A few nights ago, I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness. As I tweeted the other night:
My thoughts can be further articulated by this well-written, thoughtful review at Wired. (Warning: There are MAJOR SPOILERS for both new and old Trek films!) While I agree with almost everything in that review, good and bad, I want to be clear: Overall I really enjoyed the movie, despite its imperfections.
Also, in talking with Andy about it on the drive home, I found myself remembering the many ways in which Star Trek touched my childhood.
- My “sister” Alex started everything by introducing me to Star Trek: The Next Generation. I used to squirm with excitement each week as 7 PM approached on the day of a new episode. I sat on the edge of the coffee table because it put me closest to the TV, closest to the action. I hummed along with the opening credits.
- My affection quickly spilled over the allotted time slot and into my daily play. I turned cardboard boxes into navigation consoles, tire pressure gauges into hyposprays, and the fireplace into a warp core. I pretended to explore new planets, stun hostile aliens with my phaser, and of course go on dates with certain charming crew members.
- My first “serious” stories were fanfiction for The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. (With occasional JAG crossovers, hehe.) I created original characters and sent them on missions with the beloved regulars — learning about pacing and conflict through trial and error, as well as practicing grammar and flow.
- On a subconscious level, I think Star Trek also taught me to value science, teamwork, peace, and integrity. When I realized “Trekkie” was basically synonymous with “nerd,” I learned to wear that label with pride. And honestly, when I think about an ideal future for our world, a lot of it is based on Gene Roddenberry’s visions and predictions.
It’s amazing to me how one man’s stories grew into such a vast empire, and how those stories have impacted so many lives and minds, including mine. Amazing, humbling, and inspiring. This is what good writing can do.