Star Trek, the movie: Captain Kirk is not who you think he is

Earlier this year I watched the new Star Trek movie because I wanted to see the origin of the main characters, like Kirk, Spok, Bones, etc. Maybe you did so, too--but did you catch the mistake? In the movie, an alternate timeline is created; that in itself is not that bad, nor unusual--clearly, the studio wants a fresh start to make more movies (and money). But in the process, the writers and producer made a colossal error: they created an entirely different Captain Kirk—somebody who cannot be the same Kirk we all came to know (and love?), but instead is a different person. Yet the script went on as if nothing had happened. Now, I am not a Trekkie by any means, but once I realized the mistake, I felt a bit cheated—and once you read this article, you may, too.

So why is this Kirk different?

In The Steps of Essence I describe how each of us develops as a person. There are three great “forces” that make you who you are. The first one is your genes—they predetermine how you are to look, your basic aptitudes and temperament, etc. The second force is the environment you grew up in --your society and family--which shapes your values, and part of your behavior. The third force is the individual events of your life, including your achievements and failures, which further taught you how to behave. These three forces all interweave to make you the person that you are today, and also set the possibilities and limitations of your life.

And if any of these three forces had been different, you would turn out to be a different individual than you are.

Here is an example: while different people have a different relationship to their parents, the father figure is typically a very important person in the development of a child—either good or bad. Let’s assume that you had a good relationship with your father, and he taught you much you know: now imagine that your father was killed on the day of your birth, and you never got to meet him, nor learn from him. Really imagine you had no father (or a different father), and grew up with other relatives in a different family setting, possibly dysfunctional, and with different experiences. Can you see how this would have made you a completely different person than who you are today, with different views on the world?

Yet, this is exactly what happens in the movie. Sure, this Kirk has the same genetic background, but that is where the similarity ends. In this version, on the day of Kirk’s birth, his father is killed in battle, whereas later it is revealed that the father of the original Kirk grew to an old age and proudly saw his son become a star ship captain.

Thus, as you just found out yourself, the Kirk in this movie cannot be the same Kirk we all know from before--yet he is played that way. This is an impossibility. Without him, we are not watching the crew of “Star Trek,” but merely “90210 in space.” I wonder, if all Trekkies were to realize how much this Kirk is different, how much acceptance there would be of this new movie and the sure-to-follow series?

So what is the lesson here? While the question about the validity of this movie may be of interest only to true Treckies, it still is quite interesting for each and everyone of us to realize how much we are shaped by the various forces in our lives. To illuminate your own personal origins, I invite you do the exercises in Step 1 of The Steps of Essence (called “The Call to Action”): They will help you to learn about yourself, and possibly recognize some limitations that may hold you back in your life. The second Step (“The Road of Trials”) teaches you how to resolve these.

Be true! Be Happy!
Hanns-Oskar Porr

Copyright © 2009,2010 Hanns-Oskar Porr

Based on
The Steps of Essence: How to Live Life Well and Authentically.
by Hanns-Oskar Porr

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