When I came to visit my cousin’s family in the tiny town of Elizabeth, Illinois, I expected to be able to relax, have some amazing homemade meals, and make music. Which, don’t get me wrong, I have been able to do all these things.
And, in addition, I have been introduced into the awesome world that is STAR TREK.
I didn’t see it coming. The extent of my exposure to Star Trek was:
- My orchestra played the theme song for our space themed concert
- I knew the ‘live long and prosperous’ hand thing
- The ‘How It Should Have Ended’ video
- And I watched some snippets of the 2009 reboot. And by snippets I mean maybe twenty minutes of the beginning and twenty minutes of the ending.
I also knew that there was kind of a rivalry between Star Trek and Star Wars. Being ignorant, I simply assumed that Star Wars was better and that Star Trek was for ‘nerdier’ people. Ha, if that’s so then I just entered a totally new phase of being nerdy because truth is Star Trek is FREAKING AMAZING.
My first encounter with Star Trek was when we watched the 2002 Star Trek: Nemesis film last night. I didn’t think that I’d get into it as much because I was confused at the different characters (at first) and some background stories had to be explained to me. But then I was sucked in and got attached immediately to the crew of the USS Enterprise: calm and collected Captain Picard, the loveable quirky third in command officer android Data, the Klingon Worf. And I also liked Shinzon, the bad guy. I mean, that’s pretty good if you even like the bad guy.
One thing that was unique especially to that movie was the moral of the story. In Nemesis, Shinzon is a clone of Captain Picard and he constantly uses this to say that he knows everything about Captain Picard and although the Captain is a much more noble man, if he went through what Shinzon did he would be just as evil (wow that was a confusing sentence, my bad). And the Captain struggled with this thought for a while, but then Data told him that he was different in that the Captain chose to become a better person whereas Shinzon succumbed to his circumstances rather than pushing past them.
What a lesson to teach, eh? #impressed
And tonight we watched the 2009 Star Trek reboot. It didn’t have as much of a powerful takeaway as Nemesis did, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. And for me, the best part of the film wasn’t the plot or the effects (both of which were excellent, by the way) but the cast.
(*preface:this will be a mini-rant*)
…THE CAST WASN’T ALL WHITE!
BLESSINGS! YES! THANK YOU DIRECTORS AND WRITERS! Like, that meant a lot to me. Because sure, although Star Trek is an American show, thank God they didn’t just stick to using an all white cast. There’s an African American character! And an Asian character! (who’s also Korean eyyyyy) And a Russian character! (who, by the way, is actually acted by a guy who is an American Russian.)
And I mean the original Star Trek series were released in the ’60s. Even the network was opposed to Roddenberry (bless the man) wanting a racially diverse cast. But he pushed it through and I mean just imagine how inspiring it was for a little African American or Asian kid to see one of their kind on the television. I mean, even now when there’s a bit more diversity in race in Hollywood, it still makes me proud to see an Asian face on such a famous show, and especially since the Asian isn’t pulling off of stereotypes but is a key character.
In fact, Roddenberry was very intentional with the creation of Star Trek. According to Wikipedia, he wanted it to be an adventure story and a morality tale. By creating another world, he was able to share messages about what was happening during his contemporaries, important issues that were happening while the show was running things like the Vietnam war, politics, sexuality, and religion. I mean, geez, those a huge topics to tackle and this guy was smart enough to use the medium of the much loved television.
I liked how my cousin put it; although Star Trek is about exploring other planets and galaxies, ultimately it showed the crew of the USS Enterprise exploring their own human nature. And I think this very set intention of Star Trek is what really appeals to me. It’s obvious that it’s more than just entertainment: under all the cool special effects, it’s making us think.
So am I a newly converted Trekkie then? I don’t know if I can say that: are there different levels of Trekkies? I don’t know that many races of the Star Trek universe but I can say with a confidence that I do like the series and will definitely be investing some time into exploring the marvellous world that is Star Trek. 🙂
Live long and prosperous, friends~