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Star Trek XI is a very successful project for Paramount Pictures. When I saw the studio logo flash, I thought that everyone associated with the movie must be very proud of their contribution. As I was getting settled in to watch and be enthralled, my mind whispered, “Cinema. Neptune.” Not surprising because movies are ruled by Neptune. And isn’t that what cinema is about: fantasy, illusion, escape? It seduces our senses and, for some time, we suspend disbelief and allow ourselves to experience an alternative reality.

The experience you have when you watch a movie is pure Neptune, but it takes all the planets to create the product that holds you under its spell for a few hours. Mercury, especially has a huge role to play. The entire editing process falls under its domain. It takes a team of skilled experts to cut and compile the footage, to get the color and sound right, to ensure that the text on-screen is error-free.

Venus lends a hand in creating the right aesthetic appeal and loaning her make-up to the actors. Mars makes things happen and presides over the hive of activity that characterizes a movie set. Jupiter provides the big dream that starts it all, not to mention the funding. And Saturn keeps everyone on their toes ensuring that deadlines are met, the costs are kept within the budget and that everyone’s nose is close to the grindstone. The many gadgets and technologies that create a reel or a digital image are surely possible only because of Uranus. And I give the director the role of both Pluto and the Sun: He takes his vision, his interpretation and then creates it by the force of his will, by the power he holds over everyone involved in a project.

Whether it’s movie-making or keeping the U.S.S Enterprise on course, it is team effort that makes it possible. Look at the Enterprise crew and the various skills they bring to the Bridge: There is the dashing Kirk who’s Mars and Sun. Spock with his logic and restraint is a blend of Mercury and Saturn. Uhura, who is the communication whiz, is Mecury personified. Bones is an emotional man (Moon) and a healer (Jupiter here, maybe?), Scotty and his equations and gizmos are Uranus (I just did a random check on Simon Pegg, the actor who plays Scotty, and it turns out he is an Aquarian!). There are other crew members and planets I’ve left uncovered here, but you get the picture: it takes a team, folks, to make great stuff happen. So while Neptune gets all the credit for bringing you goodies on the big screen, please remember he had a lot of help.

And about Star Trek XI: I’m going to take a friend’s sentence used in another context and reuse it here: Dear God, I’m so glad to be alive for this! (Can you tell I loved it?)

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