Tag: Star Trek

RIP and Thank You, Lieutenant Uhura


I wasn’t allowed to stay up to watch Star Trek (the original series) during its first run (though I dearly wanted to) but watched it faithfully in syndication. When my mother would ask me to turn off the TV, I would say, “But I haven’t seen this one all the way through!” (Usually lying.)

As the members of the original cast pass away, it saddens me. This is very much true as I learned today of the death of Nichelle Nichols.  We talked recently at the Movie Fight Club of childhood crushes and she was one of mine.

Star Trek was a politically liberal show for its time. But it was classically liberal, which meant back then that it called for racial equality and fair play. It could be hamfisted in this at times (such as the episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”), but it was mostly all for the good.

Woke Star Trek: World War 3 Started on January 6


Star Trek: Brave New Worlds was supposed to be the show that fixed all the many, many problems of Star Trek: Discovery (STD). Specifically, STD represented a fully woke version of Trek, entirely focused on a Messianic minority female lead, with the established history of the Trek universe retconned, coupled with dark, dreary, and nonsensical storylines about time-traveling “red angels” and all the dilithium in the universe exploding because an alien was sad or something.  (Red Letter Media nailed STD.) STD capped this off by casting Stacey Abrams as the president of United Earth. (Eyeroll)

Producers supposedly developed the series in response to fans’ demand for more episodic shows that were more in line with the original Star Trek vision of an optimistic future. The premier episode of STSNW featured Captain Christopher Pike explaining to an alien race how World War 3 began on Earth. It apparently was MAGA that started it.

Where No One Has Gone Before


I hope that my fellow Richochetti are Trekkies, too. I know that @jameslileks certainly is. I’d like to talk about something–anything–other than politics. I was excited to see that, yet again, we have landed a rover on Mars. I can’t get over how cool it is that we can put such an advanced piece of equipment on another planet. It got me thinking about space. So, let’s talk about something that no one has strong opinions about . . . Star Trek.

What I want to know is this: what is your favorite Star Trek episode and why?

The (First) Final Frontier: The Enduring Appeal of Star Trek and The Moral Imagination


One of the things that has been keeping me sane in (solitary) lockdown is movie nights with my friends. With two close guy friends from high school, in particular, I have a weekly date for a movie at 8 p.m. EST (1 a.m. GMT) and this week it was my turn to pick the film. I had given the selection a fair bit of thought ahead of time, and presented them with a few options that I thought would be fun to watch; we settled on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

One of my friends had never seen any Star Trek property, and the other had only seen the new films, although his dad had been pressuring him to try the older ones. At the end of the film, they were so taken by what we had watched that it was decided we are going to Zoom again to watch an episode of The Original Series (any of my selection) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock on Friday.* Such an enthusiastic response left me wondering, what exactly is the magic of the original films and show?

I am not much of a sci-fi fan and tend to be picky about TV because I don’t watch particularly much, so it surprised even me how much I enjoyed TOS the first time I watched it in high school. Although I’ve dabbled in the other properties, none of them ever provoked the lasting affection or interest that the ‘66 series and its movies did for me. Likewise, the friend that had seen the new J.J. Abrams films had never bothered with the originals because, though he thought the new movies were good, he didn’t think they were special.

President Trump and the Kobayashi Maru


Every day, the Democrat-Media Complex and their allies in the anti-Trump cabal go on the attack against President Trump. Yesterday, it was because President Trump served fast food to the Clemson National Championship football team. If President Trump had served them fine foods, he would have been attacked for living the high-life while Government bureaucrats were missing paychecks. You could literally — not figuratively — pick any day of his presidency and find the press attacking Trump over something ridiculous, false, or dubious.

For Trump (any Republican president, really, but particularly and especially Trump), every day is the Kobayashi Maru Scenario. For those who don’t know, the Kobayashi Maru scenario is a Star Trek thing. It is a test that potential Star Fleet captains are subjected to. The scenario is designed such that the captain will fail no matter what action he takes. “It’s a test of character,” as Captain Kirk explained. Likewise, the Democrat-Media Complex has created an environment where a Republican can’t win. (And through a bizarre, reverse-Kobayashi Maru, a Democrat president [or senator, or governor] can’t lose. It’s like the Kobayashi Maru from the Spock-With-A-Goatee Mirror Universe where you always win, but you have to be evil.)

Member Post


Creators of Star Trek: The Next Generation had an opportunity to give us a high quality, intelligent series, superior in every point to the original. Sometimes, especially in later seasons, it delivered. But with outlandish costumes, tedious dialogue, corny plots, cheesy effects, and mediocre actors, it was just another offering to loyal sci-fi fans. Here is a […]

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Of Trek and Trolleys


I am a geek (If this is news to you, Hi! Welcome to Ricochet!) and the recent announcement of Sir Patrick’s return to Star Trek (in some manner we know nothing about and that inshallah won’t be an amalgam of Star Trek Nemesis attempts to make a 70-year-old man an action star and early seasons of TNG that gave Picard “here’s how we’re so much better than you” speeches) has got my friends all in a tizzy. We’re reexamining best captains, best series, best seasons, and best episodes, and I noticed a theme that crops up over and over again in Star Trek: how to resolve the trolley problem.

The trolley problem is a thought exercise in ethical philosophy: a trolley is barreling toward five people on the track. You can’t stop it, but you could switch the tracks so the train hits one person instead. Is it ethical to deliberately act to kill one in order to save five? Well, we know the toddler solution to the problem:

Member Post


This post contains spoilers for the entire first season of Star Trek: Discovery, and especially about the season finale. The picture in the middle may itself be considered a spoiler too. The finale is kind of a letdown but if you still want to see it without being spoiled, you should stop reading now. The […]

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ACF Middlebrow #3


This week’s podcast starts with me asking James what movies he’d like to be defined by — what he loves, what he admires, what he wants the kids to see, and how the movies affected him growing up. It’s Casablanca, Star Trek, Aliens, and Radio Days — and it’s a fun conversation. Join us, enjoy, and please share!

A Tale of Two Treks: Thoughts on “Star Trek: Discovery”


Discovering Discovery

Sunday night we got the mid-season finale of the premiere season of “Star Trek: Discovery.” If you don’t follow these things, “Discovery” is a new Trek series, available only on the CBS All Access streaming platform. In the Star Trek timeline, it is set roughly 10 years before the Original Series adventures of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. And unlike the miserable trio of recent Star Trek movies, which are set in a separate timeline, “Discovery” exists in the same canon as the five other Trek television series and the first 10 films.

I had a lot of hesitation before the series premiered. The show was delayed and delayed again. We were supposed to get last fall, then in January, then in May, and finally in September. There was almost no information that came out about the series ahead of the premiere. We got drips and drabs. And none of it was good.

7 of 9, the Borg Who Changed History


Today is the seventh of September, in other words, 7 of 9. It seems like a good time to ponder the actress who played the character of 7 of 9 on Star Trek: Voyager and her role in American History. Because, you see, Jeri Ryan had the most profound impact on American politics as an actor since John Wilkes Booth. Without her, Barack Obama would not have been president.

From 1991-1999, Jeri Ryan was married to Republican Jack Ryan, governor of Illinois and one of the precious few not to be indicted for corruption. They divorced in 1999, and by mutual agreement, their divorce records were sealed. Then, in 2004, Jack Ryan was running for the US Senate against a state senator by the name of Barack Obama, and his chances were looking pretty good as he had been a popular governor.

But then, Obama’s political operatives persuaded a judge to release the sealed divorce records, which included accusations Jeri Ryan made against Jack Ryan that he had wanted to take her to sex clubs and have sex in public. Jack Ryan denied the charges, but the scandal ended his campaign and resulted in Barack Obama being elected senator, then president.

Member Post


The folks behind CBS’s new much-delayed, repeatedly reworked, and obnoxiously PC Star Trek series have nothing but loathing and contempt for the Trek fan base, but expect them to tune in anyway. Jason Isaacs, who plays Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery, had some words for die-hard Star Trek fans. “I don’t mean to sound irreverent […]

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