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(2009), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 56min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
December 4, 2009
December 10, 2009

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2009), PG-13 [R-13*] ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Bad Robot, Mavrocine
Distribution (US): Paramount Home Entertainment
Director(s): J.J. Abrams
Producer(s): J.J. Abrams, David Baronoff, Bryan Burk, Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, David Witz
Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Gene Roddenberry
Cinematography/Camera: Daniel Mindel
Music: Michael Giacchino
Film Editing: Maryann Brandon
Mary Jo Markey
Casting: Alyssa Weisberg
Production Design: Scott Chambliss
Art Direction: Keith P. Cunningham
Viewed on Paramount Home Entertainment DVD

This film analysis is sponsored by the generosity of E&HP.

All are there yet there are none ... except the one. No, that is not a Vulcan idiom of wisdom. It is a play on words regarding the cast of this newest installment of the Star Trek™ phenomenon. All the original characters are there but none of the original stars ... except Leonard Nimoy as the elder "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few ... or the one [Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn]" Spock. The James T. Kirk character is no longer a mature and responsible leader of the dynamic team as he was in the Star Trek™ original TV series (ST:TOS) -- that is not to include the Star Trek™ movies by which his original character has been wrecked. Kirk is now (or was?...more on this later) a brash, arrogant, opportunistic, individualistic womanizer. Genius level. Excused by youth of course. At least we get to learn Uhura's first name.

A long, long time from now, maybe 25 years before the last half of the 23rd century, Lieutenant George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth), father to the theme James T. Kirk (Jimmy Bennet then Chris Pine), gets to relieve Captain Robau (Faran Tahir) of command of the Federation Starship Kelvin -- for 12 minutes -- and saves 800 lives including that of his wife, Winona (Jennifer Morrison) and newborn son, James T. (not credited) ... but not his own. Now wait a minute! What is wrong with this picture? Kirk's father died a ripe old age and lived to see Kirk take over command of NCC-1701! Something is different.

What is different is (129 years in the future) Romulan mining captain, Nero (Eric Bana), strikes out in vengeance against Spock (Leonard Nimoy) who promised to save Romulus from a star going supernova but failed to do so. Spock had promised the Romulan leaders to generate a black hole using a drop of "red matter" launched into the exploding sun that would have absorbed the exploding sun and saved Romulus. From his mining ship Narada, Nero watched the supernova disintegrate his home planet into dust and blamed Spock because Spock failed to arrive at the exploding sun in time. Spock launched the red matter capsule into the supernova anyway because of the danger to the rest of the inhabitants of that galaxy. The ensuing black hole pulled into it the exploding star then the Narada then Spock.

The physics of this is completely down the gravity well but it is at least entertaining fantasy.

Nero exited the black hole first 129 years into their past -- into the story present, the 23rd century. Spock took seconds to exit the black hole, seconds to him but 25 years after Nero exited. Patiently Nero laid in wait in our chronological backyard those 25 years to force Spock to witness a home planet destruction Nero had to witness but of Vulcan instead of Romulus using the red matter stolen from Spock's captured ship. As Nero blamed Spock for the death of the billions on Romulus, Spock blamed himself for the death of the 4 billion inhabitants of Vulcan, all because he failed to arrive at the supernova soon enough to save Romulus.

Nero's mining ship Narada had an energy beam "drill" lowered from the Narada with a chain at least 18-miles long that drilled core-deep holes in planets from 5,000 meters up. Through the drill is an immensely useful mining tool, Nero destroyed Vulcan with it by drilling a hole to its core then launching a red matter capsule into the hole, creating a planet-consuming black hole inside Vulcan. Nero wanted Spock to feel the pain Spock caused him. Nero had marooned Spock on a neighboring class-M planet within full view of Vulcan. As Vulcan disintegrated Spock watched. Now Nero has his revenge, Spock is "emotionally compromised." But, as is typical with the narcotics of seeking revenge, destroying Vulcan was not enough. Nero planned to do the same to Earth and all other Federation planets.

The arrival of Spock and Nero from 129 years into the future changed our time line to an alternate reality. In this alternate reality Kirk's father, the Lt. George Kirk, died as he tried to save the universe from Nero by ramming Nero's ship with the USS Kelvin after Nero had destroyed 49 Klingon warbirds and crews. In the base timeline George Kirk lived to see James T. become the Captain of the Enterprise instead of dying at his son's birth. But since the arrival of Nero and Spock from the future contaminated the base timeline, reality changed.

In Plato's Stepchildren of the original Star Trek™ series (ST:TOS), the Uhura character (Nichelle Nichols) and Kirk (William Shatner) engaged in the first-ever commercially broadcast interracial kiss, a kiss they were manipulated into for the amusement of the mentally powerful Platonians. In the new reality the Uhura character, portrayed usurpingly well by Zoe Saldana, re-enacts that interracial kiss but with the young Spock character (Zachary Quinto). This is another departure from the established "norm" of the Star Trek™ phenomenon that established Nurse Chapel, played by Majel Barrett who married the Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry, as the "never stop trying" lachrymose and unrequited hopeful for a romance with Spock. Nurse Chapel's name is heard in this "new-ized" attempt at Star Trek™ grandeur but only because Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban) gave her an order. Majel's disembodied voice replied with "Yes, Doc-tor" as if it were a recording of the same words and seemingly naughty intonation she had used in one of the ST:TOS episodes. At least Ms. Barrett returns as the computer voice for the Enterprise as she has been on many other clones of Star Trek™, including Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) episodes.

Also in the new reality Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood, Jeffrey Hunter in ST:TOS) did not suffer incapacitating delta radiation injury that made him a wheelchair bound invalid when a training ship's baffle plates ruptured in The Menagerie. And in the new reality Vulcans do feel emotions ... and can cheat ... and can lie, a portrayal which is in defiance of the caliber of Vulcan integrity and honesty portrayed in ST:TOS The Enterprise Incident. In fact Spock and his father, Sarek (Ben Cross) admit to feeling emotions all along. In the TV series Journey to Babel Vulcan Ambassador to Earth Sarek (Mark Leonard), when asked by his son Spock why he married the Earth woman Amanda (Jane Wyatt), claims "it seemed the logical thing to do." Sarek starts out in the new reality claiming again it was logical to marry Earth woman Amanda since he was ambassador to the Earth but later "logic" turns into love.

All of the ST:TOS ships seem to be represented: The Enterprise of course; the Faragut; the Wolcott; the Regula One; the Hood; the Newton; the Antares (all but the Potemkin). That is seven ships. There is a bit of discrepancy. As the Enterprise readies for departure to investigate the quaking of Vulcan there were only six ships docked. And Ayel (Clifton Collins Jr.), Nero's "Number One", reported to Nero that seven Federation ships were coming. Where is the seventh ship?

There is more to the logic of the events but they are explained in the film much better than can be explained here. It was indeed clever of the writers to use such a reality change device to write a new Star Trek™ using new actors and actresses to play younger versions of the original characters. Of equal cleverness, or maybe of cinematic convenience, was the development of transwarp beaming: being able to beam people from a stationary transporter on to a ship traveling faster than the speed of light which is one of the changes of the new reality. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Simon Pegg) had not yet invented the equations to produce transwarp beaming. The elder Spock, who was here from the future, revealed the equations to Scotty. Note that there is some honoring of modern physics in this concept since the writers relied on the speed of light being constant no matter the "speed" of the source of the referenced light and to space being in motion, both concepts adhering to Einstein's Relativity.

If there is one character which best honors the original character I would give that award to Urban as Bones. There are a few moments in which it is easy to envision DeForest Kelly doing the acting even in Georgian vocal inflection but especially in the use of profanity.

It will all make more sense if you decide to watch this film even after we reveal to you the reasons for its R-13 content.

All the content findings are revealed in the listings in the Findings/Scoring section (the heart of the CAP analysis model) and are briefly revealed below in the individual investigation area discussions. Note, however, that although not incorporated into the scoring for this film the content of the Gag Reel special feature is saturated with the use of God's name in vain though none of the uses of His name in vain were with the four letter expletive.

For my trekkie friends and anyone else who would be interested, I am considering preparing a comparative of the many analyses of Star Trek™ films we have prepared to reveal any trends that might be still hidden. But it is of "when I get to it" priority. Funding is the highest functional priority until we can find enough 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt funding to operate this ministry fulltime and dedicated for at least ten more years.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The heaviest content in this 2009 version of Star Trek is clearly violence mostly in the forms of action violence, sci-fi violence and killing. The violence content consists mainly of bodies being incinerated, thrown about and crushed and seen floating in outer space, beatings, global destruction, defensive killings and more. God does not wish for us to feed our minds with violence because, as corroborated by several American public health agencies including the American Medical Association who, whether intentional echo God on the matter, such influence desensitizes and emboldens the observer to be more counterproductively and selfishly aggressive, especially impressionable youth. [Prov. 16:29, 1 Cor. 15:33]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 8 out of 100
Twenty one times someone uses some form of profanity, including in background music. [Eph. 5:4, Col. 3:8] While indeed there is hatred displayed it was typically accompanied with some form of violence. In accordance with analysis model procedure, any one instance of assault on morality and decency may not be incorporated into more than one investigation area. Thus the instances of violence with hatred were incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. And, as seems typical of the PG-13 writer mentality, there is an abundance of adolescent disrespect for fair authority, specifically of young Kirk toward his step father and police. One of the instances of impudence was observed when young Kirk was stealing his stepfather's Corvette the background music was of the "It ain't good enough no matter what 'it' is" caliber and used foul language, thus associating "flip-off" rock with the adolescent male and vice versa. Such matters are often quite subliminal but are often present nonetheless, of which you should be aware. [Is. 10:33, Is. 2:11, Isa. 13:11]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 60 out of 100
Sexual humility is not high on the moral totem pole of the writers. Also as seems typical of the PG-13 writer's mentality, the adult Kirk is seen in his underwear atop a woman also in her underwear making out, Uhura is seen undressing to her underwear and innuendo and parlances abound. Also, Kirk is seen with his hands on Uhura's breasts though clothed. No, the "reason" why does not excuse the act. Pine had his hands on Saldana's breasts whatever the "reason." "Acting" does not excuse sin. And if you think the fantasy theme of the show excuses such immoral behavior, a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.

And as seen in the ST:TOS episodes, women are seen frequently in outfits not worn by men: in outfits that are clearly designed to expose more skin than the men's outfits, specifically short skirts and dresses. If the reason for the short skirts/dresses on women is not to target the exposure of more female skin, why were the men not likewise dressed? This begs of a reciprocal ... why were the women not given slacks like the men wore? [Col. 2:23] Why would I bring this up? Since you've asked, I'll tell you :-). As a pair of young ladies bounced up the steps to the Academy wearing short skirts, Kirk, while walking down the steps with McCoy, said "Hello, ladies!" with that flip in his intonation typically associated with expressing an intent of sexual interest as he watched them go by, not looking at their faces or where their faces would be if they were facing him but looking much lower than where their faces would be. Lusting is lusting whether with the mind or the eyes, whether with deep or superficial desire. [Matt. 5:28]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 68 out of 100
A bar scene with the inherent drinking is present. And Dr. McCoy uses medicinal substances for their effects and the symptoms they cause to gain Kirk unauthorized access to the Enterprise.

Offense to God (O) - 71 out of 100
God's name is used seven times, once with the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11] And Nero plans revenge at all costs. [Rom. 12:19]

Murder/Suicide (M) - 91 out of 100
Remember that death as the result of war or police action is not considered murder and is not incorporated into this investigation area. Warfare deaths and defensive killings demonstrated are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. However, there was one event of death which was clearly murder -- that of Captain Robau of the USS Kelvin by Nero impaling him with a multi-pronged blade of some sort. The Captain was unarmed and defenseless. The act was murder. Though the penetration was not seen the lunge of Nero with the weapon was seen and the implication made by the splash of red immediately following what would be the penetration was probably as influential as seeing the penetration. Sometimes implication is more invasive than exhibition, depending on the level of experiential maturity of the observer.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" it might seem and its effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character(s) of any age, male, female or non-human in the act of demonstrating violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health agencies to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Is. 10:33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.
  • Is. 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
  • Isa. 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
  • Col. 2:23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will [voluntary] worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. ["Satisfying" is plesmone: {place-mon-ay'], includes indulgence of the flesh. "Honour" is time: [tee-may'}, the moral cost. "Flesh" is sarx: the sensual nature of man. Give no honor to the lustful desires aroused by carnal sex and implications associated with it. And there is no reason His Word does not include viewing it in and as entertainment. The plethora of admonitions God gives us about sexual humility can be summed up as any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.]
  • Matt. 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. [A reminder: what is fair for the goose is fair for the gander. Women who lust after men are just as guilty.]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" will not work with Him.]
  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Star Trek (2009) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • sci-fi violence, frequent, of varying intensities, many with gruesome deaths and individualized killings
  • adolescent auto theft
  • self endangerment - adolescent
  • adolescents fighting
  • bar fight
  • massive destruction of many ships and crews
  • incineration death, two seen closeup
  • action violence of varying intensities, frequent
  • defensive impalement killing
  • disaster chaos
  • crushing death
  • global destruction, killing billions, twice
  • forcing invasion of alien parasite into a human
  • animal attack
  • destruction of many ships and crews
  • fighting
  • gun battle with deaths
  • individualized defensive killing, several
  • attempted murder on a planetary scale
  • beating
  • defensive weaponfire killing, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 8 out of 100
  • 21 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • associating male adolescent with hate rock music with profanity
  • adolescent arrogance toward fair authority
  • adolescent ignoring police command
  • self endangerment by adolescent
  • adolescent destruction of property not his
  • adolescent acting as if he did nothing wrong
  • adolescent torment
  • tattoos
  • strong argumentation

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 60 out of 100
  • sexual reference with reference to bestiality
  • inappropriate touch
  • man on woman making out both in underwear
  • adult in underwear, both sexes, repeatedly
  • woman stripping to underwear
  • sexual invitation, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, frequent
  • sexual parlance

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 68 out of 100
  • bar
  • booze
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • illegal use of the effects of medications, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - 71 out of 100
  • 6 uses of God's name in vain plus one with it
  • planning revenge

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 86 out of 100
  • impalement murder
  • sacrificial suicide

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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