A Letter of Thanks to Amazon Prime for Having Star Trek V Available

Life can be hectic and difficult to manage from time to time. When that happens, sleep can be elusive.

Sleep has been elusive.

You toss and you turn, you wonder aloud into the darkness if rest will come to the weary. You turn on the television.

There it is, included in the Amazon Prime subscription package: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. A smile spreads across my face, as I know that I don’t even have to walk over to the player to drop in my well-worn DVD copy of the film with which I have the strangest relationship imaginable.

A film I’ve come to love for all the wrong reasons, only to see them turn into the right ones.

A film I love nearly as much as any Star Wars film. A film I know by rote thanks to endless times I’ve heard it play in my sleep. A film for which I purchased a special, limited-edition soundtrack.

A film which one person holds up as evidence that I will always commit to the bit.

Thank you, Amazon Prime, for having Star Trek V: The Final Frontier available to stream. May its constant playing on my feed baffle your algorithm and puzzle your staff.

And now to sleep. Perchance to dream…about Sybok.

Sybok in Star Trek V
He arrives with a blissful legion to deliver my rest.

Could #Sybok Have Stopped #Thanos? #AvengersInfinityWar #AvengersEndgame

This is one of those posts that I know, in my heart of hearts, only I could have written.

One of the few properties Disney®©™ doesn’t own – yet – is Star Trek™©®. However, I have a terrific idea for how they could bring this property over to interact with Marvel©™®’s Avengers. Even if only as a part of the upcoming What If television series, there’s an incredible multi-franchise crossover opportunity here!

Look, humor me on this one. It’s worth it. Just refer to my previous post asking whether Sybok could have saved Darth Vader for proof!

Laurence Luckinbill as Sybok in Star Trek V which is a Star Trek movie featuring Sybok in Star Trek V The Final Frontier a Star Trek Movie with Sybok this actually works.
Sybok arrives with his cohort to deliver Thanos from his pain.

The Pitch: Sybok, Spock’s Half-Brother in Star Trek, Could Counsel Thanos into Finding Another Solution in #Avengers #InfinityWar

This isn’t as crazy as it sounds! After all, Avengers: Infinity War goes to terrific lengths to make Thanos seem less than absolutely bat-guano crazy. It even makes him sympathetic! The movie proposes that his goal is to be lauded, even if his methods are somewhat questionable. He’s turned into a pitiable figure who doesn’t want to murder people, but feels like he has no choice, so he may as well enjoy it.

Thanos’ psychological profile doesn’t really answer a whole lot of other questions, but we all agreed to go along for the ride. You can’t change your mind now.

Given that he’s an empathetic being, albeit a psychotic one, means that he’s dealing with pain. He admits at the end of Avengers: Infinity War that he’s haunted by the environmental devastation his own home world visited upon itself with unchecked growth and development.

Arguably, if only someone had helped him come to terms with his feelings on the matter, he may not have gone on his universal death march. He would have looked toward a more sensible approach like I suggested in a previous post, of using the stones to ensure unlimited resources and to mitigate environmental impact. After all, he had the power to do just that!

So we have to accept at a baseline that Thanos was merely misguided about how to help the world. By dealing with his pain, he could have been encouraged to find better solutions.

This is where Sybok comes in!

A Primer on Sybok

In case someone is reading this by chance and not intent, and you don’t know, Sybok is a Vulcan in Star Trek who uses his powerful mental powers to get people in touch with their emotions. He places them in a mental space where they encounter, grapple with, and theoretically release their most pronounced grief. They are placed back in that moment, to overcome whatever tragic weight they are carrying with them.

This intensively hallucinatory therapy bears the fruit of making the beings he encounters peaceful. They are open to lives of peace, love, and happiness.

That’s where we get to work with Thanos!

Sometimes Bad Guys Just Need a Hug?

If there’s any theme that’s gained traction with regards to our collective concepts of justice, it’s that sometimes people stray just because they weren’t hugged enough. Thanos sure seems a candidate for this category, considering the fact that Avengers: Infinity War leans so heavily into the idea that I laid out earlier.

Thanos is a haunted soul who’s got love to give…he just doesn’t know where to put it.

WIlliam H Macy as Quiz Kid Donny Smith in Magnolia which is a character I really laid myself out in terms of a reference in a post about Sybok and Thanos.
Quiz Kid Donny Smith would want Thanos to know it’s OK.

Sybok could put Thanos in touch with his pain, and open him to the possibility of releasing it. This weight being lifted from his shoulders would free him of the burden to save the universe by any poorly-planned and mathematically flawed means necessary. Everyone survive and, instead of taking the infinity stones to wreak mass murder, he’d lead all of reality to an unbroken existence of peace and plenty.

This even makes a certain sort of symmetrical sense in the fact that Sybok defeated a creature that pretended it was God by trying to hug it and unseal its pain. Thanos is a creature pretending to be God, and so the same tactic should work.

Even More Opportunities Open from Here

For this reason, it’s clear that Disney®©™ needs to purchase Paramount in order to join the Star Trek and Avengers franchises. As an added bonus, they could also have Sybok travel to the X-Men universe when it reboots inevitably. Sybok could help Magneto through his pain, and prevent all that loss as well.

I foresee a mighty series where Sybok traverses each franchise, acting like Sam from Quantum Leap to set things right. It could run on the Disney+ app, minimizing cost and maximizing exposure.

You know that you’d watch. I know I would, at least, in between viewings of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek V which is a Star Trek movie with William Shatner as Captain Kirk.
I expect many of you have expressions like this at the end of the post.

P.S. As of the time that this publishes, I still haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame. For all I know this is exactly how it goes down. No spoilers in the comments, please, either way. Not just for my sake but for anyone else who might happen along. Be a sport.

 

Un/Mute

This isn’t just another diatribe about the hollowness of life during the social media revolution. It’s something else.

Recently a dear, close friend of mine discovered something unsettling about our connection on social media. It’s the sort of thing that can test a relationship. At least, I think it could. I’m not sure since it didn’t test ours, but I think it could test others.

That might have to do with the strength of the friendship. The person who made the discovery is one of my closest friends and a trusted confidante. He was able to contextualize the truth of the matter and know that I was dealing straight with him.

I mean, honestly, I deal straight with everyone. It’s the level of bluntness that varies.

man wearing black and white formal suit jackets
“Why’s it taking him so long to give a ‘like’ for the link to the dissertation thread I wrote about the interconnectedness of Greek mythology and the Hunger Games series?” Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

“Hey, You Muted Me.”

It’s not important how he discovered it. He discovered that I had muted him. It’s ironic that he discovered it while I’ve been on a self-imposed social media sabbatical.

I “muted” him.

It’s a fair presumption you know what that means. In case you don’t, I’m guessing you don’t use social media very much. “Muting” someone means you silence their account unless they mention you.

You may ask why someone would do this. I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are people using social media. I’m not going to waste time or bolster word count by speculating all of them. People have their reasons.

In this specific instance, you may wonder why someone would “mute” a close, dear friend. It stands to reason that a close friend is someone from whom you’d want to hear. You would be right. A close friend is someone from whom you’d want to hear.

That’s why I muted him.

I Already Speak to Those Close to Me

I am in contact with my friends. I stay in contact with some of them primarily by text message. Some of them stay in contact by phone calls, though that’s a rare few at this point.

I typically hated speaking by phone before text messaging was “a thing.” I loved it when I was younger and life was less complicated. I’m a talker, though, and in the current hectic everyday world, phone calls can be frustrating for me because I’m just getting warmed up when it has to end. Better to have me trained to get to the point.

I’m in contact with my close friends on a daily, or near-daily, basis. There’s a direct pipeline to them open at all times.

It came to a point where, thanks to algorithms “curating” things, I was seeing the social media messages of people I spoke with already. It makes sense since the spy devices in our pockets keep tabs on our engagement. The online services, with all the wisdom of a robot, figure that since I speak to someone a whole lot, that’s who I want to speak to at all times.

Dexter Jettster in Star Wars Attack of the Clones which is a Star Wars movie with Dexter Jettster in the Star Wars series and is the only Star Wars movie with Dexter Jettster Hi Craigula.
Had a point.

No Objection

It’s not that I object to hanging out a lot with people I like and love. It’s not that I don’t want to stay in contact and share in their lives and experiences.

It’s that I see social media as an opportunity to interact with new people I’ve not known before. It’s an exercise in mingling, and discovering someone else out there.

Otherwise, I don’t see the point. If I just want to talk to the same people all the time, I do that already when I’m not on social media. I know this to be true because, as I’ve mentioned, I’m on a social media sabbatical and I still speak to them every day.

His account lays out there, muted. Others do, too, for the record. This person just sleuthed it out, and another person has known for a long time. Still others drift through life, ignorant of their online muzzle.

I still see pictures they want to share. I still speak to them constantly. I still change the subject when they don’t agree with my opinion about Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

I still love them. I just don’t need them dominating all my channels.

Lawrence Luckinbill as Sybok in Star Trek V The Final Frontier directed by William Shatner which was a Star Trek movie with Sybok and the original crew from the TOS series of Star Trek Hi Craigula.
I brought it back around to Star Trek V and Sybok. Enjoy it.

Could Sybok Have Saved Darth Vader?

I had occasion to think recently of Star Trek V. My love for it is controversial and deepens with each time I watch it. It’s not a rational love. But it is a love of sorts.

As I thought about it, I came to think of Darth Vader and how pain was a motivating factor for him. He lived in constant pain. Part of his pain was physical, to be sure. Another significant part of his pain, however, was emotional.

Given that we’ve seen the complexity of the Star Wars galaxy to include a great many things not suspected in the past, I wondered why there wasn’t some sort of self-help series Vader could have used to alleviate his pain.

“I just need a huuuuuuuuuug!”

Thinking of self-help, I wondered if there was some sort of Dr. Phil-style guru who shat out platitudes about things to make it seem like every decision was OK so long as the person came to terms with it. I mean, it’s a big galaxy.

Given that, I thought of Sybok. He’s a straight-up commentary on self-help gurus. I figure then that he, or his equivalent, would exist in Star Wars. American culture (and possibly others) are resplendent with people who espouse the philosophy that no decision is truly wrong. Given that, it would follow that the Emperor could have sent a self-help guru to Vader and give him a pep talk.

Imagine a Sith truly at peace with his awful ways. The Emperor could have employed such a person, even for himself. An Oprah-like being who insisted that it was all OK so long as you personally were at peace with your choices.

Kirk & Vader

While Star Trek V rejected this philosophy, later Star Trek works fully embraced it. The entire series of Star Trek: Voyager seems to have been dedicated to spreading the notion that all choices are good choices so long as the individual is happy with them.

This means that Vader and Kirk may well be philosophical soul-mates. It means as well that Star Wars is a more philosophically grounded and fulfilling series of works than Star Trek.

Perhaps I really should be class president.

I just blew your mind.

How Star Trek V Enhances Star Trek IV

In my endless quest to review Star Trek V: The Final Frontier into a respectable place in the franchise, I realized something.

Did you honestly think you were off the hook? You are never off the hook.
Did you think you were off the hook? You are never off the hook.

Our introduction to Sybok, Spock’s estranged half-brother long ago banished for eschewing logic to pursue emotional enlightenment, enhances a pivotal moment in its predecessor.

In fact, it enhances Spock’s entire arc in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in an unexpectedly pleasant way.

How Do You Feel?

When Spock is retraining his mind on Vulcan, the computer trips him up with a simple question: “How do you feel?”

Amanda, his mother, enters and explains that the computer knows he’s half-human and is searching for an emotive response.

In the context of the one film, it enhances Spock’s arc as he journeys to a new wholeness within himself, affirming that he is more than the sum of his Vulcan logic. When he asks tells his father “I feel fine” during the film’s final reel, we enjoy this revelation with him.

And Then There’s Sybok

In the context of both movies, the question seems more like a Vulcan version of the Voight-Kampff Test. They really want to see if Spock, newly back from the dead, might break and take after his big half-brother. Maybe they wanted to see if he Hulked Out on them.

Vis-á-Vis the “Sybok revelation” from Star Trek V, you have to accept that “How Do You Feel?” is more loaded than Amanda may have known. It may have been more loaded than she was permitted to admit.

The Vulcans would have been tremendously careful with him during the “retraining of his mind.” Of course it comes through without Star Trek V. I admit that The Voyage Home stands on its own.

However, The Final Frontier enhances what comes before thanks to Sybok.

Also, Sarek

Let’s take it beyond Spock and tie it in to some of Sarek’s idiosyncracies through the series. The Vulcan government probably kept a close eye on his whole family.

Dude deserves more respect.
Dude deserves more respect.

If we consider The Final Frontier, despite failing with Sybok (and by extension his mother), Sarek next married a human. Humans were long derided by Vulcans as some of the most emotional creatures in the galaxy. (See: Kirk, James T. and McCoy, Leonard, a.k.a. “Bones.”)

Despite this, Sarek was rigorous with Spock. Spock almost completed Kohlinar, in fact, and stopped just moments before the ceremony was complete in The Motion Picture. He stopped because of his emotional sense about V’Ger.

Later, he pushed for his son to be reanimated in Star Trek III because his logic was “clouded” regarding his family.

In light of everything, maybe it’s amazing the Vulcan government even let him be an ambassador. They must have thought that keeping potential rebels close to power was a better way to monitor them.

In Conclusion

Therefore, Sarek’s history and Spock’s close friendship with humans gave the Vulcan government good reason to worry. Spock was a highly intelligent being who was brought back from the dead literally.

He was easily in danger of developing the same messiah complex his half-brother had, if not a more acute case.

Whether it was solely for preservation of their monocultural hegemony is a different debate. I can’t help wondering though, as Vulcan appears to be the most stultifying singular culture in the known galaxy. At least the Klingon characters had the excuse of always being military types when we encountered them. The Vulcans were always strictly similar regardless of their job or station.

Who would think that a movie so long disregarded as unimportant fluff could provide so much extra insight into the esteemed science fiction franchise?

kesseljunkie, that’s who. The guy who consistently out-nerds you all.