Star Trek (2009 film)

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Star Trek is a 2009 feature film. It is the 11th film in the Star Trek film series.

Star Trek is a departure from the established custom of continuing the saga in a chronological order. It is a prequel of the original Star Trek television series. Further, it presents an alternate reality storyline. In this film, the lives of characters from the original series will develop along different lines thanks to changes in the time/space continuum brought about by time travel.

Star Trek drew praise from fans and critics alike, and became the first Star Trek movie to win an Academy Award.

Premise, Setting and Synopsis

Note: This section presumes some knowledge of the Star Trek universe.

Deep in space, the USS Kelvin is attacked by the Nerada, a Romulan spaceship under the command of the renegade Captain Nero. The Kelvin is too far out into deep space for help from other Federation vessels to reach it in time. Nero murders the captain of the Kelvin, but his attempts to annihilate the entire crew are thwarted by the actions of Acting Captain George Kirk, who heroically fights off the Nerada, giving the Kelvin’s crew time to evacuate via shuttlecraft. Kirk perishes, but over 800 passengers and crew are saved, including Kirk’s wife and newborn son, who has been born on an escaping craft.

Unbeknownst to all, these events have been set in place 139 years in the future, and Nero is actually a time traveller with a major grudge. The entire known universe is therefore developing in an alternate reality.

James Tiberius Kirk, raised on Earth by his mother and stepfather, is a bright but rebellious boy who becomes a delinquent teen. Concurrently, on the planet Vulcan, a precocious young boy named Spock is bullied and mocked for having a human mother. Despite this, he turns in an admirable academic record and is accepted to the prestigious Vulcan Science Academy, which he turns down in favour of the Starfleet Academy, following an expression of bigotry from the academy president. Spock excels at Starfleet and upon graduating rises to the rank of Commander.

During a chance encounter with a beautiful young Federation cadet named Uhura in a local bar, Kirk’s attempts to 'pick her up' lead to a brawl with some of her classmates, who give him a beating that is interrupted by the appearance of their commanding officer, Captain Christopher Pike. Pike discovers Kirk’s heritage and invites him to join Star Fleet, challenging him to better his father’s record. Kirk is outwardly disdainful but nevertheless shows up at the recruiting station, where he is reintroduced to Uhura and meets a recently divorced doctor named Leonard McCoy, with whom he becomes firm friends.

Kirk and Uhura both excel at the Academy. Kirk’s arrogance and his chagrin at having failed the Kobiashi Moru test, lead him to retake the challenge, having first reprogrammed the computer so that the battle simulation, intended to have a hopeless outcome, is instead winnable. Spock, who created and programmed the challenge, is furious at what he sees as cheating, and has Kirk brought up on charges. Kirk’s trial is interrupted by news of an anomaly in space and a distress signal from the planet Vulcan, and the new graduates are mobilised. Kirk, Uhura, Spock, McCoy, a young pilot named Sulu and a wunderkind named Chekov all end up aboard The Enterprise, commanded by Captain Pike.

Nero destroys Vulcan, murdering most of its 8 billion inhabitants in the process, including Spock’s mother. He then turns his attention to his ultimate goal: the destruction of the entire Federation of Planets.

Kirk discovers that Uhura and Spock are in love, and he will later find out, from a time-travelling older Spock (played by veteran Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy) that the time continuum has been disturbed, and that he and the young Spock must learn to work together, and were destined to be friends. Kirk is also comforted by the knowledge that in Old Spock’s world, Kirk knew and admired his father.

Despite serious initial antagonism, to the extent that Acting Captain Spock exiles Kirk to a hostile planet (from which he escapes, thanks to Old Spock and an engineer named Montgomery Scott), Spock and Kirk do learn to work together. With the help of the entire crew, Nero is defeated and destroyed.