In the run-up to the new movie an age old question has beamed its way back into our friendly family debates: Which is the greater creation: Star Wars or Star Trek?
My kids have decided hands down: it’s Star Trek. Me? I’ll sit the fence on this one, but if push came to shove, I’d have to side with the kids. But not for any reason you might think. This has nothing to do with C-3PO out-computing Data, with Vulcan Zen besting Jedi contemplation, with the Enterprise out-sprinting the Millenium Falcon through the Kessel Run. (In less then twelve parsecs, mind you.)
No, it’s just that I’ve always enjoyed a bit of camp in my life, some theatrics, some glitter and goofs, self-inflicted spoofs. Ok, let’s face it: some cheese. Like a good lasagna, Star Trek had cheese baked in from the start. Consider William Shatner’s two-toned acting, with a switch that flips from indefatigable manly-man to histrionic poet-warrior. (King David midst the stars!) Or how about the bridge, that bi-level shiny blue set, complete with a bar-rail, mini-skirted attendants and blinky lights. Cue that proto-disco, theramin-driven theme song and you’ve got the galaxy’s most happening dance party.
Star Wars, on the other hand, had none of the groovy stuff. George Lucas filmed an earnest attempt to channel Jungian ghosts and Joseph Campbell’s heroes, to create a new mythology for our modern times. A high-tech swords and sandals epic. A thing that would speak to the the little Argonaut still adrift on the seas of our souls. Star Wars aspired to be an ageless tale from “…a long time ago” with a score channeling Wagner & Holst. For a long-shot movie filled with secondary stars, it achieved mightily.
But for a little further proof that Star Trek brings the fun (of the sort that no mirthless Jedi could enjoy) take a look at our neighbors to the north, those kindly people not known for frivolity. They’ve taken to “Spocking” their fivers, filling in the hirsute details missing from the print-run of their five dollar bills.
It’s become apparent that the later-life Ambassador Spock must have been stationed round ’bout Montreal (in another timeline, due to some sort of cosmic vortex.) At some point he assumed the name Wilfrid Laurier and rose to the rank of Prime Minister. As he certainly could, and responsibly should. It would be only logical.