Ageless

I’m crossing a threshold.  As far as thresholds go, it’s not a particularly important one, but, due to the very nature of my interests, it’s one that holds some significance for me.

Since I was a small child, I have been borderline obsessed the movies and television shows.  Anyone who has read my posts on this site has probably noticed that by now.  Keeping up with what’s happening in these worlds is pretty much my primary hobby.  In particular, I love science fiction and superhero franchises.  Again, I think that is pretty obvious from the contents of my posts.

So what’s this threshold that I mentioned at the beginning of this post?  Well, I’ve come to realize that my relationship with the heroes and heroines I’m watching on the screen is starting to echo what Matthew McConaughey’s character Wooderson said of high school girls in Dazed and Confused  - I get older.  They stay the same age.

The first movie that really grabbed my attention as a kid was Star Wars.  Luke, Leia, and Han were a huge part of my childhood.  And while those characters have been allowed to age in real time in the latest Star Wars film, the characters who are not the primary story drivers are all played by actors who far younger than me.

Superman is now younger than me.

The Flash and Supergirl are far younger than me.

Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are younger than me.

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch verson) is younger than me (And yes, I count him as a kind of superhero).

The current Doctor on Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, is older than me, but the previous one was younger.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Capaldi is the last time a Doctor is older than me.

The same holds true for the current Batman, who they’ve made a point to say is an older, more seasoned Dark Knight.  So, the older hero in that movie is not much older than me.

I would also bet that Daniel Craig is the last James Bond to be older than me.

Does any of this matter?  Not really.  These heroes are always going to be in their prime unless for story reasons the filmmakers want an older version, such as with Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wolverine in the upcoming Wolverine III, which is rumored to be an adaptation of the “Old Man Logan” storyline in the Wolverine comics.

So as I continue to age, I will watch these characters get younger and younger relative to me.  I don’t believe this fact will lessen my enjoyment of these stories.  At least I hope not.  Still, it’s going to be an interesting day when I look up at a movie screen and think, “Batman looks like such a baby.  Shouldn’t that guy still be in school?”

Before I end, I wanted to give a couple of quick follow-ups on posts from the last few weeks.  I recently lamented the state of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on The CW.  It hasn’t improved, and, after last week’s episode, I think my brain decided it had had enough.  I recorded the most recent episode, but I can’t muster up the least amount of interest in watching it.  

I also recently wrote about my excitement that Bryan Fuller had been named as showrunner for the new Star Trek television series.  Since then he has announced two more people who will be joining the show: Rod Roddenberry and Nicholas Meyer.   Rod Roddenberry is Gene Roddenberry’s son, and, while I don’t know how much experience he has on the creative side of things, I do believe, based on interviews with him that I’ve read and seen, that he feels very strongly about protecting his father’s legacy and about what Star Trek can be.  I am glad that he is on board, but Meyer’s involvement is far more exciting.  Meyer co-wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and also co-wrote Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, three of the highest regarded films in the franchise. 

While these announcements show an interest in Star Trek’s past, I do hope Fuller isn’t planning to focus too heavily on what has come before.  It’s a tough tightrope to walk, as evidenced by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s rocky first two seasons.  They found a way to forge their own path while still remaining true to Star Trek.  I hope Fuller will be able to do the same, and his moves so far give me cause for optimism.

- Alan Decker

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