Where We Have Gone Before

Star Trek Into and Out of Darkness

Authors

  • Laura Ammon Appalachian State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.v17i4.379

Keywords:

implicit religion, science fiction, Star Trek, Secular Humanism, 9/11 response

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 pre-emptive 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.

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Published

2014-12-12

How to Cite

Ammon, L. (2014). Where We Have Gone Before: Star Trek Into and Out of Darkness. Implicit Religion, 17(4), 379–394. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.v17i4.379

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Articles