When a beloved character dies in a book, a television series, a play or a film there is a sense of loss. Characters are ones that we tend to identify with and invest our emotional capital into.
In Star Trek Into Darkness the surprising, yet necessary, death of Christopher Pike was an emotional jolt. For Kirk and to a lesser degree Spock Pike’s death was a turning point.
Pike became the father which Kirk never knew. He was there offering his sage advice and protecting Kirk, mainly from himself.
Bruce Greenwood delivered a powerful presentation as Christopher Pike in the first and second movies. His death scene was one of the most poignant and understandable yet meaningless in the altered Star Trek universe.
In The Cage, the original pilot for Star Trek, Jeffrey Hunter was cast as Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise with Spock as Science Officer. NBC passed on this pilot, but eventually ordered a second one with a brash James T. Kirk as the captain who succeeded Pike.
In the original series a story was written around the Cage which incorporated a storyline which was tragic, yet hopeful. Pike, the wounded warrior, was given a satisfying outcome on Talos IV, the forbidden planet. There he was reunited with Vina and they shared their reality based on illusion and dreams. For on Talos IV reality and illusion were one and the same if one allowed them to coalesce into this distinct avenue of life.
In the recent movies Christopher Pike never commanded the Enterprise except for a few hours. His adventures never happened, and Talos IV remains unknown to the Federation. Unfortunately, Vina would never awaken his love or find her beloved.
Pike needed to die to teach the young Kirk a valuable life lesson. Luck will eventually run out, and seasoned experience and good judgment are elements of character which every starship captain needs.
Christopher Pike was a true hero of the Federation. May he be long remembered and revered in Star Trek lore.
Rear Admiral Christopher Robin Pike was born April 11, 2214 in Mojave, California. Died at Starfleet Headquarters San Francisco with fellow senior officers after a terrorist attack Stardate 2259.
G. D. Williams © 2013