Think of your favorite film, book or story of all time. Odds are, there is a moral attached to it. Something that you can walk away from and apply to your every-day life that would improve it significantly. Whether it is something as simple as appreciate your loved ones and the time you have on this planet or as deep as "You are what you love, not what loves you."
So, I've decided for the next edition of "The Morale Of The Story Is..." I would do something a bit different, and not limit myself to one series of films. Instead, let's look at two groups of movies that often lead to sci-fi fans butting heads: Star Wars and Star Trek.
Whether you are in the Trek camp or the Jedi league, I believe most people can agree that the morals of these films are pretty simple and straight forward. They have also defined a (next) generation and have inspired countless lives to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Let's begin with...
"Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977)
The events of the following films, all the destruction, lightsaber battles, Jedi mind tricks, Jar Jar Binks and galactic conquest...could have been avoided if Luke had gone to Toshi Station to pick up his power converters.
"Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
James Earl Jones is the father of the Joker. No wait, I think I got that messed up. Mufasa is Fire Lord Ozai's father.
Damn, I keep getting that mixed up. I blame Jar Jar.
"Star Wars Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi" (1983)
Had Boba Fett not been eaten by the giant earth butthole (ie, Sarlacc), he could easily dispatched with the greatest threat the Empire had ever seen: The Ewoks. His awesomeness is no match for their rocks and sticks.
But no amount of the Fett could save us from Jar Jar Binks.
"The Star Wars Holiday Special" (1978)
Even Wookiees dream of music videos by Jefferson Starship.
Also, I think all Star Wars fans have found something to hate more than Jar Jar Binks: This Christmas special that has nothing to do with Christmas.
"Star Wars: Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure" (1984)
If you ever wanted to the epic tale of "The Lord Of The Rings" told with Ewoks, then this movie is everything you will ever want. And more.
I mean, it's called "Caravan Of Courage." How can you go wrong with that?
"Star Wars' Ewoks: The Battle For Endor" (1985)
Clearly, the Ewoks have left a legacy more refined and treasured than any other in the Star Wars franchise. For they have touched the lives of thousands, if not millions, of children. And they shall carry the memories of the mighty battle for Endor for the rest of their days. When the time comes, they will pass this almighty knowledge onto their kin, so that the next generation may learn to appreciate the grandiose and epic journey of Wicket and Teek.
Ewoks: The true teddy bear's picnic.
Boy, I'm all Star Wars'ed out for now. How's about we ditch the hyper drive and go to warp speed? Good god, I am a nerd. Why don't a throw in a flux capacitor in there as well?
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1978)
If all else fails, try to pull a "2001: A Space Odyssey" and earn your film the nickname of "Star Trek: The Slow Motion Picture."
"Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" (1982)
When you are genetically enhanced super solider, bent on conquering the world, but stranded on a desert planet for several years, the most logical and sane thing to do is to start quoting "Moby Dick" and force worms down people's ears.
And that's before he knows about the device that can destroy an entire planet.
"Star Trek III: The Search For Spock" (1984)
The search for Spock was far easier than it was predicted to be.
"Where is Spock." "Isn't he on the Genesis planet? Where we left him?" "Oh yeah, I forgot. Let's go get him. That search wasn't so bad."
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)
The reason we should not let animals like the Humpback Whale go extinct is not because of the environmental and health reasons. Merely, it is because you never know when a giant space probe will come to Earth, only wish to speak to a species that has been extinct for hundreds of years, just to make sure they're doing okay, and cause global storms and short out all electronics until the probe speaks to this species.
A worthy cause to save the whales.
"Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989)
If ever given the chance, William Shanter would make love to a mountain.
Has it been mentioned that Shanter is bat-shit crazy? And that he directed this bat-shit crazy film?
"Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991)
The Klingons believe that, not only does William Shakespeare sound better in their native tongue, but that Shakespeare must have been a Klingon.
....Yeah, sure. You guys just keep on drinking your blood wine and believe whatever you want.
"Star Trek: Generations" (1994)
Captain Kirk was always meant to die on the bridge. It's just that people never bothered to mention whether that was on the bridge of a ship, or a regular bridge. Oops.
"Star Trek: First Contact" (1996)
Time travel is a casual thing that can happen in the Star Trek universe. It's like having spare power tools. You know you have it, but after a while you just lose interest in it and only really break it out when you need to.
I also have the capability of traveling through time, but you can only visit the middle ages so many times before you've seen it all. I have so many maces that I don't know what to do with them.
"Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998)
In the Star Trek universe, sacrificing 400 lives to save billions of lives is just not a fair or ethical choice.
Why didn't I bring one of my maces to this film?
"Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002)
When you have a fatal illness where you need a blood sample from the most well-known Starfleet captain to live, the first thing you want to do is wait seven hours in your cloaked ship, just watching his ship, then make a long villainous speech about your intentions, and then after several hours of being a hammy villain, make your illness known. It's not like you're on a time crunch or anything.
"Star Trek" (2009)
The villain in this film must have found the villain from "Star Trek: Nemesis" to be his biggest inspiration. This guy is sent back in time about 300 years, destroys one random Starfleet ship and then goes into hiding for thirty years until he is called upon once again.
I guess the true moral of the Star Trek films is that time is just an illusion.
"Star Trek: Into Darkness" (2013)
During his spare time, Doctor McCoy likes to inject other people's blood and unknown chemicals into Tribbles and see what happens. And they that doctor's like to play god.
Well, I believe that is it for this edition of "The Morale Of The Story Is..." I hope that you enjoyed this one, and...
Wait, I feel like I forgot something. Something important. But what could it be? I talked about all the important Star Wars films, especially the Ewok movies.
Oh, right. The unimportant Star Wars films. The terrible ones. I was hoping they'd just eventually go away.
I might need my mace for these.
"Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" (1999)
Midi-chlorians and Jar Jar Binks.
That is all.
"Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones" (2002)
Anakin Skywalker hates sand. It's corse, rough and it gets everywhere. Oh, and the people of the sand killed his mother. That might have something to do with it too.
"Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith" (2005)
All the blame for the rise of the Galactic Empire and their reign of fear and war can be put on Jar Jar Binks. He was the one to stand in front of counsel and elected Chancellor Palpetine to get all the power and control over the Senate.
And the alternate moral that I learned while writing that up is, when you think of Star Wars, the first thing that should come to mind is politics and control over a governing body. Screw galactic battles, jedi philosophies, unique characters and worlds and a wonderful soundtrack. I want to know who controls the Senate.
Goddamn, those prequels suck.