Three years ago today, my dad passed away from a heart attack. It was sudden and unexpected, and as hard as it was to say goodbye, I’m thankful he didn’t linger in sickness or pain. But I’m not here to write about sad stuff. Like I said, it’s been three years. I miss him, but I have some awesome memories…
…like his love for Star Trek. As a child, we didn’t have cable, so our television viewing options were limited. And no one argued with Dad when it came time to watch Star Trek reruns. It wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t care for it, but watching it planted seeds…
…so by the time Star Trek: The Next Generation aired, I was hooked. I knew I was meant to walk the corridors of the Enterprise. NCC-1701D rolled off my tongue faster than my phone number. I could tell you what season the episode fell in, just by watching the credits—and within just a few moments of watching any part of the episode, I could tell you its title.
I was a Trekkie. (Yes, I prefer Trekkie to Trekker.)
So last night, I got to go Into Darkness and see the new Star Trek movie. Let me say right off the bat, I loved it! It took me back to those memories of my first love—my first sci-fi love. And wound into that was another favorite. Buckaroo Banzai was in it! Okay, so it was Peter Weller…and man, he can play a mean villain!...but he’ll always be Buckaroo to me.
I love the reimagination of the series. I think the characterizations are spot-on. McCoy and Scotty are my favorites. They provide the necessary humor, and the actors nail the previously-created characters. I like the sleekness of the ships, the tech, even the uniforms—although in this sequel, I didn’t care for the Salvation Army knock-offs. Starfleet would have done better.
Warning: Spoilers ahead. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know more about the movie.
All right—I have to say I am a Khan fan. Ricardo Montalban was perfect for that role. I remember Space Seed and Botany Bay. I saw The Wrath of Khan in the theater…and many times following. And I cannot think of a better choice to fill that reimagined role than Benedict Cumberbatch. He was amazing as Khan. I’m not all that familiar with his work in Sherlock, but I know he’s a favorite among fans. Now, I see why. What a great actor! I hope to see more from him.
On that note, here’s where I have issue with the film. In all my times of watching The Wrath of Khan, I always bawl when Spock gives his life to save the crew of the Enterprise. Those final tender moments when he says goodbye to Kirk. I don’t think any human heart could watch that without a tear in their eye. But in this reimagined version, when it’s Kirk on the inside of the glass…
I felt nothing.
In fact, I laughed when just moments later, Spock let out the epic cry of “KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!”
After learning that John Harrison was Khan, I expected that moment to come from Kirk. I waited the length of the film for that one to play out. Perhaps the relief of finally hearing it is why I laughed. Perhaps because it came from Spock as he gave into a human feeling.
But it made me so sad to realize I felt no empathy/sympathy toward Kirk’s character. I actually felt guilty about it. I should feel something about Kirk. I felt something about Shatner’s Kirk. And Pine’s Kirk is a great character! But he left me alone in the dark wondering why I couldn’t drum up a tear for my dying captain.
With only that moment falling short, though, I thought the movie was superb! When the credits began to roll and the familiar strains of the Star Trek theme hit my ears—first in a trumpeted fanfare, then with lulling strings—the tears hit. Only because it came full circle with my dad. I thought it very fitting, the day prior to his birthday in heaven, to be sitting in a theater, enjoying something precious he’d given to me. Along with the swell in the music, I celebrated him and said a silent thank you.
Go see this movie! It’s definitely worth your time.
Grab some Kleenex!!
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3