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Star Trek – Shadows on the Sun by Michael Jan Friedman (Review)

This August, to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness on DVD and blu ray, we’re taking a look at the Star Trek movies featuring the original cast. Movie reviews are every Tuesday and Thursday.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the movies with tie-ins around (and related to) the films. We’ll be doing one of these every week day. This is one such article.

It almost feels like sacrilege to fill in the gap left at the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The film was such a perfect send-off that picking up a novel directly after the end credits role feels like it might undermine the perfect farewell story for the veteran crew. After all, director Nicholas Meyer suggested that the film was an attempt to capture the spirit of Fukuyama’s “end of history”, representing the “end of history” for the original crew.

Except, of course, it wasn’t the end. In terms of internal Star Trek chronology, episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation had picked up on the later adventures of Scotty and Spock. Star Trek: Voyager would flashback to a Sulu story unfolding concurrently with The Undiscovered Country. Scotty and Chekov would appear in Star Trek: Generations, which would also serve as a disappointing farewell to one James Tiberius Kirk. It seems bitterly appropriate (if far from fair) that Uhura should remain the only major player whose story actually ends with The
Undiscovered Country
.

Still, despite his passing of the torch appearance in Encounter at Farpoint, you could make an argument that The Undiscovered Country was the end of the line for Leonard McCoy more than Kirk or Spock. And, as such, Michael Jan Friedman’s Shadows on the Sun serves as an effective (if flawed) reflection on the way that McCoy’s presence sort of faded from the 24th century spin-offs. startrek-shadowsonthesun

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Just Not My Hype of Thing: Countdown to Teaser Trailers, Hype Build-Up and Other Pre-Release Concerns…

There is a tendency to romanticise the past, to engage in nostalgia for an era that never really was. Still, I can’t help but wonder if the internet has been a bit of a mixed blessing for movie fans looking forward to the next big Hollywood release. Sure, it’s full of commentaries and interviews and trailers. Occasionally, a film like Tron: Legacy or The Dark Knight will do something utterly wonderful to grab the attention of various film fans. However, it also feels, sometimes, that there’s a conscious attempt to push the hype machine into overdrive. I have no problem with anticipation, but I think making a teaser trailer for an actual trailer or even staging a countdown to a release date of a trailer might be a bit much, even to me.

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