Sunday, May 17, 2009

STOP THE PRESSES: Veritable Star Trek Word Vomit

Blackbird's computer wallpaper

Blackbird: After all this time, we apologize in that the following post is not actually about manga. Instead, we have jumped on the modern geek bandwagon and would like to write about the recent Star Trek (the 11th in the series) reboot movie!

Starfish: Of the three of us, only I have been a long term Trekkie and mostly in response to Next Generation and Voyager. I always found the original series a bit dated. Kirk's interaction with the female characters was too much for the feminist in me to handle. I couldn't identify with the disposable, mini-skirt-wearing sex symbols.

Polecat: I hadn't had very much experience with Star Trek previous to the movie (aside from the few episodes and movies that Starfish showed me) and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Doubts aside, however, Star Trek was PHENOMENAL. As a person with previously lukewarm feelings towards the original cast and series, I can now say that I have succumbed to the lure, and I am a definite fan of Star Trek.

Blackbird: My interest in the movie actually originated with Polecat when she told me of the quality of the recent reboot. Much to my surprise, it was received very well. Earlier in the year, Starfish had added slightly to my Star Trek knowledge (beyond what my Trekkie uncle had taught me), and I felt mildly compelled to research the movie. It was then that I stumbled upon the Spock of all reboot Spocks, Zachary Quinto, and my obsession continued from there.

Polecat: I can attest to that, for as finals drew nigh and eventually arrived, I believe Blackbird still spent numerous hours on the internet, surfing the web diligently for choice tidbits on Zachary (yes, we're on a first name basis with him here at Manga Meditation), and finding smolderingly hot pictures of him as Spock with the pointy ears and the perpetually arched eyebrows. I must admit, I looked at these pictures and the information quite reluctantly in the beginning; I didn't find Zachary to be very attractive, and I was more concerned about passing my Spanish final than ogling Vulcan youths. However, after the movie, I must revise my opinion as I am an unabashed fan of Zachary (though not to the extent of Blackbird still). His Spock embodies the perfect blend of emotion and logic, of angst and clearheadedness, and he is one of a very select few that can TOTALLY rock the bowl cut.

Starfish: Ah, yes. I think one blogger put it best. Spock (the character) is "a man so arch he has permanently raised eyebrows" (Entertainment Weekly). Zachary (the actor) may not be able to properly separate his fingers for the famous Vulcan greeting, but he can still pull the Vulcan suavity or, that is, the half-Vulcan suavity. Over the years, Spock has always been a fan favorite, and I doubt that this will change any time soon. The other characters are also well cast.

Blackbird: Which is something I have very much to say about! In regards to my Zachary Quinto obsession, I think he is the perfect Spock. The depth that the writers added to his character, namely the internal fight between his human and Vulcan sides, is perfectly and subtly conveyed. Sulu, the pilot and somewhat token Asian, actually leaves his desk... And fights! For real! And it's not kung fu! While his character could have been slightly more developed, I think that it was appropriate to the story and the fact that Sulu himself is not that major of a character anyway. The man who plays Chekov, in addition, adds that Chekovian spunkiness and youth while not becoming the typical and flat nice guy.

Starfish: With added character depth, better special effects, and a new exciting plot... what more could a potential fan ask for? Well, longtime fans may notice that the plot isn't exactly new as such. The character of a man driven to madness by his hunt for revenge against the killer of his wife is strangely reminiscent of an earlier Star Trek movie, namely The Wrath of Khan. I think the new take is different enough to keep the plot exciting, but Abrams' comments (link here) about potentially reusing more plots and character are worrying to me. Continuously rehashing plot ideas will eventually grow old even if they have better special effects than the first time round.

Blackbird: Anyways, the reason this post was born was because of another blog post that I found at E! Online discussing why Z-Pine, the extremely clever name for Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine, who plays Kirk, is not as hot as Robert Pattinson, the dude who plays sulky Edward in that crappy franchise named Twilight.

Polecat: One quote that I found particularly infuriating, "The Star Trek heartthrobs—alone or as a combo, with or without a nickname—do not have the same heat as R.Pattz." This blog post then went on to describe how Robert Pattinson's film credit as the sparkly (read: LAME) Edward Cullen, vampiric love interest of all prepubescent/teenage girls, trumps the masterpiece work of Quinto and Pine...something that is totally, uncompromisingly, and irrevocably FALSE. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine could take on Robert Pattinson by themselves, blindfolded, in unattractive bowl cuts and red jumpsuits, with one hand tied behind their backs and STILL come out leagues ahead of Robert Pattinson's lame-o sparkling and bloodsucking abilities. As you might have guessed, we here at Manga Meditation have less than complimentary attitudes towards the Twilight series, and we believe that this sacrilegious comparison between Quinto/Pine and Pattinson is an egregious travesty on the part of E! Online.

Blackbird: And with that I would like to address the weak points made by the, um, "AnswerB!tch" (seriously).

"Unlike Z-Pine, who look like real grownups who have real sex, R.Pattz—thanks in part to a role as a perpetual teenage vampire—comes off like a kid. A nonsexually threatening kid."

Wrong. It is exactly for "Z-Pine's" more blatant sexuality that I am far more attracted to Spock and Kirk than to the creepy, manipulative, and overall immature Edward Cullen. My god, why the hell would I be attracted to a dude, "a kid," that is perpetually sexually and emotionally unavailable?! And yes, I totally have a chance with Spock.

"Z-Pine is nice, but Z-Pine never played Edward Cullen. That's a problem...'He's the personification of this literary character that girls were already obsessed with,' says Lawrence."

Have these people never heard of Star Trek conventions? And as Starfish pointed out to me, Spock may not exude blatant sexiness, but there is a definite attractiveness to him; he's both intelligent and charming. This constant struggle, as well, translates well into subtle sexual tension. He has a manly sensitivity, you could say.

"Seriously, did I mention Edward Cullen? 'The passion that Edward and Bella share is intense,' Lawrence explains. 'Like that all-consuming, trite, cliché, teen-girl love where everything is so emotional and so dramatic that they would die without each other.'"

Sorry, but I am really not into the highly childish, intense, and unrealistic relationship (really, why the hell are they even attracted to one another in the first place?). The relationship shown between Spock and Uhura in the new movie is mature, realistic (though some true Trek fans may have something to say about that), and still highly romantic and sexy.

Overall, this B!tch (her words, not mine) seems to think that all fangirls are screaming tweens with the dreams of being saved by a sparkly vampire who thinks you smell tasty. Instead, we here at Manga Meditation think of ourselves as "mature fangirls" (thanks, Starfish) which, I think, is the whole point of this blog: Not all fangirls (or boys) are as mindless (or threatened by sexuality) as people like to think. Yay for my making this post sort of relevant!

Starfish and Polecat: Points indeed!

--Manga Meditation

PS: Thanks to Entertainment Weekly for the image! And mega mucho thanks from Blackbird, because she can't stop staring at her screen...

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