Everyone and their mother, brother, sister, grandma, family dog, pen pal, mailman, paperboy, and Great Aunt Helen is talking about how excited they are to see Star Trek this weekend. Everyone, it seems, except me.
Now I know I'm not the only person who isn't interested in seeing Star Trek, despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, the exciting trailers, the incessant marketing campaign, and the recommendations from friends who swear that it's the most fun they've had at the movies in a very long time. But it kind of seems like it, you know?
For a while, I tried to feign interest, nodding along as people went on about how psyched they were to see the film, trying to get caught up in the hype by watching the trailers again, etc. But the truth is, I've just never been into Star Trek. I can appreciate it for what it is, and I respect it, but for whatever reason, it never spoke to me. I know that the Star Trek universe has been a life-changing (and, in some cases, life-saving) experience for some people, but I never quite gave it the spin it probably deserved. In some ways I think it's a matter of exposure: my father is a Star Wars geek; Obi-Wan was the hero in my household, not Spock. One of my favorite memories is the day I took my dad to the theater to see Episode III: when the opening credits came on, my dad grabbed his soda and his eyes lit up like a 12-year-old's. It's awesome to see your parents in their geeky element; for a few hours, my dad wasn't an insurance man with bills to pay and meetings to deal with: he was a Jedi.
Anyway, the reason I'm bringing this up is because I actually feel guilty for not being into the new Star Trek film. It's a weird time to be a geek, because, well, everyone is kind of a geek these days, and it seems that the notion of what constitutes a true geek is someone who is into EVERY bloody so-called nerdy phenomenon out there. "I thought you were into that kind of thing," one of my friends said after I admitted my "Whatever, Star Trek" stance, as if being into graphic novels, wearing coke bottle glasses and braces as a kid, and being able to recall passages from The Silmarillion also means you have to be a certified Trekkie. I actually felt, momentarily, like a traitor to all things nerdy.
But here's the thing, you guys. There are many shades to the geek rainbow. Yes, there are Trekkies and Ringers out there, but Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, comic books, graphic novels, vampires, zombies (ugh, and that's another train I'm not hopping on. Whatever, zombies), pirates; all of these things are mainstream at this point, enjoyed by people who may not be "true" fans but who celebrate the existence of such phenomena just the same. Anyone who reads our brilliant sister blog io9 (and you should be reading it—it's great) can see that the science-fiction world is touching all elements of society and that things that were once strictly the property of super geeks are now out there for everyone to enjoy—for better or for worse.
In any case, I'll probably see Star Trek at some point. But I'm not going to feel bad if I miss it. And I'm also not going to turn in my geek card just because I'd rather hang out with Samwise than Spock. And if you don't like it, you can just kiss my Tulkas.
[Image via Natalie Dee.]