An alliance of Trek favorites appeared on the Star Trek panel at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, and while each individual made statements about what the world could learn about coexistence and the exploration of this physical realm we share, two points seem especially meaningful this year.
Trek is a unique franchise in our world. First off, kudos go to those individuals who convinced others to make a lasting, sweet tribute to two actors now gone from us, Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin, near the end of the newest movie released this weekend, with two very simple dedications for each man.
Speaking at Comic-Con this year was Scott Bakula. Bakula, the actor who brought serious depth and humanity to the character listed as Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise, over at the official Star Trek website, was quoted by writer Dave Nemetz online at the Hollywood Reporter. Bakula sees the franchise, which he directly participated within during the original air dates from 2001 to 2005, as one bringing hope to people who have deep concerns about the world and our collective and individual futures.
“I continue to be hopeful that, even when it gets dark, we as a species will figure things out.”
Concerned multitudes scattered all over our shared planet Earth, obviously have and likely will, continue to spend limited time and money on the Gene Roddenberry Trek creation. Perhaps some of these fans are still looking for ways to thrive while facing off with the undeniable realities and current events which surround us, and perhaps many are also looking for moments of escape from our personal realities. Some may consider the words of a departed World War II flyer, an aviator who wrote about some day slipping off “the surly bonds of Earth” to dance in the skies “on laughter-silvered wings,” according to the familiar “High Flight” aviation quote, composed by John Gillespie Magee, 19, which can be viewed over on Skygod. (Magee died on December 11, 1941, soon after writing down and enclosing his very moving poem in a letter home in a mid-air collision, according to a witness.)
Proof, Science, And Faith
Many could be looking to connect with the Trek franchise again and its positive, ongoing hope for the future, as evidenced by the report from Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman regarding the box office numbers for the most recent release and incarnation. By the end of its opening weekend, Star Trek Beyond is predicted to haul in approximately $60 million, according to the story there.
John D. Barrow, a theoretical physicist, once wrote about a tour he took of a very dimly-lit Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. According to his essay posted online at EzineArticles in 2006, Barrow records what he experienced in his early evening tour with a small group of fellow scientists after the church was closed to other visitors.
“The universe appears big and old, dark and cold, hostile to life as we know it, dangerous and costly to explore. Many a philosopher of the past concluded that the universe was meaningless and antithetical to life: a bleak and black realm in which our little planet is a temporary outcome of the blind forces of nature. Yet, appearances may again be deceptive.”
Space Battles And Human Ingenuity
Deceptive, maybe, but important to consider in life and story telling and in this iteration, it seems everyone is stuck inside their realities. But fear not, for the ship’s crew in Star Trek Beyond is again yanked out of their individual existence routines and slapped suddenly into life-or-death battles and forced to find a way forward and survive the worst of times. And they must do this as a team, together.
In the beginning of the film, where we see the general malaise and drifting apart of the characters, Kirk contemplating a transfer off the ship and a promotion into a position which would take him out of the Captain’s chair, Spock and Uhura considering their future as a couple as well, the audience understands that this utopia is not going to be only good with no bad.
The screenwriters, Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, wanted to say a final good-bye to Leonard Nimoy by weaving the actor’s death into the film. Nimoy passed away several months before Beyond began production. Indeed, the previous director for the first two reboot movies, J.J. Abrams, was at San Diego’s Comic-Con, according to the story written by Jessica Derschowitz and posted online at EW. Abrams paid tribute to Yelchin.
“As wonderful as this is to be here with all of you, and to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, there is something wrong tonight. There… is someone missing tonight. Anton Yelchin should be here.”
Of course, our physical realm is not utopia, and we should not expect it to be. But in this physical realm that forever is beating down on loved ones, do what needs to be done to encourage someone else and help him or her to stand with you. That seems to be the takeaway truth from the entire Trek franchise.
Fight for those who are still on the journey in this world, be there to help someone figure things out, while always remembering those who are absent.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]