So, you were rejected from Starfleet, stuck on Earth with nothing to do but watch others blast into space. You may be asking yourself “What now?” Well, at first glance, flying in a sleek spaceship, exploring new planets, and enjoying insane amounts of lens flares may seem like a dream come true. However, like many disappointments in life, we may look at these missed opportunities and fail to see how lucky we really are.
In this case, we may choose to overlook the countless number of people who are sucked to their deaths, the awkward relationships that develop from being stuck with the same people for years on end, or even the incompetent leaders — who can’t even speak normally — that are in charge of our very well being.
Here are five reasons why being rejected from Starfleet may be the best thing that ever happened to you.
1. Space Is EXTREMELY Dangerous
You don’t need to be a diehard Trekkie to know that being left in space without the proper protection is a terrible thing. Dr. McCoy said it best when he stated:
“Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.”
Yup, well put doctor. It definitely isn’t a place for the faint of heart. Who can forget the countless times a hole has been blow into the side of the U.S.S. Enterprise followed by a steady stream of red-shirted men and women, flailing in the cold, dark vacuum of space?
Yeah, I know I can’t. Other than the known natural physical dangers of space, what about the unknown? As a member of Starfleet you are tasked with the mission of “going where no man has gone before.” In fact, you may discover that where you go, may not actually be the best place for man to go. A great example of this is of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. They often encounter other life forms that, for some reason or another, want to destroy them.
No matter how you look at it, being a member of Starfleet is not the safest occupation in the world.
Now, as we fail to be a part of these new and exciting adventures, we are spared from their potential dangers. This would allow you to participate in other worthwhile opportunities, safely, here on Earth. On Earth we have the luxury of an atmosphere that protects us from the harsh vacuum of space; therefore, chances of being sucked to your death are greatly reduced. However, with any expedition we undertake, in space or on Earth, the success and safe return of that expedition greatly rely on its leader.
2. Questionable Leadership
As for Starfleet, questionable leaders and dangerous expeditions are not too hard to come by. This becomes clear as we observe Starfleet captains such as the notorious Captain Kirk, a man who said:
“What I am about to do, it doesn't make sense, it's not logical, it is a gut feeling! I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I only know what I can do. The Enterprise and her crew needs someone on that chair who knows what he's doing. That's not me.”
Hmmmm, I don’t know about you, but those words don’t exactly instill confidence in me. I’m not sure anyone would like to be on a ship with a captain that lacks that much self confidence, especially in a life or death situation. Usually it works out for Kirk, but when the alternative could mean this:
being sucked out into space to suffocate and freeze to death, well, let's just say I would rather take my chances living on solid ground.
This type of sketchy leadership in Starfleet doesn’t end there. The very head of Starfleet himself, Admiral Marcus, proved to be just as unreliable when he attempted to start a war with another alien race just to get the upper hand. In the process he awoke a ruthless killer to help him do so.
As questionable leaders go within Starfleet, Kirk is the least of your worries. Unfortunately, this type of leadership is often found outside space exploration. We’ve all, at one time or another, received the bad news that we didn’t make a sports team, or that we didn’t get a part in the upcoming school play. Unless, of course, you were one of those super kids born with every talent known to man. Now, if you’re like me and don’t fall into this category, you know how it feels.
You may have sat there wallowing in despair, deciding in your mind you’ll never play sports or act ever again. That is, until you saw the opening night of the very play you longed to be a part of.
You watched in horror as the cast crashed and burned, falling victim to some very poor decisions made by the director. That’s when you realized that you had dodged a bullet, and that you were better off not being casted with all those other poor souls who were. Having learned from others mistakes, you now know which director to avoid. However, you never truly know until after the fact. And for a member of Starfleet that might just be too late.
3. You Are Stuck With The Same People For Long Periods Of Time
“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
We’re all very familiar with this classic Star trek intro, yet I think we fail to catch the gravity of this small phrase: its five-year mission — that's a long time!
Here’s what Captain Kirk had to say about it in his captain’s log in the film Star Trek: Beyond:
“The more time we spend out here, the harder it is to tell where one day ends and the next one begins. It can be a challenge to feel grounded, when even the gravity is artificial. -- prolonged cohabitation has definitely had effects on the interpersonal dynamics. Some experiences for the better...and some for the worse.”
This is the voiceover of a shot of Kirk staring at closet full of the same exact uniform with an empty gaze, and a shot of Chekov being thrown from crew mate's cabin after attempting to be intimate with her.
For both of these men it’s clear that their five-year mission is starting to have a negative impact on their lives. Just imagine for a second how doing the same thing over and over again would affect your mind. Imagine the ensuing awkwardness that would follow a break-up as you are forced to see you ex day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. When you're stuck on a starship it may look something like this:
Whereas, if you were on Earth you’d have a lot more options.
Of course there will always be challenging relationships on Earth, but why make things more complicated by choosing to lock yourself in a tiny flying saucer moving through space at warp speed? Hopefully, those people you choose to lock yourself up with become close friends and allies, but they may never truly replace the loved ones you leave behind.
4. You Have To Leave Your Family And Friends Behind
As a member of Starfleet, family and friends are not invited on your adventures in space.
For most of us this would be very difficult, for others, maybe not so much. However, this struggle becomes clear as we once again refer to Captain Kirk’s captain's log from Star Trek: Beyond. He mentions the sacrifices made by many of his shipmates just to be there. Shipmates like Lieutenant Sulu, the ship’s helmsman, who had to leave his daughter behind in order to chart the Enterprise’s course into the unknown.
Now, I’m going to be frank here, that would really suck. Having had the opportunity to live outside of the United States, away from friends and family, I can say it feels like being stranded on another planet. You immediately lose that support system that your friends and family provided.
Once you take that away it becomes very difficult to become acclimated again. It took awhile before I was able to build there something similar to what I had at home.
5) Your Goal Is Ultimately Unattainable
“Semper Exploro” — Latin words that roughly translate to “Always exploring.” Words that also, just so happen to appear on one of the flags of Starfleet command.
When you think about it, that’s a near perfect summation of what Starfleet is all about. Only, they chose to use a super cool dead language like latin to get their message across. However, no matter how amazing your dead language skills may be, that simple phrase still becomes a daunting task for anyone to take upon his or her shoulders.
You may be asking yourself “What would it be like to be involved in a mission of that magnitude?” Well, look no further, though we may need to direct our attention to a now extremely familiar captain’s log from a man named James Tiberius Kirk.
For, in that same captain’s log lies our answer. He said:
“As for me, things have started to feel a little... episodic. The farther out we go, the more I find myself wondering what it is we are trying to accomplish. But if the universe is truly endless, then are we not striving for something forever out of reach?”
As members of Starfleet, your mission is to explore the vastness of space, something that as kirk puts it — may in fact be — “truly endless,” making your very mission “truly endless” as well.
If that isn’t an extremely tiring and depressing thought, I don’t know what is. That is like running an endless race with the end goal of making it to the finish line that doesn’t exist. Why subject yourself to such madness? If you weren’t a member of Starfleet you wouldn’t have to.
However, our freedom is something that could be used to focus on more important things in life, like family or love. Why be ever consumed by the pursuit of the unattainable, when you could be ever feed by the pursuit of happiness? Ultimately, living a long and prosperous life.
What would you miss most about Earth if you left to join Starfleet?