Tonight, at 12:01 am, an era ends: the last Star Warsmovie will be released. I’m looking forward to seeing Revenge of the Sith. I haven’t re-posted any of my earlier pages on Star Wars movies because I’ve been waiting for the final installment of the saga. I suspect it will cast many things into a different light.
The Star Wars era isn’t the only one ending, however. Last Friday, the final episode of what looks to be the last Star Trek series was broadcast. I’m sorry to see it go—Enterprise was a darn good show, and I felt that the most recent episodes were the best. Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) wasn’t the most gung-ho and adventurous captain, but I would rather have served under him than the histrionic Kirk or perennially uptight Picard any day. Trip (Cmdr. Charles Tucker) and T’pol were superb characters. Connor Trineer brought Trip to life in such a way you felt that he was someone you actually knew. T’pol (Jolene Blalock) introduced us to a fascinating and turbulent era in Vulcan history, before Vulcans became so “Vulcan.” And Hoshi was a reluctant crew member who didn’t like being in space very much at all.
The writing was usually excellent, except for the third season, which was wasted on the Xindi war. Enterprise had an earthiness (no pun intended!) to it which hadn’t been seen on television sci-fi before. It gave us scenes of throwing footballs in a low-gravity cargo bay, of cornfields in the Midwest, of metal catwalks in Engineering that you could almost feel rattling underneath you.
Its humans were very human, and made more than their share of mistakes. In the first season especially, it seemed almost every decision Archer made was wrong (What do you mean ‘cultural contamination?’ We’re going to help them!) Hate to break it to you, but when we become newbies exploring other solar systems, we’re going to do what newbies do best—screw up. I only hope that when we do, we do it with as much genuine goodwill as the crew of the Enterprise NX-01.