Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Steph the Trekkie(er?)

I’ll be honest, I have only a vague idea what the difference is, and only sort of care. You could say I dip my toe in the pool of sci-fi nerdom. I know what a Ponfar is and have used that word in a sentence, but don’t ask me to name Spock’s parents or tell you how many planets are in the federation.

Like the good wanna-be nerd that I am, I have seen the new Star Trek movie not once, but twice in the past week. The first time on Thursday and the second at the IMAX theater in Tampa on Sunday. (It was cool after I got over my initial disappointment in what an IMAX theater was.) First I should say that I have not seen any of the original Star Trek episodes in their entirety. If, perchance, Danny happens to be watching one on TV, I usually make it about 5.3 minutes before leaving the room or picking up a book (generally about the time Captain Kirk starts making out with some blue skinned woman in a metallic bikini from the planet Sklargon).

It’s testament to the show’s cultural status that even though I’ve never seen more than five minutes of an episode, the new movie's characters and their catchphrases still felt familiar to me. Such as Bones telling Spock, “Dammit man I’m a doctor not a physicist.” Or Scotty screaming “I’m doin’ the best I can captain!” from the engineering ward (see it’s probably not even called the engineering ward that’s how un-schooled I am.)

I enjoyed the movie a lot, it was funny, endearing and adventurous. From a storyteller’s perspective, many things were very convenient. But that’s okay, I have quite a large capacity to suspend disbelief (so large in fact that I actually found myself wondering if I could adopt a young half-Vulcan boy). My favorite part of the movie though, was imagining a series of spin offs.

Here are a few of the possibilities:

Spock and Uhura make a porno

As a super logical and (almost) always cool under pressure Vulcan, I imagine sex with Spock might be akin to sex with an eye doctor, is it better like this or better like this? A or B? Better position one, position two, or about the same? Have you concluded?
(Coincidentally the photo above is titled, "Spock and Uhura Make Music")

Captain Nero reads bedtime stories to Romulan children
Nero was an almost dad who tragically lost his family when Romulus exploded. I think he needs some anger management in the form of story hour. I’m pretty sure kids will find his sweaty moon head and face tattoos soothing.

Pavel Chekov becomes a regular on Sesame Street.
Chekov is an exceedingly adorable, enthusiastic young Russian who kids will instantly identify with (since he’s barely older than them). Hilarity will ensue when our nation's children begin to think Ws are pronounced as Vs and Wise Wersa.

Look for these and others, on the forthcoming channel for (Semi) Sci-Fi nerds. In the meantime, I'm going to go catch up on some Doctor Who episodes I missed.


james ford said...

I like to think of myself, much like Quentin Tarantino, as one of the cool nerds. The distinction between Trekkie and Trekker is like comic book and graphic novel. It's all Star Trek. It's all comics. Can't we all just get along?

I will tell you what Bruce Campbell taught me in his documentary FANalysis which is there are four levels to fandom. Level One (using Star Trek as an example) is someone who enjoys Star Trek. This would be my brother. He's seen most, if not all, of the films but couldn't tell you how many there are or which one Khan is in but if you have one, he'll watch it and probably enjoy it. This is probably you, Steph.

Level Two is someone familiar with Star Trek. They know the characters, how they relate to each other, the episodes, maybe even bought some movies or action figures. This is me and I can tell you Spock's father is Sarek and I could have told you Uhura first name before this film even though it's never been said on film or television before.

Level Three is when it permeates into your life. They've dressed as a Klingon outside of Halloween (like the people my brother hates who wear Starfleet Uniforms to the theatre). They seek out collector items and autographs, go to conventions, read the books, maybe manage some kind of fan site or named their daughter Valeris thinking it could pass. It won't.

Level Four involves the Police.

I can say Natalie was quite pleased when I went through my mental Star Trek checklist eliminating items, finally got my "Cap'n I'm givin' all she's got," tossed my hands in the air and mentally yelled "bingo!" opposed to the angry seething I was filled with this time last year from Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Who Gives A Crap where George Lucas and Steven Spielberg made a film that would make me question if either of them had ever seen an Indiana Jones movie.

Steve said...

WOW... I never knew that one could surpass so many levels of "trekkie(er) nerd"! I do recall going to see Gates McFadden (also known as Dr. Beverly Crusher)with uncle Mike when I was like 12. And yes, I did also read the books... but really give me some credit, I actually READ books! That's more than I can say for myself in highschool and college. Anywho, while I believe that James is on to something here I think that there should be a Harry Potteresque level 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 for those of us that maybe read one or two of the books and went to conventions but NEVER dressed up. That is just too far. Do you know how expensive those outfits are! :)

james ford said...


since harry potter started as books, they would be level one (as well as the movies). you got the book release day you're still at level one.

you waited in line and got the book at midnight went home and stayed up reading it... welcome to level two.

my question is what do you do at a harry potter convention if you don't dress up? you can buy the books and movies at a walgreens so their readily available. did you but something else at this convention? were people signing things? did you buy a stuffed white owl and a scarf hoping people won't mistake you for dr who?

none of this level 1.5 bullshit. accept level two and welcome it.

Sugared Ellipses... said...

Even though I talked with you on the phone about some of this, I thought I'd chime in. As you know I didn't see the film because of the fact that my ginormous TV has ruined the "let's go to the movies" experience for me, and like you I was disappointed with IMAX theaters when I went to see Matrix Revolutions in San Fran.

If it weren't for these factors I would reeeeeeeally love to go see the damn movie, along with Terminator Salvation (Christian Bale...*sigh*), Transformers (I'm a sucker for CGI), Gamer (Gerard Butler...*sigh*), Moon (you have Kevin Spacey as the voice of this movie's version of HAL from 2001, and of course Sam Rockwell), Inglorious Bastards (despite the fact that I've never been one for going to the theater unless it was a special-effects-fest because I'm historically short on cash, but it's Quentin), do-I-even-need-to-say-it Harry "Fucking" Potter, and District 9 (just looks fucking weird)...Gah! I wish there was a decent theater nearby. (Sorry, just watched the Ultimate Trailer show last night.)

When it comes to Star Trek I'd say I'm a level 1 1/2. I've never read any of the books, bought any actions figures, nor knew Uhura's first name BUT I can tell you which movie Khan is in (and that Khan used to be the host of Fantasy Island "the plane, the plane"...christ, what level does that make me, or does it just classify me as a 70s kid), and knew that Sarek was Spock's father. I did date someone who owned a Klingon does that fit in with FANalysis criteria?

Anyways, I strongly suggest checking
this out. It's frickin' hilarious.

Kornopolous said...

Stephanie, it was a pleasure meeting you at Starbucks!

Now, as level 2 fan, I laughed at this post. Thanks. I will still reccomend sitting through at least one or two full episodes which are well written; "Return of the Achrons" and "A Private Little war"