At the end of the film ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’, Captain Kirk and crew finally reach the planet Sha Ka Ree at the centre of the galaxy and discover God… only it isn’t God, it’s an evil alien entity who Kirk must battle!
Or is it?
The assumption when watching the film is that the entity Kirk meets is not the real God. However, at no point does the entity admit that he isn’t God. Why would he lie, even when his ‘deception’ is uncovered? There’s actually no evidence that he isn’t God, and plenty that he is.
- His appearance is that of God.
- Kirk’s journey to the centre of the galaxy is certainly supernatural. The galaxy is absolutely massive, and as Voyager shows us, crossing it in even a modern starship will take decades, yet Kirk was able to travel to the centre of the galaxy (where no-one has gone before) in a matter of hours.
- The group who travel to meet God have Biblical significance. There are the three ambassadors (three wise men), Sybok’s group of desert wanderers (shepherds) and Spock himself, who recently died and was resurrected. The Enterprise is the Star of the Lord.
The actions of the God-entity fit that of the Biblical God, specifically the Old Testament God.
- “What does God need with a starship?” This is the line Kirk uses to deny God… but then, traditionally God has always acted via manmade objects. You might as well ask why God needs an Ark of the Covenant. He wants to be carried by his worshippers.
- Dr McCoy is completely right. You don’t ask God for proof of his existence, as the whole point of God is in faith.
- God shouldn’t get angry with Kirk and chase him! Only… that is consistent with the Old Testament God. He was often wrathful and destroyed his enemies in personal ways, be it through turning them into pillars of salt or flooding the Earth.
- God wouldn’t be defeated by being shot by a Klingon Bird of Prey! Or would he? In Genesis 32:22, God takes human form and wrestles with Jacob… and Jacob wins! Who are we to judge God in what form he takes? By Biblical canon, he can be beaten if he wishes it.
- The God of the Old Testament is very jealous, with many edicts against doubting him and punishing disbelievers. Of course he would laser Kirk with his eye beams if he felt he was being disrespected.
God in the film is the Old Testament God, who has been trapped on the planet (presumably since the year 0AD). Kirk and crew, who represent science and the loss of religion, find him… and kill him. It isn’t a film about a man who finds a fake alien God, it’s a film about a man who seeks out God with the intention of killing him. A very deep film from writer/director William Shatner, and very underrated.