STbtM 024: Bike Ride

Previous: Starfleet Wants Felons

Pike walks out of the bar, apparently leaving behind a model of the Kelvin (with "Authentic Battle Damage!®") which Kirk picks up and holds in front of the camera, possibly to signify he's thinking about the disaster or something. The music has lots of gentle, bittersweet strings flowing in the background to tell us this is an emotional moment… which may explain something of the shaky-cam close-ups that have infested this scene. While it worked in The Blair Witch Project, here I'm actually glad I hadn't seen it on a big screen with a half hour of salty, buttery, coconut oil popped fluffy deliciousness in my stomach.

The next thing we see is Kirk zipping down a lonely road in the early morning mist past fields on a sportbike, somewhat like Maverick in another Top Gun homage. In the next shot, he is riding off-road and we see that he's been tearing around on this motorcycle with nothing to protect his eyes. Even with goggles, grasshopper and ladybugs scrape up riders pretty well, and scrubbing their dried guts from your forehead, checks, and teeth are bad enough. They also are very hard on the knuckles, but Kirk's bike has some nice protective air foils for hand protection. Note to writers: in Iowa, (or anywhere growing densely with edible plants) there's a lot of insects, helpful and not. Nevertheless we should look on the bright side, because a day without sunshine is exactly like night, but when we always look at the bright side, we experience the same life-changing event that happens whenever we ride a sportbike 70kph on a road through agricultural fields without eye protection: blindness!

In close up, we see that Kirk has cleaned up, shaved, styled his hair, and refreshed his base layer and eye-shadow, but darn it all: forgot to change that instant dry t-shirt that soaks up a few drops of blood, but is impervious to liters of alcohol.

We do get a great FX shot here though: a reverse shot of Kirk shows him in silhouette looking up at the Enterprise under construction in the shipyard. Marred only by the goofy rear lighting on the bike, the steaming, 2/3 constructed starship really looks great, and would have been a great moment if I had not seen it in the trailer, which left me a bit down. I started thinking at this point that the only thing to look forward to was going to be occasional great lines like Spock's farewell to the council, within pages of dreck and a story that was not worth telling - and certainly not worth the fabulous presentation brought to bear in this film.

Another thought occurred: it was really amazing: miniscule Riverside Iowa not only hosts the construction zone for Starfleet's premier vessel in the entire Federation of Planets, but also is home to its most famous captain! Not only that, but the big hole into which the Corvette went flying? Rumor has it this was open pit mine where the ship's duranium (or whatever) happened to be quarried for ship construction. It is miraculous how so many things upon which the fates of billions keep popping up in this tiny patch of cornfield on a planet that is merely a novice at warp technology among starfaring races.

To be fair, if I only had a couple of months to put out a Star Trek manuscript, and I was working on 4 other projects, and I had a boss who loved to brag about "not being a fan" of Star Trek, and he arbitrarily changed story requirements, I might not be able to do much to save the final product - so perhaps we should give them a break...

Finally in this sequence, we see Kirk driving his bike out (for some unknown reason), of an area marked as the Starfleet construction area at "Security Level 3".

Next: Safety Belts?


Maggie said…
I thought it was a salt shaker.
BurntSynapse said…
It seems a bit small, but that's a possibility I had not considered, great!

If true, that Riverside bar with Kelvin-class starship shakers has even more coincidental events than I thought...
No dufus, it's a major shipyard with a big population around it, much like how the Macross SDF-1 had a city grow around it in Macross/Robotech! I didn't like it at first, but now it's grown on me.

As for the 'open pit' you seem to be blathering about, that MIGHT have been a remnant of WWIII. Ever think about that?
BurntSynapse said…
Hello Lionel,

If a reason exists to justify the comparison of the Riverside Iowa area we see in this film with Macross City, I'd be happy to learn what that would be. My skepticism regarding this is based on the various external shots we see in which the area looks much like the Riverside of today: quite rural.

As for the open pit, I did cast about for some justification for why it might be there, with seismic activity leading the pack. A remnant of WWIII seems plausible, although there is no clue in the movie as to why it is there. My impression remains that it was merely put there to provide an action scene that was imagined (incorrectly, IMO) to be exciting.
The Wizard said…
It seems to me that the salt shaker isn't the Kelvin, but some non-canon type of scoutship with one nacelle.

As to the giant canyon, the scoring on the sides made it look like it was mined for resources. Maybe duranium for starship hulls.
BurntSynapse said…
Hi Wiz!

Yes, I'm told this was put in at least one of the Trek books.

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