The Test (Star Trek vid)

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Vid
Title: The Test
Creator: heresluck
Date: 2010
Format: digital vid
Length: 3:58 minutes
Music: The Chemical Brothers featuring Richard Ashcroft
Genre: constructed reality, slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek (2009)
Footage: ST:TOS, Star Trek (2009)
URL: The Test (LJ), The Test (AO3)
"The Test" title card showing Young Kirk shortly after being marooned by Spock on an ice planet.

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The Test is a Star Trek constructed reality K/S fanvid by here's luck. It visually recreates a common trope in Reboot K/S fic, where Kirk accidentally learns about his alternate self's future relationship with Spock during the mindmeld on Delta Vega.

Summary: "Now I think I see the light."[1]

The vid is an attempt to connect the Kirk and Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series to the vastly different Spock and Kirk from Star Trek (2009). This connection works on two levels - first, the vid illustrates a major theme of the movie showing how the characters of the Reboot version find one another and re-create the friendship that is the core of Star Trek:TOS series. In the movie, the young Kirk who has been marooned by Spock on a desolate planet, is greeted by the Original Spock (Spock Prime). During a mind-meld the young Kirk is given a lifetime of memories of original Kirk and Spock working together, enabling his character to see his rivalry with Spock with new eyes.

The vid also serves as an emotional bridge for the viewers of the movie and series. It allows fans of the original series to visually and viscerally connect their beloved TV characters to the movie versions of Kirk and Spock. And in doing so, it allows fans of the movie who have never seen the TV show to stand on equal footing by connecting them back to the original TV series. In the end, old and new generations of fans stand side by side, much like the new Kirk and Spock.

As one viewer explained: "TOS was my first fandom, back all those decades ago, and Kirk was my first love, deep and true like only a twelve-and-a-half-year-old girl can feel, giving her heart away for the very first time. This vid took me straight back to that time and the love I had for Kirk and Spock and their universe, threw me in headlong, and seamlessly, utterly, completely merged it with the movie 'verse. I already loved the movie, but now it has truly become one with the original show in my head and in my heart."[2]

Another viewer echoes this sentiment and adds: "I love the reboot movie so very, very much. I want to pick it up and love it and hug it and pet it and squeeze it and call it George and do things that would probably make Children Services raise an eyebrow and make fandom say "I've read that fic." But it also made me mourn TOS in ways I could not describe until I saw this vid. Reboot Kirk is SO MUCH James Kirk in all the hurtful ways and bears the brunt of the altered timeline. He's cocky and brash and none of the thoughtful diplomat - until he meets Original Spock and experiences the mind meld. And then even though he's still decidedly not the original Kirk - he's suddenly got the potential to be better. And that he suddenly sees that in Spock and gets that validation in Reboot Spock is when my brain turns to so much fangirl mush. And somehow you give me that here - Kirk and Spock will be Kirk and Spock and echoes of everything that was beautiful before will be new and beautiful now. This vid just soars."[3]

The vid and killa's commentary inspired the story The Test by mazaher.

The Title of the Vid

The title of the vid "The Test" is tied into the vid's theme of how Kirk's tests of character throughout his life are repeated "again and again and again until he gets into the captain's chair and voila, Spock! There to join him!" Or as the vidder herself explained: "All those tests, and Spock is the one that really matters. And Kirk PASSES. Well, first he baffles Spock a lot. But THEN HE PASSES. \o/"[4]

Commentary

In July 2010, Killa who had seen an earlier draft of the video posted a commentary on the final version on Vid Commentary.

"I still wasn't sure, watching "The Test" for the first time, whether I'd be able to follow the vidder's attempt to recontextualize scenes of the original Kirk and Spock in the visual and emotional language of the new Kirk and Spock. They are very different characters, in my eyes, so I wasn't sure I would be able to follow the connections that I suspected she'd be making. As it turns out, the skill of the vidder made it work beautifully...she lays the foundation for the emotional story. The repeated lyrics "Can you hear me now?" tell us that this is a story about two people trying to connect — one of them desperately trying to do so, and hoping the other person is listening...."[5]

In 2012, the vid was selected by the OTW to part of its Test Suite of Fair Use Vids before the Library of Congress.

"The Test" combines clips from the 2009 movie reboot of Star Trek with clips from the original Star Trek TV series to visualize a story already well established in fan fiction at the time: in the reboot movie, when Spock Prime transferred memories of the destruction of Romulus to Kirk, he also inadvertently transferred memories of events from the original series, including memories of sexual attraction or involvement between himself and the Kirk from his timeline. Vidder here's luck uses special effects to signal the difference between current events and memories, to suggest that the images from the original series are coming through fuzzily and possibly unintentionally, to establish romantic and sexual overtones in those images, and to construct a narrative in which Spock Prime's memories continue to bleed into Kirk's consciousness throughout the rest of the 2009 movie."[6]

Reactions

  • " It's one of the best examples I've ever seen that incorporate narrative AND character into one vid. Just... when it started to cut to scenes of TOS and the clear implication that Kirk is having Spock!Prime experiences laid over his own, I actually shouted Oh My God! loud enough to disturb my fellow lounge-mates. This is the epitome of the graphic essay/story and is definitely going into my awesome folder to be taken out at our next Queer Geeks meeting."[7]
  • "This vid made me a True Believer in Kirk/Spock, no lie. I feel like I just had a religious experience."[8]
  • "There were several moments watching the Reboot movie when I caught my breath because the resonance with TOS, with the visuals of the series and the history of the narrative, and the way that echoed with my own history as a second-generation Trekker, was just so overwhelming. I like to rewatch bits of the movie just to get the deep thrill of those moments of attention to detail again, which I thought were especially notable in the interactions of Kirk and Spock and how those informed the dynamic of the entire crew. I loved the different-yet-same feel of the two characters, and the way the appearance of Spock Prime threw that feel into sharp relief, the way it explicated those layers of history and not-history and possibility. This video? Does that."[9]
  • "heresluck has posted an AWESOME AOS/TOS Kirk/Spock vid called The Test which beautifully blends footage from both sources to explore their relationship. Also, she has some of the best uses of Enterprise zooming around in space I've seen--the sense of movement and rising is gorgeous." [10]
  • "This is still my favorite Reboot fanvid of all time. Everything about it is just breathtaking. It has a discernible plot and perfectly executed theme. It’s one of those videos that makes the source material seem more powerful, epic, and transcendent than it actually was. The last thirty seconds or so always give me chills."[11]
  • "The show-stealer [at Con.txt ] belonged without question to heresluck's ST Reboot/TOS vid The Test, which… I must have watched it three times in a row when I first encountered it just to try to wrap my head around what had just happened, and watched it at least once again in the intervening year(s), so the audience's demand to play it a second time immediately after the vid show ended was understandable! There were audible gasps and murmurs and "wow"s as it played. Watching it twice on Saturday didn't reduce the vid's impact for me at all. If you haven't seen it, even if you only have a passing interest in Trek, I really recommend that you try it. Her use of special effects and her choice of music allowed her to realize a clever, heartstring-tugging concept flawlessly. Mmph, those shots of Kirk soaring-falling to "I'm shinin'"… those static flickers in Kirk's head and in our own memories of the original series… the way the action takes off with the music when Spock Prime initiates the mind meld... the way she holds your attention rapt through the very last second."[12]
  • "Probably you have already heard about how awesome this vid is. Well, you heard right: it is in fact profoundly awesome. It so profoundly awesome, in fact, that I feel comfortable recommending it, even though right now I have to question my judgment in anything Trek-related. I am still in that unfortunate phase of fandom where I sort of lack - you know, taste. And rational thought. Basically, my flowchart for determining whether or not I love something has a new branch in it, very early on, which looks like this (except of course the actual flowchart is nifty and cool-looking, because my brain does not run in ASCII) Trek? The kind that has a Spock? ---Yes ---> OKAY I ALREADY LOVE IT. I am - a little obsessed. Just a little. But trust me when I tell you that my obsession is not why I love this vid. There are, in fact, so many moments that I love in it that if I made a greatest bits collection of it, it would be about four minutes long. (If I was allowed commentary in addition to actual clips, it would probably be about three hours long. This is why I don't ever try to do a frame-by-frame analysis of a vid; two years in and I'd still be at 0:45 and I'd already have said, "But it's, you know, SO INCREDIBLE, because" seven million times.) I will say this, though: I was absolutely, completely sold on this vid in the first 35 seconds. AND THEN IT GOT BETTER. And then it got better again! It was like a matryoshka doll set, except made entirely of joy; I kept thinking I'd found the pure brilliance at the center, but no! There was always more joy still to come."[13]

Highlighted in 2015

This vid was featured at MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery at the Vancouver Art Gallery in February 2016, along with six other fanworks. This part of the exhibit was curated by Francesca Coppa.

The exhibit is here: MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Archived version

The vids were:

Vidder bironic describes their visit to the exhibit here: bironic, Archived version, February 24, 2016

here's luck's comments are here: heresluck, Archived version

References

  1. ^ heresluck. The Test (LJ) March 15, 2010. (Accessed 9 August 2012).
  2. ^ feedback at the vid announcement dated March 16, 20102; WebCite.
  3. ^ feedback on page 6 of the vid announcement dated March 28, 2010; WebCite.
  4. ^ Discussion between the vidder and a viewer in the LJ announcement on March 15, 2010;WebCite.
  5. ^ killabeez. The Test by here's luck, commentary by killabeez (Vid Commentary) July 13, 2010. (Accessed 9 August 2012); WebCite.
  6. ^ Test Suite, accessed July 29, 2021.
  7. ^ feedback on page 3 of the vid announcement, dated March 16, 2010; WebCite.
  8. ^ feedback at page 7 of the vid announcement dated May 23, 2010; WebCite.
  9. ^ feedback at page 7 of the vid announcement dated June 22, 2010; WebCite.
  10. ^ vid rec by taraljc dated March 15, 2010.
  11. ^ vid rec at aldora89's tumblr dated November 2, 2012. The custom tumblr tag under the rec reads: "Filed under star trek xi, spirk, this is 'the mindmeld gave me feelings' trope rendered flawlessly and it inspired parts of Lotus Eaters, fanvids."
  12. ^ 2012 Con.txt convention report by bironic dated June 18, 2012; WebCite.
  13. ^ vid rec by thefourthvine dated May 22, 2012; WebCite.