Don’t get me wrong…I love the new Star Trek movie. But, after doing some thinking in the shower, I came to understand why some die-hard Trekkies are having a problem with it.
Essentially, the movie undoes much of Star Trek. Because Nero went back in time and destroyed the planet Vulcan, much of what I’ve grown to know and to love no longer exists.
For example, I absolutely loved the Vulcan Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager. This is bizarre, because part of me sees all Vulcans other than Spock as Spock-parodies. But Tuvok has found a place in my heart, even though he is surrounded by other characters who are just as cold and rational as he is (Seven of Nine). Tuvok is not even unique on the Starship Voyager, but I still like him as a character.
And there are Tuvok episodes that are special to me. I think of the one that went back to his adolescence and explained how he became the way that he was. As a teen, he was struggling with his emotions, particularly towards a girl in his class (of course), and he found serenity through the discipline of logic.
Or the one where he was looking after a group of children, who were actually much older than they looked, since people on this planet reverted to childhood in their old age. My heart just melted when that little girl who was about to die said to Tuvok, “Thanks for spending time with us, even though we’re not as behaved as Vulcan children.” And Tuvoc stayed by her side as she died.
Or the one where Paris was on trial for murder, and Tuvok aggressively searched for the facts and proved him innocent. At the end of the episode, Paris reached out to Tuvok and asked him why he always sat by himself. “I do not need friends,” Tuvok said. “Too bad, you’ve already got one,” Paris replied.
Now, all of this is gone! Vulcan was destroyed, with only a few survivors. So there is a huge chance that Tuvok will not be born and have those experiences.
There’s also the Pon Farr issue. Under Russell Miller’s post on Star Trek, Aggie brings up the episode of the original series in which Spock had Pon Farr, which occurs when Vulcan males go into heat and desperately need a Vulcan woman. When Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant, light years away from Vulcan, Tuvok managed to get through his Pon Farr by creating a Vulcan woman in the holodeck.
But how will Spock handle his Pon Farr, when his planet has been destroyed, and the holodeck doesn’t even exist yet? Sure, he has a romance with Uhura, but she is not Vulcan. And, yes, there is a remnant from Vulcan, but the people Spock saved were old men, as far as I could see. I hope I’m wrong on this, since there needs to be at least one fertile female Vulcan for the people-group to survive, let alone for Spock to survive Pon Farr.
Maybe these issues can be addressed in a book or a sequel. I hope so!