With so many series and episodes in the Star Trek franchise, it’s difficult to choose just one, especially one that will resonate with the holidays
And while we all have our favorites, even some that do remind us of the importance of family and the importance of peace, this particular episode stays with the viewer long after the credits roll and is the perfect episode to wrap up your holidays. The Inner Light, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s 25th episode of Season 5 is a compelling reminder to never take family for granted.
Captain Picard is knocked unconscious by an energy beam from alien probe, and while he’s lying on the floor on the bridge, he’s also living another life. Known as Kamin in the remote village of Ressik, Picard is, at first, resistant to believe that he is this man. His memories of his life aboard the Enterprise are too fresh.
But the years begin to pass, and Kamin falls in love with his wife, and the two have children together. He learns to play the flute, finding beauty in the music, and suffers through the death of his wife, all while experiencing the ups and downs of having family and friends. Then Kamin learns that the planet of Kataan, where he and his family lives, is going to go supernova, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. There’s nothing anyone can do. So the planet’s leaders stored the memories of their people into a probe and sent it into space in the hope that it would be retrieved as they didn’t want their planet, their people, to be forgotten. And now that probe has reached Picard, Kataan and the people who once called it home, will never be forgotten.
Inner Light is one of the most heart-wrenching and soul-stirring episodes of the entire series, and even though there are painful moments, it’s also a beautiful reminder to cherish family. What a perfect way to end finish out the Christmas holiday as we look forward to a new year.