Raising Them Geek: Watching Wrath of Khan

Geek Culture

khankhanThere’s a delicate balance required when attempting to instill in our children a passion for the things we ourselves love. If we push too hard, they’ll react negatively. If we do too little, maybe they won’t even notice. This is true for all parents: the JockDad who pushes their kid at sports may see the same rebellion as the GeekDad who tries to get their 8 year-old to read the Silmarillion. But every now and then an opportunity comes along; a confluence of events conspires to create a teachable moment, and we must answer the call.

Such circumstances have recently happened in our household, and I’m here to report that the geekification is proceeding on schedule.

We’ve been trying to get our kids into Star Trek for a long time, suggesting time and again this episode of TNG, or that of TOS, but to no avail. They just weren’t interested. At least, not until J.J. Abrams worked his magic with the recent Star Trek movie. It has proved to be the Guardian portal, allowing us to transport our kids into the past of the franchise. The turning point was a trip to Target last week, and some lazy browsing through the DVD area. My older son came running up to my wife excitedly clutching a new Blu-ray box set containing Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, and Voyage Home, the second through fourth (and without question best) original Star Trek movies. They were totally jazzed by the idea of seeing more adventures with Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. We couldn’t pass it up.

We watched Wrath of Khan almost immediately, and the boys loved it. The scariest part is the brain-worm, though the mediochre effects do mute some of the gross-out factor there. They loved seeing the original version of the Kobayashi Maru test, and smiled politely when we pointed out Kirk eating the apple with a knowing, self-satisfied smile in the Genesis cave just like he does in the Abrams movie when he knows he holds all the cards. Otherwise, they cheered at the action and one of them even cried at Spock’s death (we had to reassure him that Spock was alright, and would be back – how else could he have shown up as an old man in the newest movie?).

We’ll certainly be watching Search for Spock very soon (it is summer after all), and it’ll be fun pointing out that the main bad guy is Doc Brown!

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