Ethos Education

Star Trek: Into Darkness: Beyond the Darkness

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Assembly Objective:

  • How do we face death and cope with bereavement? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching that there is a hope that is more powerful than death.

Film:

  • Star Trek: Into Darkness (Paramount, 2012, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • The values of Democracy, Respect and Tolerance call us to live as part of a community. This assembly encourages pupils to consider how we can help ourselves and others when we face death and bereavement within our community.

Extra Information

  • This particular subject may be a difficult one for some students, particularly those who have experienced a recent bereavement, or who have a seriously ill family member. It would be a good idea to ensure that all form tutors are aware in advance of the subject matter, and are ready to follow up any of their students who may be affected, or give them the option of not attending this assembly.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Star Trek Pie-Out (quiz)

Download the Star Trek Pie Out PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • Ask for two volunteers (or split the room in half and play one side against the other) to take part in a quiz. Once you have your volunteers explain that you want them to identify the names of alien races from Star Trek. There are ten correct answers on the PowerPoint, and six wrong answers – once you have completed slide 2 please click to slide 3 to continue. The contestants take it in turns to choose one answer, if their answer reveals a tick, it is correct and scores them 10 points. If they reveal a double tick, they score 25 points; if their answer reveals a cross it means that it is wrong and they score nothing for that answer; if it reveals a custard pie it is also wrong, but they lose their entire score so far. There are three custard pies, three crosses, eight ticks and two double ticks on the board.
  • Eight correct answers worth 10 points:
    • Bajoran
    • Betazoid
    • Borg
    • Ferengi
    • Klingon
    • Tellarite
    • Tholian
    • Vulcan
  • Two correct answers worth 25 points:
    • Q
    • Gorn
  • Three wrong answers worth 0 points:
    • Andorans (wrong – Andorans are people from the Italian town of Andora, in the province of Savona. As far as we are aware, they are not extra-terrestrial in any way. Andorians, on the other hand, are a genuine Star Trek alien race).
    • Picardians (wrong, although Jean-Luc Picard was the captain of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation).
    • Rattataki (wrong, they are from Star Wars).
  • Three wrong answers that earn a pie-out:
    • Mysterons (wrong, they were from 60’s cult puppet show Captain Scarlet).
    • Kardashian (wrong, Kim Kardashian is not a Star Trek alien. The Cardassians, on the other hand, are).
    • Sontaran (wrong, they are from Doctor Who).

Do You Realize? (something to listen to)

  • Play an appropriate song on the subject of death. We suggest Do You Realize? by the Flaming Lips, (Warner Bros, 2002).

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Star Trek: Into Darkness:
    • Start time: 0.44.12 (beginning of chapter 6 of the DVD)
    • End time: 0.46.03
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 51 seconds
  • The clip starts with Spock (Zachary Quinto) saying, ‘We will arrive at Harrison’s location in three minutes, captain.’ The final line is Spock saying, ‘I assure you the truth is precisely the opposite.’ Stop the clip before the shuttle craft comes under fire.
  • The clip shows Uhura (Zoë Saldana) accusing Spock of not caring about his own death. Spock denies this, pointing out that having experienced great loss in the past, both his own and sharing in the suffering of Captain Pike, his former commanding officer, as the latter was dying, he now chooses not to let himself experience the resulting emotions.

TALK

Download the Death Star Trek Into Darkness Talk PowerPoint with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Death affects different people in different ways. Some of us don’t like to talk about it or think about it, yet it’s true that all of us have to face it one day. Hopefully that day won’t come for many years, but we know that it’s going to come eventually. We’re going to watch a clip now from the film Star Trek: Into Darkness. Spock and his girlfriend Lieutenant Uhura are having a domestic. In a previous scene in the film Spock put himself in severe danger, and Uhura doesn’t think that he stopped to think about the impact that his death would have on her.
    • Play the clip from Star Trek: Into Darkness (Paramount, 2012, certificate 12)
      • Start time: 0.44.12 (beginning of chapter 6 of the DVD)
      • End time: 0.46.03
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 51 seconds
    • The clip starts with Spock (Zachary Quinto) saying, ‘We will arrive at Harrison’s location in three minutes, captain.’ The final line is Spock saying, ‘I assure you the truth is precisely the opposite.’ Stop the clip before the shuttle craft comes under fire.
    • If you are unable to play the clip, say, ‘There’s a scene in Star Trek: Into Darkness where Spock is accused of not caring about death. He explains that having experienced the anger, confusion, loneliness and fear that accompanies death already, he chooses not to open himself up again to those feelings.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • It wasn’t that Spock didn’t have any emotions, but he chose to shut them down rather than face them. As the clip made clear, he had some painful experiences in his past. It’s understandable that he wasn’t keen to go through those feelings – anger, confusion, loneliness and fear – again, [click] but it’s not necessarily a good idea to just bottle those feelings up and shut them out.
    • Of course, in Star Trek there’s a running culture clash between Spock and Captain Kirk. Spock is half-Vulcan, a race whose commitment to logic and reason sees them shun emotions and look down on other races who they see as being enslaved to their emotional responses.
    • But there’s a world of difference between being enslaved by emotions and being healthily in touch with them. When we experience things that stir up strong emotional responses – such as death – it’s good to express those emotions. Jesus gives us an example of how it’s okay to let emotions out. This passage comes from John’s gospel. Jesus has been told that his friend Lazarus is seriously ill. By the time he arrives at Lazarus’ house, Lazarus has already died.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
    • ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’ After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept. John 11:17-35 New International Version.
    • Jesus wept, the shortest verse in the entire Bible, and yet one that tells us so much about Jesus. It’s easy to see Jesus as being a bit like Spock – calm, composed, untroubled by emotions, but it’s clear that that’s far from being the case. Jesus was deeply moved when he saw his friend Mary’s grief, and he was moved by the death of Lazarus himself. Of course, Jesus being Jesus, he was also able to raise Lazarus from the dead, but that doesn’t diminish the feelings that Jesus experienced here.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • All of us, at one time or another, will experience those feelings. People close to us will die, people close to us will experience loss and grief and all the confusing torrent of emotions that accompany them. Death is never a simple thing to face, and it takes time to work through all the things we feel as a result of bereavement.
    • We may, like Spock, choose not to face those feelings, to bottle them up and put them aside. I’d like to encourage you not to do that. A better example is that of Jesus, who embraced his grief and expressed it. It’s not good to bottle up our feelings, and it can often help to share them with someone else. Talking through the things you are feeling with a friend can be more valuable than you’d ever realise. We are made to be relational people, to grow up in families and communities and to share things with one another. When you find yourself facing these powerful feelings, don’t try to face them all on your own.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Jesus did more than just express his emotions, he also holds out a hope that is more powerful than death. It’s easy to think of Lazarus as an exceptional case, because Jesus raised him from the dead, but don’t forget the words that Jesus said to Martha in our passage: [click] ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.’
    • Death may separate us, for a time, from loved ones, but Jesus holds out a hope that for those who trust in him death needn’t be the end. It’s a time apart, rather than a final separation. That doesn’t take away the very real feelings of grief and loss that we experience when someone close to us dies, but it does offer comfort to take away our sense of fear.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Death Star Trek Into Darkness Talk PowerPoint with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Death affects different people in different ways.
      • Some don’t like to talk or think about it.
      • All of us have to face it one day.
    • Introduce clip from Star Trek: Into Darkness:
      • Spock and girlfriend Uhura argue.
      • She thinks he doesn’t care about death.
    • Play the clip:
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Not true that Spock has no emotions.
      • He chooses to shut them down rather than face them.
      • He has had painful experiences in the past he doesn’t want to repeat.
      • [click] Bottling up feelings not necessarily a good idea.
      • Vulcans shun emotions, see others as enslaved to them.
      • A world of difference being enslaved to feelings and healthily in touch with them.
      • When things such as death stir up our feelings it’s good to express our emotions.
      • Jesus gives good example of healthy emotion – Jesus arrives at Lazarus’ house to find his friend has died.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’ After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept. John 11:17-35 New International Version.
    • ‘Jesus wept’
      • Shortest verse in the Bible.
      • Tells us so much about Jesus.
      • Easy to see Jesus as like Spock, untroubled by emotions.
      • Jesus was deeply moved by Mary’s grief and Lazarus’ death.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • We all experience those feelings.
      • Death is never simple to face.
      • Bereavement takes time to work through.
      • We may follow Spock’s example and bottle things up.
      • Jesus is a better example – expressing grief.
      • Talking things through with someone can help.
      • We are made to relate to one another, so don’t cope on your own.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Jesus did more than express his emotions.
      • Offers hope more powerful than death.
      • Lazarus may have been raised from death, but Jesus promises resurrection to all who believe in him.
      • [click] ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.’
    • Death separates us for a time from loved ones, but Jesus says death needn’t be the end.
      • A time apart, not a final separation.
      • We still experience grief and loss.
      • We also have comfort to take away our fear.

Photo Credits for Death Star Trek into Darkness Talk PowerPoint: Slide 1 iStockphoto.com / Slide 2 Paramount Pictures / Slides 3-7 Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org / Slide 8 Paramount PicturesSlide 9 Paramount Pictures 


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you that you know what it feels like to mourn. Thank you that you don’t leave us alone in our grief. Help us to face our emotions and to remember our loved ones with happiness and to have a hope for the future that is rooted in you. Amen.

Reflection

  • Do you find the subject of death a difficult one to deal with? What emotions does the idea of death summon up for you – fear? Sadness? Confusion? Who would you talk to about these things if you were facing the prospect of someone you loved dying?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Star Trek: Into Darkness (Paramount, 2012, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Death Star Trek Into Darkness Talk PowerPoint.
  3. Star Trek Pie Out PowerPoint.
  4. Do You Realize? by the Flaming Lips, (Warner Bros, 2002).

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