Summer Movie Series
-Pastor Melissa Fain-
It is my plan to use this Summer to theology discuss some secular movies.
When I made this plan, Galaxy Quest was free to watch. They have, within a week, taken it off the free site.
I am continuing. I'll be better in the future.
Here's how this will go. I'll start with posting where the movie can be watched for free. (In this case it is on Paramount Plus, if you have it.)
Then I'll do a quick synopsis of the part of the movie I'm discussing, while also connecting the synopsis to the Bible or a theological view.
Finally, I will write what Sunday's movie will be. (On Sunday I'll share the meditation movie.)
Galaxy Quest and Alexander Dane
From the moment it hit the theaters I have loved the movie Galaxy Quest. Not only does it capture the essence of Star Trek, but it is just good storytelling at its core.
At the beginning the story we see our supporting character, Alexander Dane, completely and totally lost. They are at a convention, where the throngs of fans are there for them. Only, in his mind, they are not there for all of them. They are really there for John Nesbit, who played the lead character of Captain Jason Quincy Taggart.
In Alexander's mind, his entire career was a complete and total waste. This is a fact the entire cast is aware of, because it is part of the drill that Alexander will have a melt down at some point during an event. He hates his character and his stupid chatch phrase: "By Grabthar's Hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged."
Poor Alex is in the throws of a true lament. He is mourning what can never be, while seeing no hope for his future situation. As the story progresses, and the Thermians take them to their ship, his lament continues. We see him save the day, while his co-star Jason, gets the praise. He is completely and totally lost, finding no value in anything he has done, is doing, or will do.
Meanwhile, one of the Thermians, Quellek, attempts to bond with Alex. Quellek's favorite character from "the historical documents" was Dr. Lazarus. He modeled his life after him.
Alexander spends most of the movie treating him like he would one of this fans. Not well. He doesn't think highly of anyone who would love the character of Dr. Lazarus. In his mind, he's better than Dr. Lazarus, and he doesn't like the character. Anyone who would like that character clearly didn't understand good drama.
Here's where everything changes. When the big baddie comes back, and tries to suffocate all the Thermians in their quarters, it is Quellek (using a technique he got from Dr. Lazarus in "the historical documents") that escapes being held in the room with his shipmates.
This is the first time Alexander can see he might have been part of something important. But, it's not until they freed the Thermians that everything changes. Quellek get's shot, and is dying. Alexander is holding him as Quellek exclaims in death that it has been the greatest honor to work next to the great Dr. Lazarus.
This Thermian, in his death, was first showing that even in the darkest places on can find praise. He was also giving Alexander meaning to everything. Quellek taught Alexander praise, and as a result Alexander says the line and means it to a dying Quellek, "By Grabthar's Hammer, but the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged."
When our praise is authentic
Our culture shuns the darkness and negativity.
Bad things happening is not a sign that God doesn't love you.
Bad people getting good things are not a sign that they have God's blessing.
Praise not tied to some form of lament leading up to it, is hollow.
Genuine praise, as seen from the outsider, doesn't look like anything has changed.
Notice that Alexander was still the supporting cast member on a show that would never find it's way on the Shakespearian Stage. It wasn't the situation that changed (that was clearly more dangerous after Quellek's death). It was his view of the situation that changed. He suddenly saw purpose and meaning in what he had been doing all along.
One of my favorite IRL events that help me understand why it's so easy to get a group to do the wrong thing, and why it's so difficult to change a system:
Free to stream on Red Box- I will be preaching on "The Experimenter"