Thursday, September 20, 2012

Enemy Mine: A Star Trek Fan's Look

And now, a guest post!

You are, perhaps familiar with (and if you read this blog, shame on you if you aren't) the franchise Star Trek. But, I ask you, I urge, I bid you if you are not familiar, to become familiar with a science fiction movie entitled Enemy Mine. So let me, Joseph Belle, bring you up to speed; maybe you'll give it a watch.

The beginning of the film is quite simple: you have the humans and the Dracs, two vastly different races who can't even talk to one another, vying for control of a mineral-rich area of space. Both believe the area belongs to them, and neither is willing to try and even communicate. So when they see the other, they just send out fighters and blow each other apart. Now I call this a review from a Star Trek fan's point of view because it's not what happens in the beginning that matters so much; because, soon into the film, one of the human pilots goes after a Drac ship, and in the dogfight, both ships are damaged.

They crash to the ground, and you find that the human pilot (one Willis E. Davidge played by Dennis Quaid) is now alone, as his gunner died in the crash. Not knowing if the Drac pilot survived, Davidge tries to radio for rescue, only to find his radio is out, so he starts making his way towards the downed Drac ship, only to find that the Drac pilot survived.

I don't want to go into a complete play-by-play of the entire movie, but in the end, Davidge is faced with living alone, or living with an enemy. Choosing to live with his enemy (The Drac pilot Jeriba Sherigan played by Louis Gossett, Jr.) the two learn to speak each other's language and find that they are not so different.

The story is a heartwarming adventure of how two people can be so different, but so alike at the same time, culminating at the midpoint of the movie, in which Davidge is forced to make a decision that will potentially make all of humanity turn their backs on him.

It's worth a watch, if you can find a good copy of it, and it's based on the story written by Barry B. Longyear. Despite the book being so short, the movie is an exception to the rule of the book always being better than the movie. But I believe both are worth attention and time, especially if, like me, you feel that warm attachment to the hope that humanity can move beyond our petty disagreements and become something greater. If nothing else, it's a good, classic science-fiction movie.

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