“What’s the mission? Our mission? We explore. We seek out new life and new civilizations. We boldly go where no one has gone before.”
So says Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), the captain of the USS Enterprise.
While previous incarnations of Star Trek have boldly gone where no one has gone before, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds takes place a decade before Captain James T. Kirk helmed the Enterprise. Captain Pike’s crew is a mixture of old and new faces for Trek fans: a younger Mr. Spock (Ethan Peck) and Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn), Pike’s second-in-command, are joined by newly minted Cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding). Just-transferred nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush) joins chief medical officer Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun). And we have a new chief of security, La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), and helmsman Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia).
“Send someone else. You don’t want me in command of that ship.” CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER PIKE
As the episode starts, Captain Pike is ordered on a mission—but he does not want to go.
“Send someone else,” he tells his superior, Starfleet Admiral Robert April (Adrian Holmes). “You don’t want me in command of that ship.”
Why is the normally fearless and intrepid Captain Pike so hesitant to lead the mission? Spock wants to know.
During their last mission, Captain Pike explains that he had been given a glimpse 10 years into the future.
“I saw my own death, Spock. At least, the death of the man I am now. How will it live in me? Will it make me hesitant? Cautious? Not cautious enough? I’m already second-guessing myself. And that’s the last thing a captain can afford.”
Will Captain Pike succumb to paralysis or will he summon within himself the captain he knows he should be?
What would you do if you were granted the knowledge of the day and time of your death? Would you decide to live for yourself hedonistically? Or would you use the time you had left to help others and live altruistically?
Outside of fiction, we only know of One who was faced with that predicament. Jesus knew the exact date and hour when He would die, and that it would happen by way of crucifixion, one of the most painful and agonizing means of execution that the ancient world could provide (see Matthew 26:2).
Jesus could be forgiven for asking that the cup of suffering He was to bear be passed away from Him. And in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to His heavenly Father for just that—but only if it pleased God (see Matthew 26:36-44).
He could have run away or summoned up legions of angels to protect Him. Instead, Jesus changed not one moment and suffered ordeals beyond imagining. Jesus knew the stakes were high, but He also knew that His sacrifice would change the world.
We may never be faced with such knowledge because no one knows the hour and the day when we will pass. So whether we are here on earth for one day, one year or one hundred years, we must live it the best we can, with love and kindness.
As Captain Pike says, looking death straight in the eye, “Life is to be worn gloriously. Because, till our last moment, the future’s what we make it.”
Photo: Courtesy of CBS Studios