Thursday, June 18, 2009

Star Trek: The ReGenesis of Gus Grissom

“I grew up on Star Trek. 
I believe in the final frontier.” - Barackobamun

Just about this time last year I was looking at the strange semiotic links between
Star Trek and a young, up and coming politician, who had just secured the Democratic nomination for President.

Earlier this year I also looked at the new President's near-ritualistic symbolic connections to a dead astronaut, whom some see as a martyr in the struggle for the soul of the US space program (which was largely the pet project of a strange collection of Nazis and Freemasons at the time). 

Now here we are in June '09:  the new Star Trek film is a blockbuster at the box office and the new President is seen as a near-messiah figure by a significant proportion of the world's population. His opposition is in shambles and he seems poised on remaking the American economy in his image (and he made his first visit as President to NYC during a rare solar alignment). 

 So, I thought I'd just take a look at an earlier Star Trek film, which also had some very interesting references to that martyred astronaut, as well as to the symbolic Ur-narrative that seems to becoming more and more central to our culture these days (like in the new Star Trek, for instance).

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock opens with the death of Spock during the battle with Khan (from Star Trek II), the time-traveling supersoldier who ruled the Earth following the Eugenics Wars. 

Spock dies aboard a spacecraft, as did Gus Grissom. We then see Spock's coffin torpedoed to the surface of the Genesis Planet, which was terraformed using radical technology develop by Kirk's son, David Marcus (played by the late Merritt Buttrick, who also played "Johnny Slash" opposite Sarah Jessica Parker on the 80s cringefest Square Pegs- Buttrick died 3/17/89 from AIDS complications.).

We also see a new Starfleet Commander, played by Robert Hooks. This being post-Lab9 Trek, the Starfleet Commander is essentially the de facto leader of the Federation as well. Interesting conjunction with all of the Gus Grissom symbolism we're about to be hammered with. Here, the Commander forbids the crew to discuss their "knowledge of Genesis." Interesting.

Well, who's flying off to gain further "knowledge" of "Genesis?" Why, none other than the USS Grissom! The Grissom's registry is NCC-638, and a quick bit of addition there should help clarify its purpose in the story.

Marcus and Lt. Saavik (played by Scientologist Kirstie Alley in Star Trek II) detect signs of life on "Genesis" and beam down from the Grissom to investigate. There they find the reborn Spock, reborn with the technomagic of Marcus' Genesis Project. While on the planet, the Grissom is destroyed. 

However, Saavik refers to the Grissom without the article, as we hear several times throughout the story. Throughout the various Star Treks, ship names are almost always preceded by "the." Really interesting.

I love these kinds of juxtapositions- is our dying/rising astronaut Spock a stand-in for someone else here?

Here the Klingons interogate the Grissom's survivors about the Genesis project, which we discover is a failure, fashioned by an imperfect creator who would see himself as a god. Anyone with a passing familiarity with Gnosticism should be hearing bells and whistles going off...
"The lowest emanation was an evil god (the demiurge) who created the material world as a prison for the divine sparks that dwell in human bodies. The Gnostics identified this evil creator with the God of the Old Testament, and saw the Adam/Eve and the ministry of Jesus as attempts to liberate humanity from his dominion, by imparting divine secret wisdom. Gnostics like Christians take an allegorical view of the Old Testament." 
What's that, you say? Pure conjecture? Oh, you're probably right. But get a load of what Saavik blurts out a moment later...

...she has no knowledge. 

Ahh, but she has; Marcus, the creator of Genesis, told her all about it. As his Garden of Eden goes up in flames, Marcus sacrifices himself to save Spock and Saavik, our Vulcan Adam and Eve. 

Remember that some Gnostic sects taught that the Serpent was actually Christ, sent by the Monad to grant Adam and Eve the gnosis and free them from the Demiurge and the Archons. 

How tragically fascinating then that the actor who portrayed Marcus died on the day of Osiris' death, given the similarities between Osiris and Christ (further uncovered in DM Murdock's new book).

After some obligatory fisticuffs between Bill Shatner and Christopher Lloyd (who would launch his own sci-fi franchise the next year), the Enterprise is destroyed and a Klingon Bird of Prey is hijacked and flown to Vulcan. Interesting red glow coming from the ship's stern there. 

 Then it's some heavy Vulcan ritual hoodoo in order to transfer Spock's katra from "the son of David" back to Spock. 

I wonder: is the katra anything like the Egyptian ka?

 Maybe Spock's ritual cloak might hold a clue...

Hmmm, kind of reminds me of the ceremonial shafts in the Great Pyramid, through which the ka of the Pharaoh would be sent to Orion to spend eternity with Osiris, the lord of the afterlife and judge of the dead.

And what do you get with the ascension of the soul of Osiris to the afterlife? Why, the rising of Harpocrates, god of the dawn...

Speaking of which, this was Harve Bennett's post-Star Trek series, Time Trax ( Harve is heavily into the time travel concept, obviously). The portal there reminds me a bit of the Tardis, but that giant Eye is something else altogether...

Coindentally enough, Bennett was born on August 17th. His last project to date was Invasion America, an animated mini-series co-produced with Steven Spielberg. 

From the wiki:

.... humanoid aliens from the planet Tyrus begin to initiate their plans for making contact with Earth. Cale-Oosha, the ruler of Tyrus, looks into his uncle's project with Earth. However, his uncle, The Dragit, claims that their dying planet ought to invade Earth and take hold of its resources. Cale refuses, and a civil war breaks out. Cale and Rafe, his bodyguard, trainer, and trusted friend, escape to Earth, disguising themselves as humans. 
Cale meets Rita Carter, a human woman; he falls in love with her, and they marry. After a long time of running from the Dragit's forces on Earth, Cale returns to Tyrus to help strengthen his loyalist forces, the Ooshati, leaving Rita and their young son, David, under Rafe's protection. 
In the present day, when the Dragit finally finds the family, he is determined to kill them, and David Carter's teenage life is thrown into a devastating adventure of stopping the Dragit, losing and gaining friends, and finding out just who he is.

"Finding out just who you are" is the whole point of Gnosticism, and finding out you are actually an alien hybrid like David Carter is the whole point of Astro-Gnosticism. Fascinating to see some of those old Delta Cycle memes in this series. Interesting guy, that Harve Bennett... 

 Coincidentally, the voice actor playing Massachusetts-born Carter ("nine-point-nine, nine-point-nine") made a recent appearance on The Secret Sun...