Feb 13, 2013

Fall 1979: My Last Date with a Girl

I had my last date with a girl on December 8th, 1979, during my sophomore year at Augustana, shortly after I got back from Germany, about a week before the Chinese Restaurant Incident.  I didn't mean to: Bruce and I, and some other people from the Bookstore Gang planned to go to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  I  casually asked a girl who hung out in the bookstore if she wanted to go -- I don't remember her name -- and got an arm-clinger for the rest of the night.

To make matters worse, it was a terrible movie.

It had been over 10 years since the original series was cancelled, but it was never far from fanboys' memory, with the Saturday morning cartoon, a series of tie-in novels, and conventions every year since 1972.  They wanted to see the Enterprise, and the beloved bridge crew (Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Chekhov, Sulu, McCoy, and Scotty) on a big screen.  It didn't matter how.

So we got three or four hours of Kirk taking a shuttle from a space port to the Enterprise, while the camera slowly panned over the model and the fanboys in the audience groaned with orgasmic pleasure.

Then Kirk was reunited with his old crewmates, in spiffy new uniforms, and the fanboys in the audience could barely contain their joy.

Then, finally, some plot: an Earth space probe, Voyager, has become a sentient machine, V-Ger, who abducts the ship's navigator, Ilia (Persis Khambatta) in its quest to find "The Creator" (the humans who built it)  Her boyfriend, Captain Dekker (Stephen Collins), says that he's the Creator, and the three merge into a single life form and vanish.

In other words, the Star Trek episode "The Changeling," bloated to fill 30 hours, or however long the movie lasted, and bolstered with a heterosexist fade-out kiss.

No beefcake.  Stephen Collins was rather handsome, but never shirtless.  At least the Star Fleet uniforms were somewhat revealing.

 He went on to play the insufferably heterosexist Rev. Camden on Seventh Heaven.

No bonding.  Kirk and Spock seem to like each other, a little.   The novelization contains a preface by Kirk that seems to suggest a romantic relationship with Spock, but nothing open.  And in the movie, nothing at all.

We should have gone to see Roy Scheider in All that Jazz instead.  Or Richard Benjamin in Scavenger Hunt.  Or Wesley Eure in CHOMPS.  

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