As the Kirk and Chekov run through what’s left of their disgorged, crashed starship, I kept thinking, “It looks like a Best Buy after a tornado.” In one scene, I’m pretty sure I glimpsed a mangled, overturned LG refrigerator.
Is this the best mankind’s material science will produce? Remember, in the Trek universe, starships like the Enterprise are supposed to be the pinnacle of humanity’s technological prowess. Yet the innards of the Enterprise, with its metal gangways, ladders and wires (so many wires), seems to take its design inspiration from a submarine--a World War II submarine.
There are numerous egregious examples of “old tech” in “Star Trek Beyond.” At one point, Lieutenant Uhura flips a switch--a freakin’ red switch!--to initiate a shipwide announcement.
In the original, 1968-69 television series, Gene Roddenberry, bless his visionary heart, more than once portrayed glowing conduits when the crew had to fix something under a bulkhead. The impression was that light was being used to carry power or information throughout the ship. Roddenberry was on the right path, of course. Today’s Internet, with its insatiable appetite for data, wouldn’t be possible without fiber optics. Fiber is now, albeit slowly, making its way to the so-called last mile, and into your house.
The Trek movie now in theaters does offer a few imaginative ideas about future technology, including an ancient, alien weapon that behaves like a swarm of locusts. (One character calls it a “bio weapon,” which is all well and good, although that left me wondering why it destroys clothing as well as tissue and bone. Okay, let’s not quibble.)
But I couldn’t get past the running-and-hand-to-hand-fighting scenes in the trashed Best Buy. The fact that these scenes were long and boring didn’t help.
If humanity in the 22nd century is still creating material goods as screwy--i.e., containing metal screws--as the starships portrayed in “Star Trek Beyond,” I say we stay home. The universe doesn’t need our detritus.
Future material goods will, I suspect, be able to repair themselves when damaged (“machines” will behave like organisms in this future), or at least have the good graces to decay, safely and quietly, into the surrounding environment.
Let’s hope the set designers on the next Star Trek movie free their imaginations. Interstellar submarines and trashed Best Buys aren’t the future.