Greg Cox wrote:
I'm in minority, but still...
I think, the best beginning is The Motion Picture. The reasons, why:
1. Gene Roddenberry and his vision.
2. The best cinematography and the best music.
3. The best example of what is the Star Trek villian should be.
4. The best basis for discussions and questions to Trekkies
TMP is the best presentation for Star Trek world. This movie can lead to good discussion and arouse interest to other movies and shows.
The problem is, our hypothetical layman doesn't care about Roddenberry's "vision" or what a Star Trek villain should
be. You want to show them what Star Trek is,
not what it should be.
Absolutely true. Most people, at the intro point, aren't going to care about the vision or philosophy. In fact, that can be off-putting at first, because it comes off as pretentious and lame. Get them hooked on the characters and the fun first, then introduce them to Picard's ponderous speeches. Haha!
Exactly. You don't want to make watching Star Trek sound like eating spinach, that it's something you ought to do because it's good for you. "You need to watch it because of the vision and the philosophy and all that."
Better to go with. "Trust me, you don't have to be a Trekkie to enjoy this one."
If later on they want to explore Star Trek in greater depth, that's great. But this isn't a college assignment; the idea isn't to be able to write an essay on the movie's themes afterwards!