kirk, on the bridge: edith really was one of a kind… i can’t believe she’s gone spock: to be fair, captain, her name was oddly foreshadowing kirk: spock: kirk: spock: kirk: spock: e-death kill-her kirk: Mr Spock You Are Dismissed
One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energies – maybe even the atom; energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in some sort of spaceship. And the men that reach out into space will be able to find ways to feed the hungry millions of the world and to cure their diseases. They will be able to find a way to give each man hope and a common future; and those are the days worth living for.
Star Trek: The Original Series, The City on the Edge of Forever
One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energies, maybe even the atom… energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in… in some sort of spaceship. And the men that reach out into space will be able to find ways to feed the hungry millions of the world and the cure their diseases. They will be able to find a way give each other hope and a common future. And those are the days worth living for.
Meta on Edith Keeler’s and Jim Kirk’s relationship.
I’ve seen a few posts discussing whether or not a relationship between Jim Kirk and Edith Keeler would have survived had he been able to take her with him back to the 23rd century, but every last one of them focused only on him and said nothing about how Edith would feel or act on entering this brave new world and I think that’s odd. Personally I don’t think the relationship would last, not because of Jim, or at least not just, but because of the type of person Edith is.
Let’s look at her for a moment. She’s a woman living in the 1930s; who despite a strong economic depression keeps up hope of a better world; who will work and work hard to achieve her goals;
who is very, very ambitious and who will not let the place she has been designated due to her gender stand in her way of achieving her goals. She’s charismatic and an idealist, but one with enough pragmatism to get things done.
We know all of this because, had she lived, she would single handedly have changed the course of history by convincing the American President not to go to war with Germany, resulting in Hitler’s victory on the European continent. You do not, as an impoverished woman in the 1930s get the ear of the president without both ambition, fortitude, charisma and a certain amount of pragmatism as well.
How would a woman like this respond to the 23rd century. A place where her gender no longer means that she’ll be listened to less than a man, but where she is seen as an equal? And a world where a woman is not seen as being half, or less, or chronically unfulfilled simply because she isn’t married and with 2.4 children. (While Edith is supposedly a woman of the 1930s, she was written by 1960s writers to whom it was inconceivable that a [white] woman could be happy without husbands and kids). A place that, at least in Federation territory, is what she had been agitating for all this time? A place of (mostly) peace and prosperity? A place that isn’t just equal opportunity, but equal reality?
I think that, after the initial shock has faded and she has started to acclimatise, she would take to this world like a fish to water. This is after all a world where people will listen to her words and not dismiss her as a dreamer, or “just a woman”. She would likely end up part of, or at least associated with, the Federations diplomatic corps, and soon that work would be taking most if not all of her time leaving little for her relationship with Jim.
It is Jim’s misfortune that he falls for women who are as dedicated to their work as he is to his, and someone who is as abominable at long distance relationships as he is. And Edith is no exception to this rule. I doubt it would be a dramatic breakup. Perhaps they would simply slide apart, their messages and talks becoming ever more infrequent until one day they’ll both find that it’s been almost a year since the last time. Perhaps one or the other decides to call it quits before then, but Jim for one has been through this process too many times to fight it, and it would be against his nature to try and fetter another person and keep her from what she really wants to be doing.
So no, it wouldn’t last. Not just because Jim isn’t the type for house, kids and white picket fence, but because Edith isn’t. And when faced with a world offering her other options, she would seize them and hold onto what has always been her life’s ambition with both her hands.