I am excited for the newest Star Trek movie, Beyond. I enjoyed the first two — even Into Darkness. I found them fun, exciting and hopeful. Why?
I was talking about this last week and just thought I’d share. Growing up, I had to sneak to watch Star Trek. We weren’t allowed to watch television because of the fundamentalism. And to watch something like Star Trek… a place where God didn’t exist, where aliens were superbeings, and where science reigned supreme? That was blasphemous. Indeed, I remember having my life threatened — while in the hospital after surviving a terrible car accident, and yes, it was a parent that threatened — because he had found a Quantum Leap novel someone had left for me.
But Star Trek was my escape. When the ‘rents were fighting, when the situation was abusive, and when I was convinced that at 9 years old I would die and go to hell, I could escape into Star Trek. It provided a hope for something better, a time when we could explore the skies without fear and prejudices. I actually remember praying that Jesus would delay his return until after the next Star Trek movie. And yes, there is God in Star Trek — just not the sectarian variety found in fundamentalism… or postliberalism.
But the escapism provides something for me and in many ways, taught me developmental milestones not taught at home. I enjoyed Kirk and Spock and McCoy. I loved the moral tales. And I simply enjoyed being in the 23rd century from time to time. So, when I go and see Star Trek Beyond, I will be watching it as one who has escaped…and who one escapes.