Over the past few months since the new Star Trek movie opened, I’ve noticed a strange reaction by some of its detractors. They start by ranting that the new movie has erased all of Trek as we know it — that the timeline since the birth of James T. Kirk has been overwritten, meaning classic Star Trek as we knew it, as well as The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and their literary spin-offs “never happened.” And dadgummit, that makes the fan so MAD!
Putting aside the obvious rejoinder that this is all just fiction and none of it has ever happened, some fans try to reassure their frothing-angry peers that the characters in the new movie explicitly said the technobabble had created “an alternate reality,” which means that the Trek they know and love is still out there, intact in its own universe, and the new Star Trek is free to chart a new course in its universe.
You’d think that would make the complainers happy, to have an on-screen justification for believing the Star Trek they profess to love is alive and well. But this is what perplexes me: trying to tell them this just makes them angrier.
Like semantic olympians, they surmount one logical hurdle after another to refute this helpful explanation, digging into Star Trek canon to justify their fury, and they discount any episode (usually TNG: “Parallels”) that might contradict their rage-gasm. To paraphrase one aggrieved fan’s reply, “I don’t care — I’d rather be angry.”
So let me get this straight, Mister Furious: You could accept an explanation that would let you continue to dismiss this film you find so offensive and still “believe” in your unsullied geek religion, but you’d rather scream and stomp your feet?
There’s just no pleasing some people.