Where We Have Gone Before: Star Trek Into and Out of Darkness

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura Ammon Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Religious Studies (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Star Trek functions as a religion though its universe is explicitly humanistic and secular. Star Trek Into Darkness offers an interpretation of 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the creators may not have intended the film as a religious text, it offers an analysis of what happened, a set of responses, pointing to a path forward, incorporating those events into the Star Trek (and ultimately our own) universe. I will offer a close reading of Star Trek Into Darkness that explores the negotiation of what it means to be human and our place in the post- 9/11 world. My thesis is that the film can be read as implicitly religious in two senses. First, it offers a vision of what is human in the face of questions of terrorism and preemptive strikes, duty and honor, life and death. Second, it offers viewers a reflection on possible responses to 9/11 and the aftermath, pointing forward. It is a secular homily on being human in the past, present, and future.

Additional Information

Ammon, Laura. (2014), "Where We Have Gone Before: Star Trek Into and Out of Darkness" Impact Religion, ISSN: 1463-9955, Doi: 10.1558/imre.v17i4.379 Version Of Record Available From www.equinoxpub.com
Language: English
Date: 2014
star trek, contemporary religion, religious theory

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