Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Science-fictional thoughts

"They don't have sunglasses in the 23rd century."

Several actors from Atomic Arts were talking after today's performance of Trek in the Park. I'd shown up halfway through the show, and watched from the shade across Woodlawn Park towards the MASS OF HUMANITY, oh, I mean audience, surrounding the troupe's performance of the classic Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror." I got closer as the show wrapped up, applauded the actors, then went into the amphitheater and bought a show T-shirt. And after that, I hung out with various friends and acquaintances, both in and out of the troupe. And most of them were wearing sunglasses.

Members of Starfleet don't look right in sunglasses. Does any character in any (non-time traveling) Star Trek story ever wear sunglasses? Not that I can remember. Spock wears the improvised headband in 1980s San Francisco; that's the only headwear I can remember. (Kirk already had glasses that he also sold in the same film, but again, not sunglasses!)

Then it hit me.

"What if there's something they can inject into people's eyes to handle the sun?" I said.

Think about it! You could call them "Sun Eyes." No glass needed, just some fluid that reacts to a lot of sunlight and darkens the view appropriately. Or maybe it's nanobots, living in your eyes and protecting them, even repairing them when needed. Classic Sixties Star Trek takes place 300 years in the future -- OK, in the original show it varies, sometimes it seems to be 200 years from now, sometimes 500, but later the Star Trek movie producers finally decided that it was going to be 300 years -- so who knows what technology they'd have three centuries from now? AND THEY'D STILL HAVE TO PROTECT EYES. Probably not on a starship, but yes on all those planets you land on or teleport to.

Whatever it is, it's technology that didn't yet exist in Star Trek: Enterprise, set in the 2150s. They still had ball caps then. Even that was slightly odd for Star Trek, buuuuuuuuuuuuut acceptable. Besides, I like ball caps. But maybe it was technology that existed eventually.

What else will also exist? I thought of another possible one when an audience member held his Smartphone camera out in front of himself to get a shot of himself with Jesse Graff, who is rocking this show as Spock, and when the guy walked away I said to Jesse "One day we'll have those devices embedded in our hands." (But I still think having communicators you wear on your chest, like in Star Trek: The Next Generation, would just be more elegant.)

That's one of the neat things about science fiction: it encourages you to think of future cool stuff. Because one thing we've long been good at, as time has slipped into the future, is creating cool stuff. (When designers started banging out designs of the future tech for Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a film made on a ridiculously short schedule for a $110 million production, one of their few design credos was "Make it look cool." AS IT SHOULD.) And yes, having some stuff or some things running around in my eyes could be cool.
Tags: portland, star trek
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