two star trek posts in a week, and yet i never saw one episode of voyager

monkey mulling

The above picture has nothing to do with Star Trek. But it does relate to the greatest headline I have ever read, which also has nothing to with Star Trek. Check it out: “Monkeys Ponder What Could Have Been.”

OK, back to the topic at hand. I thought I was done with Star Trek. But here I am, talking about it again. And hopefully talking in a deep, manly voice, not the juvenile whine that was my only real problem with the casting.

I thought maybe I was just imagining things until I read this piece pondering why Kirk comes off as such a douchebag . . . as in, what did he do in this movie that would make anyone feel like following him? I didn’t actually have a problem with that notion—just about every movie concerning a character achieving his destiny usually features that jarring moment when he goes from “irritating ne’er-do-well” to “beloved leader.” (Though the author of said essay takes issues with that, too, and I get his point.) I mean, it’s a sci-fi action-adventure flick. Eventually they have to cut to the chase and just say: look, this guy’s the captain now because we said so. Now on to the thrilling conclusion!

But the one thing that nagged me about the movie might have something to do with this impression: both Christopher Pine, who plays Kirk, and Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, have speaking voices much higher and—well, less leadery—than Billy Shats or Leonard Nimoy. They look the part, sure, but both Shatner and Nimoy spoke with a deep, welling confidence that communicated: I know what I’m doing, even if I can’t explain why I’m bagging this bright red alien princess. And you believed it.

By comparison, Pine’s Kirk sounds like the punk kid he is at the beginning of the movie—problem is, he also sounds that way at the end when he takes command. And Quinto’s Spock sounds like the most sensitive therapist in the whole wide world.

And if you don’t think the power of a voice is important . . . imagine the inevitable Star Wars remake 25 years from now, when they recast Darth Vader with Chris Rock doing the voice. It just isn’t the same.

Enjoy the weekend. If possible, ponder what could have been.

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