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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, July 18

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The Miracle of Life in Star Trek: The Motion Picture

It's easy to like The Wrath of Kahn, what with its brain cockroaches and Spock's untimely expiration. And who but the most hard hearted strip miner could resist the smarmy environmentalist message of The Voyage Home? But the true connoisseur of science fiction is more discerning. Enjoying subtle textures and shades of meaning found only in an early vintage, she takes great pleasure from the original, Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The only film in the canon that lends itself to analysis and deconstruction, The Motion Picture is rife with subtext. When held before a flame, surreptitiously steamed open or otherwise deciphered, the film yields a graphic treatise on the mechanics of reproduction. It's all there: copulation, insemination, fertilization and birth. To put it in baser terms, the film is about fucking.

At this point, I expect a number of readers are rolling their eyes and heaving great sighs through closed lips (resulting in a sort of resigned, farting noise). They've read far too many articles by a film snob attempting to justify his unnatural geek love for Star Trek to be bothered by yet another.

To those so afflicted, I entreat you: bear with me. More than an intellectual stroking for the Vulcan eared, Klingon fluent set, the reproductive process within the first Star Trek film is quite real; perhaps the most momentous development in film analysis since the discovery of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as soundtrack for The Wizard of Oz.

We begin with lovemaking; an all too brief foreplay followed by the penetrative act. The players are James T. Kirk, Starfleet admiral come to reclaim the captain's chair for a critical mission, and that gleaming vixen with warp engines spread wide, the Enterprise herself.

Held firmly in the bonds of spacedock, the Enterprise waits expectantly for Kirk. Beckoning with gleaming fuselage and throbbing impulse drive, the captain cannot resist a return to his former mistress. He is enraptured. With Scotty at the helm, he shuttles about his retrofitted starship with a libidinal gaze usually reserved for the sticky pages of pornographic magazines.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, anyone?

Fig 1. The new ad: a youthful CGI'd Shatner.

After a thorough once over - and a good rimming of the saucer section - Kirk makes his move. The shuttle thrusts its airlock forward and begins docking procedures. With computer aided guidance, Kirk and his Enterprise are coupled with a satisfying, metallic thump.

Kirk has yet to unload. Not prone to the perils of premature emission, he takes his time. He establishes command, sees that Scotty is positioned squarely in the engine room, and renews ties with the curmudgeon Dr. McCoy. Only then does he take the helm, ordering the ship into open space at the modest sub-light speed of one-third impulse.

Though obviously a man with staying power, Kirk too has his limits. Forced to confront an unknown entity of limitless power, he must move quickly. Though it goes against regulations and the better judgment of Scotty, Kirk insists on firing up the engines while still within the bounds of the solar system.

Having held out as long as he can, the captain explodes into warp speed.

But something is wrong. The unbalanced and untested warp engines create a wormhole, a narrow tunnel through the space-time continuum itself, a urethra of cosmic proportions. The Enterprise becomes the seed of Kirk; a double tailed spermatozoon flagellating wildly toward the great unknown.

Like, whoa...

Fig 2. No wonder Shatner sang Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, he was tripped out!

Ejected from the wormhole, the ship/sperm ultimately arrives before a massive, sentient vessel known only as V'Ger. Plying the alien with words of peace and friendship, the Enterprise is enveloped and drawn into V'Ger by tractor beam. As its name implies, V'Ger is nothing short of an unimaginably huge vagina. The Enterprise must brave its treacherous confines to complete her mission.

But though accepted by V'Ger, the ship has yet to reach the inner sanctum. It is trapped in a vestibule of sorts, perched before a gigantic, pulsating door - the cervix of V'Ger.

Ho, hum, hummer.

Fig 3. If that's not a cervix, we don't know what is.

Unable to proceed further, Kirk's friend and science officer, the logical Mr. Spock, takes the burden of fertilization upon himself. Donning an aptly named 'Thruster Suit' he leaves the ship without the knowledge of his superior officer, and breaches the constricted orifice of V'Ger.

But V'Ger is not interested in Spock. Only the seed of Kirk himself will be accepted. The half-breed Vulcan is expelled, sent tumbling back toward the Enterprise in disgrace. But Spock has gained information; he knows what this space vagina wants. So armed, Kirk can at last approach the waiting ovum.

Not willing to waste his precious fluids on a mere probe of V'Ger, Kirk insists that the inner doors be opened. The Enterprise is guided further into the dank and glistening depths, led toward its ultimate goal: the egg itself.

A gleaming white orb of energy, the egg of V'Ger is revealed (in a shocker worthy of Planet of the Apes) to be none other than the Voyager probe, a satellite launched more than three centuries prior by a less advanced human civilization.

May the force be with you.

Fig 4. And on Coruscant, the Jedi Council meets...what? Oh, this is Star Trek you say?

The Enterprise delivers her precious genetic cargo in the guise of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a bit player, Commander Decker. They disembark from the ship, making physical contact with the Voyager egg. There, Decker (it really should be Kirk, but he's needed for future films) joins with V'Ger. He is a gamete that gives rise to a new life form: a union of man and machine.

With V'Ger successfully impregnated, a child is born. Again, the Enterprise herself plays the required role. Giving birth to the ship, V'Ger and Commander Decker burn themselves out of existence in a blaze of light. Released from the V'Ger uterus, Enterprise glides gracefully over an appreciative Earth.

A direct descendant of the Voyager probe, the ship is a prodigal child to be cared for and nurtured by humanity itself. Its education begins immediately. Kirk orders the ship on a new course, instructing Mr. Sulu to take her somewhere 'out there'.

Head towards the light child.

Fig 5. The light! The light! Turn down your high-beams!

Whether humanity is capable of caring for the child remains to be seen. God willing, Enterprise will be raised by parents who have interests beyond those of attending comic book conventions and dressing in full Klingon battle armor.


About the Author(s)

David Elfving is looking into The Wrath of Khan as a S&M fetish film and The Search for Spock as a cover for its real title, "The Seach for Sperm" at Greasy Skillet.

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