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But here’s the problem: the plot was crap. The plot was mostly irrelevant to the movie, but even there, it was a series of semi-random events strung together by a need to reassemble the Trek cast of characters. The bad guy was just a madman with a great big spaceship and a doomsday weapon out to demolish the Federation of Planets because he thought he’d been wronged, and the starship Enterprise ping-pongs about chasing him down, picking up members of the cast, getting fresh Star Fleet Academy graduate James T. Kirk promoted, etc., etc., etc. Beating the evil villain seemed secondary to showing how Kirk met Spock, how Scotty got his job as engineer, and how uncannily Karl Urban channels the ghost of DeForest Kelley.
— Star Trek gets retconned : Pharyngula