You Are, and Always Will Be, My Friend Jun27

You Are, and Always Will Be, My Friend...

One of the many reasons I love Star Trek is that the series highlights friendships. The romances come and go, but the friendships, when the right effort is put in, endure. It reminds me of my own experience. I only have a handful of friends who have withstood the test of time, and they mean the world to me. In Star Trek: Into Darkness, many of the characters display key factors to working, lasting friendships. This diverse crew struggles through much conflict, whether it stems from outside circumstances or their own biases and emotions. But when push comes to shove, the crew of the Enterprise are steadfast and enduring. I especially appreciate the attributes of trust, honesty, forgiveness, acceptance, and sacrifice they exhibit. Sulu and Trust For the Enterprise to run smoothly, the crew has to put their faith in each other, especially in cases such as letting a crewmember command as acting captain. When Kirk goes with Spock onto a Klingon-space planet, he leaves Sulu in charge to manage the ship. Though McCoy is nervous about this situation, Kirk has enough trust and confidence in Sulu that he can get the job done, which he does. Giving control over to someone else and trusting them to get the job done can be challenging, especially if you are one of those people who likes to do everything yourself. Trusting someone else when the stakes are high is the mark of true friendship. It is difficult to be honest, especially when honesty could mean jeopardizing a job or a relationship. McCoy and Honesty It is difficult to be honest, especially when honesty could mean jeopardizing something important to you, like a job or a relationship. McCoy is candid with Kirk despite the possible repercussions. He plays the devil’s advocate to many of...

Remember Jon Snow Dec09

Remember Jon Snow

Pick a quote! Any quote! “You know nothing, Jon Snow”? Classic. “The Lannisters send their regards”? Brutal. But my favorite Game of Thrones quote is the one that keeps on giving, the one that we continue to hear as the show progresses, the one that’s perhaps the most meaningful of all: “Winter is coming.” These three words, the motto of House Stark, hang heavy over Westeros. Early in the series, they function as a lyrical anchor, beautiful words that help us understand the Starks, the geographic location of their home, and their hardiness. But even then, we know the maxim belies greater meaning. A long, horrible winter is coming, and this frightful season will befall everyone in the series—the good, the bad, and all the others in the vast spectrum between. For five seasons now, ancient families and their armies (and sometimes dragons) have jockeyed for the throne. All the while the White Walkers, undead and hostile beings, have been looming as a threat, growing stronger as winter prepares to blow in. Most of the Game of Thrones’ events have solely focused on the the crown, despite warnings from Jon Snow and others that a much larger menace, one that could overwhelm the entirety of Westeros, is coming. What I do here and now has an eternal impact and time is short.In the eighth episode of Season Five, the White Walkers strike, devastating the wildling town of Hardhome (for which the episode is named). Though the wildlings put up a valiant fight, they are unable to stop the invading force, even with the help of the Night Watch. Zombie apocalypse: imminent. Or maybe not. During the battle of Hardhome, Jon Snow discovers that his sword, made of Valyrian steel, is able to annihilate White Walkers. Until this time, the belief...

Retreating into mercy Nov11

Retreating into mercy...

One of the main characteristics that makes the Doctor a unique sci-fi hero is his non-violence in the face of danger. Whereas Han Solo prefers a good blaster (and shoots first!) and Mal reckons a good ol’ punch in the face will resolve a problem better than yammering ever could, the Doctor uses intelligence and reasoning, luck and audacity (and sonic devices) to vanquish his often brutal enemies—the Daleks, Cybermen, and even the Master. Since the show’s original premiere on November 23, 1963 (a day after the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy shocked the world), there has been much made of the Doctor’s refusal to meet violence with violence like a more traditional “heroic” character. The two-part episode, “Human Nature/ The Family of Blood” from the third series of the reboot offers a deep reflection on the Doctor’s non-violence. Here the Doctor is merciful, while John Smith (the human he transforms into in order to hide from the Family of Blood, an alien race hunting his life essence), is not. As a human, John Smith is a “good man” but flawed, predictably returning violence for violence—like so many of us do. The Doctor knows he can win, but opts to lose himself in order to avoid destroying his “enemies.” At the beginning of the episode (written by Paul Cornell and based on his own Seventh Doctor novel, Human Nature), we find the Tenth Doctor living as a teacher in an early Edwardian British public school under his well-worn alias, John Smith. He has repressed his Time Lord identity into a fob watch, forgotten all but dreams of his adventures. He and his companion Martha are in hiding, on the run from the Family. It is not until the end of the episode, after the...