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Star Trek (DC Comics, 1984) #7-8 – Saavik’s Story (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.

Star Trek comics are an interesting way of catching a glimpse at the franchise one-step away from the heart of production. While there are other forms of tie-in media, comics are produced on a monthly schedule. While scripts need to be written and art needs to be drawn, there’s less lead-in time required, meaning that contemporary Star Trek comics are often able to react dynamically to on-screen events. While novels might take up to a year from original pitch to the time they hit the stands, there’s something rather more urgent about tie-in comic books.

This is an issue for many tie-ins comics. For example, the syndicated Star Trek newspaper strip launched shortly before the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture made a point to feature Ilia as a bridge officer on a relaunched USS Enterprise. She rather suddenly disappeared after those involved actually saw the movie and realised that she didn’t quite survive the adventure. Similarly, when it came to detailing the adventures of Kirk and company in the wake of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, writer Mike W. Barr moved the crew over to the USS Excelsior, in accordance with writer Harve Bennett’s original plan.

That said, Mike W. Barr’s comic book origin story for Lt. Saavik holds up rather well, fitting quite comfortably with Carolyn Clowes’ origin for the character offered in the superb 1990 book The Pandora Principle. Of course, Barr’s origin sketches the broadest of outlines, and is clearly more preoccupied with crafting a pulpy space opera adventure.

Saving Saavik!

Saving Saavik!

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Star Trek – Romulans: Pawns of War by John Byrne (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

Where were the Klingons? That seems to be one of the most frequently asked questions when a modern writer re-visits the early part of the first season of Star Trek. It makes sense. The Klingons are the franchise’s flagship aliens, and their long-term relations with the Federation mark one of the show’s earliest examples of continuity. The Organian Peace Treaty from Errand of Mercy is mentioned once or twice, but it informs a lot of the appearances of the Klingons in the classic Star Trek, as the warriors are prevented from engaging in direct warfare with the Federation.

However, when first introduced in Errand of Mercy, towards the end of the first season, the Klingons have just declared war on the Federation. However, it seems like this has been expected for a long time. Kirk speaks of the Klingons like old enemies. Kor knows that captain of the Enterprise by name. There’s a sense of a pre-established history, which makes their appearance towards the tale-end of the season all the more perplexing. Apparently they have been there all along, even if we haven’t seen them before.

John Byrne’s Alien Spotlight issue might have been themed around the Romulans, and the collected edition might be Romulans: Pawns of War, but it seems more devoted to exploring what exactly the Klingons were up to behind the scenes between their appearances on Star Trek.

Cry havok, and let slip the dogs of war...!

Cry havok, and let slip the dogs of war…!

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Last Outpost (Review)

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also next year’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’m taking a look at the recent blu ray release of the first season, episode-by-episode. Check back daily for the latest review.

You know, a lot of people would argue that Star Trek is about understanding. That it’s about embracing and respecting cultures, even when they hold values different than your own. Sometimes that is to a fault, like in the last episode (Code of Honour) where Picard allowed his Chief of Security to engage in a fight to the death to avoid violating local custom. (Which he then violated by reviving the loser.) However, it appears that such open-mindedness only applies when you look and act appropriately human enough.

If you are a Ferengi, then your culture shouldn’t be respected and acknowledged. It should be mocked and ridiculed.

He’s all ears…

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