Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2, Episode 18
Original Air Date: January 19, 1968
There's no denying that the two stories have been the dominant threads in American science fiction for decades. While it's reasonable to assume that influence has run in both directions, specific examples can be difficult to pinpoint. But an early incident in "The Immunity Syndrome" has striking similarities to one in the original Star Wars movie. Lucas has admitted to Trek's influence in the writing of the first film and I believe this episode must have had an impact.
The Enterprise receives a distress call from the USS Intrepid, a ship manned by Vulcans. Suddenly, the signal disappears and Shock reacts in horror. The dialogue:
KIRK: Spock?And a little later, in sickbay,
MCCOY: What is it, Spock? Are you in pain?
SPOCK: Captain, the Intrepid. It just died. And the four hundred Vulcans aboard, all dead.
SPOCK: I assure you, Doctor, I am quite all right. The pain was momentary. It passed quickly.Woah!!!
MCCOY: All of my instruments seem to agree with you if I can trust these crazy Vulcan readings. Spock, how can you be so sure the lntrepid was destroyed?
(Spock gets off the bed.)
SPOCK: I sensed it die.
MCCOY: But I thought you had to be in physical contact with a subject before
SPOCK: Doctor, even I, a half-Vulcan, could hear the death scream of four hundred Vulcan minds crying out over the distance between us.
Nine years later, in Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi had this reaction to the destruction of the planet Alderaan:
Obi-Wan: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.Unmistakable. Cool...
"Immunity Syndrome" is a great Spock vs. Bones episode. The entity which destroyed the Intrepid is an enormous, energy feeding, single-cell organism from another galaxy. That basic set up is an awful lot like "The Doomsday Machine" (my thoughts here) and the ultimate solution is similar, too: get inside and destroy from within. But the journey to get to that answer is different. To do the job, one volunteer must take the shuttlecraft on the suicide mission. Both Spock and McCoy step forward for the gig - Doc out of scientific curiosity, Spock out of belief that he is better suited. Kirk chooses Spock and the relationship between the two rivals runs very cold indeed.
Paskey was born August 20, 1939 in Delaware. A strong childhood interest in cars led to a post-acting career running an auto-detailing business. He and his wife Judy have four children.