Good morning, Trekkies! I come from a multigenerational Trekkie family, so I’m cool with the nickname. You non-Trekkies might enjoy this too, because we all love a great fandom, right? STAR TREK is one of the oldest and most fun. In case you’re wondering, I’m also a Tolkien Nerd.
Today I start a new series of posts counting down to the release of the new series, Star Trek Picard, on January 23rd. Each post will be my thoughts on my favorite episode for each of the characters seen in the trailers who were in previous shows, about once a month. I’ll also be Tweeting daily. So far this includes Picard, Data, Riker, Deanna Troi, and Hugh from The Next Generation and Seven of Nine from Voyager. If I’ve missed any, please let me know in the Comments. Thanks.
Trekkies come from all walks of life because the franchise has had over fifty years to touch on just about every aspect of being human. The techno-geeks get a lot of attention and it is well-earned. Thanks to The Original Series Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura) listening to the advice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.…
Mae Jemison was inspired to grow up and become an astronaut, for example.
But, I’m not all that. If I didn’t have my baby boy (way taller than me now) to help, I wouldn’t know where the ‘on’ button is on this computer.
Yep, I’m baby-crazy. Always have been. Heck, I spent thousands of dollars to become a trained nanny. And then I had a whole bunch of babies of my own! So, when I watch Star Trek anything, I’m coming to it from a whole other perspective.
Which brings me to my favorite Captain Picard episode from Star Trek The Next Generation.
In a nutshell, Captain Picard, Guinan, Keiko, and Ensign Ro Laren are transformed into children by a transporter accident. While trying to figure out how to change them back, the Enterprise-D is seized by a group of renegade Ferengi.
The young actors who portrayed these four established adult characters were absolutely amazing and impeccable in their performances! David Tristan Birkin even got the ‘Picard Maneuver’ down. (Psst, that’s what we call it when Captain Picard adjusts the top of his uniform from riding up on him.)
I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Young Guinan and Young Ro Laren, because the latter had a miserable childhood in a refugee camp. The ever-wise-regardless-of-age Guinan got her back in touch with the joy that being a kid can be.
The episode referred to the on-site daycare center, Primary One, when Young Keiko asked after her daughter’s well-being.
And we got to see inside the school.
Can you imagine growing up on a starship? I sure can! In fact, I have a bunch of stories rattling around in my head about it. But, I’m not quite mature enough as a writer to tell them just yet.
I was honored with some writing advice from lifelong Star Trek fan, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, when I complained about all the stories cluttering up my imagination like a pile of dirty, mismatched socks. She told me (I’m paraphrasing) to start with the stories I already had the skills for, keep growing and learning, and then write the other stories once I develop the skills for them. She also pointed me to a wonderful book on screenwriting called Save the Cat!
I have NO desire to become a screenwriter.
Nevertheless, this book and other books on screenwriting really helped me with my story structuring problems. I don’t come by that naturally, like other novelists. It’s quite painful hard work for me.
Jean-Luc Picard is still captain, even if he looks like a twelve year old child. He expertly rallies the troops (all children) and formulates a plan to liberate his ship. Hilariously, he kicks it off by throwing a tantrum in order to visit his “dad,” Commander Riker, to include him in the mission.
Interestingly, in the second Star Trek Picard trailer, you’ll hear a child yell, “Dad! And Riker is that dad. I think it’s so wonderful he and Counselor Troi finally became parents. Well, of course, I would!
I think the Theme of this episode can be best reflected in Guinan’s last advice to the Young Ro Laren who found herself reluctant to return to adulthood (can totally identify) and stayed behind in the schoolroom. “Well, that’s the wonderful thing about crayons,” said Guinan. “They can take you to more places than a starship.”
Star Trek The Next Generation is playing on CBS All Access, as well as Netflix. It can also be bought at your favorite online store or checked out for free on DVD or Blu-Ray at your local library. I keep up with all things Star Trek mostly on Twitter.
P.S. Check out this Guest Post by the aforementioned lady- Jacqueline Lichtenberg, An Enduring Author
Live Long And Prosper.