Maybe it’s just a symptom of being forty, but I find myself growing more introspective as I grow older. And maybe more than introspective. I spend more time thinking about myself as a person, a human being, and about different aspects of my life and personality and place in the world. About how people and events affect me and how I affect other people and things.
When I discovered that it might be possible to attend FanExpo this year (up until a few days ago it didn’t look like my work schedule would allow it), I immediately checked for the schedule. Not posted yet, but there are a bunch of press releases including that William Shatner will be in attendance.
Now, you can say what you like about his acting ability or his hair (and I’ll probably argue one of those, at least), but I love William Shatner. I’ve enjoyed his work, yes most of it as Captain Kirk, for my entire life. Let me repeat that: my entire life. He’s having fun and doing what he enjoys, or at least that’s the perception I get.
I love the rest of the original crew, too, and I’ve watched all the series, so when I read the microscopic press release about Shatner coming to Toronto and bringing his film, “The Captains” with him for a screening, it only took a quick Google for me to find out it was a documentary with Shatner interviewing and interacting with the other actors who had played the Captains of the various series and the recent cinematic reboot. Why hadn’t I heard about this?
Obviously, I haven’t been paying attention. My head’s been down a lot this year. And last year, if I’m honest. But I am paying attention now, at least a bit. However, if I don’t get to go to FanExpo and stand in line to see that screening, my best hope is for Space to play it, which would be nice. (And how long will that line be, anyway? It’s William Shatner, after all.)
But the same Google search also showed me a few hints about the so-called “Star Trek Summit”, a 2009 documentary/interview hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes. I do remember hearing about this one, but never saw it. Seems to be available on YouTube and I watched the first two parts (of seven) almost before I even realized I’d clicked on the link. Funny that.
Funnier still is that the documentaries surrounding the still-growing Star Trek universe (and Google showed me where to find an awful lot more than I knew about) are just as interesting to me as the shows themselves.
So what’s the point? Well, Star Trek and me, I guess. I grew up on the original series, watched all the others, and have been to see every movie so far in the theatre. I don’t worship the original, or any subsequent, cast but I mourned when first Deforest Kelley and then James Doohan died, and it gives me a bit of a sad, wistful feeling that the youngest of the original crew is currently 74.
I believe in a positive future where people learn to talk to each other, figure things out, and put the human race on a course with the stars. Is it a Star Trek future? Well, probably not, at least not complete with dozens of humanoid aliens and warp drive, but is it the dark, dystopic wasteland that seems so popular in recent years? No. Firmly, and defiantly no.
I’m a Trekkie, yes, but not fanatic about it. The show is a part of who I am and has definitely been an influence on my personality and outlook. I am, and always shall be, its friend, and it will always take a place of SF prominence in my heart. So if I can get to FanExpo, I’ll be standing in line to try for that screening of The Captains, but I’ll be happy for a glimpse of Captain Kirk
To an active and positive future. Live long and prosper.