Friday, April 22, 2011

The last gasp of Data--A Lenten Meditation

Nine years ago or so Star Trek: Nemesis, the last Star Trek: TNG movies, came out--to poor reception. Roger Ebert said that while he was watching the movie, he realized that the franchise had run out of gas. Rotten Tomatoes has only given it 37% positive rating. It only raked in $43,254,409 and was beaten in the box office by a J Lo movie (all according to Wikipedia that is)

Oddly enough, Nemesis is one of my favorite Star Trek movies. It is right behind Star Trek IV and First Contact. The reason why is because of the final scenes. It is the final scenes that stick so vividly in my mind.

Picard and Data have a bond. It stems back to the Battle of Wolf 359 where Data did not give up saving Picard after he was assimilated by the Borg. In First Contact, Data is captured by the Borg Queen and Picard stops at nothing to rescue Data.

So why is this all important?

In Nemesis, Picard willingly takes a one way trip to the Romulan War Bird housing his clone, Schizon, who is bent on killing Picard. Picard knows that he must do this to save his people, his ship, his friends. Data, the android who so desired to be human, learns of Picard's intentions. And so, in pure sci-fi-is-it-sentient-or-not fashion, Data proves his humanity in giving his life to save Picard's.

There is a scene at the end where Data leaves the safety of the Enterprise, flies through space itself and enters the chaotic world of the War Bird. He enters in and saves Picard, giving up his own life to do so. Data's first and last breathe as a person was to give his life for another.

Today is Good Friday, the day that Jesus hung upon the cross. Thinking of that scene from Nemesis, I keep thinking of Jesus here on earth.

Jesus proved his humanity by willing to give up his own life for ours. Jesus leaves the safety of being in perfect triune community with the Father and the Holy Spirit, enters into our chaotic world and gives his life to save ours.

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1 John 3:16

I'm a spiritual musclehead and I am a geek. I find the touch of the divine in the attempt to look at the possible. The story of humanity is one reflected in battles of Yavin Prime, at the Battle of Wolf 359, along the Plains of Mordor and the halls of Hogwarts. They are mere reflects of the truth. The Truth incarnate, that Friday afternoon, breathed his last, said "it is finished" and gave up his Spirit so that we would be saved.

Today is Friday, but Sunday's coming soon.

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