Glass doors and the loneliness of Kirk

The first two Star Trek movies are very different from one another, in many ways. But despite these differences, they do have some interesting parallels.

For example, both films depict Kirk not as a captain – at least not at first – but as an admiral who takes command of the Enterprise when a crisis arises; and in both cases, the captain who relinquishes command of the ship is dead or "missing" by the end of the movie, due to an act of self-sacrifice.

But watching the two films back-to-back last night, I was struck by one other thing they have in common: namely, their use of glass doors to symbolize the loneliness of Kirk. You can see it, for example, in the shot above, from The Motion Picture.

This is the final shot of a sequence that began with Kirk and Captain Decker butting heads over who would be the best person to lead the Enterprise on its current mission. Once the head-butting is over, Kirk dismisses Decker, only to be lectured privately by Dr. McCoy, who had tagged along to witness ...

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