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. This is what good writing can do.

2 responses to “These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise”

  1. Jon Avatar

    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 Avatar

    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):