Brendan is 5, and he's being trained in the arts of geekery. Sometimes that's harder than it sounds...
Bren: How many Star Trek movies are there?
Me: Um... a lot. 10 I think.
Bren: I thought there was 6.
Me: No, that's Star Wars.
Bren: Who's that? (points to Chris Pine on the Blu Ray box for Star Trek c 2009)
Me: Captain Kirk.
Bren: I thought this was Captain Kirk (points to William Shatner)
Me: He is, he's from the TV show.
Bren: But he's in the movies, right? He's in Star Trek 6.
Me: Yep, he did a bunch of movies.
Bren: Is this movie before or after the TV show? (points to Chris Pine)
Bren (puzzled): Are there other Star Trek TV shows?
Me: Yes, but he's not in them.
Bren: Where did he come from?
Me: Well, they decided to make a prequel which is like a movie that explains what happened before the original movie, or in this case the TV show... and since William Shatner is older now, they had to find a new guy.
Bren: Captain Kirk and you are on the same birthday.
Me (laughing): William Shatner, who plays Captain Kirk, and I have the same birthday.
Bren: Hm. (long pause) Why didn't they make the movie before the TV show?
Me: That would have been a good idea but they probably didn't know they wanted to make a movie until after the TV show went off the air.
Bren: Where is Captain Kirk? (points to Star Trek NG pic of cast)
Me: Next Generation takes place after Captain Kirk is gone.
Bren: Do you mean dead?
Bren: How come he's in the movie with this guy? (points to Patrick Stewart)
Bren: He died with this guy. On the rocks. (point to Patrick again)
Me (flailing): Yes, he did... Hollywood wanted to stop making Star Trek movies with the cast from the TV show so they kind of handed it off to the new guys by making Captain Kirk travel through time - sort of.
Bren: How come he didn't go back in time and do the other movie?
Me: Which movie?
Bren: This one. (points to Chris Pine)
Me: Well he can't really travel through time, it's just how Hollywood wrote the movie.
Bren (sits quietly for a moment mulling it over): Why is this guy (points to Leonard Nemoy) in the movie? (points to Chris Pine) He was in the TV show, right?
Me: Yeah, he was in the show but he went through a worm hole back in time in the prequel.
Bren: How come Captain Kirk didn't go in the worm hole?
Me (Because the writers didn't ask The Shat? Because his appearance fee would have killed the budget? I have no idea why, but before I know what I'm saying I blurt out this gem): Um... because then there would be two Captain Kirks.
Bren (glares at the movies): Who's this guy? (points at Zachary Quinto)
Me *sigh*: Spock.
Bren: But this guy is Spock (points to Leonard Nemoy)
Me: Yes. He is.
By now my head is ready to explode and I have to admit I was barely treading Star Trek water. Rather than jumping into the middle and trying to explain backwards and forwards - it makes more sense to go through it chronologically, right? Right?
I told him to wait for 5 minutes while I sorted it out - which is when I realize that the time lines for my beloved Star Trek are a bit convoluted. I gathered my movies on DVD & Blu Ray, and pics of various shows and sat down to explain everything. Well I tried anyway.
"OK so the Stark Trek TV show came first in the 1960's and when it went off the air, they made movies which are Star Treks I through VI. In Star Trek IV they travel back in time to the 1980's to steal whales so they can fight off a screechy glass of tar... um anyway.. while they were making those movies, a new TV show called Star Trek Next Generation came out and it was really popular, so they made Star Trek Voyager which takes place at the same time as Next Generation, but on a different ship. They also made Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5. Then the people who made the new shows thought it would be fun to have some of the guys from the original show join them - so there were Next Gen episodes that included Bones and Scotty; Sulu showed up on Voyager *and* Chekov showed up on both Next Gen and Babylon 5. When Next Gen went off the air, they made movies too. They made the seventh movie called Star Trek Generations with the original Captain Kirk who was trapped in the Nexus and jumped through time to join Captain Picard. The Next Gen guys also made a movie called First Contact where they travel back in time to just before the Vulcans like Spock come to Earth - so before Captain Kirk was even born. Then... lastly we have this Star Trek with the new Captain Kirk that they made now but actually takes place before Generations and the original TV show in the 60's but after First Contact and Star Trek IV."
He blinks at me.
"It makes a lot more sense in my head," I reply sheepishly.
"Can I go play Legos now?" he asks.