Jan 27, 2010

Star Trek 11 - Director's Cut

Finally caught J.J. Abrams' take on the venerable Star Trek franchise this week, and I haven't yet read a symbolic interpretation online, so thought I'd jump in.

To me, Star Trek has always been more about exploring "inner space" - the mythic archetypes inside our own heads, than the actual cosmos. The Star Trek Universe and its four quadrants all represent different rooms, or spheres, of human consciousness, and when James T. Kirk says "to boldly go where no man has gone before", he’s talking about something far more intriguing (and dangerous) than merely exploring the physical universe.

All the Star Trek characters represent mythic archetypes, for example Lt. Uhura, Communications Officer, can be seen as Mercury, a messenger of the Gods. Spock is obviously the Roman Vulcan, or Hephaestus in Greek. Star Trek 11 is all about Spock.

Spock is a Vulcan/Human crossbreed. He has a dual nature, and it is this duality that Spock confronts in the movie. Spock is half logic and half emotion. Or in other words, half left brain and half right brain. He is Ego and Id, conscious and subconscious, which makes Spock the only true "human being" in the movie, and it is the conflict between these two "sides" that the movie is all about. Everyone Spock meets in this dream-like storyline is an archetype of his own subconscious.

In Star Trek mythology, Vulcan is the planet of science, reason, and all the left brain virtues. Vulcans are also intellectually arrogant, and this is the side where Spock was raised - a man of ”dual citizenship“, but confined to one side. We are introduced to Spock as a child being raised in an individual "bowl" of scientific learning (one of thousands), nicely representing the individual ego's experience of reality.

Vulcans, like Spock, have a history of duality. Long ago, their race split in two, with what eventually became the Vulcans embracing logic as their savior, and the Romulans embracing the other side. Rome was founded by Romulus, and since Rome is synonymous with the Catholic church, I’ll hazard a guess that Romulus represents the right brain, subconscious, intuitive, religious side. It’s a side that Spock (mankind) holds within himself, but is suppressed because of his rigid, Vulcan, ego-centric upbringing.

To make sense of the movie, we have to skip ahead - far in the future of this Star Trek episode.

129 years from now, a star will explode, and threaten to destroy the galaxy.

The elder Spock promised the Romulans that he would save their planet, and outfitted their fastest ship - (a stargate/contact device-like contraption) with “red matter” - a sort of doomsday device that would destroy the exploding star from within by creating an internal black hole. Unfortunately, “the unthinkable” happened, and Romulus was destroyed by the star.

I’ll hazard another guess that this star represents the "star" of scientific enlightenment (circa Renaissance) which took out the "planet/temple" of religion when it went supernova. Science 1, Religion 0.

Romulus/the Church was nearly destroyed, but some renegade survivors (the Jesuits?) took Spock's secret, black-hole weapon of ultimate destruction (resonating Shiva) and time-traveled back in time in order to destroy the planet Vulcan, so that Spock might know what it was like to lose HIS home world.

Which gives us the Black Church of Id/Right brain consciousness on a secret mission in time - bent on the destruction of Ego/Left brain consciousness! man, talk about an eye for an eye!

In Star Trek 11, this "Romulan/Catholic black church" erupts into collective consciousness via a time warp, and it takes the form of J. J. Abram's favorite monster from the Id - a menacing giant squid. Sexy, leather clad, tattooed Eric Bana is at the helm of this monster, and he is named Nero. Note his trident-like forehead tattoos, which also resemble the dive-bombing dove.

"I do not speak for Romulus"

Nero was the Roman Caesar who presided over the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and whom the New Romans (Catholics) call the Antichrist. If Romulus = The Roman Church = Id, then Nero represents the Dark Side of this complex creature - the Beast.

Every Antichrist/Villain needs his Christ/Hero, and appropriately, the moment Nero is "born" into consciousness, so is James T. Kirk.

J. J. cast Chris Pine as the new Kirk, and given that every Hephaestus has his Dionysus, I was intrigued by the famous Dionysus fertility symbol synching into the actor's name. Our first shot of the adult Kirk includes a glass of beer, a bar in the 'heartland" granary of Iowa, while making sexual advances on everything on two legs. Pretty much nails Dionysus, I'd say.

Well, now that we know who is playing what archetype, the actual plot is pretty cut and dried. Agent of Ego (Spock) "kills" Id (Romulus). The dark side of Id lashes back, and "kills" Ego (Vulcan).

Meanwhile, the heroic aspect of Id creates a savior archetype, in this case, Captain Kirk. Agent Ego eventually realizes that it is unfit to rule (emotionally impaired), and steps down from the Captain’s chair, allowing the heroic side of his true Self to take the helm.

Antichrist is quickly destroyed/re-integrated into All, and the Enterprise (the evolution of consciousness) takes flight once again.

Speck of consciousness, takes aim at his own dark side - powered by holy cross and blood sacrifice.

Or in other words, Dionysus returns Hephaestus to Olympus, and for this heroic feat, he is welcomed into the pantheon.

Update 1/30/10: Red Matter

Spock's antichrist destroying spaceship is literally loaded for bear. It includes a solar cross "rose window", and in the shot below we see the holy hexagon and the completed pyramid, with Spock's head standing in for the capstone. The spaceship itself takes the form of a whirling "Contact Device".

The ship's ultimate weapon is called "red matter", which is a spherical red blob that somehow reminds me of blood. Blood sacrifice.

According to Christian dogma, the blood sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is the act that saves us from our sins. The modern, mushroom-inspired interpretation of this pivotal event is called "ego-death". Jesus, the Lamb of God, takes the place of our ego, and is ritually "slaughtered". Perhaps the red amanita is the "vehicle" of this profound, alchemical process.

All the symbols encoded into Spock's spaceship are representing the same thing - the connection of ego to Id, which causes the death of the false self (ego) and the birth of a new creation. Spock is the new Adam:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. -- 1 Corinthians 5:22
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. --1 Corinthians 15:45


Anadæ Effro said...

Gasp! Michael! Well it's about time! I saw this gem in √Čire last May w/ the hubbs. It was at an evening showing at a multiplex in Dublin. Lemme tell ya, what a younger & I daresay partier crowd it was. Just remember, the cross is also an ancient pre-Christian symbol, one that crosses many different cultural boundaries. As a matterly factual, not only does its presence in the Emerald Isle precede Christianity, I offer that there is an antediluvian import to its significance, briefly touched upon at this site. One of my own pillars of personal spiritual counsel, Orion Foxwood, also in a primary relationship with a man, yay, High Monogamy, offers the encircled cruciform as an emblem of the Faery Tradition, & it appears in Mesoamerican & Native American (man, was that redundant or what?) paths as well. I'm posting this on my page in the Book of Faces. Bound to start quite the buzz in the Synchromystic community. You fuckin' ROCK, Michael. Best to you & Var! ~ (•8-D

The Quark Observer said...

That movie was all over the place, I couldn't make it through it. If a movie has ever been manic it was that one. I thought the bar scene was ok and then it just was too much action for me.

Michael said...

Anadae - thanks for the nice comment. The cross certainly is a symbol that far predates Christianity. To me, it simply represents a conjunction/reconciling of Id and ego. I didn't show it, but Spock's helm seat is in the shape of a pyramid...

Quark Observer - I agree, it seems to want to hide the symbols in frenetic action, which again, is much like our own life experience, I think. Abrams leaves little Easter Eggs all OVER the place, and it's fun to try to find them.

For example, Kirk beats the "unwinnable" computer simulation called the Kobiashi Maru, by cheating. In other words, he "cheats" death, exactly like Jesus/Dionysus. All the while loudly chomping on an apple, which represents the Tree of Knowledge, AKA the magic mushroom.

Cheers, Michael

The Quark Observer said...

I was suppose to be in a new movie about a run away train [888 aka the crazy 8 train]. And I woulda introduced Chris Pine [Kirk] to Denzel Washington [Malcolm X], but I couldn't get to the audition in time and I got some negative signs about it from my tarot cards. The guy I woulda played got hit by the train and died. They originally wanted a stunt man but were trying to get me cause I had "the right look". Anyways I wonder who they got, guess I will see when the movie comes out. The movie is called Unstoppable.

Plus Chris Pine is in a new interesting [to me at least] movie called 'Quantum Quest'. Listen to the plot, Quantum Quest centers on the story of Dave [Pine], a young photon, who is forced out of the Sun on a journey of discovery.

Peace C

Anonymous said...

Now I see the movie in a whole new way! I swear, it would take me weeks to come up with this stuff.

And the guy who played Chekov--I'd eat him with a spoon!

Christopher Knowles said...

Excellent analysis. I also recommend Nemesis, which for some strange reason this film borrowed heavily from.

Michael said...

QO - hmmm. Way too many synchs to analyze now!

Riverwolf - thanks. Actually did take several weeks of pondering.

Christopher - I liked Nemesis quite a bit. The concept of your own demonized "self" coming back to get you is very Jung.

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