Archive for March 3rd, 2015

StarTrek has died.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015
(courtesy TG-1)

Some days ago Leonard Nimoy died. He was not the first of the film crew to die. There were others. They faded away, and nearly no one noticed…

This is the crew of the first StarTrek series

    James T. Kirk *** William Shatner
    Spock *** Leonard Nimoy
    Leonard McCoy *** DeForest Kelley
    Montgomery Scott *** James Doohan
    Nyota Uhura *** Nichelle Nichols
    Hikaru Sulu *** George Takei
    Pavel Chekov *** Walter Koenig
    Christine Chapel *** Majel Barrett
    Janice Rand *** Grace Lee Whitney
    Saavik *** Kirstie Alley
    *** Robin Curtis
    Sarek *** Mark Lenard
    Amanda Grayson *** Jane Wyatt

Five of the actors died. Five.

    Mark Lenard (October 15, 1924 – November 22, 1996)
    Jackson DeForest Kelley (January 20, 1920 – June 11, 1999)
    James Montgomery “Jimmy” Doohan (March 3, 1920 – July 20, 2005)
    Jane Wyatt (August 12, 1910 – October 20, 2006)
    Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (February 23, 1932 – December 18, 2008)

I can’t remember a salute. I can’t remember a president’s obituary message.

    Leonard Simon Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015)

Now Leonard Nimoy died, and a wave of sorrow rolls over the globe. What made the difference?

Frankly speaking, the StarTrek series was as miserable as other movies. Some “science fiction”, some tech scenes, and many, many brawls. No big difference to westerns, except for some vocabulary and for the costumes. As lame and as annoying as so many crime stories, western stories, and science fiction stories.

Except for one detail: an alien, not too much different from man, except for his ears, was not the typical type of alien, but cool, witty, and very logical, a distinguished person.

Series like StarTrek have a hero, the big boss, the commander, the captain, and some other roles, and they all hop from adventure to adventure.

With StarTrek – unintentionally – the real hero was not the leading person, the captain of the ship, no, it was the alien. He was the gray eminence.

The series flopped. StarTrek was broadcast from 1966 to 1969, then withdrawn. It was an ordinary, short-lived series. And it had some bad air among some of the actors, with the captain of the ship being the core of the problem. No good, really.

StarTrek was dead. But for some strange, some really weird spark of fate, it got to life again, when it was broadcast again, to fill the endless hours of advertising age. This time people got attracted by the calmness and the logical thinking. By Spock. StarTrek was Spock. StarTrek grew to fame.

So, with the death of Leonard Nimoy, the one who was the calm and witty and thoughtful gray eminence in the series, StarTrek era now is over. The captain still is alive, but his death will pass, he will fade away like the first five.

StarTrek actually is Spock, nothing less, no one less.

In contrast to a simply-knitted captain who never got much over the fence of his western behaviour, stepping from one dense stereotype to the very same, from one dense cliché to the very same, Spock was a cool, thoughtful person. Bright, fair, and human. Not in for making money, not in for big honour, not in for fights. The clear contrast to the James Average Kirk.

And now — he is dead.

The influence of the ship’s engineer Montgomery Scott and of Spock to interest children in science, to study sciences, to get interest in astronomy and astronautics, is there, and it is realized.

But there is one more, one really, really big movement, one big impact, which is caused by Spock, and the whole series, which is overlooked completely: the deep, deep dive into esoteric.

While on one hand the series pushes science, causes interest in science, on the other hand it is a strong rollback into primitive behaviour, into tribal patterns and tribal stereotypes. The so well known greeting, with the hand held like a “v”, is one of them.

The later series got really deep into this. They lack the gray eminence, they lack the wit and the calmness and the coolness. They are remakes and remakes and remakes of the ever same stereotypes and patterns. They only lived from the fame of the first series. Because they were StarTrek. Had they had other names, they would have flopped…

So StarTrek was from 1966 to 1969. And it is long dead.

What is not dead is the now 5 decades of commercial exploitation, which now will decline. And what is not dead is the horrible tribal nonsense, from “honour” to behaviour patterns, which is rooted so deeply. One might think that StarTrek means science, only science. But actually, it does not. It is a rollback into the dark ages of esoteric, into fairy tales and stereotypes. Into magic. Into mystery.

The only other character I know of to show some wit and clear thinking is “Q”, in some later series — who did not make it. On one hand he was too intelligent for the series, and on the other hand the playwrights spoiled the character by adding too much esoteric and mystery.

StarTrek is dead. But the decades and decades of its consequences, they are not over.

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