Things I’d Like to See: Spock Meets Jesus

indexI’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.spokirmkkoy

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 KIRK“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.

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4 comments on “Things I’d Like to See: Spock Meets Jesus

  1. Did you not see Star Trek V? They meet God, or one pretending to be God. A lot of these themes you discuss are in the movie. I wasn’t a big fan of that particular movie.

    • True; I agree that movie is horrible. It isn’t done very well there, and I hope that what I propose could be accomplished much better. I don’t think the themes I’m thinking of are done as well in ST: V

  2. wcosnett says:

    I think the main problem with this is that the character interactions you describe here are those of the original series characters. If this were ever made, it would either be with whatever new crew of the current series, or with the current movie Spock, Kirk, and Mcoy. While I like the new movies, I feel they are more in the action/space opera area than in the hard scifi philosophical arena.

    I think if this were done, I would feel more comfortable with it occurring on the holodeck rather than in a time travel sense. I think that would allow the show to cover all of the philosophical and religious reflections you mentioned without pretending to be portraying the actual Jesus.

    Finally, for some reason this article reminded me of your Smallville parallel “The Young Jesus Chronicles.”

    • I hear you. Perhaps I could have called it “Things I Would Like to Have Seen?” I think in a novel format this might work, though. I’m not sure a holodeck experience would bring the actual emotions and faith questions to the fore, though.

      It’s called “Nazareth,” Will. 🙂

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