This may shock you, because it kinda shocked me, but I have NEVER WRITTEN ANYTHING ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION ON MY BLOG. This is one of those massive, embarrassing oversights that needs to be corrected, STAT. It's true, I have mentioned offhand my love of Star Wars and Star Trek a couple times, but, much like my ode to sandwiches yesterday, which I hope you all enjoyed (And thanks for the recipe, Aims!) I have not yet given my love of science fiction its due. So, here it is.
I love any movie or television series that is set in space. Or any movie that centers around science fiction, however remotely. You know Hugh Dancy's character in The Jane Austen Book Club? Pretty much my dream dude.
My family didn't have a lot of traditions when I was growing up. At least, not ones that I can remember. However, one weekly tradition that I still recall with fondness was sitting together in our living room and watching Star Trek: the Next Generation every week. My parents got the off-white couch that was actually a hide-a-bed (which was so heavy that we cursed its existence every time we moved ... which was often) and I got the green bean bag chair which was filled with ACTUAL BEANS. Around season five of the show, the beans started leaking out and driving my mother crazy. She took to vacuuming during the closing theme each week.
Non-believers will mock me for saying this, but Star Trek really does have something for everyone. In any given episode of TNG, there was usually a romantic/human interest subplot and an action/adventure subplot. There would be moments of humor and tenderness and tension all packed into one glorious hour. My dad is very much a heavy-handed crime show/sci-fi kind of guy, whereas my mom leans much more towards light-hearted mystery novels and romantic comedies. At the time, I was like six and enjoyed anything with interesting-looking people that I could pretend to be on the playground. We all thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek. It was a really, really good show.
I never watched Star Trek: the Original Series, but I watched Next Generation and Voyager faithfully. My parents were really into Deep Space Nine, but when that show was on the air I was too immature to understand the slightly more mature thematic elements that characterized DS9, and was thus easily bored by it. By the time Enterprise came along, I was living on my own without a television. I would say that my love of Star Trek lay dormant for many years, for although I watched the one season I had of it on DVD when no one else was home (until an insane klepto roommate made off with it a few years ago) I never really admitted to liking Star Trek in public. Then, one day, I saw this preview at the Cinemark 16 in Provo, Utah and I very nearly pissed my pants with excitement. J.J. Abrams, I may not love all you do, man (*cough cough LOST cough cough*) but thank you, good sir, for making Star Trek sexy again. Assuming it ever was.
The truth is, I have always really loved and admired the Star Trek universe, and by extension all Science Fiction universes, even though some of its most ardent devotees are admittedly kinda crazy. My dad made me watch Star Wars on a fairly regular basis as a child because he felt I was too "full of passion" (probably true) and needed to be reminded of the danger of succumbing to pure emotions such as anger. He also made me meditate all the time. I wish I were joking. Perhaps this tainted my fond memories of Star Wars with a little bit of daddy issues, but I still really enjoy the movies, so don't worry. I plan to continue the Thanksgiving tradition I totally stole from my Provo family (specifically Ekitzel) of watching all three Star Wars movies after Thanksgiving dinner (the original theatrical versions, for crying out loud). Future husband, you have been warned.
I think the reason why Star Trek appeals to me slightly more than Star Wars is that it is more orderly and humane, and thus a lot less realistic. Everything in the Star Trek world is clean and generally peaceful, and even when people die, there isn't any blood. That was the kind of life I craved during my topsy turvy childhood. Star Wars is messy and scuffed and people are just as complex and greedy as they are in real life. It was still escapist, mind you, but slightly less so. In the Star Trek future they don't even have money! It's a liberal dreamland!
Oh, my gosh. Is Star Trek the reason I became a Socialist?
Star Trek is the future I wish for, even though Star Wars is the future we are more likely to get.