Thursday, January 22, 2004

Considering all the misunderstandings, infighting and threats of law suits in the making of this film---even a conflict over the wording of the film’s dedication to Gene Roddenberry---it’s more than ironic that its subject is the end of enmity between warring parties and the beginning of understanding and mutual commitment to peace.

“I see we have a long way to go,” said the Lincolnesque Gorkon—Nick Meyers told David Warner to play him as if he is “the only one in the room with imagination.” How far we have to go is clear just from reading about how these first six Star Trek movies were made. According to various accounts, nearly everyone involved stabbed someone in the back at one time or another, and nearly everyone felt betrayed at some point.

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner felt betrayed by Nick Meyer on Star Trek VI, and GR felt insulted by him. Others (and probably even some of the aforementioned) believe that Meyer saved the franchise, maybe more than once. At various times Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei felt betrayed by Harv Bennett, who felt betrayed by some of them and many others. And some believe he saved the franchise. GR felt betrayed by nearly everyone, including those who consider themselves his staunch supporters, such as Shatner and Nimoy. And they are his staunch supporters.

People are complicated.

But that’s our adventure in the real world: to make a future possible by finding, developing and using the skills and tools to become better people in a better society. The need for that focus is Star Trek’s legacy.

As Nichelle Nichols wrote in Beyond Uhura, “One of Star Trek’s enduring qualities is that with the exception of a few great technological tricks, nothing came easy for the crew. In a world of phasers, transporters, dilithium crystals, and Dr. McCoy’s amazing arrays of instant antidotes, ultimately the outcome relied on human beings doing the right thing.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incredible review!

Thanks for opening my eyes to the depth of Star Trek's magic. Although I've always appreciated its exploration of ethical issues and its portrayal of a brighter future, until now I never knew of the abundance of references to history and literature. Nor had I ever understood the complexity of what happened behind the scenes.