Star Trek: For the Love of Gorn


“I weary of the chase. Wait for me.
 I shall be merciful and quick.”
~ the Gorn to Kirk, “Arena”

I fell in love with the Gorn captain from the original series episode “Arena” pretty much at first sight. Maybe it was the short gold tunic, or his metallic eyes. Definitely his no-nonsense approach to fighting factored in somewhere. Even though he lumbered around, there’s still an awesomeness to the Gorn that few other alien species in Star Trek possess.

We’ve been watching The Next Generation lately, heading into season three where the episodes are really starting to come together. But a little thing happened that made me want to pause our TNG odyssey and go back to TOS just for one episode, just to “Arena.”

I joined Starfleet. 
And once I joined Starfleet, I discovered Starfleet Academy, where you can take courses on Star Trek topics. 
I figured I’d take a couple of Klingon classes, see what else was available. And then, I came across this:
Institute of Alien Studies (IOAS)

Oh. My. Goodness.

Now, these courses aren’t really courses in the usual college sense. You don’t attend lectures or interact with a professor.

You watch the episode/ read the book and then take a multiple-choice quiz online for the 100 and 200 level classes. At the 300 level, you can write a Gorn Thesis, which is a short story about the Gorn.

When you pass, you get an awesome certificate.

The Hermione-Anne Shirley part of my brain compels me to complete each of these Gorn courses. And yes, that means I’ll write some Star Trek, Gorn-centric fan fic sometime in the next few months.

(I bet Gorn ladies are badass. And I’ve been challenged to write a badass character.)

I’ve seen the Gorn vs. Kirk fight scene labeled as the Worst Fight Scene Ever. And if you watch just this scene, well, it does come off a bit slow-moving and silly.

You really have to watch the entire episode to love the Gorn. Then you’ll see him chuckle to himself as he makes a trap. You can admire the Gorn’s wit as he silently listens to Kirk babble on about his strategy over an open airwave.

The Gorn is menacing and alien. He makes Kirk run around in circles, lose his cool, and ultimately wins his respect – which influences the Metrons in their decision of whether or not to blast both ships to pieces due to their aggressive natures.

So before you skip over the episode “Arena” in your Trek watching, give it a shot. You may find yourself liking the Gorn more than you thought you would.

As for me, I’m moving on to the next logical step for my Gorn obsession.

A Gorn costume.

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