Nothing elicits such a huge range of reactions among the geek set as Star Trek. Everybody loves Star Wars, but very few people will actually discuss the movies in any great detail. Apart, that is, from near universal acknowledgment that Empire should have been much cooler than it was; that Jedi damned-near ruined the franchise; that of course, Revenge of the Sith was just inexcusable.
The thing about Star Trek is: while Star Wars was based on fantasy memes like wizards, pirates, princesses and heroic farmboys, Star Trek was always based on hard physical and quantum physical science. I never knew it when I started watching Trek, but tachyons are real. Warp bubbles are real as well – at least theoretically, that is.
And if we loved the original Star Trek series for its hard science bent, geekdom thrilled to the adventures of The Next Generation, which went full tilt with the terminology, the mythology, the fantasy of quantum physics. You just kinda have to suspend disbelief with Midi-chlorians. But you can safely rely on quantum fluctuations as a jumping-off point for some serious conversation over pizza and Mountain Dew.
So when I heard that The Next Generation would be reissued as Bluray-quality video, I was very, very excited indeed. In the Nineties, watching low-def TNG on a fishbowl television blew my mind. But to get the chance to see those same shows on my big-ass man-child HDTV? Oh, I could not wait!
It gets even cooler. Yes, the series will be issued on Bluray. But in fact, on July 23rd, the ultimate experience is at hand for those of us lucky enough to get tickets (me? I got a friend on the inside, you might say): four theaters in Rochester will be showing two back-to-back episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation right up there on the silver screen. Theaters across the country will be doing the same. I smell a hashtag in the offing…
Deal Chicken, the daily deals site that you’ve seen on the D&C, is giving away passes to this awesome night of geekery. You want some? Enter here.
Interestingly, the two episodes they will be showing are neither sequential nor necessarily, shall we say, “culturally relevant.” “Where No One Has Gone Before” is episode 6 of the first season, and is just another time-shift episode, this time dealing with the troubles of multiple light-speed travel and Einstein’s relativity problem. It is, disconcertingly, a bit of a “Wesley Saves the Day” episode, though thankfully, the really saccharine versions of that meme won’t happen for a few more seasons. “Datalore” is an interesting episode in which Lieutenant Data’s doppleganger “brother” Lore is introduced. But really, Lore wasn’t much of a plot driver after this episode. If I’d had my drothers, I would have preferred either the first two episodes – the first one introducing us to Q – or else the one where Tasha Yar dies, but that’s me.
My friend at Deal Chicken sent along this page with more information about the show, but I also found this video trailer for the “movie,” which hysterically does not feature a single scene from the actual episodes they’re going to be showing:
Am I going to see you there? Hmm?