The most famous split infinitive.

I vividly remember the day that “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II” aired. That was the fourth season premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wikipedia tells me that it aired in September of 1990. I don’t know when it was, exactly. I just know that we had been anticipating it all. summer. long. Some of my dad’s friends were over, and we made air-popped popcorn, and we waited to see whether Captain Picard was going to survive his encounter with the Borg. Yes, I was a particularly nerdy 11-year-old.

If that entire paragraph is gibberish to you, well, that’s okay. I am married to a man who has no real concept of Captain Picard or the Borg. He’s never seen the show in any of its incarnations, and, before Saturday, he had only seen two of the movies (Khan and the one with the whales). In fact, the other night, I went to see what Wil Wheaton thought about the new movie, and I was watching one of his videos and Mike asked who that was. “Wil Wheaton,” I said. And he looked confused. I am not sure he knows what Tribbles are, either.

But, because he is a loving husband, and because the reviews were very very good, he went to see Star Trek with me on Saturday with the art teacher and her husband. The art teacher and I had concocted a plan in which we would make Mike believe that he was coming to hang out with her husband while the two men tolerated our Star Trek fun. In reality, the art teacher, her husband, and I were all psyched about the movie, and Mike was the only one who had no idea about the characters. But I didn’t even have to try to trick him. He came along willingly.

So here’s the thing. Star Trek was one of my dad’s favorite shows. I remember sometimes I would wake up late at night and get up and he would be watching it. I remember when The Next Generation started and he was unimpressed at first, and I remember how it gradually came to be something that we would all watch as a family on Saturday nights. And then it was one of my deep and abiding passions, the relationships between those characters as they explored the universe together. I had youth group on Saturday nights, so I would tape it (I programmed the VCR, people) and watch it after church on Sundays. I have seen every episode of The Next Generation and I have seen almost all of the original series. (And, uh, somewhere I still have some t-shirts with the Enterprise on them. Did I mention that I was a particularly nerdy kid?) A new Star Trek movie was difficult for me to even consider without my dad. In fact, I didn’t watch the trailer for months. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to know.

But the reviews were so good and people were so excited and I knew Mike would hold my hand, so we went on Saturday to see the movie. And, oh, it was glorious. I loved every minute of it. I loved new Spock and new McCoy and new Scotty. And new Kirk was pretty good, too. It was funny and touching and hit all the right notes. There were so many delicious cliches and shout-outs that made me grin. When we left, Mike said, “It was funny!” Of course it was funny! The show was always funny and campy and awesome, even while it was putting forth messages about tolerance and diversity and peace.

I thought I might cry a bit during the movie, especially if they used the traditional music during the credits. But I didn’t. I held it all in until the ride home, when I started thinking about my dad and whether he would have liked it. I think he would have. I think he would have hated the time-travel stuff, but I think he would have enjoyed the movie, watching all the characters meet each other and begin to feel out those relationships. I think he would have liked for there to be some new life in one of his favorite series. I would have liked to talk to him about it. But, instead, I wiped my eyes and began to explain some of those references that I know that Mike wouldn’t have understood. So that he, too, could join in the fun.

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4 Comments

  1. Aw, yay! I can’t wait to see the movie, even though I can count on one hand the number of episodes of any of the shows I’ve seen (mostly at the insistence of friends), and I’ve only seen one of the movies (which I also refer to as ‘the one with the whales’ – hehe). Maybe I will want to watch the show after seeing the movie, to get all the references. Or maybe I will just bug you about them. 😉

    Posted 5/18/2009 at | Permalink
  2. Carol

    I remember all of us running through the Randolph Mall to get to the Star Trek movie because we were late. Was that the first one?

    Posted 5/18/2009 at | Permalink
  3. Kari

    No, that was the sixth one. The Undiscovered Country. That’s the only one I saw in the theater. You and dad went to see the one with the whales – I remember that.

    Posted 5/19/2009 at | Permalink
  4. I grew up with all the Star Trek series…Kirk, Picard, and all! Frank wouldn’t dare watch them with me, if we got them on any of our bunny earred channels. Yes, I am the geek in our family. And proud!

    Posted 5/19/2009 at | Permalink

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