Here is one dark secret of mine: I was once imprisoned by a few brainwashed Trekkies insisted that I should watch and internalize the visual messages of Captain Kirk and his pointy ears companion. Every evening, I was seated in front of the TV watching one of the 6 Star Trek films in random order. VHS video tapes, I remember. One day I was watching episode 6. Another day, one of the previous episodes. I protested that I wouldn’t be able to understand a thing watching the series that way. These Trekkies laughed and said it was part of the training. In time to come, I would be able to recite all the key dialogues, just like them. Appreciate the wisdom within, just like them.
And just like them, I was [forcefully] glued in front of the TV during those long school holidays when I needed a place to stay in the capital of a country called UK. The crazy days of going to bed when the sun came up, video gaming marathon, liquor and takeaways, and centered to that long gone good life as students, we had Star Trek. They debated on the moral philosophy of a world according to Captain Kirk and his pointy ears companion; they discussed on the physic of the universe and the technology involved in the crafting of those spaceships. Did-you-know, have-you-noticed, haven’t-you-noticed, these Trekkies would try to pull me into their highly encrypted conversations. Years later, the only thing I can remember in this Star Trek franchise is that one scene when the Klingons quoted Hamlet. I love Shakespeare’s works and hence, the Klingons talk to me. Not Captain Kirk and his pointy ears companion, but the Klingons. For those who are curious on these subtle connections between Star Trek and Shakespeare, click here for an article written by Dr. Delahoyde.
Year 2009, Star Trek returns to the big screen in digital 4k format. This new movie is breathtaking in many ways. I am a big fan of Zachary Quinto (who plays Kirk’s pointy ears companion). He is my favorite actor from the TV series Heroes and he is just perfect for that role. Sandwiched between the two Trekkies – Cynthia and TK – was me, compelled to watch yet another episode of Star Trek. I constantly whispered to Cynthia during the show to fill in my knowledge gap. As a non-Trekkie, “Star Trek” is undeniably an entertaining movie that has lived up to its expectation. The effects are gorgeous, the science is current, and the friendship development of Kirk and Spock (I kept calling him Spark in front of Cynthia unintentionally) is perhaps the main focal point of this movie. Secretly, deep inside, I still wish that “Star Trek” has a deeper reference to something more philosophical, generates deeper moral debates, and perhaps has a more logical plot. However, compares this to yet another similar franchise that has gone back in time with newer and better filming technology, “Star Trek” has certainly done a much better job than the one that involves a Gungan named Jar Jar Binks.
TK was excited by the movie. So was Cynthia. As I listened to Cynthia reciting the final line of “Star Trek” together with Spark Spock word-by-word, I knew at that moment that I am still very far off from graduating as a Trekkie. And hence, the brainwashing continues.