I am a Star Trek fan. And when I say “Star Trek”, I refer to the television series that ran from 1966 to 1969, not the various incarnations that followed (except some of the movies). As a kid growing up in the 70s, Star Trek was a Saturday evening ritual (6 o’clock on Channel 11, before Dance Fever!) I loved all the characters; Kirk was the cool one, Spock the smart one, Sulu the dependable one, Uhura the sassy one and Chekov, well, the stupid one. But when it came time to “play” Star Trek in the schoolyard, I was always Scotty.
My friends always argued over who would be Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock, but no one wanted to be Montogomery Scott, Chief Engineer, except for me. Sure, Kirk had the swagger, and Spock was the real brains behind the operation. But Scotty, as far as I was concerned, was really in charge of the Enterprise.
Scotty fixed the ship. He drove it. He made the engines work. He managed to jury-rig a Romulan cloaking device into the dilithium chamber. Kirk gave the orders, but Scotty had the know-how to carry them out. How much cooler can you get? When I built plastic model kits of the Enterprise and flew them around my bedroom, it was Scotty’s voice in my head making them go, not Kirk bellowing “Warp..factor 5…”
So, as we climbed over jungle gyms and other knee-scraping apparatuses squaring against surly Klingons and egotistical Greek gods, I was the one who got to bark the now-cliched lines like “she canna take n’more!” or “I’m givin’ ‘er all she’s got, cap’n!” Works for me.