It happened while we were standing in the express lane line at a local business. I’ll call it Xal-Nart, but the name really isn’t important.
As we set our few, meager purchases, sinus medicine, flea spray for the dog, garden supplies – again, not really important – on the counter, we were discussing an article Anita had read about people who loved the original trilogy but didn’t like the new Star Wars movies. (I guess Eps. I-III will always be the “new” Star Wars movies. At least until Lucas put out Eps. VII-IX like he promised all those decades ago.)
At the mention of the words “Star” and “Wars,” the boy-child manning the register perked up. “Do you guys like Star Wars?” he asked in a manner that really said “Oh wow! People as old, as ancient and decrepit as these two like something as cool, hip and trendy as Star Wars!”
We acknowledged that we did, indeed, enjoy the Star Wars and a look of joy began to spread across the face of this young, wholesome refugee from a Norman Rockwell jpeg. He began to proclaim his love for this Lucasian manna from Heaven. When he finally took a break to give us our total – $34.97, and, again, that’s totally irrelivant – glowing with the light of a new-found kinship, I endeavoured to continue the conversation.
“Yeah, I love Star Wars, but, I’ve always been more of a Trekkie.” (And, yes, I prefer “Trekkie” to “Trekker” which, in some circles has become the preferred reference. Splitters!)
At that very second, the glowing face of the man-child froze into a mask of unadulterated hatred and hostility. Dark, thunderous clouds began to gather behind him. The lights in Xal-Nart began to dim and shower sparks down upon us from high above. A sudden chilling wind began whipping around us like a dark foreboding of evil which was yet to come.
“Oh,” said the man-child. Images of he tortures and agonies he was perpetrating on me in his mind were reflected in his eyes. A dark, deadly silence followed, followed by a darker and deadlier “I see.”
Knowing that the putrid, scaly claws of this evil thing were hovering above the keys of the register which, if pressed, would add another $3,000 tot our total in unpurchased knitting items, car interior deodorants and feminine hygiene supplies, I sought to once again get the upper hand.
Determined to get the upper hand, I added in a manner dismissing this infant “Yeah, I grew up watching the original Star Trek. The first Star Wars movie didn’t come out until I was 11, so I was pretty raised on Trek.” In one fell swoop, I let the youngling know I was his Master. I was both Obi Wan and Christopher Pike. I gained my power from the Source, while he had suckled the stale and sour milk of Jar Jar Binks and Clone Troopers.
The effect was as if Gandalf drew the mighty Glamdring and held it high above his head in order to slay the Balrog, only to find it had been reduced to a miserable little river troll.
I took the spoils of our shopping trek, which also included a DVD from the $5 bin – again, not important. The deflated man-boy could only utter a shallow, defeated “Next please” in our triumphant wake.
As we left, however, I was troubled.
For some reason, unbeknownst to me, this Lucasian Acolyte had suddenly become my enemy. I had heard about this rift between those who worshiped at the altar of the Great Bird of the Galaxy and those who follow the Great Bearded One, but I had never before experienced it.
From the dawn of time, the two tribes were one. Klingon and Stormtrooper would break bread together. The Targ would lay down with the Ewok. It was a glorious time. A time of peace.
But now, for some reason, like East Coast and West Coast rappers, there has been a tear in the fabric which once held us all together. We no longer stand together against the true enemy – jocks – but we aim our phasers and blasters at each other.
I say to you my brothers… and sisters, but we all know it’s mostly brothers… Let any rift between us be healed. What ever grievances we had against one another in the past let the wind-blown sands, whether they be the sands of Tatooine or Ceti Alpha V, wear away this conflict between us.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy and Luke Han and Leia are all strong on their own, but imagine the power they would have together. And not in some kind of alternate universe cross-over kind of way, but in a metaphoric, but real-life kind of way. Though, it would be cool if there could be some kind of cross-over where they were in the same universe. Even better, it could be caused by an Ancient device that, when brought into contact with the Stargate, ripped open the barrier between all three realities… but I digress.
It is our differences, our diversity – whether we be Federation or Republic, Gungan or Orion, R2 blue or R4 red unit or black/white or white/black – that makes us stronger.
I’m willing to be the first to reach out, Trekkie to Fanboy. Ask yourself – WWYD? What would Yoda do?