Getting personal with Star Trek

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Nostalgia is a wonderful gift. If I were to dig deeper, it might be the driving force of my love of movies and tv shows. No matter how old I get or how old the material gets, I can pop in a favorite adventure and relive the emotions and thrills that I experienced the first time. They’re more than just entertainment. They are a bundle of memories that tie us closer to our childhood, our teenage freedoms, our first loves, and moments that might have been otherwise forgotten. With a great movie experience, I can usually remember the first time I saw it, who I was with, and the overall feel of life in that moment. It preserves those memories, almost as if they are recorded onto the disc itself; like an audio commentary from myself.

While I may not be as big a fan as this guy (or as good a singer), Star Trek has always had a very special place in my heart. The reason for this is because more than any other movie or tv show, Star Trek was a family experience. In our home, we all watched it together. Even my mom watched Trek,which is special because later in life she would usually prefer a good book to whatever bloody, violent-packed thing my Dad, brother, and I would be watching.  She would sit in the other room, diving into her own adventure, attempting to block out the explosions and harsh language coming from the loud speakers. But back in the day, we all watched Star Trek together.

One of my earliest memories of boldly going where no little boy had gone before: A sunny afternoon laying in front of the tv next to my dad, using his arm as a pillow. We are watching a rerun of the  original series. I can’t recall exactly which episode. Was it the trouble with tribbles? Was it when Kirk and Spock had to battle to the death?

Was it the one where this happens?

It very well could have been.

The first time I saw Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock, our family was on vacation up in the woods staying at a cabin. The days were filled with river tubing, hiking, and  hammock lounging,  the nights were spent by camp fire. And after the camp fire, it was late night movies. The Epicness of those two films together blew my 1o year old mind.

The first Trek film I saw in the theater was number 6: The Undiscovered Country. It was thanksgiving evening , and I was deemed old enough to go see it with my dad. Yet, in the commercials  they gave a glimpse of a scary dog creature that freaked me out a bit. Half the film I had my hands nearly covering my eyes, because I didn’t know when it was gonna appear on screen and scare the poops outta me.

We would regularly watch The Next Generation either during or after dinner. There are too many memorable episodes to list.

There are, however, certain scenes that stick with  me forever. Like this one.  How could a kid forget this moment, even if he wanted to?

Also, theres this one.

Man, I hated that old chick. Let Worf smack her, damn it!

The Next Generation had some killer season finale cliffhangers. We would be hanging on the edge of our seats, then have to wait all summer until the next episode came out. “The Best of Both Worlds”,  named as one of the  greatest television episodes of all time, saw Captain Picard abducted  by the mindless killer robo-zombies the Borg. They turn him into one of them and proceed to destroy all human life. Riker, not yet wanting to give up on his mentor and friend, makes a startling decision.

It literally doesn’t get any better than that.

OH WAIT. IT DOES.

My dad said he was going to take Peter and I to see First Contact on opening night. That day at school, all I could think about was the return of the borg. I was drawing  little Enterprises all over my school work. I could not get out of there soon enough.

The theater was packed and alive with energy. Borg cubes hung from the ceiling. I think we even got popcorn!

First Contact would be my all-time favorite movie for many years to come, and still just might be.

And I could never forget the lady sitting in front of us at Star Trek: Nemisis, crying her eyes out at the end. Again, I thought I was a big fan but jeez….

I love the memories I have with my Mom and Dad. I love that I can look back and remember countless good times. We of course did a lot more than sit around and watch tv. It wasn’t our life. But when I think of Star Trek, I think of my parents. I think of my Dad, sharing with me something he enjoyed. And I think that will always be my favorite part.

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