These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise

A few nights ago, I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness. As I tweeted the other night:

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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.┬áThis is what good writing can do.

2 thoughts on “These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise

  1. Jon says:

    Of all the shows I ever got into, Star Trek was not one of them, I am actually embarrassed to say. That written, I did see the first J.J. Abrams reboot and I was pretty impressed, so I may check this one out too. First I want to watch the original Wrath of Khan, though.

  2. Anthony Lee Collins says:

    One of the great things about fiction is that it can go on ahead of where we are now, like an advance scout, shining a torch and showing us where we may be going (for better or worse).

    This is (in a very modest way) what I try to do with my writing.

    And it’s not only science fiction that can do that. I’m reading a fantasy novel that does this also, as I talked about in this blog post (point #3):

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