Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Star Trek 1x18 "Arena"

rating: **
Memory Alpha summary

"Arena" is a minor classic, essential mostly for the iconic fight between Kirk and the Gorn, one of the few truly alien-looking aliens from the series.  The Gorn; you know, the man-sized lizard (obviously made of rubber...with a zipper an' everything!).

It's one of the key memories any fan has of the series, actually.  The episode around it was duplicated a number of times, probably most successfully by Next Generation's "Darmok."  It's actually a little like the classic "god box" template, beings of greater power than mere humanity interfering and judging and things of that nature.  So there's that going on, and that's how and why Kirk ends up fighting the Gorn.

The image of the Gorn was so iconic that even though these particular aliens didn't show up again until Enterprise ("In a Mirror Darkly, Part 2"), they were among the most famous aliens in the whole franchise.  Pop culture remembered it well enough, too:
There's one more element that needs to be addressed, too, the planet Cestus III.  This is the colony world Kasidy Yates's brother lives on and where baseball still exists, which thrills Deep Space Nine's Sisko to no end.  One way or another, this one just keeps being memorable!

franchise * series * essential * character

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