You Are, and Always Will Be, My Friend

"Out of Darkness" | Art by Lasse17. Used with permission.
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 Kirk’s plans and makes Kirk think twice before proceeding. He isn’t afraid to advise him on what to do, such as on how to defeat Kahn or how to disarm the torpedoes. How often am I afraid to be honest with my friends because I don’t want to lose their friendship? But it’s when I’m comfortable enough to do so without fear of rejection that a solid friendship can form.

Scottie and Forgiveness

Scottie felt like he couldn’t morally obey Kirk’s orders when they were to carry torpedoes with unknown contents on board. Kirk insisted upon keeping them despite Scottie’s judgment, forcing Scottie to resign. Later on, when Kirk needed Scottie’s help, Scottie had to forgive Kirk for the wrong he’d done, which repaired their friendship.

No one likes admitting they’re wrong, but hopefully, like Kirk and Scottie, one friend is humble enough to apologize when they’ve made a mistake, and the other is forgiving. The reality is that mistakes are going to happen. My friends are going to hurt me at some point; I am going to hurt them. It’s a matter of whether I’m willing to push aside my pride for the sake of the relationship.

Spock and Acceptance

Kirk and Spock are quite the opposites. While Kirk was raised in Oklahoma by a single mother and has a tendency for sweet-talking women and making rash decisions, Spock was raised by two loving parents on Vulcan and he is calculated and collected. This pair clashes in many instances, whether over how they would handle a mission or how they would handle a disagreement between crewmembers.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

At the beginning of the film, Kirk makes a rash decision by breaking the rules and reveals the Enterprise’s presence to a primitive race, violating the Prime Directive. Meanwhile, Spock attempts to sacrifice himself for the mission without taking into account his friends’ emotions. He doesn’t understand their reactions, because he believes it to be a logical choice. By the end of the film, Spock learns that his way isn’t the only way to go about things and he decides to take a page from Kirk’s book by breaking the rules to defeat Kahn.

Accepting my friends for who they are is important to my relationships. I can change and grow, but I don’t want to feel forced into becoming something I’m not.

Kirk and Sacrifice

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This doesn’t have to always mean literally dying for your friends, but it can mean giving up parts of your life for a friend; if one of my friends is sick, I might keep them company instead of attending a big concert, for example. In the instance with James Kirk, however, it means to literally give his life for the starship’s crew. When the Enterprise’s power fails, he knowingly goes on the suicide mission to fix the ship’s core and dies because of it.

Every time it gets to the point alluding to Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan’s famous line, “You are, and always will be, my friend,” I am brought to tears. That kind of sacrifice is so selfless, so loving, I can’t help but find it beautiful.

The crew of the Starship Enterprise are friends until the end of their days and it is those kinds of selfless relationships that last a lifetime.

Victoria Grace Howell

Victoria Grace Howell

Contributing Writer at Area of Effect
Victoria Grace Howell is an award-winning writer of speculative fiction and an editor for Geeks Under Grace. When not typing away at her novels, she enjoys drawing her characters, blogging, Kung Fu, cosplaying, and a really good hot cup of tea.
Victoria Grace Howell

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