Monday, April 21, 2014

TWITrek Character Insight No. 93: The God of Sha Ka Ree

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.

Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, we continue our series on best Trek movie villains with The God of Sha Ka Ree from ST: The Final Frontier.
  Sha Ka Ree God

Sha Ka Ree comes in at number 14 on the list of top Trek villains.

The malevolent entity trapped on a planet at the center of the universe probably should not be known as Sha Ka Ree, as it was simply impersonating that Vulcan god as well as other known God-figures. However, as Sybok was led to lure Captain Kirk and the Enterprise to this entity under the false pretense of Sha Ka Ree, that's what we will call this fake god.

Sha Ka Ree actually sounds like a great concept for a villain on paper, which is why it moves ahead of others like Valeris and Dougherty. Captain Kirk versus a god-like being, something that may finally be a match for the Captain. However, Kirk sees right through the entity's ploy to capture the Enterprise for its own purposes ("What Does God Need With A Ship"), and thus he talks yet another powerful machine or entity to death. Must be the Bill Shatner cadence, which is in full effect in this film.
We never learn much about why Sha Ka Ree is trapped on this planet, as the villain only shows up near the end of this movie. However, star trek novels have retconned this story to include banishment by the Q Continuum after the being causes a civil war and the downfall of a powerful empire centuries before the encounter with Sybok and the Enterprise. I like to think this is just John De Lancie's Q on a ridiculous anger bender.

(Quote of the Week)
"God": You doubt me?
Kirk: I seek proof.
McCoy: Jim! You don't ask the Almighty for his ID!
"God": Then here is the proof you seek.
[Shoots Kirk with lightning]

The god-like being was originally to be shown in various forms, including andorian, zulu, and bullman, but those ended up on the cutting room floor. That would have made a much different look than the one settled on for most of this appearance.

This villain skates by on concept alone, as the execution was awful, much like the rest of this Shatner-directed and written fiasco. This is clearly the worst of the Star Trek movies and really the only truly bad film in the series overall, in my opinion, but that brings Sha Ka Ree down toward the bottom of the list.

I give this villain 1.5 out of 5 stars.

George Murdock played Sha Ka Ree in human face form, and he is best known for recurring roles on The X-Files and Law and Order. Sadly, Murdock died almost exactly two years ago at the age of 81.

Until next time, live long and prosper...

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