Homer's Travels: Trekking Into Darkness ... Or Is It Into The Light?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trekking Into Darkness ... Or Is It Into The Light?

I don't go to the movies often but there is one franchise that pulls me to the theater:  Star Trek.  I have been a Star Trek fan for decades.  The first book I ever read, outside of my school required reading, was a Star Trek novel.  I wasn't old enough to watch the original series live (though I remember asking my Mom to describe the episodes to me) but in the 70s I managed to see most of the episodes and, after I finished all of those, I continued my obsession with more and more novels and things like Enterprise Blueprints and Technical Manuals, and a whole bunch of official and unofficial Star Trek stuff.

I practically memorized the "Star Trek Concordance" - a compilation of summaries of all the episodes, including the animated series, and an encyclopedic glossary that covered every aspect of the fictional Star Trek Universe and it's fascinating fictional history.  It was written by Bjo Trimble who kept Start Trek alive after it got cancelled long enough for the movies to be made.

I even managed to get to a Star Trek convention.  It was a total accident.  I was in Hawaii doing work for the Navy.  It turned out the convention was just a couple blocks away from my hotel.  It was a freaky experience.

My fandom continued through several movies and several incarnations of Star Trek: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space, and Star Trek: Voyager (ST:V).  Each of these lasted seven seasons each.  They were followed by Enterprise.  Enterprise was a prequel which had many ups and downs but by the fourth season they were catching their stride, delving into, and fleshing out, early Star Trek history.  As Enterprise really started to take off, it was canceled.

The cancellation of Enterprise not only ended Star Trek's run on television, it also ended my Star Trek infatuation.  From my high school years in the 70s through my college years in the 80s to the end of Enterprise I'd managed to watch every episode (often more than once), every movie (good and bad) and had read countless Star Trek novels.  Upon cancellation of Enterprise I stopped cold turkey.  I stopped so abruptly that I left three or four Star Trek books unread on my shelf.

When Star Trek was rebooted in 2009 I went to see it.  I was not that excited to see it.  Not like I had been for many of the earlier movies and series.  I went more out of habit than anything else.  Maybe out of hope as well.  I left the theater disappointed and a bit sad.  I think part of me wanted to rekindle the excitement I once had.  It did not rekindle anything.

I told myself after the reboot that I would not do that again but I was unable to keep that promise.  I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness on Thursday.  I was entertained but it wasn't Star Trek.  It tried hard to appeal to the trekker deep inside me by throwing little tidbits of Trek history throughout the movie but it wasn't quite enough.

As the movie ended there was applause in the theater.  I didn't feel it.  A guy behind me said to no one in particular, with an excitement in his voice, that this was his second viewing and it was just as good as his first.  I didn't care.  There was a time when I would have applauded.  There was a time when I would have been that fanboy happy to see the movie for a second time.  I am not that person anymore.  I left the theater a bit sad and disappointed ... again.

There will be, inevitably, a third rebooted Star trek movie and I will, inevitably, go see it.  The hope of reviving a piece of my youth is still there.  But after this second movie, a pretty good summer action movie, I think I know deep down that I will never regain what I had.  It may be time to turn around and let some things fade into the dark and move ahead into the light.

Note: For a more in depth review of the new movie, a review I wholeheartedly agree with, check out my friend GeekHiker's post: Modern Trekking.


  1. I totally geek out over the new movies. It's okay if you're over it. I felt that way about several book series that I invested so much time and money into. When you're done, you're done. And that's okay :)

    1. Miss McC: Thanks ... I am done ... until the next movie ;-)

  2. Well, you know my feelings about it. :) (Thanks for the shout-out, too!)

    1. GH: Your welcome. Your feeling are jive pretty well with mine.