Saturday, May 9, 2009

Trekkie Characterization

With the launch of the new Star Trek movie this week, I started reminiscing about all the wonderful characters that Star Trek has brought to us over the years. In the first series, Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry once said he based the characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on classic mythological storytelling.

The tie into ancient storytelling worked, not just for Star Trek, but for all the spinoffs to date. Remember those notable captains: Captain James Tiberius Kirk, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Benjamin Sisko, Captain Kathryn Janeway, Captain Jonathan Archer.

The respectable and sometimes a little grumpy doctors: Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Dr Katherine Pulaski, Dr. Julian Bashir, Dr. Beverly Crusher, the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) Mark I, and Dr. Phlox.

The memorable sidekicks such as Spock, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, William Riker, Geordi LaForge, Commander Data, Commander Warf, Seven of Nine, Tasha Yar, Quark, Chakotay, Tom Paris, Tuvok, whew . . . I could go on forever . . .

Then there were the alien threats such as the Borg, Q, the Ferengi, Romulans, Klingons, Vulcans, Cardassians, Reptilians . . . again, the list goes on and on.

So why did this characterization work? What is it about these characters that allowed viewers to suspend disbelief "to boldly go where no man has gone before"? Or could we all see a bit of ourselves in each of the characters, no matter what race they came from?
Who was your favorite character from any of the television series, cartoons, or movies? If you could pick a character who was most like you, who would it be?


Cindy Holby May 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

I love Star Trek. I saw the new movie yesterday and loved it. I loved Kirk and had a mad crush on Chekov. The new cast is amazing. I hope there's more movies with the new crew.

Nancy May 9, 2009 at 7:00 PM  

Hi, Gerri--

I'm with Cindy. I love Star Trek and can't wait to see it tomorrow. It's my Mothers Day gift from my guys.

I do think the characters are all relatable. Even Spock, for many of us have felt out of place at one time or another.

Gerri Russell May 9, 2009 at 9:24 PM  

Hi Cindy and Nancy,

Thanks for stopping by. I'm seeing the new Star Trek movie on Mother's Day, too! Can't wait.

Great point about Spock, Nancy. I was always drawn to the underdog characters . . . the guy/girl new on the crew who didn't quite fit in, yet. Or the dreaded character that entered the scene dressed in a red shirt. Poor thing.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner May 10, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

My favorite character of all is Quark from DS9! He was wonderful. I go for the humor, I guess (and I was tickled when the actor crossed over to Buffy--I even wrote a song about it).

I also liked the Doctor on Voyager along with 7 of 9, Barkley/"Broccoli" on Next Gen (I know he wasn't a core character, but I liked him), and McCoy from the original series (the man had romance hero written all over him).

Yes, I proudly wear my "Geek" label.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, which I'll go to next weekend for a friend's birthday bash. Will be interesting to see J.J. Abrams take on it.

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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