Starlog #19: “I want to live, however briefly, knowing my life is finite. Mortality gives meaning to human life, captain. Peace, love, friendship. These are precious because we know they cannot endure. A butterfly that lives forever is really not a butterfly at all.” -Data
Scott asks, “What do you think is the best Star Trek story ever told?” Is it an episode or film that draws some of its power from allegories of real history? Are stories stronger when evoking events or when the writers are free to invent from their imagination?
When I first read the question all kinds of episodes and movies came to mind. What left an impact, what made me cry? Certain character story arcs popped up and the first one always is Data’s. It’s got nothing to do with history of any kind but saying goodbye to a loved one. Or just seeing someone else lose someone they love even though you do not have a connection to them, seeing them cry and you feel it, you feel that dread, just so many emotions and that’s what Data’s goodbye, originally, left me with.
I’m really glad ST PICARD picked that story back up and gave Data a well deserved goodbye.
I saw ST Nemesis in the Cinema and I was mad, I was disappointed and just full of utter disbelieve that Data “died”.
We all connect to the characters, some of us more than others and see it as just entertainment but there’s more to them isn’t there? They portray each and every one of them, a part of us. A realization, an idea, a dream, a fear,….
ST Voyager and ST Enterprise’s ending left me bereft. I got no other word, I was disappointed and am really glad they continued the story in the ST Novels.
Continuing on evoking emotions, I loved the first episode of ST TNG. The reunion of the two alien lifeforms.
Another that comes to mind is the Xindi attacking Earth in ST Enterprise and Trip losing his sister which always felt to me a direct reminder of what people went through during 9/11. This is one of the examples where the writers use an alien environment reflecting back on something that happened in real life.
Another moment that probably sticks to every Star Trek fan; THAT scene in The Wrath of Khan “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” and “I have been and always shall be your friend.”
Or when Kirk’s son David dies, when Seven of Nine’s adopted “son” One sacrifices himself. Data’s “daughter” Lal’s death.
All of these aren’t the best stories ever told in a history sense but leave such an emotional impact, it touches us all.
Story arc-wise I love ST First Contact. As a space and astronomy geek, that movie was the Star Trek story line I wanted to see connected to our own history and future.
The whole ST Voyager Borg storyline.
All the mirror-verse dark episodes where the crew turns bad or on the other side of the morality compass. Because we all are part dark and part light, it’s what side we choose to feed that makes us who we are.
All this ramble because it brings forward so many memories. There’s a hundred more stories I could put in here but even if the stories are written derived from our own actual history or newly created out of the writer’s talents, it always leaves an impact. I don’t feel either way it affects us more or less.
All of our lives are a story with a beginning and an end and some chapters are written for us and others we create ourselves and sometimes it’s in black ink and sometimes it’s rainbow colors.