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Star Trek therapy

May 18, 2009

I was in high school when the original Star Trek TV series hit the screen. I watched every episode and every rerun many times. I saw every Star Trek movie. With exuberance and certainly no claim to authority, I will say that the new Star Trek movie is far and away the best. It is not only the best Star Trek movie; it is absolutely the best therapy the price of a matinee ticket can buy when I’m having an “I can’t occupy space” day. It takes a minimum of time paradoxes boldly cascading through alternative realities where none have gone before, and a few exploding planets, to distract me from a bad flare.

In addition to being an origin movie, the latest Star Trek pays tribute to the venerables of its genre. When a robocop hails young scofflaw Kirk, he addresses him as “Citizen,” saluting 1984. Star Wars gets its due: gratuitous diversity is showcased with a panoply of aliens, including, at long last, green humanoids. And Kirk’s “get us outta here” of course greets Han Solo. Nor is there a dearth of social commentary. Centuries in the future, the Romulans are waterboarding Captain Pike. The origin plot reveals that Kirk and Spock were not always friends, that Bones McCoy has never liked to fly, and Uruhu, Scotty, Mr. Sulu, and Mr. Chekhov all have their spheres of genius and precocity, notwithstanding Mr. Chekhov’s eternal ineptitude with English phonics. Most enjoyably, we learn how bonds were forged among the endearing series regulars.

Leonard Nimoy as Spock the elder statesman is my nominee for the Best Supporting Actor in history. Did I mention I loved this movie?

Star Trek definitely helped me survive my first bout with occupational therapy. I have two appointments this week. We’ll probably go see Wolverine to boost my recovery from those.

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