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9.30.2011

Admissions of a Star Trek fan.

I love Star Trek. Not the movies so much or the many spinoffs. I mean the original series and The Next Generation. I know it's campy with really cheap sets, the glorified humanized view of the inhabited galaxy is self absorbed and sexist, their pacifist talk juxtaposed constantly by mind boggling destruction, the acting has a quality that even makes wood look flexible, and so on and so on. If you give me a reason why you think it sucks, I'll probably agree. And yet...I still love rewatching many of the old episodes like favorite scratchy records on my turntable.

Last week a friend who isn't a fan gave me a Star Trek boardgame and set of starship models(her name, Q, is the same as a Trek alien by sheer coincidence). I've been staring at the Enterprise model in my workshop since then and it occured to me what I fundamentally love about the show, what about it that speaks to my imagination. It's the spaceship they travel on - the Enterprise.

Star Trek's USS Enterprise
Besides being a really cool design, both in looks and that it never lands (an unprecidented sci-fi concept at the time), it represents unfettered imagination (to boldly go and all that). And I did. With that ship I created my own adventures and when I stretched out under the stars at night, the Enterprise took me to a million places through space and time and imagination that Captain Kirk never dreamed of.

Jumping ahead to modern times, I never had much luck instilling my "enterprise imagination" into the kids. We played exciting imagination games that took us to strange planets, the land of giggling bunnies, the river rapids of Fbiblinar and beyond. But none of it was really their bag. Last summer, I even tried introducing them to Star Trek but all they could see was the cheap sets, outdated dialogue and old FX.

I'm not sure what effect our imagination play has had or will have on them in the long run. I expect some and will still encourage it. But for me, I still get a thrill looking at that ship and imagining myself aboard, sailing at light speed into the complete unknown.