Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Friday Challenge: 2/29/08

Okay, forget the subtle and thought-provoking Friday Challenge I was working up for this week. Instead we have an all-new and much better Friday Challenge, and you have Vidad to blame thank for this one. This week's challenge is all about...

Star Trek

Yes, that's right; Star Trek, the international, intergenerational, mind-boggling Forbidden Planet ripoff science fiction phenomenon that has spanned forty years, six television series, seven hundred and twenty-six TV episodes, ten feature-length movies, and immeasurable mountains of tie-in and spinoff novels, comic books, toys, games, candy, lunchboxes, etc., etc., etc., etc. And in all that vast body of material, I'm willing to bet that there is at least one key dramatic moment that Star Trek has utterly failed to deliver for you, and that as a consequence you've had percolating in the back of your mind for years. I'm talking, of course, about:

The Star Trek Death Scene You Always Wanted to See

Who is it? A character? An omnipotent alien life entity? A brilliant but deranged computer? An entire species? Someone who did die in the course of the series, but didn't die horribly enough to suit you, or worse, didn't have the decency to stay dead?

That's the challenge for this week. I want you to set up and deliver a suitable demise-en-scene for the character | being | thing | species | whatever you most want to see croak. Get all those years of pent-up hostility out of your system. Kill 'em good!

As always, we're playing by the wildly incoherent and practically nonexistent rules for the Friday Challenge, and playing for what's behind Door #2. You can enter by posting your entry in the Comments section of this blogbit, posting your entry on your own site and then posting a link here, or by sending me a file, which I will PDF and post here. Even if you don't enter, you're encouraged to comment on and vote for the other entries. The deadline for entries is 8 p.m. Central time on Friday, March 7, 2008, with results to be announced later that evening.

Ready? Then —

True story: it's 1991, and I'm in this movie theater with a few hundred other people, watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. You know, the one where Kirk gets sent as an peace emissary to the Klingons, only to get tangled up in an assassination plot? Now, never mind that this movie gives Spock the all-time best line ever delivered by any Star Trek character in any Star Trek movie or TV show:

"There is an old Vulcan proverb: only Nixon could go to China."

The point I'm thinking of comes much later in the movie, after they've figured out that the Klingon chancellor was assassinated by two Enterprise crewmen, and after a massive manhunt has turned up the bodies of the missing men. McCoy enters the scene; he kneels down to the check one of the bodies, and then he looks up and says —

I swear, the entire audience in that movie theater shouted out in unison, "HE'S DEAD, JIM."

But dang it, that wasn't the line of dialog actually used in the movie. Talk about your missed golden opportunity...