Greetings from the Odinson,
Before I get started, let me make myself very clear – I’m a Star Wars Geek. A New Hope is the greatest movie ever made. Not sci-fi movie…it is the greatest MOVIE ever made. That being said…I am not one of those people that say you must like this or that. If you dig the Beatles then you can’t like the Rolling Stones. If you drink Coke then you can’t like Pepsi. Some unwritten rule declares that we must make a choice - McDonalds or Burger King…Pearl Jam or Nirvana…Marvel or DC…and, of course, Star Wars or Star Trek. Well, the great thing about freewill is that I do have choice. And I am not limited to one thing or another. I like all these things.
Now I am not saying that you can’t like one more than the other. 70% of my extensive comic book collection is from the House of Ideas. But that doesn’t keep me from enjoying the thrilling adventures of Superman, Nightwing, and the Justice League. I will always like Star Wars more, but I sure do like me some Star Trek. There seems to be this weird ongoing and inexplicable feud between Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans. Not wanting to waste everyone’s time by going into details, I’ll simply recommend watching the 2008 movie Fanboys. This film explores the Star Wars/Trek feud using humor to expose the absurdity of it. Yes, the Odinson likes Star Wars and Star Trek and gets enjoyment out of both.
It’s Star Trek that I want to talk about this week and specifically a documentary I watched last weekend. Everyone has their favorite Captain. That brave soul that commands a crew of Starfleet officers and upholds peace throughout the galaxy, that leader that can use diplomacy, guile, and intelligence with equal skill and take charge of any situation no matter how desperate. For me, Captain Kirk is my Captain. I know that’s not really going out on a limb, but what can I say? Shatner is the man.
So you can imagine my surprise as I’m casually scrolling through the list of documentaries on Netflix (I like docs) and I happen upon a documentary titled: The Captains: A Film by William Shatner. Of course I stopped down and read the synopsis. It seems the original Captain Kirk (William Shatner) wrote and co-produced a documentary where he travels the globe and meets with and interviews the other actors that have played the role of the lead Captain throughout the history of Star Trek. I didn’t even know this documentary was in the works but, boy, am I glad I found it.
Shatner interviews Sir Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Avery Brooks of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek: Voyager, Scott Bakula of Star Trek: Enterprise, and Chris Pine the current Captain Kirk of the new Star Trek movies by J.J. Abrams. This film is an absolute must watch for any Star Trek fan. One of the really cool aspects of the film is that while Shatner is interviewing each Captain, that actor is also interviewing William Shatner.
It is simply marvelous to see these amazing actors interact and mingle and reminisce about their personal experiences in front of the cameras and behind the scenes of their respective Star Trek series. They share anecdotes and stories, some I’ve heard before and others I never knew about. Growing up I had always heard there was a rift and somewhat antagonistic relationship between Shatner and Patrick Stewart. Some of the reasons behind that perceived rift are revealed and whether or not the two still hold animosity toward one anther can absolutely be squashed as it is quite apparent these two great actors get along quite well and are good friends.
These interactions are definitely eye-opening. I had no idea Avery Brooks, who played Captain Benjamin Cisco on Deep Space Nine, was so eccentric. Even the mischievous Bill Shatner seemed to have a time of it keeping up with the idiosyncratic mind of Avery Brooks. Watching this film we learn the sacrifices of family and a normal life these actors made in order to pursue the craft they so loved and give the fans their best portrayals possible. Poor William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Scott Bakula, who played Captain Jonathan Archer on Enterprise, all had marriages come to an end due in no small part to the rigors of working on a television series. The sacrifices these people made in their personal lives really comes to light in the interviews with Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Voyager. My favorite moment in the film has to be, hands down, Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, challenging Chris Pine, the current Captain Kirk, to an arm-wrestling match. Absolutely priceless.
The Captains: A Film by William Shatner is insightful, funny, entertaining, and definitely a must see for Trek fans. How many other opportunities will we get to see the original Captain Kirk interact with Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Benjamin Cisco, Captain Kathryn Janeway, Captain Jonathan Archer and the current Captain Kirk? If you don’t have Netflix, we have a few copies of the DVD left in stock, but hurry because they are running out fast. The Odinson’s Grade: A ++
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell