With the latest Star Trek movie out, I’ve been trying to work out how to write about my take on Star Trek and Science Fiction in general.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Science Fiction, thanks to my father. We spent countless hours watching Star Trek with Kirk rolling around, his shirt half torn while hollering self righteously about humanity. Here was our intergalactic hero – the ambassador to alien-kind spitting on the “prime directive” week after week when duty called and duty always seemed to have Kirk’s number on speed dial. But despite Kirk being the head of the space version of Wagon Train, let’s face it, I was still more a Spock/Scotty girl.
In fact, one of my prized geek moments was James Doohan asking if I’d like to have my picture taken with him. Picture? No, I want to sit in your lap and hug you. Sadly I didn’t have a camera on me at the time and had to shyly excuse myself from plopping down on the poor man.
When “The Wrath of Khan” came out, after sitting for hours with my high school friends to be the first in line, I was barely able to hold it together when Spock died – “I have been and ever shall be your friend” still gets to me – I wept again when Picard played his flute after living out an entire life in a dream. In fact, my Trek love goes so deep that I’ve attended Star Trek conventions, had my picture taken on STNG’s bridge, fled from the Borg in one of the two Star Trek Experience adventures I’ve been on, had my pre-wedding dinner at Quark’s and have several autographs of my Trek heroes. I would have gotten married on the bridge of the Enterprise had Jay not had to put the breaks on my over enthusiastic adoration of Star Trek. You see, I am a complete Star Trek dork. (Unless challenged with the “Name that Episode” game and If it’s not “Mirror, Mirror” or “Amok Time”, I haven’t got a clue.)
And as much as I personally love Star Trek and its various incarnations, I don’t view it or its characters as sacred. I just honestly can’t stand up and say without snickering that the writing was consistent, the acting was great or that any of the shows were the best TV had to offer. Sure, I liked it just fine – loved it even; it was entertaining. But, when people start whining about the Star Trek “cannon” being violated by the latest incarnation or point out the inconsistencies it has with the old story line, I quite frankly snort. And I’m sure in doing so, I’ve lost some Trekkee cred somewhere – I’ll be denied entry into Stovokor and someone out there will wish upon me a hearty “die young and poor”.
“Star Trek: The Future Begins” was hands down the best Trek movie to date. You may love your Khan or your search for whales, but they’ve got nothing on this latest installation. The movie reinvigorates a dying franchise (thank you for driving it into the ground, Rick Berman) with a fresh re-imagining of what was often tired and stale story telling.
The movie did for Star Trek what Ron Moore (God bless that man) did for Battlestar Galactica – another beloved, poorly realized science fiction show that I watched loyally every week. Solid ideas were made so much better. Again, I say that and can still love Dirk Benedict’s version of Starbuck, but honestly, give me Kara Thrace any day and I wave a cheerful goodbye to Muffit (poor chimp) and Boxey.
In fact, let me just come out and say that while I love sci-fi shows and will stand by them to the end, a lot of them are just not great (or even good)t; however, we do still love them and they can certainly be entertaining.
Now I’ll patiently hope that J. J. Abrams does something with the whole Star Wars debacle. I’m eyeballing you, Lucas.