Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Set a course, Mr. Data...

"Two tickets for Star Trek," I said to the teenager behind the counter, trying to conceal my excitement. "Next Thursday, please." She punched a few buttons on her computer, looked at a co-worker for reassurance, and went back to managing the screen. I thought it might take a little while, but the sun was just beginning to set, the weather was warm, and my wife and I didn't have much else to do, so we waited patiently.

"Do you want the seven or ten o'clock show?" the ticket girl asked.

"Seven," I said, smiling at my wife.

"Twenty dollars," she replied. I was a bit shocked, since we had seen the tickets online the night before for half that price, plus a one-dollar "service fee," which is how we ended up at the theatre in person. I was a bit surprised, since I agreed to forgo an opening-day showing at the IMAX on the south side of the Cities mostly because they wanted a hefty $15 per ticket.

"Are you sure?" I asked, thinking back to the opening night of Star Trek: Nemesis, and wondering if the new revival of the Star Trek franchise was really worth a $20 gamble. I'm hoping it will be, but still, if the tickets are supposed to be $5 each, well, it never hurts to ask, right?

"I think there might be a problem with the computer," she said with a slight bit of empathy. "I'll check with my manager." A few minutes, and several garbled syllables by way of a walkie-talkie later, she found a way to sell us seats for the $5 price we had seen online. "You'll be in theatre 10, which is a little smaller..."

Red Alert. Prepare for saucer separation, number one! "Smaller? But...it's Star Trek!" I widened my eyes just a little, trying to appeal to her good nature and what I hoped was a sympathy for the endangered species she was encountering first-hand: the walking anachronism that is the modern-day Star Trek fan, firmly clinging to memories of The Voyage Home and The Inner Light, hoping his faith in the once-great series would soon be redeemed. Sure enough, it worked, and a few more minutes of screen-tapping later, she landed us seats in the Big Auditorium for the same $5 price.

And so we walked away, hoping J.J. Abrams' interpretation of Gene Roddenberry's grand vision for humanity will live up to the hype. I guess we'll find out in a week!


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