Originally Posted by Enterprise Captain
2. Phaser fire that looks more like Star Wars laser fire.
3. A Star Wars like ice creature in a scene very reminiscent of the underwater Naboo submarine scene in Episode I.
4. A stupid Jar Jar Binks type character that served no purpose but to be the butt of few cheesy jokes.
Jarjar and Keenser are cute characters that are meant to satisfy the children in the audience. But Jarjar (as well as Phantom Menace in general) also serves a dramatic function, to show the innocence and diversity of life in the Old Republic while Keenser is Scotty's sidekick and makes his character slightly more funny than in TOS.
I think that there are some visual influences of Wars upon STXI but as Martok has already pointed out, burst-phasers have been with us since TWOK (and even earlier
) and the red monster on Delta Vega is probably an echo of Cloverfield and not Wars. The biggest influence is the Campbellian one, there is a young guy who hasn't found his place in the world yet, there is an older guy who is his mentor, there are obstacles on his journey and so on. It is a variation of THE monomythical story.
And here is where I have my problems with the movie. Not that it resembles Wars in this respect but that at the end of the journey there is no Luke Skywalker who becomes part of a symbolic order like the Rebellion but that Kirk and Spock end up in some kind of adolescent "fu*k the rules, we can do whatever the hell we want" state.
This is essentially a conservative (as opposed to some anti-hierarchy form of progressivism) critique. People do have to find their relatively fixed place in the world. This is what I cherish most about Trek, that it describes a positive, progressive future while emphasizing the importance of discipline and order. You could say that, featuring progressive content (economic and social equality) and a conservative form (a relatively strict social order), it is politically the best of both worlds.