By Quendrith Johnson (doddleNEWS)
By now the William Shatner Twitter page is buzzing with the latest in the Battle Royale between “Star Trek” fans versus fans of “Star Wars” with George Takei (Sulu) inserting himself into the controversy in defense of Carrie Fisher, who somehow got into the fray.
“Whenever Bill needs attention,” Takei announced in a recent radio interview, he takes to the airwaves.
Thus the former Captain Kirk’s page now reads “Dear @GeorgeTakei My response to your magnanimous offer to barter peace. My Best Bill.” And the video response sums up with: “No. no, George you are the biggest threat to peace,” Shatner muses, followed by “I need retribution.”
Meanwhile Carrie Fisher is using her Princess Leia image to sell, literally, t-shirts. Specifically t-shirts for her one-woman Broadway show “Wishful Drinking Created & Performed by Carrie Fisher.” But Fisher’s personal musings about whether she should have had a cut of the sales of “Star Wars” toothpaste have been supplanted by a much bigger issue.
Because Takei has come up with the brilliant bold conclusion that explains why audiences have been pulled away from the stars and thrown the former cast members of these blue chip nostalgia cash cows into chaos: “We have a mutual threat” – the “Twilight” franchise.
Takei has gone so far as to say via videos “Sci-fi fans be warned, there are no great stories, characters or profound life lessons to be had in ‘Twilight.’ In ‘Twilight’ the only message that rings out loud and clear is, ‘Does my boyfriend like me?’ Let’s band together to defeat this mutual threat.”
How did this happen? From the clean rooms of space to messy Gothic machinations on earth? What would Philip K. Dick say?
A master of genre writing, Dick famously said that science fiction’s greatest weakness is “its inability to explore the subtle, intricate relationships that exist between the sexes… [therefore] it remains pre-adult, and therefore appeals more or less to pre-adults.”
For good or ill, although “Twilight” begins in a high school, the most recent iteration of that saga has seen the two main characters monogamous, married, and giving birth in a literal completion of the maturation cycle. Nobody ever expected Han Solo or Captain Kirk to be monogamous or have a family, did they?
Space travel also requires billions of dollars in R&D, special suits and funding from major, usually malicious, corporations.
Has anyone ever noticed the major fictitious corporations that have starred in all the great sci-fi space epics? In “2001″ the parent company made HAL; in “Blade Runner” it was the Tyrell Corporation, and the ruthless “Company” sacrificed Ripley and crew in space to capture the creature in “Alien.”
In fact, the Tyrell Corporation’s motto is “More Human Than Human” although nobody is supposed to live for more than four years. Even the “X-Men” have a federation, much as “Star Trek” has “Star Fleet Command” and “Star Wars” have their para-military corporate structures.
Becoming a vampire is pretty DIY, and you don’t need to hold a job or have a title. No vampire ever needs a 401K or health insurance, since the undead never retire or use an HMO.
So what does this mean for storytellers?
While Steven Spielberg’s impulse was to merge two popular genres in last year’s box office misfire “Cowboys & Aliens” — the real answer is staring filmmakers in the face — send the cast of “Twilight” into space.
The movie could start with Kristen Stewart’s Bella voice-over from Carrie Fisher’s book,”Wishful Drinking,” with: “I emerge from my three-week long ECT treatment to discover that I am not only this Princess Leia creature but also several-sized dolls, various T-shirts and posters, some cleansing items and a bunch of other merchandise.”
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen would finally have to get a job piloting a space ship, and he could have some structure in his daily routines throughout that uniquely space-travel suited built-in benefit he has called immortality.
Or, we can just expect business as usual, the genre wars continuing with more scuffling from the dethroned space cadets. Ironically Twilight author Stephanie Meyers wrote in her first book in the series: “I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”
Watch for more from “Philanthropist, Actor, Producer, Father, Husband, and Grandfather” Captain Kirk on @WilliamShatner linking to his YouTube videos from Twitter.
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