Next summer, we're going to get a glimpse into the terrible childhood trauma of one of our greatest science fiction heroes. According to some spoilery leaks from one of next summer's biggest movies, we'll get a detailed flashback to that hero's childhood. We'll peel back the emotional scars that are the real reason that person is so intrepid and bold. When is the crazy over-sharing and psychoanalyzing going to stop? Spoilers ahead! As you'll already know if you were reading morning spoilers (or, pretty much, the internet) the other day, we'll be spending a lot of time with Captain Kirk's uncle Frank in the new Star Trek movie. Something happens to Kirk's dad, and he and his brother wind up living with Uncle Frank, who's an alcoholic asshole who mistreats the Kirk boys. And according to actor Brad William Henke, this mistreatment is the reason why James Kirk runs off to Starfleet and becomes an intrepid explorer of the galaxy. Yeah. He doesn't become an explorer because of the thrill of discovery, or the desire to know more about the cosmos... it's all about dealing with his wounded inner child.
I can just picture Captain Kirk's personal logs now:
Captain's Log... supplemental. My ship. My crew. They look to me. For leadership. But how can they know? That when I order them to raise shields - I'm really just trying to shield myself - from the memory of Uncle Frank? How could they be aware? That when I call for a tractor beam - I'm thinking of how Uncle Frank used to threaten - to run over me with his tractor? Am I really boldly going? Or just boldly running away - from the memory - of Uncle Frank? Every time. I beam down. To a planet. I hope that the pattern buffer. Filters out all the memories of Uncle Frank - reassembling me on the planet's surface - with my demons left behind. If only...
Actually, a lot of things make sense now. Like, I always wondered why Captain Kirk was so obsessed with that poem about "All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to sail her by..." And now I know. The tall ship represents Uncle Frank, and the star represents the absent father that James T. Kirk wishes Uncle Frank could steer towards.
But why stop there? After all, Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are also working on the new Transformers movie. Surely there must be room for a scene where we discover the traumatic first oil change that left Optimus Prime deeply damaged in his inner workings. "They said it wouldn't hurt. But then they unscrewed my oil drain plug and slipped an oil filter wrench inside. And the dirty oil just poured out of me! Everyone was watching and laughing at the filth coming out of my exposed insides. Now, no matter how many times I Transform, I'm still the same wounded robot inside."
Really, every hero should have a childhood damage, and we should get to see it in detail. We're already seeing John Connor's awkward teen years, and we got a front-seat view of Anakin Skywalker's unfortunate baby-hood. But we need more! Nothing should be left to the imagination. All of our heroes must be in therapy - just like with the new "dark" Superman we're apparently going to get. Because every heroic journey is really the journey backwards, to childhood, to answer the crucial burning question: "What's your damage?" It could be worse. We could have a whole slew of movies about brave space explorers undergoing EMDR.