Star Trek by the Minute 010

Shuttles' Escape

Previous: Family Chat of Destruction

This segment opens on the conversation between George Kirk and his wife, as he gapes his way to suicide aboard the Kelvin with some conversation about the sex of their new baby and choosing a name. The wife declares "He's beautiful – you should be here…" The latter is obvious to anyone with half a brain, but Kirk remains mesmerized by the computer countdown visuals and audio announcements of the impending "impact". Granted, the super high definition wrap around viewscreen on the Kelvin Bridge is amazing, and might tempt a true video addict to neglect those things like spending time with the wife and kids. The computer has inexplicably recategorized the intersection of the Kelvin's locked in flight path with the conveniently stable Romulan ship. Previously, it was a "collision", now it's an "impact", so apparently even the computer has realized that this is not a contest of equals. We might think of it more like the Kayuga impacting on the moon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJmT3dPbwHE

George asks "What're we gonna call him?" to which his still-unnamed wife suggests, "We can name him after your father." They eventually settle on "Jim" after her father. Is it me, or is this a bit sexist? We have now named male characters that aren't even on screen – possibly no longer alive – while the wife, mother, and a main character is still unnamed?

The external shot of the burning Kelvin zooming through the tentacles of the Romulan ship is really fantastic! But at this point, Kirk has become a terrorist suicide bomber, attempting to destroy Romulans who have been helpless for some time. One gets the feeling that the film was made by people who, like many in the U.S. love to worship war – although in detailed participation their enthusiasm would probably be reduced. As is always portrayed by such people, our side is angelically good, and the enemy is depraved beyond redemption. This raises a favorable comparison I read between this film and X-Men. Since learning about the X-Men from my college room-mate, I was impressed that the characters all had believable reasons for what they were doing. In the first movie, Magneto presented a well thought out argument for mutant separatism and militancy based on clear, increasing anti-mutant repression, aggression, and terror. This intelligent, believable enemy enabled Professor Xavier to make the intelligent argument for compassion and seeking peace. The complex interplay between them explored real issues of the human condition that require a sense of self-doubt, humility, and care. These are how we achieve progress – not by emotional outbursts. This was part of what I read as Roddenberry's intention with the Vulcan culture: embodiment of the magnificent Stoic tradition which sought to eliminate errors in judgment that give rise to destructive emotions. Logic was a tool for achieving this result and this great tradition was crushed by Justinian who felt this compassionate, peaceful philosophy threatened Christianity. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoicism

Back in the future, Kirk completes his senseless kamikaze run, professing his love for his wife while romantitragic music swells. The now single-parent Ms. Kirk looks out the shuttle window to watch the explosions of the Kelvin against the enemy ship. The conversation that just ended had been on an a speakerphone arrangement where anyone nearby could hear and respond. I'm no medical or psychological expert, but if a newly single mom had just delivered while watching her survivally-challenged mate kill himself, and she were in my care, I might want to put a hand on her shoulder and show some comfort and support. Perhaps I would want to make sure she was not adversely affected by all the "excitement"? Wouldn't basic bedside manner include, I don't know, something like LOOKING at the patient? Not here: instead ALL the medical technicians ignore her, facing away in order to play Tetris or something on little computer panels. Those wacky Starfleet medical personnel!

In the external shot, we see debris from the collision as the shuttles safely make their way toward rescue at Starfleet's FTB station.

Next: GTA, Pubescent Trekstyle

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