[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
Consider this a light item, but Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was cited by a concurrence in the Texas Supreme Court (the opinion of the court is here). At issue was the application of the principle of Ex Post Facto in the Texas Constitution, so I won’t bore you with the details. But here is the key passage:
Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan21), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency.
And of course at footnote 21 it says this:
See STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (Paramount Pictures 1982). The film references several works of classic literature, none more prominently than A Tale of Two Cities. Spock gives Admiral Kirk an antique copy as a birthday present, and the film itself is bookended with the book’s opening and closing passages. Most memorable, of course, is Spock’s famous line from his moment of sacrifice: “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” to which Kirk replies, “the needs of the few.”
So there you go, Texas lawyers. You may cite Star Trek II as controlling law. Non-Texas lawyers can cite it as persuasive authority. I would not, on the other hand, recommend citing Star Trek V.
Also, someone pointed out ages ago that the recent “Star Trek” demonstrates that the biggest Star Trek fan in history might be… Spock himself. See if you follow this. In the most recent movie, a young James Kirk steals a car and as he drives, he puts the song “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys on the radio. So the Beastie Boys existed in the Star Trek universe. But the Beastie Boys made another song called “Intergalactic” where they say, “Your knees’ll start shaking and your fingers pop/Like a pinch on the neck by Mr. Spock.” That is a reference obviously to the TV show, Star Trek. Which means necessarily that all the Star Trek TV shows and movies exist, which means that according to their universe every action they have taken—including the changed timeline that debuted in the most recent movie—was predicted by a string television shows and a series of movies that appeared in the 20th and 21st centuries. And that means necessarily that people depicted in these movies and shows are consciously imitating the real actions predicted by these movies and shows.
Well, either that, or they decided to stick a rap/rock song in a movie because it seemed like a good song for the scene, without considering the metaphysical ramifications of it all. I mean I suppose that is a possibility.
Still I am waiting for a scene in the sequel where like in Spaceballs, they fish out a copy of the movie they are in, and fast-forward it to figure out what their enemies will do next.
Returnig to the court case, it’s also worth noting that the majority opinion in that case was written by the Honorable K. Noonien Singh. The dissent, by J. Tiberius Kirk simply read: “Khhaaaaaan!!!”
(No, not really.)
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing, who admittedly can be a real geek sometimes.]