kirk from the original series.

Kirk starts off as the underdog, because this is the origin movie, but in many ways Nero is even more of an underdog who just happens to have a giant mining ship and planet-destroying-device from the future. Everything else in the movie is basically well-portrayed stuff we already knew about, but Nero is the perfect villain, and that makes this the perfect Star Trek movie.

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