Let’s boldly go along with the bard

Daniel J. Rowe

It all began with a list after watching Star Trek Beyond, and the ensuing discussion that ended with, ‘oh yeah. Well how do you rank the films?

Here’s my list:

Yeah, that’s right. Nemesis is last. How dare they dispose of Lieutenant Commander Data in that way!
Anyway, my friend Tommy posted this picture while going over my list:
and then replied with:
Cue comments from every trekie, treker, and whatever the new-era trek nerds call themselves, and a whole bunch of eye rolls from those who didn’t spend their youths watching the NCC-1701-D fly through the galaxies.
Ok, so why are you telling me this Daniel?
Here’s why.
The ensuing long-winded discussion as to why each of us placed which movie where (Nemesis is the worst? You actually liked the Motion Picture? Stop being a hipster. You’re being the hipster), the question of Shakespeare arose.
Tommy, it seems, did not appreciate the amount of Shakespearean dialogue in the Undiscovered Country, while I thought it was what pushed it ahead of the hipster picks (i.e. The Wrath of Kahn and Search for Spock).
In addition to the ultra-cool post-Cold War allegory, presence of Iman (I mean come on!), and great pace of the movie, the Bard is what gives it some of its finest lines.
So without further ado, General Chang (Christopher Plummer):

Shivers. Check this movie out. It’s incredible.

Shakespeare has lent his ever-relevant voice to many Shakespeare episodes (some may or may not have grasped the actual context of the play, as Eric Jean will explain to you in gross detail), and it is the bard who infuses some of the joy of certain Star Trek episodes. Captain Picard (I would argue) is the best at dropping bard lines.

It’s kind of unavoidable as Star Trek, like Shakespeare, is interested in the human condition about all else, and it’s what makes both so timeless.

It answers the question, why do we keep watching Shakespeare plays? The same reason we keep watching Star Trek, because we are human. Just ask commander Data.

I end with an anecdote that proves this point.

I was watching S03E15 of TNG recently (Yesterday’s Enterprise), and got choked up. Why? I’ve seen it like 10 times. What is it that keeps me coming back and sitting in suspense as NCC-1701-C tries to make it through the temporal rift? Why does that short conversation between Tasha Yar (Oh Denise, why did you leave in the first place?) and Guinan (Whoopie’s finest hour) evoke such emotion?

If you can answer that for me, feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s a hint: it’s because I’m human (I think).

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