Star Trek is back. This science fiction movie is based on the original
1960s TV series in which a Federation starship manned by a diverse
Starfleet crew from the entire galaxy "boldly went where no man has
In the film, Captain Christopher Pike of Starfleet Federation talks to young man, James T. Kirk.
"Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including yours. I dare you to do better. Enlist in Starfleet."
This is how the legendary captain James T. Kirk supposedly started his lifelong career as captain of the Federation's best starship, the Enterprise.
Millions who watched the series back in the 1960s remember him as a brave, charismatic captain protecting the galactic Federation and destroying its foes.
But in the new movie, a prequel to the original series, James T. Kirk was an angry, self-destructive young man without a father or a sense of direction.
Actor Chris Pine interprets James T. Kirk.
"He's got major issues with authority, and so the process of the movie is how is this guy going to take all of these disparate energies, mold them into the form of a captain," Pine explains.
The same applies to the young Mr. Spock. The half-Earthling, half-Vulcan had to struggle to find balance between his human, emotional nature and his ultralogical Vulcan side before becoming Enterprise's first officer and an ambassador.
In the prequel, Zachary Quinto plays the unflappable Spock. He says it is a challenge to walk in the shoes of Leonard Nemoy, who more than 40 years ago brought Spock to life.
"He's the real deal. I feel like getting to experience that and getting to know him has been a great gift. Not only of this experience, but certainly of my life."
The rest of the cast also pays homage to their original counterparts. The success of the film lies with a plot balanced between action-packed scenes and character-driven relationships - the same ingredients that made the original series popular.
Twenty years after the original Star Trek TV series, a technically sleeker Star Trek ran on national and international TV stations. That version was called Star Trek: The Next Generation. The captain of the Enterprise was Jean-Luc Picard, played by Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart. The series catapulted Stuart to international fame.
The new film is a success, too. So far it has grossed close to $100 million dollars. People of all ages and all backgrounds are flocking to the theaters.
Every generation has its favorite Star Trek characters.
"My first love with Star Trek would have been with the original show. So, I would say Kirk," says Beth, a fan.
"For me, The Next Generation was newer when I was younger, and it was just what I really started watching," says another fan, Justin.
As a matter of fact, Justin liked the show so much he decided to get a tattoo with a Klingon symbol on his arm. Klingons were the Enterprise's war-like allies.
But young kids today? What do they know about Star Trek the series? Well, not much.
"I know that is a great show. And I love the people in it. It's a show, right?" says one girl.
"They live in a spaceship. And the captain is William Shatner and his name is Dr. Spock," says another boy.
Actually, Shatner played the original James T. Kirk, and it was Mr. Spock not Dr. Spock, the famous American pediatrician who died 10 years ago.
Regardless, many of these pre-teens want to see the film for its special effects, if not for the memories. And Star Trek director J.J. Abrams delivers. This is a fun adventure with an excellent cast, great special effects and a timeless story.