Star Trekking: Galactic Musings from a Starship Newbie: Episode 1

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I’ve been in a relationship with a Trekkie for three nerdy years and seven geeky months, and until last night, I’d never seen a full episode of Star Trek—at least not one I’d intentionally paid attention to. I remember the show being on when I was growing up. In particular, I remember seeing Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg onscreen. But space was never really my thing. I was into very serious literature during my formative years. I craved stories of tortured love and metaphorically invisible men, not space exploration.

However, with age comes a more open mind and varied tastes. Recently, I decided I was ready to begin my formal education of red shirts and tribbles and “Beam me up, Scotty.” (Hopefully these are correct pop culture references for what I’ll be watching? I’m such a virgin here, guys.)

I’m committed to working my way through all of the seasons of Star Trek and its various iterations (even the ones my boyfriend has admitted weren’t the best). I also decided this would be fun to document here on the blog. I won’t recap every single episode, because holy Data, that would be a lot of entries, but I will post the funniest, most philosophical, most interesting musings as I work my way through the galaxy.

I asked my boyfriend where to begin. He was ready.

Armed with calzones, salad, and beer, we boarded the starship Enterprise last night and watched Episode 1 of Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint: Parts 1 and 2.

And here’s what I thought…

The theme song is truly catchy. I miss orchestrated, grandiose theme songs that were an integral part of a show. It seems we speed through introductions and credits these days.

That opening shot of Patrick Stewart. So dramatic! So well lit! So 80s! Also, he doesn’t age.

I know the special effects of this time might make modern audiences cringe (I mean, we have come a long way), but seriously, how cool would it have been to work on this show or even just watch the show when new visual techniques were being introduced? For 1987, pretty cutting edge.

This exchange:

Lt. Commander Data: Inquiry: the word…’snoop’?

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Data, how can you be programmed as a virtual encyclopedia of human information without knowing a simple work like ‘snoop’?

Lt. Commander Data: Possibility: a king of human behavior I was not designed to emulate.

That force field is rather hypnotic.

Q’s first appearance is very cheesy. Speaking in Olde English? I couldn’t really take him seriously until he started changing into other figures and representations. Then, he was pretty damn creepy.

“Knowing humans as thou dost, Captain, wouldst thou be captured helpless by them?” An interesting question to be posed in 1987—and I think it’s still applicable today. I can’t say that I blame Q for being pessimistic. I wonder, if we were able to take space exploration to this level, would our first instinct be to protect ourselves and fear the unknown, or would we truly be able to be investigatory first and reactionary second?

The Q courtroom is terrifying…but I kind of want that judge chair to float around in…

Wil Wheaton was a freaking adorable kid!

When Picard said, “I don’t feel comfortable with children,” I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Oh my God, it’s you.”

“You treat her like a lady, and she’ll always bring you home.” Love that line. Wise advice.

Counselor Deanna Troi is fierce.

After the newly reunited alien beings held hands at the end of the episode, I predicted they found some privacy and made sweet, sweet alien love.

And you know what, I’m excited for the next few episodes!

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