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Alexander
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2009, 06:09:27 PM »

I'll make it clear to point out as early as possible I am no Trekkie.  In fact I'm more in the Wars camp than anything else.  So defending this movie (if you can call it that) kinda hurts me a bit.

I'm curious as to what people consider the "geek" factor of Star Trek, because from what I understand, all the geek factors of Star Trek are everything that makes bad Trek. Meaningless technobabble, catch-phrasing, self-referencing...any good Trek episode/movie would have a minimal use, or complete absence of, these elements. There's a difference between paying homage and recycling entire lines from previous episodes and movies. This is the level of fan service that the Star Wars prequels employed, where we're suppose to nudge our buddies and smile and wink at them because they mentioned something that sounds familiar simply for the sake of having it there.
If you mean to suggest there is no geek factor in the movie, you're wrong.  It's there, it's just a lot more subtle.  More on that in a bit.

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I agree the problem is the writing, completely. These characters are given no time and no dialogue to develop beyond their roles on the ship. There are no characters, simply people who do stuff. You have Chekov, the math genius, Scotty, the engineer guy, etc. They are defined by their roles and not their personalities, aside from very basic things such as Spock trying to constantly suppress his emotions, and that's only because he's one of the main characters.
I think you're over-simplifying matters a bit.  However, I do agree that much of the characterization  has them as cardboard cutouts that are propped around the stage.  I didn't like that (as Hidoshi said) we had no time to sympathize for Spock losing his planet.  One of the major clues we had to see how his emotional human side was coming out, was that he marooned Kirk on the ice planet.  But shouldn't that be enough for Kirk to accuse Spock of being emotionally compromised?  Surely the offense could use a less severe punishment, like throwing Kirk into the brig.  This is a starship after all, I'm sure they have one.

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I don't think they should've included the introductions to half these characters if they wern't going to do jack shit with them. It felt, once again, like the Star Wars prequels, like when they stuck Chewbacca in there for no reason other than for the audience to go, 'omg it's Chewbacca'. This is something that irritated me to no end in the TNG films: Beverly activating the E.M.H., Deanna is drunk, Worf's got a fuckin' pimple for crying out loud.

Hah, Worf had a pimple? I had no clue!  As for Chewbacca, I kinda lump that in with the "geek factor" from before.  Chewbacca is hardly a major player in the story of the Original Trilogy (I do agree it is still very much a way for audiences to gawk humorously and nudge their buddies) but to show the audience he was still alive and kicking 19 years before the movies gives him more importance in the grand scheme of things. Also, it provides a neat opportunity for the Expanded Universe (every bit of story told outside of the movies such as in video games, novels, radio dramas etc.) to draw off and go farther with story telling.

And finally, it's a way to legitimize some of the EU as it anchors the sense of Wookiees being creatures with longevity that greatly surpass that of a humans into the movies.  That detail is nowhere in the movies. Chewbacca looks exactly the same in III in IV, so it provides a chance for the audience to wonder why this is so and possibly, said audience member will investigate into the EU for answers.  A genius, but very subtle marketing technique for Lucas.

In Star Trek, we have the same sort of thing.  Throughout the movie Kirk is always searching for Uhura's first name and at the very tail end we learn it to be "Nyota." And in all the TV episodes and movies, there is not a single mention of the name.  It was something that existed outside of it in non-canon materials (books, interviews and the like).  By bringing it in to this movie, it establishes that name as firmly canon.  The fact it's done so late in the film is analogous to how long it took to establish that name, and the fact that it's established in an alternate universe (and Spock's line to Kirk immediately afterward "I will not comment on the matter.") makes it possibly ironic in that we may never know her "true" name.

This is also part of the "stealth geek factor" in the film.  Hardcore fans who are intimately familiar with the franchise already knew of the name and get a chance to friendly rib their buddy dressed up as a Klingon next to them.  But in the scope of the masses, they have no clue that the joke and reference was there in the first place and thus makes it even more geeky.
The same could be possibly said of the Kobayashi Maru test, the fact that Sulu knows how to fence, mention of the Farragut, and placing Kirk's origin in Iowa.  Now those are actually in the main canon but would be completely oblivious to the mass audience.  As far as they know, they could be perfectly fresh new ideas created solely for the film.  However, they are very much not so and provide a chance for the hardcores and long time fans to reminisce about how and when these details were established. 

And once again, the fact the movie plays a fast one over the mass audience's heads on these details and I'm sure much, much more (remember I'm hardly a layman on the universe, I'm sure a true geek on the matter could point out a LOT more) makes it even more geeky as it's pimply, socially awkward self is so carefully hidden within such a marketable,watchable film. The fact that critics call it "less geeky" makes it even more geeky.


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Nero is definitely forgettable
Nero isn't forgettable because he's not a character. He has the most retarded motivation I've seen since...since...well, Star Trek: Nemesis. I guess that kinda backfired on me.

I agree, he really is devoid of anything.  The only thing (and keep in mind I don't firmly stand by this) is that Nero is just so pissed off what has happened, he'll punish those outside of the crime (and in an alternate universe to boot, lol) simply to sate his rage.  This could be something to work into the dialogue (a simple one line remark could work wonders for his motivation) but sadly the writers overlooked the fact that Nero's motivation is very, very unestablished.  The audience could sympathize or hate him, but instead they are forced to do neither.

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This is so full of stupidity that I can't help but comment. First off, if there was enough time to realize the sun of Romulus was going supernova, contact Vulcan, having the Vulcans prepare their fastest ship, and then having Spock arrive there just as the supernova destroys the planet...WHY DIDN'T YOU FUCKING EVACUATE ROMULUS? It's like the people who are living in this universe are out of their minds. Even if they were so damn sure the Vulcans were going to make it on time, I hear that planets without suns are a bit on a nippy side as far as weather goes.

Hah, why didn't they evacuate or at least attempt to?  All we got was the scene of the elders huddled around doing ..something.  Waiting for the disaster.  Once again, a bit of simple dialogue on the subject could work wonders for the scenario.

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Nero, looking on at this, automatically assumes that Spock got there late on purpose and decides to wait 25 years so he can torture him. This is a completely contrived and forced conflict. The way he does things is like a stupid James Bond villain too. "In order to beat you, I will make you suffer the loss of your world the way I suffered the loss of mine!" Uh, Spock was trying to help you, and you know he was trying to help you.

Did Nero age a day in that 25 year gap?  I seem to remember him not.


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There is also a complete lack of anything Star Trek here.

Once again, I think you are over simplifying things.  I agree a lot of the "Trek-ness" feels gone (has the franchsie ever been so lighthearted and comedic?) but still there is at least some of it left. (See above on the geek factor.)  I don't feel qualified to say it had more than "some" but I might be able to if more familiar with the franchise.

People seem to forget this is science FICTION. Not science non-fiction. They can make up whatever they want.
Wait, what?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 06:12:34 PM by Alexander » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2009, 10:21:08 PM »

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People seem to forget this is science FICTION. Not science non-fiction. They can make up whatever they want.

Pretty much what Hidoshi said- if you make science fiction, you can't just have whatever you want pulled out of nowhere to have the story being driven. This is why fantasy stories can be very weak sometimes- the presence of a completely mystical thing that does nothing but drive the plot.

But I'll go ahead and give another example of this- the Nexus in Star Trek: Generations. About the only things we learned in the movie are:

What's the secret door for? Oh, it's so Soran can find the trilitium used to get into the Nexus.
Why did Romulans attack the station? Oh, they're looking for the stolen trilitium Soran is using to get into the Nexus.
Why would he destroy a star? To get into the Nexus.

The bulk of the movie was filled with people simply talking about the Nexus. The Nexus is not a story- the nexus is just a plot device used to hand two characters screentime (Kirk and Picard). The Nexus is a completely magical phenomenon that has no explanation given whatsoever.

For the record, I don't care if you have some light technobabble and implausible science in a science fiction movie. Nobody is going to roll their eyes if a starship is powered by fusion power (Something that exists, but cannot be done because of limitations, last I checked). If the science fiction makes no sense, it's only forgivable if they try to tell a good story with it. Here, there's no attempt at that- the red matter was created for the sole purpose of making a character have screentime (Old Spock). With this parallel universe story, it makes no difference whether Old Spock is there or not, and the only chance they ever get to make his presence mean something- telling Kirk about his father- is wasted for the most part.

If I had a problem with science fiction I'd be complaining about stupid little things like how there's no sound in space, or how things can't travel faster than light speed. These things are there because they need to be there for the story- the red matter is just a plot device.

Star Trek: Nemesis had a stupid, stupid external conflict. But the internal conflict was interesting, and I had ignored the plot holes for that reason until the very end, where it just became another "boom boom you're dead" movie. Of course you can also throw in the fact that John Logan's writing style doesn't click well with Science Fiction.

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I did have some of the same gripes that Hathen did, but still thought it was OK.

I'm not trying to say if it was a bad movie, but a bad Star Trek movie. Even as just a movie, it's just another high-budget summer action film.

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I'll make it clear to point out as early as possible I am no Trekkie.  In fact I'm more in the Wars camp than anything else.

I like things from both Star Trek and Star Wars- the parts that don't suck. They're two completely different things.

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Surely the offense could use a less severe punishment, like throwing Kirk into the brig.  This is a starship after all, I'm sure they have one.

Ah, see, but that would remove the ability for the writers to give Leonard Nimoy his well-deserved screentime. Now I'm just confused why they left Shatner out since Nimoy's character didn't end up doing much either.

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A genius, but very subtle marketing technique for Lucas.

I think you overestimate George Lucas. My main problem is that giving everyone screentime is just something that eats up time in the movie needlessly because they feel its just so obligatory to give these people screentime.

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Hardcore fans who are intimately familiar with the franchise already knew of the name and get a chance to friendly rib their buddy dressed up as a Klingon next to them.  But in the scope of the masses, they have no clue that the joke and reference was there in the first place and thus makes it even more geeky.

See, I don't want this "geekiness" in Star Trek, it's just there to make the fans get excited, and oftentimes it gets in the way of the story. If it's written smartly so that it's funny/understandable to all audiences, I don't have a problem with it...unless it's just completely shoe-horned in for the sake of just having it there. Recycling entire lines/scenes is just leeching off somebody's work, and much of it does nothing to establish the characters.

Let's take the Kobeyashi Maru scene- when I heard this was going to be a prequel, I told myself that I'd be very irritated if they showed that, and then they did. But even getting past the fact that it was thrown in there mostly as a fan service, the scene really doesn't do anything other than lets the audience have a cheap laugh. When I heard them describe the Kobeyashi Maru in Star Trek 2, I got the feeling it was because Kirk is stubborn and unwilling to lose. Here, he's eating an apple, and he's just acting like a frat boy that doesn't give a shit, which is something that had already been established in, like, 5 scenes before that. Now, don't misunderstand me- I'm not complaining about it because it was different than how I imagined it, I'm complaining because it's a meaningless scene.

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Hah, why didn't they evacuate or at least attempt to?  All we got was the scene of the elders huddled around doing ..something.  Waiting for the disaster.  Once again, a bit of simple dialogue on the subject could work wonders for the scenario.

I'm going to say that it's reasonable for the Vulcans to be unable to escape simply because the ship will just destroy everything that tries to. But the Romulans not trying to escape their planet is completely retarded.

Of course the whole thing was done just to have people dress up in silly color costumes (Of all the things in the movie, those stuck out to me like a sore thumb, they looked like friggin' power rangers) and jump onto the drill for an action scene. One wonders why the Enterprise didn't just shoot the damn thing, since that's exactly what they did at the end of the film. And if the only thing the red matter needs to work is to be ignited, why not just fire the red matter designed like a molotov cocktail instead of going through the trouble of drilling into the center of the damn planet?

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Did Nero age a day in that 25 year gap?  I seem to remember him not.

Eh, guess they needed a better makeup job, but I think it's because Vulcans live a long time, if Spock's age is any indication.

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Once again, I think you are over simplifying things.  I agree a lot of the "Trek-ness" feels gone (has the franchsie ever been so lighthearted and comedic?) but still there is at least some of it left.

See, I'm one of those people that doesn't care much for canon if you have the ability to tell a good story. What I mean by "lack of Star Trek-ness" is mainly the fact that they've discarded what made TOS such a timeless series- the ideas they had in the show, as cheesy as some of them might've been, have a timeless quality to them, and these particular things were not found in the new movie. As far as canon and fan-service goes, I'm someone who doesn't care much for it.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 12:02:56 AM by Hathen » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2009, 12:16:35 AM »

Trouble with Tribbles was such a terrible episode.  It didn't have any deep storyline or character development, what was up with that.  Man, that isn't Star Trek at all.
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2009, 01:42:00 AM »

Well, the geniuses that brought us the Shakespearian Transformers script have done it again.

I agree with Hathen, worst motivation for a Trek villain ever.

So, Romulus gets blown up, Nero comes back in time, captures Spock, has the power to create black holes....so what does he do?

Go back to Romulus and warn them? Go back with this advanced technology and re-engineer the star so it doesn't go supernova?

Evacuate Romulus?

NO! He blows up Vulcan and tries to blow up Earth to make Romulus safe! (From a supernova? How exactly?)

Ugh. Please kill those writers.

Did Nero age a day in that 25 year gap?  I seem to remember him not.

He grew stubble.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 01:47:13 AM by Lard » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2009, 02:32:55 AM »

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Trouble with Tribbles was such a terrible episode.  It didn't have any deep storyline or character development, what was up with that.  Man, that isn't Star Trek at all.

Suppose I should clarify what I enjoy as Star Trek as being the ones that do have those elements. There's plenty of bad episodes (And in fact 2 entire TV series that are almost completely crap) and I can go off listing them if I wanted to, but that'd be counterproductive. It still doesn't stop this movie from being bad.

Was I entertained? Sure. Was it the least bit thought provoking? No- it didn't even make sense within it's own little world. I want to make it very clear though, that I don't have any problem that all of you enjoyed the movie- that's perfectly fine. I just felt like point out a lot of obvious logical flaws the movie overlooked, and normally these kinds of things would be called out on as lazy/bad writing.

Lard, the logic here is that since it's apparently a split timeline, Nero will not be able to save his family even if he went to tell Romulus what's going to happen. The writers can write time travel in that way if they want to, of course, time travel is easily one of the hardest things to write. But his whole logic of "blowing up the federation will stop a natural disaster from occurring" barely makes any sense. Even if you take that to the extreme end- the fact that the absence of the Federation might result in another entity that could've reacted faster, that's a silly roundabout way of doing things.

All it really leaves as a motivation is his anger, which is barely developed beyond the basic "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die." reaction.

Anyway, I guess this is a bit like what I'm sounding like at this point.
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2009, 03:34:13 AM »

Oh man that video was freaking hilarious. Thank you.
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2009, 04:50:17 AM »

My favorite part is when they showed the Gorn VS Kirk clip. People just can't get enough of making fun of that part of the series- for good reason, though.

YOU WILL RESPECT THE LAUGHABLY BAD SETS AND COSTUMES.
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2009, 09:26:23 AM »

There's also the whole "let's send the senior ranking officer to the planet" thing, since it's completely unrealistic for Kirk and several key members to explore planets personally. Yet, no one really cared.  Watching Ensign Iam Expendable make his rounds through the latest foreign world, then seeing him slowly die from unknown bacteria and viruses due to not wearing a SCBA suit wouldn't nearly be as interesting.  Nor would entire episodes spent trying to sort through foreign methods of communication (we don't even have a unified language on Earth due to the infinite possibilities, so how is it that the first alien species, Vulcans according to First Contact, speak English fluently).  The Borg with their hive mind concept and all, not having thought of sending an entire fleet to begin assimilation of the Alpha Quadrant instead of one ship at a time so the Enterprise can save the day is unbelievable.  It's not hard to find flaws and gaping holes with all four decades of Star Trek.

Logic is great and all that, but sometimes we don't need every single aspect, much less character decisions, to make sense.  Hell, we humans make stupid choices all the time.  Was Nero a great villain?  Nah.  But I didn't care.  Star Trek is chock full of GRRRR ME ANGRY villains.
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2009, 10:41:45 AM »

2 cents.  When it comes to this franchise, they can't really "re-invent the wheel" because it's all been done before.  Nero was a cookie-cutter villain but so what, he wasn't meant to be the center of the story. This movie is basically re-establishing the basic premise for a new generation so it should just be taken for what it is. I enjoyed it more than pretty much all of the previous films save for "Wrath of Khan".  I'm guessing the follow-up to this one will be a step-up but I still think this was a great Trek film.
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2009, 12:59:25 AM »

I just wanted to say John Cho was pretty awesome in this film.
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« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2009, 01:11:14 AM »

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There's also the whole "let's send the senior ranking officer to the planet" thing, since it's completely unrealistic for Kirk and several key members to explore planets personally. Yet, no one really cared...It's not hard to find flaws and gaping holes with all four decades of Star Trek.

Logic is great and all that, but sometimes we don't need every single aspect, much less character decisions, to make sense.

I guess it depends entirely on what your personal threshold for suspension is. For me, things like that are required for the story to be interesting, and thus are allowable- it's not a requirement for the villain to make a completely brainless decision and have nonsensical things happening for the story to work. In BttF2, you had the DeLorean struck by lightning and then fly off into the past a setup for the third movie. There's a lot of logical questions to be raised there, but since the whole thing was done to set up something for the next film, it's something I feel can be overlooked. Here, things happen simply at the plot's convenience.

The decision Nero is making here is basically if my mother was walking into a mall with a bomb in there, and I see people yelling at her to stop walking towards the mall, but it's too late, then the same explosion somehow manages to send me back in time. The first thing I do when I get back is to kill every single parent of the people that tried to stop her from walking towards the mall so they won't be there to yell at her to not walk towards it.

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This movie is basically re-establishing the basic premise for a new generation so it should just be taken for what it is

I'm thinking the next one they'll have a lot more flexibility since they cleaned the slate- I really wish they'd get other writers though, since I'm not a fan of how these two guys have written in the past.

As for how it compares to other Star Trek films, I'd say I like 2 and 6 much more than this one. Not gonna compare it to 4, that one's just kinda out there compared to the other ones.

I guess I can say i liked it about as much as First Contact and Nemesis. Now that I think about it, I don't like half the Star Trek movies, heh.

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I just wanted to say John Cho was pretty awesome in this film.

Compared to who? He barely did anything in the film, he had his moment to shine and it was a needless action scene. =P

I can't think of a single other Asian actor that's the appropriate age. I thought it was funny when they chose him because he actually looks nothing like Sulu, with the other actors they actually have a bit of resemblance. They probably chose him because he's the only Asian actor of the appropriate age that at least a couple people have a clue of who he is.
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2009, 01:26:11 AM »

Well, it's tough to find anyone who looks like George Takei; he had a rather unique look among Asian Americans (look at that jawbone). James Kyson Lee was interested in the part so maybe he would've been better, but John Cho was still pretty good.

And no, he didn't have a huge role in the movie, but his katana fighting scene was no less badass.
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2009, 07:46:32 AM »

Alright, so I watched the film again (albeit at a discount price, heh).  On the subject of why there was no evacuation shown for the planet Vulcan, I think it's safe to presume that one may have very well been attempted but just as in the beginning with the fight between the Narada's powerful and accurate missiles vs the USS Kelvin's (and its attempted fleeing escape craft): the former (being technologically advanced by over 100 years) will win out. 

This is further evidenced by the fact that when they pop out of warp speed into the planet's proximity there is a graveyard of Starfleet ship remains that were completely trashed by the Narada.  So tiny shuttle craft escaping from the planet's surface would stand far less of a chance than a whole fleet of well armed warships.  The few that might have escaped could very well be part of the mentioned 10,000 Vulcans left in the universe.
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« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2009, 08:41:49 AM »

You know Hathen, you keep harping over Nero's motivation, and I'm going to have to introduce an important tidbit regarding Romulans to begin with: they've been enemies with the Federation since they first met one another.  Romulans are a conquering race, and the Federation's existence put a halt to it much like it did for the Klingons, only, peace was made with the Klingons.  Romulans continued to distrust, and outright hate humanity.  Being thrown over a century back in time presents an opportunity.  It wasn't just about his lost wife, whom he got revenge for on Spock when he destroyed Vulcan.  Destroying Earth = no more Federation = expansion of Romulan Empire and control of the Alpha Quadrant.

If anything, the real problem with this scenario is that Nero didn't take his ship back to Romulus so that the empire would have a century's worth of a technological advantage.  But then, the Federation being destroyed wouldn't allow for future movies.
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« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2009, 09:17:47 AM »

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why there was no evacuation shown for the planet Vulcan

I actually never had a problem with the lack of an evacuation on Vulcan, I came to the same conclusion you did, that they were clearly outgunned by Nero's ship. The part I did have a problem with is why Romulus wasn't evacuated before the supernova destroyed it- aside from the fact that they had time to do so considering how they could plead Vulcan for help and wait for Spock to prepare and get there, they shouldn't have stayed there anyway because a Solar System without a sun is going to have a slight weather problem. =P

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You know Hathen, you keep harping over Nero's motivation, and I'm going to have to introduce an important tidbit regarding Romulans to begin with: they've been enemies with the Federation since they first met one another.  Romulans are a conquering race, and the Federation's existence put a halt to it much like it did for the Klingons, only, peace was made with the Klingons.  Romulans continued to distrust, and outright hate humanity.  Being thrown over a century back in time presents an opportunity.  It wasn't just about his lost wife, whom he got revenge for on Spock when he destroyed Vulcan.  Destroying Earth = no more Federation = expansion of Romulan Empire and control of the Alpha Quadrant.

If anything, the real problem with this scenario is that Nero didn't take his ship back to Romulus so that the empire would have a century's worth of a technological advantage.  But then, the Federation being destroyed wouldn't allow for future movies.

I was actually under the impression that we were supposed to feel sorry for Nero to an extent, even though he was doing evil things. He wasn't a military man, and had conquest as a secondary thought, which is why he made it very clear to the Federation he had no connection to the Empire (He wanted to make it clear it was a personal revenge plot). He was just a regular guy who chose a life of hard labor and wanted to have a family, and one day everything came crashing down on his head and he didn't deserve it. To this extent, you can sympathize with him, but his reaction was so overblown it completely kills that.

I think in order to understand his actions we'd have to know whether Nero knew that he moved into a parallel world, or that he actually traveled back in time. If it's the latter, it would make sense he would care about conquest. If it's the former, he's doing it completely for his revenge.

I suppose they also wanted to show that being consumed in revenge would ultimately destroy yourself. Kirk and Spock both had wanted revenge at one point for the death of their loved ones, but Kirk was able to suppress his anger and he helped Spock from acting upon his. I'm not sure if this idea was handled well, though, like many of the other ideas in the movie.
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