Edgewise #5 – Star Trek: The MovieNovember 1st, 2011 | Posted by in Columns and Essays
This is Dwayne’s second Edgewise column about Star Trek – or as he described it, “The first movie caps a very bad day for Dwayne.”
The disembodied Brains’ telepathic voices thundered in my head, “Dwayne, let’s get real for just a moment here. As we look upon our creation, this vast resource of up-to-the-minute news, insightful reviews, sparkling commentary and inside information that men call FANTASTICON, we are forced to make a grave admission. It’s insufficiently fantastic. One might more accurately label it, “PRETTYGOODCON.” And it’s all your fault. Your stupid column is screwing up the curve for everyone.”
At first, the Mighty Brains threatened to punish me by erasing my brain and using it for extra storage, they have to put Internet Explorer 5 somewhere, they reasoned. Eventually though, mercy prevailed and I was sentenced to write about STAR TREK. I guess it was mercy. Come to think of it, it may be a punishment for all the nasty things I said about FARSCAPE a few weeks back. The ways of these great beings are ineffable. I on the other hand, am eminently effable. Hence, part two of my survey on all things STAR TREK.
STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE
Opening day of this movie was supposed to be one of the best days of my young life. I had it all planned out. First, my high school homecoming, a basketball game against Alex Manoogian, the only school my sorry team could dependably stomp. Then, off to the movies to enjoy the first new STAR TREK in 13 years (The cartoon doesn’t count because I never watched it. Dwayne’s Fourth Law of Science Fiction: “If I didn’t see it, it’s not canon”). This turned out to be a lousy plan. We lost the game, the first time in school history we were ever beaten by the school I fondly referred to as “the Washington Capitals of high school basketball.” Then, my teammates and I made our biggest unforced error of the evening, we went to the movie.
You ever go to see a movie and you really want to like it? You’re sitting there patiently, hoping that something, anything entertaining will occur? Well, we sat there a good, long while. As our boredom and restlessness grew, it was Carlos Goodman, high-scoring forward and first in my peer group to grow a respectable beard, who finally broke the ice. “This,” he shouted across the theater, “sucks!”
Carlos got a standing ovation.
STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE initiated two dependable trends that remain with us to this day. One, the oft-reported thing about all odd-numbered STAR TREK movies being stinkers. Let’s not belabor the point. Face it, it’s true. Two, aliens are just humanoids with bones in their foreheads and weird hair. Well, it beats Muppets, I suppose.
I’m out of space again and only now beginning to realize how cruel and subtle is my punishment. I thought STAR TREK was going to be a two-part column, maybe three tops. But I’ve got ten movies and three series to go and for all I know, they’ll release a new movie or cough up a new series or two before I can even finish trashing the old ones. Well, unlike Sisyphus, I’m only going to push this particular rock uphill when there’s nothing better to do. So next week, either part three of STAR TREK, or a new column on something else that catches my eye.
Dwayne McDuffie is the writer and co-creator of several comic books, including DAMAGE CONTROL, ICON and THE ROAD TO HELL. He figures he’ll probably end up doing more STAR TREK next week, as there’s nothing cool coming up on TV until May sweeps.