By Deems Tsutakawa, For The North American Post
My personal favorite Star Trek spinoff is the legendary series called “Deep Space Nine.” It was the first Star Trek story that did not take place on a starship but rather a distant lonely space station outpost at the far edge of the alpha quadrant where the United Federation of Planets is located. In this series, the producer Rick Berman and his writers wanted a sci-fi drama wherein the cast had a wide variety of humanoid species and had to learn to get along with each other. In the original Star Trek and also The Next Generation, the crews were all ‘hunky dory’ so to speak. It seems that they just all got along far too easily.
The intro at the beginning of Deep Space Nine draws the viewers in with this singular trumpet line that sounds far away and alone. On earth, in our real world, we for the most part don’t like to dwell on the vastness of deep space. The remoteness of the far away stars never enters into our daily lives but if you stop to think about it and try to comprehend how far it is to the nearest star, it is practically unfathomable. Every planet, asteroid, and spaceship is an extremely tiny blip in the overall scheme of the universe. Using our current technology it would literally take hundreds or thousands of years to reach our neighboring stars not to mention the far side of the galaxy. An outpost that is billions of miles from earth would be quite lonely indeed.
When the movie titled “Love Story” came out in 1970, the viewer statistics for Japanese women were quite amazing. I read one report that stated the average Nihonjin woman saw the popular tear jerking show an average of fifty times. It seems that Japanese people love sad stories. Traditionally and culturally speaking, Japanese are taught to hold their emotions in and not make your feelings known to others. My thinking is that we all need outlets for our deepest feelings; however, it can be said that there is something beautiful and personal about the things we keep close to our heart.
Deems Tsutakawa is a local Sansei musician. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.