Best of Both Treks

With the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness and Legacy of Romulus expansion in STO, this is becoming Star Trek week here. I thought I’d embrace that and take a look at my ranking of the twelve movies. I’m going to rate each of them on three twelve point scales.

Trekiness (1 being a generic movie that is just named “Star Trek” and 12 being the embodiment of what Star Trek means, to me at least)

Movieness (1 being a terrible movie you don’t want to watch again and 12 being an awesome movie you want to go see multiple times while its in the theater)

Personalness (1 being my least favorite, 12 being my most favorite)

Scores are relative to each other, so each number on the scale will be used only once.  I’ll go through the movies chronologically and then average their two values and make a final list. Even i don’t know how its going to turn out as I write this.

 

The Motion Picture
(Trekiness: 8, Movieness: 1, Personal: 3)

The original Motion Picture, this movie is kind of boring. It’s long and not a lot happens.  It’s not terrible though. In many ways, it is the embodiment of what Gene Roddenberry wanted Star Trek to be. Cerebral without Kirk tearing his shirt fighting an alien.

Wrath of Khan
(Trekiness: 11, Movieness: 10, Personal, 12)

By far my favorite Trek movie. It is everything I want Trek to be. It has a bit of naval tradition, big ship fighting, advanced science fiction ideas (Genesis), moral questions of science for good vs science perverted into a weapon, the best villain hands down and one of the best death scenes in any movie. I’ve watched this one who knows how many times.

Search for Spock
(Trekiness: 5, Movieness: 5, Personal: 6)

Until Nemesis, there use to be a saying that odd numbered Trek’s sucked. But I never felt Search for Spock deserved to be in that group. It’s definitely the best of the odd numbered original movies. There’s nothing fantastic about it but there’s also nothing terrible either. It’s just kind of a middle of the road movie. But it did introduce the Excelsior so it deserves kudos there.

Voyage Home
(Trekiness: 10, Movieness: 7, Personal: 7)

One of the things that make Trek, Trek, is taking a look a contemporary issues. This is the only movie that does that. Many others take a look at some moral questions, or look at personal growth or the crew as a family. All of those things are important elements of Star Trek. But this is one of the only movies that does a sci-fi look at a social issue like the shows often would do. It’s got good humor and one of the best of the original movies for giving the whole cast a role.

Final Frontier
(Trekiness: 3, Movieness: 2, Personal: 1)

This movie was just terrible. It had some good moments, Kirk, Spock and McCoy camping. It tried to do an exploration of life and the universe, mistakes being part of who we are, etc. But it’s just bad.

Undiscovered Country

(Trekiness:  12, Movieness: 8, Personal: 11)

My second favorite. I rated it as the top of the Trekiness list because I think it delved best into Star Trek’s message; bettering ourselves as humans. Kirk hates the Klingons. They killed his son. Except, they didn’t. A Klingon killed his son. He’s faced with this racial prejudice within him and needs to confront it. It’s also about the end of the Cold War, a relevant contemporary issue at the time.

Generations

(Trekiness:  4, Movieness: 3, Personal: 2)

I should like Generations more. It has the TNG cast. I just don’t. The Enterprise is blown up by a stupid bird-of-prey while a mad man tries to blow up entire star systems just so he can get to paradise. It’s weak. And Kirk’s death was terrible. At least his fake out death on Enterprise-B wasn’t to bad.

First Contact

(Trekiness:  8, Movieness: 9, Personal: 10)

My favorite TNG movie. It’s got the Borg. Picard has to deal with his inner demons as he battles his desire for revenge. A nice space battle. Good parts for most of the cast (Crusher still gets shafted). It’s only negative part was introducing the Borg queen. That just killed the Borg as an interesting threat. It’s also tainted by what it could have been. If they hadn’t made it a time travel movie and not had to introduce the queen, it could have been epic. Especially if they had brought in Sisko with Worf on the Defiant.  Two captains dealing with revenge.

Insurrection

(Trekiness:  6; Movieness: 6, Personal: 4)

This one tries. It just isn’t all that good. I mean, its about interfering with a pre-warp civilization at first. But it’s one village. They are obviously not native to that planet. Why didn’t they just set up colonies on other continents and leave the Baku alone?

Nemesis

(Trekiness:  2, Movieness: 4, Personal: 5)

This one wants to be about something. It wants to explore the meaning of who we are and if we are our clones. It just doesn’t. And it has a stupid buggy chase scene with a pre-warp civilization. With the big deal about non-interference that the previous movie was about, they just ignore it completely here. The only reason I rate it higher is I did enjoy the big space battle the first time I saw it.

Star Trek

(Trekiness:  1, Movieness: 12, Personal: 8)

This one is definitely the best Movie and the worst Trek. It made Trek popular but only really paid lipservice to what Trek is about.  There were a lot of stupidness in the plot. Nero was pretty weak as a villain. But all that said, its a very well crafted movie. I enjoy watching it. The scene were Kirk is born, one of the better emotional moments in Trek movies.

Into Darkness

(Trekiness:  7, Movieness: 11, Personal: 9)

These are preliminary ratings as I’ve only seen it once. I’ll need a few viewings to decide. But it follows up on the first JJ-Trek in being good movie. It makes a much better effort at being Trek. It also pays good homage to what’s come before.

 

Whats the final tally then? Let’s do some maths and find out. Listed Best to Worst.

  1. Wrath of Khan (11.0)
  2. Undiscovered Country (10.3)
  3. First Contact (9.0)
  4. Into Darkness (9.0)
  5. Voyage Home (8.0)
  6. Star Trek (7.0)
  7. Search for Spock (5.3)
  8. Insurrection (5.3)
  9. The Motion Picture (4.0)
  10. Nemesis (3.7)
  11. Generations (3.0)
  12. Final Frontier (2.0)
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2 Responses to Best of Both Treks

  1. Jedi_Rabbit says:

    Great list. I’ll give you my top five, but I haven’t seen Voyage Home or Undiscovered Country (Blasphemy, right?)
    1. Wrath of Khan
    2. Into Darkness
    3. Star Trek (2009)
    4. First Contact
    5. Search for Spock

  2. Caera says:

    I’m so glad someone agrees with me on the 2009 Star Trek simple not being Trekkie. Everyone was horrified at how I shredded that film when it came out. I’ve moved forward on it since and aside from the horrible motion sickness I got watching “Into Darkness” (J.J. Abrams’ cinematography always has and always will mess with my head and I don’t know why), I enjoyed it much more than its predecessor. I still have issues with it though, but then again, I’m a 3rd generation Trekker. I’m going to have issues. Hahaha!