Star Trek and Moby-Dick: What’s the Deal?

What’s the deal with “Star Trek” and “Moby Dick”? According to the latest information about what “Star Trek Into Darkness” will be about, we are going to dive into Herman Melville’s thematic ocean of a monomaniacal search for a metaphorical White Whale once again while on-board the Starship Enterprise.

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

“With a personal score to settle Captain Kirk  leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

If you are not familiar with Herman Melville’s masterpiece or have given up on it after the first “boring non-narrative” chapter, then you need to know that what you have just read is very much in keeping with the thematic thrust of the novel. You should also know that “Moby-Dick” the novel figures prominently in the “Star Trek” canon stretching from episodes in the original 1960’s series to the Next Generation big screen offering “Nemesis.”

Got nothing wrong at all with “Star Trek” going back to Melville for inspiration. “Moby-Dick” is one of the greatest novels ever written; every chapter overflows with more philosophical, political and sociological issues than all the “Twilight” books put together. In fact, even though the current reboot of “Star Trek” exists in parallel universe that is different from the universe revealed on the original TV show, there is much to be said for the potential of showing just what it was that turned young Captain Kirk into the Admiral Kirk who views Khan as his own White Whale.

Benedict Cumberbatch may not be playing Khan the character as expected, but the synopsis that has been provided indicates a strong possibility that his character could become the template for Moby-Dick that drives James Tiberius Kirk toward his own brand of monomaniacal madness later in his career.