This looks awesome.
I know, it’s just about the nerdiest thing imaginable, but I love Star Trek. And hold on to your hats because this about to get much nerdier. MUCH.
In during the month of December (well, it was supposed to take a lot longer than a month, but we got excited) some friends and I spent quite a few late nights watching all 10 of the previous Star Trek movies. It was awesome. Most of them are really forgettable, and I fell asleep a lot, but it was still an accomplishment on some level.
My love for Star Trek is not a simple appreciation either. It is inextricably tied to memories of my father. I vividly remember sitting through the Next Generation pilot episode (Encounters at Farpoint part1.) with one eye on the screen and one eye on my Fathers face. My four-year-old feelings tried to keep up with his on the journey from skepticism to enthralled enthusiasm. I remember a few years later as the two of us, and probably some of my other siblings, watched in horror as a season finale featured the brave Capt. Picard being transformed into a Borg (Resistance was Futile.) I don’t remember what was said at the end of that cliff-hanger, but I have the distinct impression that it was the strongest reaction I ever saw him give a television set. Star Trek was something like foot-ball to other Dads. I also remember the final episode by this time my eleven-year-old self was mostly disappointed that Jean Luke and Beverly never really hooked up. Luckily there was Capt. Sisko on Deep Space Nine already airing to fill the gap. I love the original series as well. All the shows were generally extremely well written and had interesting character and thrilling plots.
There were many delights and lessons along the way. For better or worse, I think it formed a lot of my artistic and ethical sensibilities. Did you know that The Original Series featured the first ever interracial kiss on TV? It was between Kirk and Uhura. Of course it was forced on them under the telekinetic powers of aliens. There were lots of episodes about the importance of free-will, and non-interference (It’s the Prime Directive). The positive ideals that dictated the show came from the creator, Gene Roddenberry. He believed the universe to be a friendly place where the objective should be to explore, do some good, and, if necessary, blow up the bad guys. A pretty good philosophy.
I loved that the show had a well developed sense of humor. I could be very tongue-in-cheek about itself. In the end, despite the serious numbers of CRAZY Trekkies out there the creators and actors knew that they were just a Sci-Fi show. But a Sci-Fi show that knew how to wield it’s power better than any other. The created characters and situations that worked as symbols of modern life:
The Q, the havoc and boredom that come with the ability to know everything, ie Hackers.
The Borg, the danger of seeking to perfect ourselves through dependence on technology.
The Klingons, the ever-shifting relationship between the US and other world powers like China or Russia. Sometimes friend, sometimes foe.
Vulcans, over-reliance on logic, loss of emotional reason.
The list goes on and on, but the protagonists of the show, Star Fleet Command, are us. Americans/Westerners who seek for all things good. They dare to dream, dare to do what it right, and boldly go where no one has gone before!
I could go on, but I think I’ve more than made my case. Do you have a favorite Star Trek moment in your life? Or a favorite character?
And the final question: Do I make a jumpsuit costume for the premiere party on May 7th?