How Star Trek got me all emotional

I’m no fan of Star Trek – I’ve always been more of a Star Wars man myself – so I’m a little sheepish about sharing the fact that JJ Abrams’ latest installment of the exhausted franchise got me a little bit emotional.

Let me explain. So far the prospect of becoming a dad has sat just fine with me, mainly because I can barely get my head around the reality of it all, and I like the idea of having someone around who I can trick into doing stuff for me.

BUT I have developed an acute intolerance of stories about young parents dying. By way of example – and this isn’t meant to sound flippant – a very young Australian soldier was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year. He had spent one day with his newborn child, and the photo was on the front cover of The Age newspaper. I didn’t make it past the first paragraph before I turned the page.

Which makes my lapse in Star Trek all the more embarrassing. The opening scene shows Captain James Kirk’s father bravely holding off a Romulan attack so that the crew of his starship can evacuate. Stirring stuff. But the kicker was that his wife, also on the ship, was in labour as she was evacuated. Jim Kirk’s dad bravely announces via radio that he isn’t going to make it, and commands the escape pod to take off so that he can crash his starship.

Now this shit is pure, cliche-riddled soap opera. I mean, the guy playing Jim Kirk’s dad was last seen on Home and Away. But because I’m an idiot, this is what is going on in my head:

“Oh shit! Is she…is he…is he going to get off the ship? God what a noble thing to do. That child will be so proud when it hears stories of its father. Oh, this is sad. Imagine if I was the captain of a starship and the Excellent Missus had to be evacuated. I’d be devastated. Oh, my kid. Still, I’d do what he is doing, after all I’ve got to give my child the best chance in life and if that means going kamikaze on a Romulan spaceship, so be it. I hope the Excellent Missus can learn to be happy again. My memory will live on in our child. God I hate Romulans, leaving my little baby without a father…”

…and so on. That was my entire first 20 minutes of Star Trek. Then Captain Kirk’s dad has a radio chat with his wife as he barrels into the Romulan spaceship, and I’m thinking about what I’d say in that situation. The film moved on, but it took me a solid five minutes to catch up.

At least if I was pregnant I could blame it on the hormones. Anyway, I’ve got to suck it up and start being all stoic again. But I’m avoiding all animal rescue-type shows, and inspiring stories of ugly women who win over entire nations with their glorious voice – just in case.

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