The Star Trek Book of Friendship: You Have Been, and Always Shall Be, My Friend
Star Trek has energized friendships for over 50 years. Whether it’s exploring a convention, beaming into a movie theater, or joining in on a landing party watch party, generations have been as united in their love of the franchise’s bold storytelling and stunning action as they are in the honest fully realized relationships of their favorite characters.
The publisher of the book was kind enough to send me a copy of the book, it’s both on instagram AND on my bookshelf. It’s a uniquely weird type of book, something that I’ve never run into in all my time collecting and reading Trek books. It’s not a series of conversations, it’s not an in universe look at the characters, but instead it’s an ongoing conversation between the authors Robb Pearlman and Jordan Hoffman about the various friendships that have taken place throughout all the Trek series up to now. There’s even a few mentioned that I’m not even sure I’d call friendships, like Beverly Crusher and Troi from Next Generation, or Reed and Trip from Enterprise. The guys from Enterprise, I would barely even call them friendly with each other, much less actual friends, but with Reed being such a cold and uncaring character, maybe that’s the best kind of friendship he can have, one where he’s always yelling and belittling the other person.
The art might suggest that this is a children’s book, but it’s definitely not, and mentioning some pretty advanced topics like “Bechdel tests”, “cisgendered conversations”, and the unfortunate case of “Tuvix”, who is always an ethical topic to touch on. Honestly, imho, Captain Janeway did the right thing by killing Tuvix and giving life back to Neelix and Tuvok, but I can see an argument for keeping the new entity around for compassion’s sake.
Luckily I agree with the authors in that the greatest friendship in Trek is between Kirk and Spock, though I would have made it a threeway friendship with McCoy thrown in for the obvious reasons.
This is a fun and unique read with eye catching art. It’s a bit pricey at $18 for a 128 page book, but if you’re looking for a fun essay on friendships, this is the place to be.