My love of science fiction is all the fault of my Father’s. It started the year I turned six, when we began watching the original Star Trek together . While my Mother introduced me to books, it was Dad who led me to the adventures created by Gene Roddenberry, Ray Bradbury and Arthur C Clarke. By the time I was dragged to Star Wars (I was NOT going to a movie with the word “war” in it, I was a pacifist at an early age), I was well versed in Asimov, Heinlein, Card, Wells and Verne. My imagination was filled with wild tales of science, outer space and time travel. From Doctor Who to Captain Kirk, I’ve been an ardent follower of the genre throughout the course of my life. This past weekend, along with my sister Debbie, my Dad and I went to view the latest adventure from the reimagined Star Trek Universe, Beyond.
Science Fiction has always pushed our boundaries. Presenting us with stories that cause us to reflect on the way things are in society and how they could be. Showing us that humans can rise above their petty differences and work together for a greater goal. What was I thinking that this latest addition to the Sci-Fi cannon would disappoint? Perhaps it was the early reactions to the initial trailer for the film. Some fans are not too fond of this alternative reality. However, not only did this film deliver on the societal messages, Beyond goes further and delves into our individual struggles with our own inner-demons.
**Spoiler Alert** – this last paragraph discusses a major plot element, if you do not want to know anything about the film before you see it, come back later to finish reading.
Beyond is a metaphor for our time. Realizing the “bad guy” was a mutated human seeking revenge on The Federation that he thought abandoned him, is a way a lot of us feel right now. As wages stagnate and inflation eats at our disposable income, many feel a sense of betrayal and abandonment. By either their family, spouse, school or government, many feel anger and rage at being left without. As individuals and as a society this inner-demon needs to be faced and overcome. Because it is only when we put our own self-interest aside and begin to think of everyone else’s, that we can come together through our diversity and triumph over all our adversity.
Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all. ~ Isaac Asimov