This year, We’re doing monthly stories from our GWW community about something that is a cornerstone of their geeky life. This month’s article comes from video game and entertainment writer christopher scott.
Way before I got into role-playing and tabletop games, computers, and rocking out on a 10-digit keypad (hey, it’s a geeky skill too!) , I had an interest not in the world that we live on but what was above us. For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest in outer space and what existed out there. The stars and the planets, potential extrasolar life, and just how the universe we live in was created. It has always been an interest of mine from early childhood. I don’t know if we’ll ever end up in space full time like we see in many of our Sci-Fi shows but I hope that we will one day. As I recall my geeky past and my interests, I reflect on three different things that I believe really focus my attention on outer space. Those three things would be the US Space Shuttle program, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the film The Last Starfighter.
The Geeky Insights
The first would be the theatrical release of the movie The Last Starfighter. The synopsis is this: a small town boy in a trailer park who’s obsessed with this video game is actually recruited by aliens that created the game to fight in their war. He’s taken to their planet where he’s not the biggest fan of what he sees initially but then realizes that the threat to their planet would eventually come to his and he reluctantly agrees. This movie is by far one of my top three all-time favorite movies hands down! I don’t know if it’s the basic story or the visuals at the time or the characters in the story but that movie has always been one of my favorites. Anytime it is come out on a new media as I’ve been an adult I’ve gotten it. I watch it every so often just to remind myself the basic need to fight when there’s something wrong in the universe.
Second one would be the US Space Shuttle program and one of its darkest days, the Challenger explosion of 1986. For many people nowadays, they remember where they were 9/11/2001 occurred . As I was growing up, I always remembered that I was in school and we were actually watching the buildup to the Challenger launch, we had a half day, then I went home to find out the shuttle exploded. While I do still remember that dark day I still remember all of the benefits and the joy of watching the shuttle go up and down previous to that. Just a marvel that we were able to create a reusable vehicle to take us into outer space and bring us back is nothing short of amazing. I have been desperately waiting since they shuttered the program for our constant return to outer space.
The one that is the biggest to most geeks that enjoy it would be my final one, Star Trek: The Next Generation. I would also tie this into Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home but since that was a theatrical release in November ’86 and Next Generation came out in September of ’87, I probably saw Next Generation first and then had eventually seen Star Trek 4 as my first starter film. Just the fact of seeing these newly portrayed characters in Starfleet that are searching out for these new civilizations and new worlds just entirely hit every check mark on my list of things that I would look for in my future. Of course, since that time I’ve been able to enjoy three additional series, 9 different new movies with different casts not to mention the other series that are available via premium services nowadays. While I have all those choices, for me it will always be the adventures of Picard, Riker, Data and the crew of the USS Enterprise-D! At one time (maybe still today), I could name the title of the TNG episode within 10 seconds of the opening. I have actually met and have a signed photo from my absolute favorite, Brent Spiner (Data), as well as being at two different panels with the immensely talented Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) and Jonathan Frakes (William Riker). I’m still hoping to be able to interact with all the primaries still in my lifetime as well as some of the more interesting reoccurring characters (I’m looking at you de Lancie!!)
Nowadays, I might be speaking up about my thoughts on the continuation of the MCU, how the newest roguelike game makes me feel challenged or why I feel that it’s OK that Supergirl will be ending with its upcoming season. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m still not a Federation proud, star-searching, new life searching Starfighter waiting for my next chance to fight for my family, friends and unknown allies!