Columbia J-School Prof on “Star Trek” Phenomenon

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Have you heard about this new movie? We think it’s called something like, “Star Trek”?

In case you missed the $50 million marketing campaign that has included everything from fast-food “Kingons” to Trek-themed Eggo waffles, the New York Times gave you another chance to join in the hype this weekend with an op-ed from Columbia Journalism School professor David Hajdu.

Hajdu, who is also the music critic for The New Republic, turns Star Trek apologist in the piece, calling the original 1960s TV show a pioneer of “cultural retro-activism.” Star Trek, he says, synthesized elements of American pop culture history into a format easily understood by the younger generation, transmitting cultural heritage. The crew of the Enterprise explored not the future of humanity but the archives of Hollywood.

Bwog admits to seeing the new Star Trek this weekend and can confidently say Hadju’s brand of Star Trek is dead. This reimagining, while still an engaging adventure, avoids ham-fistedly plumbing the depths of Americana to develop a storyline.

Some fans—perhaps even Hajdu—will lament this, but if the change means no more space hippies, space Yeti, or space Nazis, Bwog’s not complaining. 

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  1. pretty loose

    interpretation on your part bwog... can you really say for sure that there is not even little americana influence?

  2. What about  

    the obvious Freudian themes? The exploration of post-colonial society with the Romulans? The diapora of communities within the state with Spock?

    OBVIOUSLY, Bwog has no intelligence in interpreting movies whatsoever...

  3. Star Trek.....  

    was a great movie. Go out and see it.

  4. spock  

    was yummy in this movie

  5. XJE  

    The movie was definitely a crowd-pleaser: the red-shirted ensign curse, Bones, 12-year-old Spock at the Vulcan academy.

    If I can take a Comic Book Guy liberty for a second, though, I thought the time travel plot was a cop-out. Sure, it's a convenient way for the writers to avoid disrespecting the canon, but they (openly) violated the well-respected cliche laws of time travel.

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