Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Star Trek '12: 412 AD - Picard

There’s a famous Picard family story about the time the Visigoths came to town. Jean-Luc particularly enjoyed hearing this one growing up, and his brother Robert constantly reminded him about it in later years, saying that it helped transform him into the arrogant man he became (or at least, in Robert’s estimation).

The story goes, in the years following the sack of Rome, when they were looking for something else to do, the Visigoths landed in Gaul, on the land that would one day become the Picard vineyards, and got drunk. That’s the joke, anyway, but young Jean-Luc used to imagine what exactly it meant for his heritage, his connection to a vivid moment in time, when so many things were possible, the possibility of cultures intersecting and interacting and generally coming together, adding to one another, even if sometimes it was a little messy, and that’s probably when he first looked to the stars, dreaming of life as an officer in Starfleet, and yes, perhaps one day a captain of his own ship, never knowing from day to day what the future would bring, except that it would be glorious.

Yes, Robert certainly had his version of the young Jean-Luc, and he would have said that the joke would continue that Jean-Luc had Visigoth blood in him, all right, certainly not in the way Jean-Luc would ever suggest, perhaps remembering how unruly and headstrong his younger brother could sometimes be, less so after that incident with the Nausicaans, surely, but nothing like the cool resolve it took to look after tradition, the family as it was for many, many centuries, feet firmly planted on the earth.

Who’s to say which brother got it right? Both could look to the same moment in time and see different interpretations. Well, that’s what family does, that’s what everyone does. With family it can just be a little more personal, and who knows what the effects will be?

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