Only an Allusion?: Star Trek Into Darkness and the Death of Literary Literacy

I don’t get to see that many movies in the theater, although I do serve as our Hogwarts Film-Fancier in Chief. Now that we’re done with new Harry Potters and Twilight films (at least until the inevitable re-boots), I’m patiently waiting for Catching Fire this fall, but I did recently get to catch Star Trek into Darkness. I am an unabashed Star Trek fancier as well, having really enjoyed writing “Shakespeare (and the Rest of the Great Books) in the Original Klingon” for the newly released Star Trek and History. Though I enjoyed the film very much, I noticed that it was loaded with plenty of wonderful allusions to other pieces of the Star Trek universe, but somewhere along the way, had lost one of the most important features of that universe: its deft use of literary allusions. So join me in the transporter room as we beam around the beautiful and complex world of literary allusions and think about why it’s so troubling that we see them less and less these days, in both books and films, or that people don’t recognize them when they see them. Energize!
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