Category Archives: Star Trek

Adventures in Star Trek Fiction – Part 1

Star Wars publishing is known as the Expanded Universe/Legends. What do you call all the copious novels and anthologies that tie into the Star Trek TV franchise? Memory Beta? Voyages of the Imagination? Continuing Missions? I think that last one has a good ring to it…

Anyway, with all the mixed reactions to Star Trek Discovery, I think it’s time to look back on some good Trek stories that continued the missions of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Again, if your upset that your favorite books aren’t listed here, I apologize and you can always direct me to your site/twitter/whatever to show me your favorite tie-in novels.

Engage.

Note: with some exceptions, summaries are taken from the reference book Voyages of the Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion by Jeff Ayers.

The Tears of the Singers (1984)

Melinda Snodgrass

The inhabitants of the planet Taygeta are seal-like creatures known for their beautiful song. In addition, they produce a jewel-like tear when they die. Hunters are commonplace and the killing needs to stop. A spatial rift near the planet has the Enterprise investigating along with the Klingons. Captain Kirk has recruited a famous musician to attempt communication with the creatures and Uhura falls in love with him. Can Kirk’s shipmates get along with the Klingons, stop the slaughter of the animals, and seal up the rift?

I love this book because it’s an Uhura-centric story revolving around her gift for music. When she uses that gift to help her crewmates, it makes for a memorable story. It also has a sympathetic female Klingon who befriends her and I like Klingons.

Uhura’s Song (1985)

Janet Kagan

On the planet Eeiauo, a decimating plague ravages its population of catlike beings. Uhura had visited the planet years before and befriended one of the inhabitants. The songs the two of them shared actually hold a secret that the Eeiauoans are willing to die upholding. When the plague crosses over to humans and Dr. McCoy becomes infected, the Enterprise crew must solve the mystery of the songs and cure the plague before everyone succumbs.

Interesting how one Uhura novel comes out a year after another, revolving around music once again. And it has two species of alien cats!

Federation (1994)

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

While Kirk and his crew struggle to free scientist Zefram Cochrane from captors, ninety-nine years in the future Jean-Luc Picard must rescue a mysterious individual who holds the key to the Federation’s ultimate survival.

A novel that intertwines the crew of The Original Series and The Next Generation into one epic story as they race to protect a fleeing scientist from an obsessed despot. The 1st Trek book I ever read – before I ever saw any of the shows. Good thing it was a really good book that kept me interested in the franchise. The two Enterprises even encounter each other at one point. *Sniff*. So beautiful.

The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh (2001 & 2002)

Greg Cox

In the twentieth century, an international cabal of scientists launches the Chrysalis Project, the development of an artificially enhanced breed of humans, while Gary Seven, an undercover operative for an advanced alien species struggles to neutralize the threat while watching the children of Chrysalis, including the brilliant Khan Noonien Singh, grow to adulthood.

Q-In-Law (1991)

Peter David

The Enterprise is chosen to host a wedding between two rival civilizations. One of the delegates attending the wedding happens to be Deanna’s mother, much to the chagrin of everyone else. When she meets Q and everyone warns her about him, that only attracts her to him more. Can Q, the most annoying being in the galaxy, find true love with the most annoying woman in the galaxy?

After reading this book, you’ll wish there were a TNG episode where the two meet. Or at least a production of Alien Voices

Spartacus (1992)

T.L. Mancour

Helping a damaged ship brings pain and grief to the crew of the Enterprise-D. The inhabitants of the Freedom call themselves Vemlans and they are fleeing a war-torn home, looking for a new place to live. A foggy picture gets even more blurry when an entire fleet from the planet arrives and claims that the Freedom crew are nothing more than escaped slaves. Picard must use all his cunning to fiddle with the Prime Directive if the Enterprise is to survive.

A good novel that delves into the ongoing question: what measure is a human. I won’t tell you what species the crew of the Freedom are.

Nightshade (1992)

Laurell K. Hamilton

Captain Picard, Worf and Deanna are negotiating for peace. The two factions are living on a dying planet. The Enterprise is sent away on another mission. The three of them are left alone to resolve the dispute. A murder occurs and Picard is accused of the crime. Now he resides in prison. Worf and Troi must discover the identity of the true killer. In the process, Worf learns to be a diplomat.

I don’t remember much of the plot but what stood out the most was seeing Troi and Worf’s working relationship evolve from slight mistrust to the beginnings of friendship as they work to solve the mystery.

Here There Be Dragons (1993)

John Peel

Investigating massive stellar phenomena, the crew rescues a man claiming to be a Federation Special Agent. He also has a strange story. Inside the cloud where nothing should be able to survive, hides an entire planet. With some advanced technology, the ship arrives to find a world of knights and serfs from Earth’s Middle Ages. While investigating, some of the crew are taken as slaves. Unknown to them all, the “gate” that got the ship there safely is starting to close…

Dragons and The Enterprise. What more could you want?

Death In Winter (2005)

Michael Jan Friedman

While Captain Picard supervises the retrofit and repair of the Enterprise after Shinzon’s attack, he also contemplates the departure of his friends, including Beverly, who is now the head of Starfleet Medical again. Beverly receives orders to conduct a clandestine mission to the planet Kevratas to help stop a plague with similarities to a disease she tackled years ago. Unfortunately, the Romulans control the populace and don’t want help. With Beverly captured and possibly dead, Picard realizes his true feelings for her and leads a covert mission of his own to not only stop the plague but rescue his true love.

This book is a must-read for all the fans who want the Crusher/Picard relationship to finally, finally get resolved.

The Captain’s Table: Where Sea Meets Sky (1998)

Jerry Oltion

Captain Pike tells the aliens at his table of an assignment to the Aronnia System. Upon arrival, the crew of the Enterprise finds giant whale-like creatures in space called Titans. Pike must make a horrific decision, since the creatures are vital to the survival of one culture, but are destroying another.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Captain Pike because of Jeffrey Hunter’s short, tragic life. It’s one of the biggest “if only’s” of sci-fi history. Despite only appearing in two episodes (if you count the two-parter “The Cage” as one episode), that character has lived on in lots of written works chronicling the early days of the Enterprise. Plus, SPACE WHALES! THAT EAT HYDROGEN! AND LAY EGGS! AND DROP THEM LIKE BOMBS!

Guises of the Mind (1993)

Rebecca Neason

The Enterprise receives an invitation to the coronation of the ruler of Capulon IV. In addition, the planet will sign a charter joining the Federation at the ceremony. Shuttling the religious order of Little Mothers to the event, one of the members, Mother Veronica, has telepathic powers she can’t control and begs for Troi’s help. On the planet, the future king’s evil twin brother kidnaps him and locks him in a dungeon. Can Picard bring the rightful heir to the throne?

Star Trek depicted a future where people (of Earth at least) were freed from the influence of religion. And we were all the better for it. This book on the other hand, deftly balances the positive aspects of religion without straying outside the boundaries of Roddenberry’s wishes. And still manages to be entertaining.

Grounded (1993)

David Bischoff

The rescue of a scientists in a remote station proves to be the end of the Enterprise. Infected with a mysterious substance on the surface of the ship, the stuff begins to gradually disintegrate the hull. Forced to evacuate, Picard’s crew must watch in horror as Starfleet orders the Enterprise’s destruction to prevent the infection of other vessels. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the situation obviously warrants a bold plan for Picard to defy Starfleet and save his beloved ship.

This novel makes us realize that the Enterprise is more than just a starship, it’s home to the people that work on it.

Strange New Worlds I (1998)

Edited by Dean Wesley Smith, John J. Ordover and Paula M. Block

For 10 years Pocket Books held a contest where nonprofessional writers could submit stories that furthered the adventures of the characters of Star Trek (which at the time consisted of TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY). The grand prize was a published piece in the Strange New Worlds anthology and a bonus advance of $1,000.00.

It appears I owe fan fiction an apology. I’ve always thought it to be way below authorized fiction. But after reading this anthology of published fan fiction, I will have to change my tune. These are some stellar stories. The ones I enjoyed reading are “A Private Anecdote”, “The Last Tribble”, “The Lights In the Sky”, “Reflections”, “The First”, “See Spot Run”, “Together Again, for the First Time” and “The Man Who Sold the Sky”.

Enterprise Logs (2000)

Edited by Carol Greenburg

Six centuries, ten captains. One proud tradition…

This anthology focuses on the many captains that led the adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Of course they include Captains Kirk and Picard but they also feature stories about Captains April, Pike, Decker, Spock, Harriman and Garrett. Surprisingly the anthology also features two stories about captains of Earth-bound Enterprise (sea) ships. One during the American Revolution, the other during World War 2. Contributing to the anthology are talents like the late A.C. Crispin, Diane Duane, Greg Cox, Diane Carey and Michael Jan Friedman. My favorite stories are: “Though Hell Should Bar the Way”, “Conflicting Natures”, “The Avenger”, “Just Another Little Training Cruise” and “The Captain and the King”.

Strike Zone (1989)

Peter David

The Kreel have stumbled onto a planet with a storage facility full of extremely powerful weapons that could easily destroy the Enterprise-D. They begin using the weapons on the Klingons and now Picard has been asked to facilitate the dispute. Having both races on board the Enterprise calls for tact, something the Klingons and the Kreel are severly lacking.

The Klingons have mortal enemies? How interesting.

The Starship Trap (1993)

Mel Gilden

The Klingons attack the Enterprise in response to Federation assaults on Klingon vessels. Escaping with a promise of discovering the truth, Kirk and crew head to a secret rendezvous with a respected scientist. At the meeting with Federation personnel, the truth reveals itself. It seems that the Klingons are not the only race to have ships vanish, and it’s up to the Enterprise to uncover the truth.

The scientist in this story has shades of Captain Nemo.

Strange New Worlds IV (2001)

Edited by Dean Wesley Smith, John J. Ordover and Paula M. Block

Highlights include “A Little More Action”, “Prodigal Father”, “Missed”, “Tears for Eternity”, “First Star I See Tonight”, “Scotty’s Song”, “Flight 19” and “Prodigal Son”.

A Rock and a Hard Place (1990)

Peter David

The terraforming project on the planet Paradise has taken a turn for the worse. Commander Riker receives a temporary transfer to investigate this program. The person in charge of the project happens to be a childhood friend. Riker’s replacement on the Enterprise-D is Commander Stone, a man with a troubled past whose questionable methods have plagued his every posting.

I included this title here because the book has one of the most interesting – and frustrating – characters. Commander Stone is the guy that makes you say: “what’s his problem?” It keeps you guessing what his motives is until the end of the book: is he a villain who wants to destroy our heroes or is he a jaded anti-hero gone mad?

War Drums (1992)

John Vornholt

A small colony struggles to survive on the planet Selva. On their new home, a band of renegade Klingons fights for survival in the woods beyond the encampment. With aggression escalating between the two parties, the Enterprise arrives to render assistance and negotiate peace. Where did the Klingons come from and why did the colonists not notify Starfleet Command sooner regarding their situation? Prejudice and treachery intensifies.

As you can see I love any TNG story involving Klingons. I find them to be so fascinating because they’re so contradictory. Yet the more you find out about the feral Klingons in this story, the more you’ll pity them.

Strange New Worlds V (2002)

Edited by Dean Wesley Smith with John J. Ordover and Paula M. Block

I enjoyed “Disappearance on 21st Street”, “The Trouble With Borg Tribbles”, “Legal Action”, “The Peacemakers”, “Efflorescence”, “Kristin’s Conundrum”, “The Monkey Puzzle Box” and “The Farewell Gift”.

So there you have it, the first 20 Star Trek books worth reading. Let’s see if I can make it to the next 20. Or more.

 

 

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Enough With The ‘Star Trek’ Vs. ‘Star Wars’ Debates

Star Trek is turning 50, which means lots of new goodies for fans to consume with their wallets – among them collectors’ issues from your local magazine rack. Among these issues, expect to find, once again, the perennial Star Trek vs. Star Wars articles as to which franchise is better. Eyeroll please.

When I was a teenager, I was a Star Wars fan first and foremost. I had never seen any episodes of Star Trek, whether it was the Original Series, the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager. There were no TV stations playing the Original Series at the time (not even the then popular TV Land was airing the show regularly). Yet the no. 1 question I would get from people after learning that I loved Star Wars was “do you like Star Trek?” For years – even after I had become acquainted with the show – I had no clue there was supposed to be a “rivalry” between fans of both franchises. I ‘m convinced there isn’t and it’s all a pointless ploy by the media to create divisions and since it isn’t working, they won’t give up.

So to beat them at their own game, I’m going to tell you what both franchises have in common and why they both made our society all the richer for it (no, I will not point out the differences because they’re too obvious).

1. They Premiered In Double Digit Years.

Star Trek made it’s debut in 1966. Ten years later, in 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope  made its debut in theaters across the US. September 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. May 2017 will mark the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Lord, time flies!

2. Both Had Something To Say

Gene [Roddenberry] envisioned a future where humanity had overcome their fears and prejudices and were willing to use science and exploration to their advantage. George [Lucas] envisioned an epic space adventure story using age-old mythological tropes. Both franchises are morality plays that dealt with topical and age-old issues: racism, oppression, good and evil, the importance of loyalty, the need for teamwork, why we should be forgiving, why we should look for the good in others, and so forth. They also broke ground in representation: Star Trek was the first major sf show to depict a diverse crew – that included a technically savvy black woman, an Asian helmsman and a Russian at the time of the Cold War, who weren’t ethnic stereotypes –  regularly, while Star Wars broke ground by introducing cinema’s first action heroine, challenging traditional male stereotypes with its main character and introducing a black character in a position of power – 28 years before the US would vote in a black president. I would also like to add that The Phantom Menace brought us, for the first time in cinematic history, a queen who wasn’t evil.

Here’s another point: both had potential to be even more groundbreaking, had circumstances not gotten in the way: the Enterprise‘s second in command would’ve been a woman, Obi-Wan Kenobi would’ve played by Toshiro Mifune, etc. But either way, both franchises changed people’s lives.

But the average viewer/moviegoer wasn’t the only person to be inspired by these stories…

3. Both Have Inspired Scientists 

I KNOW what you’re going to say! Star Trek is sci-fi, Star Wars is space fantasy, so you can’t even put the two in the same camp. Try telling that to the many scientists who’ve been inspired by both franchises. While Star Trek is the more obvious of the two – check out the charming documentary How William Shatner Changed the World for more information – Star Wars, believe it or not, has also inspired scientists to “stretch out with their feelings” when it comes to their scientific endeavors, be it space travel, biology, or prosthetics. Here’s a list of scientists (and scientific discoveries) inspired by that galaxy far, far away:

Holly GriffithThe Crew of Expedition 45Israel SanchezJonathan ArmbrusterKelly B. Miller and Quentin D. WheelerNate Lo

Here’s another documentary to watch: Star Wars Tech.

4. Both Produced An Expansive Tie-In Novel Collection

Curious as to what happened to the the crew of  the MirrorEnterprise after the events of “Mirror, Mirror”? Want to know more about the birth and life of Khan Noonien Singh before he was introduced in “Space Seed”? Want to learn more about Vulcan philosophy or Klingon rituals? Star Trek has produced, so far, over 200 tie-in novels written by talented authors, who fill in the blanks left open by the shows and movies that answers many a fan’s burning questions. From 1977 to 2014 the Star Wars Expanded Universe answered questions regarding how the myriads of characters in that galaxy far, far away got involved in the situations presented in the movies: who was Darth Plagueis the Wise? Why do the Sith follow the Rule of Two? How did Luke rebuild the Jedi Order? What happened to the survivors of Order 66? After April of 2014, a new canon novel timeline was introduced which included the novelization of an unfinished story arc from the canceled Clone Wars TV series. Whether you prefer the EU or the CU is up for debate. Because of the successful sales of Trek and Wars books, other franchises, from the X-Files to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have also released tie-in novels furthering the adventures of their characters, albeit with less success.

Let’s also give a shout-out to all the comics, reference books and magazines published since ’66 and ’77.

5. Both Have Given Us Well-Written And Thought-Provoking Cartoons

If you were alive in 1973, were you under the impression that cartoons were silly, humorous entertainment strictly for kids and nothing more? Star Trek: The Animated Series shot that notion into a black hole with its intelligent, thought-provoking storylines, its continuation of groundbreaking moments (such as when Uhura briefly became captain of the Enterprise) lack of cutesy talking animal characters and its toned-downed humor. And because of that, the show won the franchise its first Emmy and paved the way for more serious, adult-oriented shows like Batman: The Animated Series. And if you ask me, Star Trek: TAS deserves more love.

In 2003 and 2008, Lucasfilm released two TV series that explored the war only hinted at in A New Hope and Attack of the Clones. The 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars used minimal dialogue to portray the earliest battles of the Clone Wars and introduced a new, scary villain (and also netted the franchise its first Emmy) while the 2oo8 Clone Wars gave us more details, a deeper philosophical insight into the Force, more ambiguous moral conundrums and a new iconic female character. That series also won an Emmy (eventually) and was Cartoon Network’s most watched show.

6. Lots And Lots of Merchandise

…And counting. Could sports or music memorabilia ever compete with a fan’s extensive Star Trek or Star Wars collection? That depends on who you ask. Start with Marc Bell or Steve Sansweet (warning: your mind will be blown or you may covet these collections).

So let’s follow George Takei’s advice and stop this silly rivalry. Remember only a Sith deals in absolutes.

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You can also buy this shirt over at Society 6 in any size you want!

 

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Planet X Puts Simon Pegg On Trial For Crimes Against The SF Community

(Note: This is a work of fiction. However, real people with real quotes have been inserted into this work of fiction. This is also an inaccurate example of a trial. I’ve tried my best to be as close to real life as possible, but this is a mock trial on another planet. And you know what they say: “when in Rome, do as the Romans”. If your reading this and your an expert on the criminal justice system, any and all corrections are welcome.)

All rise. The Court of Planet X is now in session. Judge John W. Campbell presiding. Please be seated. Calling the case of the people of Planet X versus self-proclaimed geek, Simon John Beckingham Pegg.

Me: Your Honor. Geeks and nerds of the jury. The defendant has been charged with the crimes of haughtiness, rudeness to his peers and disrespect to his elders regarding beloved sci-fi franchises. Four incidents of this disreputable behavior will be used as evidence.

Exhibit A: A Constant Nagging Criticism of George Lucas and the Star Wars Prequels.

The defendant has always let it be known that he has a boiling disdain for George Lucas’ 1999-2005 trilogy. He has spewed bile about it in interviews over and over again. Take this quote for instance:

And I think if anyone can pull Star Wars out of the mire its J.J. He’ll bring the fun back. Lucas seemed to misread what made the first ones great, and concentrate on things that people didn’t really care about, or willfully ignore the things that people cared about. Whereas J.J. embraced them all. We’re going to see the Millennium Falcon again. We’re going to see those characters again. All the things we see about the first three, we will see again.

Or there’s this one:

They’re a monumental misunderstanding of what the first three films are about. It’s an exercise in utter infanticide, like George Lucas killing his kid.

Yet many fans disagree with Pegg’s views. And his response leads to…

Exhibit B: Bully Those That Like The Star Wars Prequels.

This is what Mr. Pegg had to say about those fans. First is this little gem from his show Spaced:

Note: He plays character named Tim and he’s shouting at a little boy for liking “The Phantom Menace”

“You are so blind! You so do not understand! You weren’t there at the beginning. You don’t know how good it was! How important! This is it for you! People like you make me sick!…take your pocket money AND GET OUT!

[little boy runs out crying]

“What a prick.”

He didn’t stop there, he said nasty things about prequel fans out of character too:

I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good. They’re not.

Now that we’ve seen evidence related to Star Warriors let’s move on to the other fans Pegg has offended – the Trekkies.

Exhibit C: Outright Rudeness Toward Star Trek Fans.

Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek reboot was released in 2013. It has an 86% at Rotten Tomatoes and made 467.4 million at the box office. But looks can deceive. At a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Into Darkness was voted worst the worst Star Trek movie of all time. Pegg did not take kindly to the news. Here’s his kind, thoughtful response:

You know what…it absolutely isn’t the worst Star Trek movie. It’s asinine, you know. It’s ridiculous. And frustrating as well, because a lot of hard work and love went into that movie, and all JJ wanted to do was make a film that people enjoyed. So to be subject to that level of sort of, like, crass, fucking ire, I just say, fuck you.

But then his criticism of Star Trek fans shifted to sci-fi fans in general.

Exhibit D: Accusing SF of Dumbing Us Down

Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilized by our own taste. Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes…Adults are watching this stuff and taking it seriously!

And, not surprisingly, geeks did not take kindly to his words because he blamed everyone but himself.

Judge: The prosecution may call its first witness.

The People call the first witness, Israel Sanchez.

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Sanchez: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Me: Where do you work, Dr. Sanchez?

Sanchez: I work at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid.

Me: And what is your occupation, Dr. Sanchez?

Sanchez: I am a biologist.

Me: Can you tell us about the fossilized remains of this animal you discovered, Xenokeryx amidalae?

Sanchez: In central Spain, we discovered an amazingly preserved giraffe relative that lived between 23 million and 5 million years ago. Its physical characteristics included a short neck, two ossicones and a cranial, T-shaped appendage.

Me: And why did you name it, Xenokeryx amidalae?

Sanchez: If you remember the Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace film, when Padme Amidala is queen of her home planet Naboo, she shows off several complicated dresses and hairstyles. Well, one of the hairstyles from a scene in Coruscant is strikingly similar to the occipital appendage of Xenokeryx. Yes, I am a fan of Star Wars.

Me: And how does it make you feel to know that actor Simon Pegg has no respect for you?

Sanchez: I think it’s unfortunate, though I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him.

Me: Members of the court. I’d like to take this moment to name other famous fans of the Star Wars prequels: Robert Kirkman, comic book writer and creator of The Walking Dead. Joey Fatone, singer, dancer and former member of *Nsync. Actress Jaime King. Even more important are scientists like Nate Lo, who discovered bacteria in mitochondria and named it Midichloria mitochondrii. And last, but not least, astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren, Sergei Volkov, Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui and Mikhail Kornienko, who posed as jedi for their Expedition 45 portrait and watched Revenge of the Sith in space. These are the true geeks who, inspired by science fiction, the very genre Pegg says is “infantilizing us”, spend their lives studying the world around us and using their findings to help society better understand our world. And because their tastes are different from Pegg, he has no respect for them. Thank you, Dr. Sanchez.

Judge: The witness is excused. The prosecution may call the next witness.

The People call George Takei.

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Takei: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Me: Mr. Takei, tell us your occupation and work history.

Takei: I am a 61-year veteran actor and activist. I played Enterprise helmsman Sulu on Star Trek.

Me: Mr. Takei, can you tell us about the week of July 4, 2015?

Takei: I was informed by John Cho, the actor who plays a younger version of my Star Trek character – that it would be revealed that Sulu would have a husband and a young daughter – as a form of inclusion and as a nod to me as a gay man. This decision was made by Simon, who wrote the screenplay and Justin Lin, the director.

Me: And what was your reaction to the news, Mr. Takei?

Takei:

I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.

Me: So what did you suggest to them?

Takei: I told them to…

Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly revealed as being closeted.

This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision…carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character.

Me: And did they respect your wishes?

Takei: I thought so at first. But they didn’t.

Me: What was Mr. Pegg’s response?

Takei: He said that he respectfully disagrees with me and that if he created a new gay character, it would be tokenism because audiences would just see that character as “the gay character”.

Me: And what did he say about Mr. Gene Roddenberry?

Takei: He said…

The viewing audience weren’t open-minded enough at the time and it must have forced Roddenberry to modulate his innovation. His mantra was always ‘infinite diversity in infinite combinations’. If he could have explored Sulu’s sexuality with George, he no doubt would have.

Me: Your Honor. Members of the jury. I did not use Mr. Takei’s predicament as Exhibit E, because I felt it was better to hear the victim tell his story in his own words. And it’s this recent incident that convinces me that Mr. Pegg should be found guilty.

Here he is, once again, declaring that he knows the franchises he claims to love better than the creators that spent, hours, days, months and years imagining, writing, outlining and fighting for their work to be released to the public. Franchises that he had nothing to do with in the first place. He was a consultant on The Force Awakens, despite the irrefutable fact that he was only 7 years old when A New Hope was released and had no involvement whatsoever with the making of the original trilogy. They already hired Lawrence Kasdan, the co-screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back to write the script. Because of this, The Force Awakens lacked creativity and originality. It was nothing more than big budget fan fiction with no heart and no soul. And now Pegg is using his delusions of grandeur against not only against Mr. Takei, a legend and icon among many, but the late Mr. Gene Roddenberry, by assuming he knows Roddenberry – a man he has never met – better than Takei, a man whose worked closely with Roddenberry for 23 years. And Pegg is now in charge of the screenplay for the 13th Trek film, Star Trek Beyond. Why? This man wasn’t even conceived when the very first Star Trek series premiered on September 8, 1966. Now, with him at the helm, so to speak, his decision to turn an established straight character, gay, is not only lazy, it’s inconsistent with Trek mythology. Since these contemporary films are prequels, it would be awkward to show Sulu with a family, and then watch the Original Series and wonder why he never brings them up in casual conversation. For gay fans of Star Trek, it would look as if Sulu went back into the closet. It would make Kirk’s aside about not knowing that Sulu had time to start a family in Star Trek Generations, all the more perplexing. I will close my arguments by pointing out that making Sulu gay as a tribute to Mr. Takei is undermining Mr. Takei’s work as an actor, a job that requires you pretend you’re something other than yourself for the sake of suspending audiences’ beliefs for an hour or two. That his sexuality is the only thing that defines him despite the fact that the roles he took as a Japanese American man broke barriers.

Judge: Will the jury foreperson please stand? Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?

Foreperson: Yes. The jury finds the defendant…guilty.

Judge: Thank you jury. Ladies and Gentlemen. Due to the amounting evidence against Mr. Pegg, I think we can’t afford to wait another day to give the defendant his punishment.

From this day, forward, Mr. Pegg, you will be stripped of any film making duties, be it screenplays, producing, directing, editing and creative consultant. You will be restricted to acting and acting in other’s films only. However, you will be suspended for one year from film roles to spend the next two years, with worker’s compensation, reading and studying the works and history of science fiction. You will be given all the major classics of SF, from Asimov to Zelazny, to complete while wearing a different Star Wars prequel t-shirt everyday.

Court dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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