Live Long and Prosper

I am a Trekkie.  I don’t go to conventions, and I don’t dress in costume–although I once made a complicated Star Fleet uniform for one of my sons.  Now that he’s well into his twenties, I’m sure he would prefer I not discuss how cute he looked as Captain Kirk.

Star Trek from Flickr's Jeffry B.jpg

The original series was great fun, but I really fell in love with the franchise when Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted.  If Jean-Luc Picard had looked at me and said “Make it so,” I would have.  Whatever “it” was.  Did it matter? 

Now I’ve fallen in love again.  Star Trek, the new movie, is spectacular.  There aren’t enough superlatives.  If you liked anything about the series, even tolerated one of the movies, go straight to your theater .  Make it so.  You won’t be sorry.

So exactly what is the lesson here?  Did a new producer and director teach an old dog new tricks?  Did the enhanced effects and graphics pump life into a tired cliche?  Was the world ready for yet another glorified car chase in outer space?  Are we suffering from Hubblemania and in need of even more celestial drama?

I think the answer’s simpler.  J.J. Abrams, the producer/director, and everyone else who brought this idea to the screen, understood the real power of the original and the best of the spin-offs.  There’s nothing enormously complicated here, although sometimes I think Hollywood’s forgotten the simplest of truths.  A good story, whether it’s on screen or paper, requires complex characters we can empathize with, even if we despise some of them.  A good story has a beginning, middle and end.  It begins with a significant hook that actually relates to the rest of the tale, and when it ends, we are left with an “ah ha” moment.  Every thread doesn’t have to be neatly tied, and every plot line doesn’t have to end happily.  But when the story is over, we feel satisfied by the conclusion, even if we preferred a different one.

Oh, and at no point along the way do we scratch our heads and say “huh?”  Even if we don’t understand every little point, we have, by that time, developed a strong faith that we’re in good hands and can simply enjoy.  So we do.

From Star Trek’s beginning in 1966, even with clunky special effects, silly costumes, beehive hairstyles and Captain Kirk’s chauvinism, we knew we were in for a rousing good tale. We grew to trust Gene Roddenberry, and now we’ll trust J.J. Abrams and hope he “makes it so” again.  The franchise goes on, and so do the lessons in pleasing an audience.

So live long and prosper, Star Trek.  I think somewhere in the heavens above, Gene Roddenberry is smiling.


  1. Ragmop on May 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Trek fan/Quilter: have you seen this?
    Make It Sew!

  2. Emilie Richards on May 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Be still my heart!

  3. Ellen Dye on May 22, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I know what we’re doing this weekend 🙂 Thanks for the tip.

  4. Emilie Richards on May 22, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Let us know how you like it. Frankly, I think the opening alone is worth the trip.

  5. Debbie Haupt on May 28, 2009 at 9:10 am

    OMG Emilie, see I knew there was a reason that I visit your site often. I find out such great things about you and of course this is another of the reasons, we were twins obviously separated at birth. I am a trekkie from wayyyy back. I loved the original series and have been offering to birth Spock’s babies for over 30 years. And then I was introduced to Jean Luc and OOh Laa Laa, I was hooked, my right hand no longer v’s in the middle and of course I was a real grown up when Next Generation began so my lust was more, shall we say, inventive. 😉 There are only three men I would leave my husband for and I guess he’s not worried after 30 years of marriage that Leonard Nimoy, Sean Connery or Patrick Stewart would come calling and sweep me off my feet.

  6. Emilie Richards on May 28, 2009 at 9:22 am

    We are clearly of one mind meld. And the new Spock in the movie? I think he’s perfect. Just discovered him on Season Three of 24 (we are SO behind) and wanted to tell him to get back to his space ship. I don’t want to think about him anywhere else.

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