In 1986, William Shatner hosted Saturday Night Live and performed the sketch where he told a convention of Trekkers to “Get a life!” A hilarious moment in television history, or an instance of carefully scripted sincerity? Who knows? Either way, anyone who has not checked seen the sketch should do so immediately. I’ll wait, don’t worry…
Wasn’t that hilarious?
Anyway, it just so happens that Shatner is back at it, trying to find out what it is that defines Trekkies and contributes to the phenomena known as Star Trek fandom. Appropriately, he has named this movie “Get A Life” in honor of the satirical remarks he made on SNL. Again, this may or may not be sincere advice. The point is, even after decades of being the big name is Star Trek, he still wonders why the hell grown men and some grown women have spent their entire lives dedicated to this franchise.
Following in the same vein as Trekkies, this documentary goes beyond taking a look at Star Trek conventions and fandom over the years and delves into the deeper questions of what makes Star Trek so enduringly popular. Much like Star Wars, it’s a science fiction franchise that has become inextricably embedded in our collective consciousness, to the point that even Captain Kirk himself is astounded and left wondering what the hell is going on…
Snippets from the documentary suggest that it was Roddenberry’s optimism that won fans over. His positive view of a future where all our current ills are solved and the worst didn’t happen is certainly one of the a selling points of the franchise. With so many dystopian and misanthropic visions permeating the pop culture sphere, people enjoy hearing a more positive appraisal of humanity and its prospects.
More echoes of Star Wars there, another franchise which captured fans imagination with its upbeat message and tempo. One has to wonder if the timing of these two franchises wasn’t just the slightest coincidental…
Anyhoo, here is the documentary’s official trailer. Enjoy!
6 thoughts on “Shatner’s “Get A Life” Explores Star Trek Fandom”
I’m not really a fan of Star Trek (I prefer Star Wars, sorry), so I don’t see the appeal in the show or movies. However, I do admit, Trekkie fandom is something else.
Oh, did you know that whole “Live long and prosper” thing was originally a Jewish symbol and phrase used by priests in the Holy Temple?
That I did. Nimoy said he adapted the hand gesture too from a Jewish ceremony he witnessed once.
yes, it was to bless the people of Israel back in the days of the Temple. Nowadays we only do it once a year, but back then the priests–who I’m descended from, by the way–did it every damn day. It was quite the important ceremony.
Ok. Showing my geek-dom here, but I thought that the episode The Enemy Within was awesome. Definitely one of the best, however, did anyone ever notice that a thick white guy replaced Uhura as the stunt double in the fight scene. I thought that was absolutely hilarious.
I was a kid when I heard about that skit. My reaction was … slightly violent: without those over-committed geeks, he would have been remembered, if he was remembered at all, as a hack actor in some sad cop shows. He bit the hand that, literally, fed him – and let him buy his Arabians and pay his alimony. As an adult … I still dislike the man. A lot. Not just for “get a life” – I generally have no respect for the man and I have no interest in his new little epic.
I just happen to see this interview today and suddenly remember that you have posted something about it. So here are some hints on what Mr. Shatner thinks.