Thursday, May 21, 2009

Indulge a trekkie once more.

I’ve pretty much confined myself to watching DVDs at home. But I felt that the new Star Trek movie should be seen in the movie house where the sound is better, and where I can allow the suspension of disbelief unfold before my eyes as I won't have a remote control to pause a scene when I want to go to the john.

I know I should have followed the tv series so I can familiarize with the characters in the movie. But I came into the series much later in life. And the only reason for that was not that I could not relate to it when it first came out in the 1960s, but that we had no TV in the 1960s. The first time I saw a “Star Trek” episode was in the reruns of the 1970s.

One particular idea in the series that has always fascinated me is Starfleet's "Prime Directive". It is a non-negotiable premise of contract with other civilization. It commands trekkers not to interfere with the natural evolution of more primitive societies whatever the reason. The logic being that interference, however well-intentioned, however benign, however humane, will produce disastrous results.

That theme, unfolded in dramatic, amusing, and other worldly adventures, but which is in fact as timely and very worldly as our today’s headlines. If you think about it, this “Prime Directive” is a hugely enlightened concept, and strikes at the heart of imperialism. It rejects all the excuses for conquering other peoples on the grounds of civilizing them or baptizing them into a new religion.

You introduce new ideas, sure. You coax, you persuade, you argue, sure. But you do not interfere. You do not give one tribe guns or blasters to use against another because they are the better tribe. You do not introduce warp drive to simple societies and not expect distortions in their development.

Yes, the stardate may be the future, but the concept is here and now and may be found in the UN. That is the premise of mutual respect and non-interference. I’ve always thought that if George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had grown up on Star Trek, the world might have been a safer place to live in. Or the Arabs, particularly the Iraqis, might have had a better chance to live long and prosper.

That is what makes me a lot more partial to Star Trek than to Star Wars. Star Trek inspires wonder, about what we are and are capable of, about our animal instincts and angelic strivings, about space being the final frontier—but which space, the inner or outer one? All this told with wit and magic, with manic energy and desperate adventure.

Doesn’t hurt that just about everyone in the film is fantastically good-looking and that there’s no shortage of slickly directed action sequences. It was also sweet to include Leonard Nimoy (the original Mr. Spock) in this incarnation… I cried when he appeared on screen.

At the end of JJ Abrams’ stellar reinvention, when the new crew of the USS Enterprise is assembled on the deck, Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, McCoy, Scottie, and Chekov, looking bedraggled after weathering a violent storm but ready to brave new ones, I was one of those up on my feet applauding. A new day has dawned. Another trek beckons.

If you haven’t seen this movie, go quickly. Or should I say, boldly?


Tracey said...

So that explains why there are no comments from you! You have been on another planet!!!!!! How are you?

Sid Brechin said...

I remember about a million years ago my Mom yelling for me to come down to the TV room. She knew I was a science nut and she needed a possible translator for this show that was just starting. It was the first broadcast episode of Star Trek. In general I liked the show with the exception that Kirk was about as military as body odor is romantic.

Star Trek had some folks become so obsessed they became prime targets for humor. I recall a case in the US where when the judge pronounced sentence the accused flipped open his wallet and said "Scotty, Beam me up ". This of course was long before cell phones.

One of my own favorites is when someone raises their right hand fingers in a V and says "Live Long and Prosper " to hold my left hand in the same V at the waist pointing down and reply " Die young and broke ".

However the series inspired and influenced in so many positive ways it is perhaps one of the positive influences of all time.

Last week I watched a DVD called "How William Shatner Changed the World" it was about the influence of the program and it's spin offs.

One final Star Trek joke. Why is the Enterprise like a roll of toilet paper? Answer: They both circle Uranus looking for Klingons.

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Just loved this movie - and yes you are right - a great cast on the bridge at the end...
and i felt tearful when the real Spock appeared - I have read his book - the role shaped his life!

Odette said...

don't worry i have a transporter and i will be there in time for your bday. hope there's still a space in your garden to park my spaceship.
i'll go check your blog now!!!!
love much,

Odette said...

ahh..i'll be sending you a star trek uniform then. maybe you want to be a science officer, so i'll look for a teal one. check your imvu account later.
thanks for the funny anecdotes, i haven't heard of them before.

Odette said...

nice movie, no? hope they will make a new one soon.

Sid Brechin said...

Ill logical ( a sick Vulcan )\

Vul Can ( a logical way to package soft drinks )

living_with_ba said...

I used to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation when I lived with my dad because he liked it and it was always on, then he moved onto Stargate and I don't like that so I don't watch it, plus I don't live with him anymore.

Odette said...

if you can buy a copy of this film, then do, for you will surely want to include this among your collection.
i bet part 2 is on the works...
how are you today?

Mar G said...

Hey Odette - Good to hear from you :-)
I'll send you our Scottish rain if you send us the sun & some heat?
Its dry so far today but that means nothing as our weather changes SO quickly! :-/
We do have lots of lush greenery here that needs rainfall to keep it growing but.....NOT the amounts we've had falling lately!
If it keeps going like this it will be wellies we'll be wearing instead of sandals ;-) Lol
Hope you also get your pc problems sorted out soon, its a pain when these machines stop working eh?
Hear from you again soon - Mar x

Oh & sorry I'm not a trekkie.....When I was a wee girl I was scared of Mr Spock!


I so loved and enjoyed the movie! I used to watch the old episodes when growing up, lol the technology has advanced so much. However I stopped watching the more recent stuff, yet this movie was so well done that i believe people may be rushing out to buy the dvd collections.
Im an avid DVD watcher, such a great escape, i will warp speed over and hang out and chill with ya hun:)

Angry American said...

Mar G,
Sweet jesus, afraid of spock??? When I was a kid, I would've given anything to have them ears. lol

I've heard a version of the klingon joke. The rest I don't think I've heard but they are going into my memory banks for sure. :D

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

So glad you enjoyed this movie! I grew up watching the old 1960's Star Trek shows with my dad and older brother, and the shows fascinated me. :) Isn't it fun to treat yourself to the movies once in a while? We don't do it very often either, but when we do, it is so fun! :) I hope you had a good weekend!


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