Sunday, February 27, 2011

Issue Seven: Pon Farr

The Origin of Saavik
Part One: Pon Farr

Saavik enters the Vulcan mating rite Pon Far which is complicated by the fact that her Betrothed has gone on a secret mission of high importance to the planet Vulcan. Also, Saavik's origin is revealed.


Why do half-Vulcan's like to scream "PAIN!" in moments of extreme physical duress? It's just something I've always found curious.  Spock does it and Saavik does too! If it were a human undergoing stress he/she may simply groan "Ohhhhhh!" or "Owwwww!".  Occasionally, an "Ahhhhhhhgggg!" might be the proper thing to say. But not when you're half Vulcan! I guess you have to be absolutely clear to yourself and to the audience what's going on in your world and nothing makes it more crystal clear than simply shouting "PAAAAAAAAIIIIN!"

Click this text to learn about Spock, Amok Time, and Pon Farr!

So, the story begins with Saavik fighting the blood fever-or the Plak Tow that signals the onset of Pon Farr.  We learned about Pon Far, the Vulcan mating ritual waay back in the original series with the episode "Amok Time" when it happened to Mr. Spock. We, the audience, knows what's troubling Lt. Saavik but of course the crew of the Enterprise has no idea why Saavik is acting so uncharacteristically emotional.
Meanwhile, David Marcus rendezvous' with the Enterprise to hitch a ride to where the USS Grissom is waiting to take him to explore the newly formed Genesis Planet. Kirk throws a banquet in honor of his son. During a toast, Kirk wishes long life to his friends and confusion to their enemies the Klingons and the Romulans.  Saavik is half Romulan and under the influence of the Plak Tow she takes obvious offense, smashes her wine glass and storms out of the banquet.
Saavik retires to her quarters where she continues to throw a half-Vulcan sized fit. She's visited by Kirk and McCoy to see what's up. Actually, McCoy remembers a certain other half-Vulcan acting in the same manner years before. McCoy tells Kirk what time it is and Saavik affirms his suspicions. She also explains that a few mitigating circumstances made it unclear whether she would undergo Pon Farr at all. Saavik recounts how Commander Spock, between missions on the Enterprise, beamed down to an abandoned Romulan post on a scientific mission and found her wandering amongst the ruins, little more than a feral child. The reasons Spock became Saaviks sponsor and mentor are not known to her but it can be surmised that perhaps Spock felt a kindred spirit towards the little outcast. Perhaps he saw a bit of himself in her-in worse circumstances. Spock takes the child back to Vulcan where she is adopted by Sarek and Amenda, Spock's parents.
I'm not real fond of the idea of Spock's parents raising Saavik. I mean, it seems a little too convenient and "all in the family". It's certainly not beyond reason or anything. It's just that perhaps I was hoping for a little more mystery in Spock's exact relationship to Saavik. I'm sure the novels have more to say about this but for the purposes of this blog we'll stick to what's either been on screen or in the original series.
So anyways, Saavik is bonded with a Vulcan boy named Xon.  He was previously bonded with a girl who was killed by a wild Sehlat. Somehow, between that and Saavik's heritage being mixed made the bonding imperfect  so it was going to be a "wait and see" thing if she would succumb to the Pon Farr ritual. Well, the time has finally come and Saavik has her answer.
Admiral Kirk has Enterprise change course for Vulcan and they proceed there with all possible haste. Kirk, McCoy and Saavik beam down to Sarek and Amanda's home. Time is quickly running out for Saavik. She is having extreme difficulty holding her emotions and thoughts in check. Sarek reveals that Xon is gone. He has undertaken a secret mission of extreme importance and Sarek isn't allowed to tell anyone where he is. That is, officially, of course. Sarek surreptitiously let's some information slip concerning how Saavik may go about finding out exactly where Xon is and then leaves the room to attend to his wife who is worried sick about Spock, his body on the Genesis planet and his Katra. All of these unanswered questions are yet to be dealt with in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock-just on the horizon.
Saavik finds Xon's secret location and beams out before Kirk and McCoy can stop her.  McCoy reads through Sarek's computer and learns the prefix code to Saavik's spaceship-although he doesn't recall ever learning to read Vulcan. Interesting, eh?
Kirk and McCoy beam back to Enterprise while Saavik takes off in her own spacecraft. Everyone meets up in space.  Kirk tries to use the prefix code to lower Saavik's shields but she's already changed the code. Before the Enterprise can do anything else, Saavik's ship leaps into Warp and makes a B-line to the great barrier on the edge of the galaxy.  Enterprise pursues. Issue seven ends in a cliffhanger. Enterprise arrives at the barrier and Saavik is there waiting for them with a surprise attack!

Ok, a pretty solid issue. Plenty of mirroring events from the original television series, action, and backstory. Even though Saavik's origins aren't what I hoped for I still enjoyed this two-parter.
Originally, the adaptation for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock came immediately after this issue but for purposes of this blog we will finish the Saavik origins 2 parter and then dive into the comic adaptation to Star Trek III: The Search For Spock!

Next up, Saavik's Origin two-parter concludes with PLAK TOW! Until then, my friends, Live Long and Prosper!!