Study Guide

Star Trek: The Motion Picture V'Ger

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Despite V'Ger's penchant for wanton destruction, we can't help but like the little weirdo. It might be acting out, but we can certainly relate to the feeling of not knowing what you need, but simply knowing that you need something.

It's kind of like every time we stand in front of a vending machine. We don't know if we need Doritos or Skittles…we just know that we need.

Started From the Bottom

In a way, V'Ger has a classic rags-to-riches tale. Born Voyager VI, a poor unmanned space probe from the planet Earth, it was caught in a black hole before being saved by a society of sentient machines.

And these guys didn't just nurse him back to health—they gave him a major upgrade. From there, V'Ger continued its travels, now armed with this pesky thing called "self-awareness" and an overwhelming desire to reunite with its Creator.

That's about when the movie starts. If we accept Spock's claim that V'Ger is nothing more than a "child," then its destruction seems a lot like a temper tantrum. It's a way to get attention.

Like a tween experiencing the blinding rage of hormones, V'Ger is no longer content with simply doing what it's told. It wants to understand why.

Learning the Ropes

What's more, V'Ger doesn't seem to understand these strange biological creatures it keeps encountering—they're nothing like the form of life it's used to. So you can understand its shock when it discovers that humanity is its Creator. How is V'Ger supposed to comprehend that with all of its "pure logic?"

As it turns out, the answer is "by merging with humanity." This presents a bold leap forward for V'Ger—an entity that's no stranger to bold leaps. From unmanned probe to self-aware machine to robot-human hybrid, V'Ger is making moves and rising up the pecking order in the universe.

Good for you, little buddy.

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