I was afraid this new Star Trek movie would, pardon the expression, suck. I’ve seen how prequels can do that.

George Lucas must take at least partial credit for my career choices; my voracious interest in computers and special effects sprang entirely from being exposed to Star Wars when I was nine.

But I was one of many, many Star Wars fans who endured The Phantom Menace and its two sequels with first shock and then revulsion. Those responsible for that second trilogy managed to wring every last shred of joy and life out of something that had affected so many so positively – it was truly quite sad.

In a recent interview with Simon Pegg, Pegg and the interviewer agreed that The Phantom Menace et al. was nothing less than heartbreaking. I agree – it was something like a betrayal.

I was not in the beginning a fan of Star Trek. It wasn’t flashy and it was already looking really dated when I began paying attention to its reruns in the 80’s. The first Star Wars trilogy impacted me deeply and permanently, but over time Star Trek’s vision of a future where intelligence and curiosity are valued by society and not just the province of those over-educated types became a much more intriguing and desirable thing.

Unfortunately I’ve watched Star Trek’s downward spiral in film-land – after the wonderful The Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home – with increasingly less interest. That, too, is sad.

So I worried about this movie as the release date approached – did I really want to see it and risk another epic fail?

Being a movie fanatic, the only possible answer was yes; I’d risk it.

After the first 10 minutes I turned to my husband and said (quietly, of course, so as not to intrude on the experience for the hundreds in the packed theater)  “this is a lot better than I was expecting.” He agreed.

We saw it twice the first weekend. It’s been a really long time since I was so excited about a movie that I wanted to see it again right away; the last time was probably The Fellowship of the Ring.

I was completely blown away by this film – not because it is beautiful, which it most definitely is, the art and special effects are totally gorgeous – but because it was so comfortingly familiar. Abrams and crew respectfully translated that familiarity very, very well. I didn’t recognize some of the actors, but I knew who they were. There was no question. It just felt right.

Familiarity as the foundation for a totally new set of possibilities – that’s what was so impressively done and so exciting about it all.

Those critics who feel they can’t accept the changes or the implications that having a totally different potential future presents, or that feel slighted because this alternate reality somehow negates all the things they feel connected to about this universe have been outspoken on the Web. One person’s blog claimed that ‘they rouined (sp) Star Trek in the first five minutes’ and promised that if they don’t make the next movie remove the alternate reality scenario, he or she would ‘write it off forever.’

That’s a shame, in my opinion. I think there’s enough room for both timelines.

Abrams and company have just given us years more of Star Trek; what an amazing gift.

I can’t wait to see what happens next. Isn’t that the whole point? What could possibly be better than that?

The new Star Trek movie is absolutely outstanding – one of the best movies of the last several years. Here’s a review that I found to be pretty accurate.

It’s funny, exciting, engaging and well-paced and very true to the original characters and show. It’s an excellent, fresh portrayal of one of my favorite series. Very strong cast and story both; I’m looking forward to the next one.

I’m sore today – both heels (I know I need new shoes) and the left IT band. I felt that begin to have a problem right after the 10-mile mark in the half marathon yesterday, but not bad enough to stop. Actually, I don’t think anything short of breaking an ankle would have made me stop by that point.

I was extremely pleased with my time, the weather, how I kept up the 3 minute walk/2 minute run intervals the entire way. And the medal’s nice, it’s hanging with the other one on my dresser.

Final time: 3:05:02. Very happy – that was a full 10 minutes faster than I’d anticipated given the best conditions.

Next: the Boulder Backroads Half Marathon. And tomorrow, a 20-minute run if it feels good.

Finished the half marathon this morning in about 3:05 (official times not posted yet. That’s 10 minutes better than I’d predicted in the best-case scenario, for walking 3 minutes/running 2, which I did all the way down.

It was drizzling and 38F when I got up at 4:15 this morning, and that was worrisome, but by the time I got downtown for the buses it had stopped raining. The weather was just about perfect – about 42F at the start, no wind at all and drying out. The sun came out around mile 4.

I was extremely pleased with the run – I was shooting for 15-minute miles and hit 4 miles at exactly 1 hour, and from then on got faster. It was a really great race.

And now it’s time to go for lunch (pasta, I’m thinking). Would it be annoying for me to wear the finisher’s medal all day?