I’ve decided to start a new and occasional Friday series called “Things I’d Like to See.” The title is fairly self-explanatory. Every time I post, it will be about something random and perhaps a little strange I’ve thought would be a really interesting idea.
My inaugural topic? Star Trek, of course. This idea comes from my father many years ago, and it is a great one. The set-up is this: the stalwart crew of the original Enterprise runs into some kind of outer space disturbance and is transported back in time to the era of Christ. Through a turn of events, they meet Jesus in his last week of ministry and the run-up to his Crucifixion. The crew–especially the heart-soul-mind troika of McCoy, Kirk, and Spock–would interact with Jesus and his followers, in the process raising deep questions about Christ’s identity without solidifying the story into a boilerplate Sunday School lesson.
Couldn’t you just see it? Spock taking a cold scientific approach yet being confounded by Christ. McCoy grappling with a deep religious crisis from his youth and receiving an unexpected healing. Kirk not knowing what to believe, but coming to understand that the man from Nazareth is more than he appears.
While I realize this sounds like fodder for some cheesy fan fiction, I’ve been transfixed by the idea for so long that I hope it has more depth than a single entry on some website. I think that it has some interesting potential for great storytelling that would say as much about Kirk, Spock, and McCoy as it would about us.
In the world of Star Trek’s 23rd century, religion is rarely discussed. The implication is that humanity has moved beyond it. A story like this would throw that approach into disarray, and hopefully begin some really interesting conversation about faith. While such a story could be told in any science fiction setting, what I like about the crew of the Enterprise encountering Christ is that their particular set of characters could interact with the existential questions quite well. Further, their accessibility as “known quantities” might very well help us identify with their thought more.
As an episode, movie, or “serious” novel, the story could have an interesting impact. Ideally, it would leave us with the same question “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29) that Jesus asked of his own followers. It would ask us to comes to terms with history, logic, emotion, faith and more. And, oh yes, it would fade to black at the moment of Christ’s death with Captain Kirk (dressed as a Roman centurion, of course) saying, “Surely this man was the Son of God” (thanks to my friend Mike for that one).
I know this will probably never happen outside of the world of fan fiction. Even so, it’s one of the things I’d like to see.