Thursday, September 28, 2006

Captain's Log - Star Date 09282006

Inspired by Katherine's post on The Princess Bride . . .

For about two weeks now, (thanks to my brother's gift of Netflix for D's birthday this summer!) the three of us have been slowly making our way through the Star Trek movies. It has been so fun to introduce the 8-year-old to the world of Star Trek.

In many ways, Monk is really my fantasy/sci-fi buddy. When he was three, we read through the Chronicles of Narnia twice in one year. At the same age, we also read Wizard of Oz. When he was seven, he devoured all of the Harry Potter series. And he loves A Series of Unfortunate Events. Last winter we read The Hobbit and watched all three Lord of the Rings over the winter holiday. And, as of two days ago, he finished reading Fellowship of the Ring entirely on his own (in just over seven days. Not bad for a third-grader)!

I've always known that it would only be a matter of time before we dove into the world of Star Trek. And so I was delighted when a couple weeks ago after I suggested it, he jumped at the chance. I've never been a trekkie, mind you. Closest I ever came was a short-lived love of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the early nineties. But I have a deep affection for the series--and simply love, always, to get lost in other worlds--as does my boy.

We're watching them all in order. The first one was unbearably artsy-fartsy. Long, drawn-out scenes of spaceships docking while lush music plays. Clearly very influenced by the film 2001, the first Star Trek seemed to imagine itself to be quite grand in those days. But as the series goes on, it gets increasingly light-hearted. One of our favorites was Star Trek V in which the crew has to travel back in time to 1986 San Francisco in order to save humpback whales from extinction. Except for some pretty atrocious acting by a supporting actress, the movie tripped lightly and humorously through its storyline. Glimpses of William Shatner's irony-laden character that he plays today on Boston Legal shone through in moments. The series seems to come to life when it stops taking itself so darn seriously!

The other night we watched Star Trek VI: The Final Frontier, in which the crew of the starship enterprise encounters "God" who has gotten stranded on a planet in the center of the universe. Our whole family groaned aloud--Monk included--when we heard everyone referring to God as "he." Then when they depicted "God" as an old, white man with a long, white beard, our heads fell into our hands. The next day, though, while talking about the movie, Monk reflected on how they had portrayed God in the film--and how it conflicted with his own image of God. Very cool.

With any luck, tonight we'll be watching Star Trek: Generations, the seventh in the dynasty--and the first one to say farewell to the old crew and welcome in Patrick Stewart to the role of captain. (Ahhh, Patrick Stewart.)

It has been truly such fun to introduce my dear son to Star Trek. But last night, I pulled him close to me and apologized: "I'm just loving watching these movies with you," I started out, "But I'm awfully sorry if I'm turning you into a total nerd in the process."

"Aw, it's alright, Mom." He said, "I haven't told anyone at school that I've seen 'em." Wise beyond his years.


Amy said...

C has the kids watching Mystery Science Theatre with him on a regular basis. Soon, the kids will learn just how uncool it is. But, until then, C and the kids are bonding over bad TV.

cyen said...

Time will tell, but I think with your "nerd/geek" influence and his father's sports influence, he may be one of those rare breeds that can co-mingle among the jocks and geeks. They do exist :)
Kinda like "daywalker" vampires ;)

Glad to see you back in the blog world!

FYI> My first real introduction to Fantasy was piers anthony. He might enjoy them too.