Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance: Star Trek Beyond

Writer’s note: As I write this, a man has gone into a facility for the disabled outside Tokyo and stabbed it’s inhabitants. At time of publication, 19 killed. 20 injured. We live in ‘interesting’ times. In a world gone mad, where global leaders and international terrorists wear the same sheep’s clothing; where random pointless acts take human lives and our pop culture icons are caching in their proverbial chips en masse. It’s therefore no surprise that friends, family, lovers and enemies are faltering on a human(e) level. In the face of all that is bad, all that’s left is to laugh, mon amis. This is for Makka. Because the world needs more levity. So here is my one Star Trek joke^.
I have never noticed how shiny the floor of the Enterprise is. Like impractically shiny. If you have people scurrying around in what must now be routine red alerts on the continually refurbished (rebuilt) starship, surely the worst thing you can do is have a shiny floor so highly polished that James Tiberius Kirk can admire his chiselled jawline in it.
In fairness, I write from the point of view of someone who proactively falls over.* Given these circumstances, I’m probably not Star Fleet material** but that doesn’t stop me being concerned about others. In fact, I’d probably be a Star Fleet Health & Safety bod; cursed by admiralty for grounding the entire fleet due to concerns over the dangers of deep space exploration compounded by one cleaners over enthusiasm with Pledge in the corridors.
Let’s be honest, that’s also a TV series reboot you want to see.
The hero of the third reboot is not the crew but the engineering. Even when the Enterprise fails, the mythical USS Franklin saves the day, along with Spock’s stalker tendencies*** and the Beastie Boys.
Naturally given he wrote the thing, Simon Pegg’s Scottie is allowed to shine constantly rejigging junkyard scrap to perform improbable feats****. While Bones and Spock indulge in the frenemistic banter all original gen trekkies have been dying for, analog saves the world. And again, the Beastie Boys.
In a franchise which splits critics, audiences and infinitives, the third outing poses technologies against each other in the hands of bleeding-heart saviours and trained killers, proving it’s not the presence of guns that destroys lives but the willingness to bear arms. The mission to ‘do no harm’ continues, though the conflict is never fully resolved. As usual, fiction mirrors reality in a way so prescient, even the creative team couldn’t have fully contemplated the parallels. And music saves us. Well done Beastie Boys.
Other thoughts:
The finale of the released edit choses to show the crew toasting Kirk, with Chekov at the centre of the frame. This is the followed by dedications to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin. It’s incredibly sad.
The film is very funny from the start. And not funny odd like the pranking the naive natives living on a pink volcano (Into the Darkness). Funny in a Father Ted “this cow is far away” way.
The current reboot still annoys me. Why hasn’t the universe imploded due to the presence of two Spocks from parallel realities existing in the same time and space in the same timeline?!
I would marry Jaylah, you know, if she wanted. Bit in love. It’s like Mae Martin at the Edinburgh Festival 2009(?) all over again, except fictional. Though probably more likely to happen.
*It saves time. I know it’s going to happen today eventually, so I try to get it out the way early. And I’m not a morning person, so my expectations pre-10 am are pretty low, allowing the day time to redeem itself.
**That plus the fact I look terrible in ocre. I’m just too pale.
***Spock ‘n’ Uhra are Rob and Helen in The Archers all over again. OMG Drama.
****though it’s satisfy to note air conditioning units are as unfathomable to Scot as anyone else in the known universe, including air conditioning repair men.
^My one Star Trek joke: “It had been a long time since Captain James Tiberius Kirk had looked into Lieutenant Uhura’s big, brown eyes.

Well, her tits were just too distracting.”^^
^^Never said it was funny.

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