Monday, January 12, 2009

Wars vs. Trek; a very geeky post

So, as I finished Vulcan's Forge (Star Trek) yesterday and am looking at Vulcan's Heart (Star Trek) today, it comes to me that I do have some pretty specific thoughts on what style of trekker I am and the kind of pleasure I get from the most media related items on my bookshelves.

I mean, Star Trek novels, we're not talking very high-brow literature here. It's not even high-brow science fiction, belonging more to the space-opera genre than hard SF. (Although I sometimes appreciate the efforts of some of the authors to actually insert real science into the stories, or come up with plausible reasons for the established technology to work. Not all the time; three pages of astronomy becomes time to practice speed reading.)

First of all, some of my friends believe I am more of a Star Wars freak. This is not true. Yes, I did see the first one many, many times, and I did stand on line to see the next two on opening day, blah-blah. I did collect some cool stuff. (Hey, kid, want to buy some...lobby cards?) But compared to Trek, Star Wars was an infatuation. Man, it was pretty, and fun. But kinda, well...dim.

See, Star Wars was the trick I met at the leather conference and played with, on and off every couple of years until I realized I was going through the motions. And although I am always happy to see this trick again, afterward, I wonder what I ever saw that made me interested. Play is out of the question now.

Whereas Star Trek - the original series, mind you, Kirk, McCoy, Spock, et. al. - that's the buddy I can go without seeing for ten years and then get back together and have a blast, staying up all night laughing, telling stories, drinking, eating good food, calling up old friends. I could go on vacation with Star Trek. If I went on vacation with Star Wars, I'd pitch that SOB overboard on the second day, screaming, "stop whining already!"

I realized my love for Trek when I was watching Star Trek - Generations. See, I had liked Next Generation just fine, it was OK. Most of it. All right, the seasons when the writers were on strike pretty much sucked. And I never liked Riker. Or whats-her-name, the psychic who was SO freaking useful. (That ship firing on us! Counselor Miniskirt, what do you sense? "I sense...hostility, Captain.") Tasha Yar was the hottest butch on TV, (with the greatest back story - hiding from rape gangs? rescued by the Federation and therefore gung-ho and snarling in their defense? Kewl!) and they had her killed off by a patch of tar. Data was Spock-lite, saved by the actor, really. Wesley + airlock should have happened in season one. I liked...Picard. And Worf. And I liked the Doctor they pitched down an elevator shaft. But damn little else. No wonder I liked the Q episodes. He made them crazy. I liked it when they were crazy.

So, there I was watching Generations and I realized something frightening.

I was only interested - excited even - when watching the scenes with Bill Shatner.

Oh. My. God.

What was WRONG with me? There's Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart - whom I love - and I am drifting off when I see him without Kirk in the same frame. I began to question my sanity, and certainly my taste.

Later in, I realized what it was. Kirk/Shatner was action, romance, movement. Even when pontificating, Kirk was a powerful presence. The lead bullet style of delivery, so wonderful to mock, is cheesy, sure. And when we look at his makeup splattered torso from the original show, we giggle because, man, Abercrombie and Fitch is what a hot torso looks like today. The hair, the waist cincher, the aging of the actor and character is funny in a way, but also recognizable. But Kirk around means something is going to happen. And it'll

Which reminds me, I need to get around to watching that lawyer show he was on. Anyone got the DVDs I can borrow?

So, anyway, I might be embarking on a Star Trek readathon. I'll make another tag so you can skip them if you like.


Mad said...

*sigh* Boston legal has been n my wish list for over a year now, and no one's caught on. So if I get them now, you cant' have them, they're MINE!

... plus I'm glad I'm not the only one who watched TNG solely for the Tasha Yarr crush!

Anonymous said...

I loved your analysis! Ive been a Trekker since Sep 8, 1966. NextGen was always...OK. It was entertaining, but never really got to me like the original.
I never could put it into words.

- SuperGeek
(Super Geek Universe)