A magical STAR TREK moment with my son…

One of the benefits of doing my own blog is that every so often I can share things with all of you that are personally special.  Today, it’s something that just happened with my seven-year-old son.

Longtime readers of Fan Film Factor know that I’m bringing him up with a proper appreciation of Star Trek.  Sure, if given the choice, he’ll watch Star Wars first.  But the kid loves Star Trek, too, I and love sharing it with him.

For the last few years, our Star Trek “routine” has been to watch half an episode or so while I do cardio, just before my little cadet’s bedtime.  We’re watching everything in the order it debuted.  We watched all 79 (well, 80 with “The Cage”) episodes of TOS, then all the animateds.  Then we went through TOS again ’cause I felt he’d appreciate it more now that he was older.  Then we did the first four motion pictures in order.  And just a couple of months ago, we started on Next Gen.

Keep in mind, for what I’m about to tell you, that my son has pretty much seen nothing of TNG, and certainly not Star Trek Generations.  All he knows of the Enterprise-D crew so far is what he’s seen in the first ten episodes.

And so it was that we were watching “Hide and Q” and got to the scene where Riker grants the deepest wishes of his friends.  Wesley ages up to an adult.  Geordi is given his sight.  Worf gets a horny Klingon woman.

Knowing that this was as far as the wish fulfillment went, I paused the Blu-ray and asked my little guy what he thought Picard wanted the most.  I was going to suggest that the captain wanted his hair back, but what I heard next stopped me in my tracks:

“I think he wants a family, Daddy.  I think he wants kids.”

Wow.  As I said, my son has never seen Generations.  But somehow he knew that this was Picard’s deepest wish.  Lucky guess?  Perhaps.  But either way, I’m writing this blog today to show to him in a couple more years when he gets older and we finally watch the seventh Trek film and see Jean-Luc Picard get his deepest wish—a family with kids—inside the Nexus.

Thanks for letting me share this moment with you.  And I thank my little guy for fulfilling my deepest wish.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

19 thoughts on “A magical STAR TREK moment with my son…”

  1. Using TV as a connector between child and parent, is a great idea. Programming influences the times the programming occurs and, in hindsight, reflects the social thinking of its time (well, it influenced it so naturally it reflects it). Much has been written cautioning parents to watch [to gatekeep] what their children watch. But a more positive application is for the parent to share, to open up, the social influencers that shaped their worldview. This passes along understanding, appreciation, for the older generation; mechanically we know that comparing CGI to Harryhausen’s art is a different proposition from comparing Harryhausen’s art to CGI.

    The kernel of vision behind Star Trek is social, which includes the transmission of morals and values through the subtext of the stories. I immediately recall the episodes Who Mourns for Adonais? and A Taste of Armageddon. And it had a style of transferring that morality and shaping values that is different from the attempt of The Last Jedi, for example. I dare say this is a “space and time” phenomenon.

    In my home a foreign culture exists separate from the outside, partly thanks to TV shows on DVD. Saturday morning cartoons is a hit with my 4-year-old who gladly wakes up at 7am just to watch Underdog, Johnny Quest, Filmation studios’ Batman, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Land of the Lost, Secret of Isis, &c. There will be time later for my daughter to realise that not only has Saturday morning stopped being magical for other children but that a world of cartoons exists outside of the “ancients.” From where she goes from there on her personal journey through her own life is anyone’s guess.

    In the meantime, we share her dad’s early roots of personal development. At least when a say something that sounds to her like “Get Off My Grass!” she will know the land/world I am talking about rather than just take it as a personal criticism.

    Happy Father’s Day to you and your son.

    1. Jayden had his “Tom & Jerry” phase, to be sure, and now every so often, he’ll watch “Teen Titans Go!” or “Johnny Test.” But it’s amazing how many videos he watches on his iPad showing other people (kids and adults) playing video games. How anyone can want to watch those things–let alone for nearly an hour using up his screen time for the day–it just boggles my mind!

      I’ve introduced Jayden to some things from my youth–Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, The Flintstones–but only Star Trek seems to really have taken hold. I tried showing him the pilot of the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica last week, and after 20 minutes, he was tuning out. So it’s hard to know what he will or won’t like, but Trek is staying on his radar. Hopefully, it’ll last for at least a few years longer. 🙂

      1. The “my kid watches other kids play” passivity rings true with my daughter too. These are basically toy sales channels. I thought it was because my daughter misses playmates or a more catering to family – both of which are depicted/portrayed in the videos. We live in Poland and we’re pretty well cut off from the world around us, neither of us being Polish.

        We have done the original Battlestar Galactica film (I wish I had the series for weekly viewing) and it was an okay experience. I will plug it on again and see how it turns out. I remember the big Cylon dolls as a kid. Jeez. That and the big plastic Godzilla with the fire breath… Good times. Good imaginative times.

        I like the Ray Harryhansen stuff because the Dynamation is a part of the story, announcing the myth visually. My daughter and I watched Clash of the Titans and the actor who played Calibos has my 100% admiration. The look of menace he gives when he sees Perseus’ footprints leading away is great acting. That would be lost to CGI today. And today, rather than use suspense, the film remake is just a string of action sequences rather than a story. I think Last Jedi suffered from this problem…. JJ Abrams v. G. Roddenberry school of story telling. Hokie sets do not detract from the suspense of storytelling. Look at the theatre where everything takes place on a stage with stage hands dressed in black moving set pieces as an example. Likely, seamless integration means more in action oriented films. Do people still go to theatres?

        I have the same issue with computer games, often over emphasizing immersive experiences over immersive storytelling. I thought Dragon Age Origins struck the balance well but it did not last to the tinkering. It’s just one case of attitude amongst the many (games, films, TV, tabletop role-playing games, etc.,) that Star Trek, because of its history, can brightly contrast. I think we need more storytellers brought up in earlier concerns rather than in the newer style over substance concerns.

        William Gibson Tweeted it best when mentioning the game Cyberpunk 2077: “Looks like a reskinned GTA San Andreas game.” I was reading a while back about a country where the popular whorehouses were the ones offering love dolls instead of real people, mentioned in a story about modern relationships headed toward love dolls instead of real people. I suppose, as an optimist, one day there will be a market for love dolls with cosmetic imperfections. Then Ray Harryhansen and Gene Roddenberry will experience a rebirth like nothing we will ever have experienced.

        It is a shame we people must lose whatever it is we learn to appreciate, it seems. While my daughter is not a fan of everything I program at her, she enjoys Willy Wonka (1971) Flintstones, Hardy Boys, Batman (1966), Watership Down, etc., which will give her an appreciation for what went on before the latest Pixar creation demands her time in a few more short years. She watches the Kurt Russell/Don Knotts Wonderful World of Disney films with us on the weekends and does not let her understanding that the technology is ancient (phones, computers, MacGuffins, special effects, &c.,) get in the way of being engrossed in the story. She notices it, because she cannot help but to notice it, but stills finds the story at the centre of it to be the main event.

        I think some directors today should have had that experience, and reverence that we are giving to our children with exposure to programmed entertainment like Star Trek. A comment was made defining the core of Star Trek vs what’s on offer today that sums it up well.

        Sorry for a long post. We don’t get out much here.

        1. “Sorry for a long post. We don’t get out much here.”

          No need to apologize. When I think of Poland, I think of the old joke…

          First prize: a week in Poland!

          Second prize: TWO weeks in Poland!

          🙂

  2. As I mentioned in the FB Group, Jonathan, please let me be the first to wish you (and everyone else in FFF who is) a very Happy Father’s Day!

  3. Sounds like your little guy has a better understanding and appreciation of Star Trek, its characters and their motivations than some directors and writers I could mention.

    You’ve done well!

    Happy Father’s Day, Jon!

    1. Thanks, George. Yep, I want the kid to understand the core of what Star Trek Star Trek. And Klingons peeing on a wall with two streams and an episode that takes place mainly it a brothel…to me, that’s not the core of Star Trek. Not even close!

  4. If you get him Wesley’s godawful sweater, he will have legal grounds to disown you. 🙂

    Seriously, NO ONE has done anything evil enough to deserve being punished with that thing.

      1. I would say that progress is criminally over-rated if they still have ugly sweaters like that in the 24th century. To quote Dark Helmet: “‘OUT OF ORDER’? Even in the future nothing works!”

  5. I Kenny Smith will tell you this that i do like star trek TOS but i did witch star trek next gen as well to. But the thing that next gen had on the tv show of star trek next gen was to be on TOS but i do think that the bank that the stuido had nust didn’t want to give it so i do think that where the letter writering campaign came for star trek to come back on to t.v. so i think that the bank just had to give the stuido the money for star trek next gen. I do also like this t.v. show to.

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