Star Trek celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this month. So, here on Redeeming Culture, we’re going to release a short review of every episode of Season One, one episode per day, all month long; for each episode, we’re writing a 3-sentence recap, a 3-word review, and (as much as we can) answering the questions “What fears or hopes are conquered or realized?” and “How does this point to Jesus or to the way God made us?”
For more about Trektember, read our preview post. Please note that there are minor plot spoilers for this episode below.
Today’s episode is Dr. McCoy’s introduction to the Trek universe, The Corbomite Maneuver.
The Enterprise is halted by a tiny, mysterious glowing probe launched by the Fesarius, a massive vessel of the First Federation. Commander Balok of the Fesarius threatens the Enterprise with destruction, and the crew scrambles to find a way to escape his incredible technology. Kirk’s solution is to bluff the opposing captain – but Balok may have a bluff of his own.
Tense. Layered. Cryptic.
Big Sci-Fi Concepts
- Being the plaything of a stronger power is a humiliating experience.
- The more inscrutable & powerful something is, the more terrifying it is.
Fears Conquered/Hopes Realized
- The entire crew experiences the fear of entrapment & the loss of control as the Fesarius holds them in place and issues threats to them.
- The fear of the unknown is a fear that drives or peppers every episode of Star Trek, but it meets a particularly sublime start here.
What does this episode tell us about God or about man?
Balok and the Fesarius demand the crew’s obedience and, in a way, their devotion. They command it through fear and back that fear up with what appears to be unlimited power. Bailey is so paralyzed with fear that he forgets his training and has to be relieved of duty.
But the things we fear are not all-powerful, if they are not the Creator of the universe. They are weak and flawed; they are poor imitations of the true God. They demand our obedience, but they are not what they seem, and they do not deserve it. Their bluff is a mere trick, and we don’t have to fall for it.
We value your comments and interaction on every post at Redeeming Culture, but make sure you check out the stellar comment by Tim below!
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Thank you for reading Redeeming Culture! Come back tomorrow for more Trektember as we look at the third episode of Star Trek: “Mudd’s Women.”