"Star Trek": J.J. Abrams' much-anticipated "reboot" establishes the young crew of the starship Enterprise with a promising new cast and a time-travel plot that respectfully honors the series' legacy while boldly going where no "Star Trek" has gone before.

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“This is not your father’s ‘Star Trek,’ ” promised the preview trailers, and there’s truth in advertising as director J.J. Abrams relaunches the starship Enterprise with a $160 million facelift.

The 11th “Star Trek” movie courts new fans with a promising young cast and state-of-the-art special effects. Yet this fresh, fun and revitalized “Star Trek” is also reverent enough to satisfy loyal followers of pop culture’s most enduring sci-fi phenomenon.

Spock still uses the Vulcan nerve pinch. Chekov is still a fresh-faced Russian, scanning for alien “wessels.” Scotty is still in the engine room “givin’ it all she’s got!” Romulans are still evil; Orion slave girls are still sexy (and green); and if you look closely you might even spot a tribble or two.

These and other familiar “Star Trek” trademarks appear in Abrams’ inaugural adventure of the young Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban) and the rest of the original Enterprise crew, seen here as Starfleet Academy graduates yet to begin their “ongoing mission … to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

And yet it’s the other staple of “Star Trek” — time travel — that allows screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who co-wrote “Mission: Impossible III” with Abrams) to rewrite “Star Trek” history. They’ve created a pivotal and suitably logical part for the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy, making a stately return to his signature role), but they’ve also destroyed beloved planets and characters with devastating repercussions for the untested Enterprise crew.

Following the birth of James T. Kirk in a breathtaking prologue, “Star Trek” establishes characters and plot with rapid efficiency: After witnessing defining moments from the childhoods of Kirk and Spock, it’s fun to see Academy maverick Kirk flirting with soon-to-be crew mate Uhura (Zoe Saldana); how his introduction to the half-human, half-Vulcan Spock is anything but friendly (and how Quinto eases into his proto-iconic role); how Kirk sneaks aboard the Enterprise with help from the already-cantankerous McCoy; and how Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho) assume their places on the Enterprise bridge.

In short order (since Abrams’ pacing is never less than brisk), they’re all fighting the renegade Romulan Nero (Eric Bana), whose quest for revenge began — or will begin — 129 years later, when the elderly Spock destroys Nero’s home planet with Red Matter, a substance that creates black holes on demand.

Returning to Stardate 2258, Nero plots to destroy Earth and Vulcan, with the elderly Spock and the young Enterprise crew (eventually including Scotty, played by scene-stealer Simon Pegg) racing the clock to stop him.

While delivering the nonstop action you’d expect from the creator of “Lost” and the writers of “Transformers” and its upcoming sequel, “Star Trek” offers some tantalizing surprises that propel its characters (notably Uhura) in new directions. It simultaneously pays homage to “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” by confirming Kirk and Spock’s friendship as the core virtue of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of humanity’s hopeful future.

There is, of course, a downside to franchising: As a global commodity, “Star Trek” routinely favors epic-scale action over substance. It lacks the satisfying twists and memorable villainy of “Khan” (despite Bana’s fine performance); and with so much ground to cover in two hours, there’s little room for genuine depth of character. Still, this is easily the best “Trek” movie since “Khan,” giving the rebooted franchise ample reason to proceed at warp speed.

Jeff Shannon: j.sh@verizon.net