Star Trek celebrated its 45th anniversary last week. Since its inception, the original series has given way to five additional series and 11 movies. Star Trek imagines a future in which humanity has neared its full potential and rid itself of disease, war, famine, prejudice and pesky religions. Even though the Star Trek universe is built upon a philosophy void of Jesus, I couldn’t help but wonder what if Jesus was in Star Trek.
Happier Red Shirts
In a number of episodes of the original series, the away teams consisted of Kirk, Spock, Bones and some dude in a red shirt. Everyone knew, even the red shirt himself, that if someone wasn’t making it back to the Enterprise it was most likely going to be the guy in the red shirt. Red shirts died in numerous yet very expected ways. If Jesus was in Star Trek he could have gone on every away mission and brought the red shirts back to life. If they died from an alien booby trap or flesh-eating virus, Jesus would be able to go all Lazarus on the poor, fodder-like red shirts.
The main antagonist of Star Trek: The Next Generation was the godlike Q. Q always meddled in the affairs of Captain Picard and his crew, using his almost omnipotent powers to entertain himself. If Jesus was in Star Trek it would be interesting to see the interactions between the godlike Q and God himself. In my mind I imagine it being like the fight between Yoda and Count Dooku. Q would throw everything he had at Jesus and Jesus would deflect it until they just fought each other with lightsabers. It wouldn’t be that drawn out, though. Jesus is the omnipotent creator of the entire universe, including beings like Q. Q would try shooting electricity at Jesus and Jesus would just yawn, turn Q into a clay pigeon and move on.
Exploration is core to Star Trek. Starships and space stations are spread throughout the galaxy with the intent of boldly going where no one has gone before. If Jesus was in Star Trek, though, he would have already been everywhere they were exploring. Data or Spock would get all excited about charting a new binary system or observing a super nova, and Jesus would totally one up them and say how he remembered creating that star before it went nova. All the excitement of exploration is removed when one of the crew has already been there, knows how to get there and knows exactly what will be found. Jesus is a great lord and savior, but he would be a bit of a downer as an explorer.
Gene Roddenberry would never have allowed Jesus to appear in Star Trek. The presence of the Son of God would have gone against Roddenberry’s secular humanism. Thankfully I am able to enjoy Star Trek without embracing its anti-God philosophy. Star Trek may not have taught be that much about Jesus, but it did teach me how to obsess over a nerdclination and fully entrench myself as a life-long nerd.
What else would you have liked to see Jesus do in the Star Trek universe?