The above question was asked by Captain James T. Kirk in the film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The answer he got was unexpected by those with him and those watching from the Enterprise in orbit.
The film begins in the Neutral Zone on the planet Nimbus III, The Planet of Galactic Peace. J’onn, an emotionally damaged inhabitant, is drilling holes in a desolate landscape with the desert winds blowing around him. Through the blowing sands he sees a hooded figure coming toward him, riding a horse.
Dismounting, the hooded figure walks toward the frightened J’onn. The figure begins to converse with the man about darkness and light and the secret pain which resides in all of us. This hooded figure takes away J’onn’s pain.
He asks J’onn to join his quest for ultimate knowledge. To find the ultimate knowledge a starship is required.
The hooded figure is Sybok, Spock’s half brother who rejected the Vulcan way of logic to seek a mystical quest for Sha-Ka-Ree. Sha-Ka-Ree is the Vulcan cosmic life source where all life began.
The new Enterprise A leaves Earth without being fully operational to investigate a distress call from Nimbus III where the Federation, Klingon and Romulan Ambassadors have been taken captive by the Army of Galactic Light. The rescue attempt fails, and Sybok hijacks the Enterprise. With his mystical abilities he convinces most of the crew to follow him on his quest.
Sybok plans to breach the Great Barrier which separates the Milky Way from the other galaxies. His destination is the center of the cosmos where he believes Sha-Ka-Ree exits.
Of course you have a young Klingon captain who wants to make a name for himself by engaging Kirk in combat. He follows the Enterprise into the Great Barrier.
The Great Barrier is a mystical place as well as being very dangerous to human life forms. They all cross over without incident to find an arid planet.
Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sybok journey to the surface where they encounter the mystical and all powerful being who claims to be the God. Of course Kirk, who is not affected by Sybok’s mind-meld, begins to questions this being’s assertions, especially when it wants a starship to carry its essence to the far corners of the cosmos in order to dispense its wisdom.
Sybok realizes the truth that he had been deceived. This was not the god of Sha-Ka-Ree, but an all-powerful being imprisoned on this planet to keep it from doing harm in the cosmos.
Back on the Enterprise Kirk, McCoy and Spock reflect on the events of this journey and Sybok’s quest. Here’s the conversation.
KIRK: “Cosmic Thoughts, Gentlemen?”
McCoy: “We were just debating is God really out there?”
Kirk: “Maybe he’s not out there, Bones. Maybe he’s right here. In the human heart. Spock?”
Spock: “I was just thinking about Sybok, I lost a brother.”
KIRK: “Yes. I lost a brother once. I was lucky I got him back.”
McCoy: “I thought you said people like us don’t have families.”
KIRK: “I was wrong.”
In your personal quest to find ultimate knowledge, ultimate truth what do you seek? Since our progenitors sat under the stars and wondered about out there, does the out there holds any relevance for you in 2012?
Is this all there is to life on this planet traversing the cosmos? Are we totally alone? When our existence ends here, is there no more to come?
God—is he/she/whatever out there or is God within each of us, which ties us to the creation song which was sung so many eons ago? Is God part of our genome?
Our quest of the lifetime eventually will know the final frontier when we close our eyes in the sleep of death. Will we awaken from that sleep of death?
What are your cosmic thoughts this May? What are your hopes and dreams beyond the confines of Earth?
G. D. Williams © 2012
Star Trek: The Mountain
Star Trek V: Trailer
Star Trek V: Opening
What Does God Need With A Starship?
Jerry Goldsmith – Star Trek: Final Frontier (Complete Score)