I went to the movies last weekend with friends and I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that Tyler Perry had a role in the new movie Star Trek, in which the franchise is re-invented with the classic characters but now young and hot. Seeing Tyler Perry instantly took me out of the movie’s plot while I was scratching my head, like WHAAA?!?

My friends also were freaked out – it’s a highly visible role and one that might almost hold symbolism. What on earth could the director be trying to say to us? Color Black Star Trek fans confused. Billy Dee Williams or Samuel L. Jackson or the original Uhura or Common or Prince or even Erykah Badu in giant afro mode are alternative choices that come to mind. My hairdresser who does my locs had this to say on the matter: “He looked really gay. But that’s cool: you know, maybe in the Future, a big black gay man can become Commander of Starfleet.” It’s true: Perry’s performance was a little bit flaming and it’s high time for him to come all the way out of the closet — it would be a great example of black leadership, I think. My friends and I thought: maybe he’s just a huge Star Trek fan. But no, apparently that ain’t the case. He makes it sound totally random that the first movie he’s done that isn’t his own is Star Trek.

I think it would have been much more appropriate for Tyler Perry to have played Commander of Starfleet as Madea. Or perhaps he could have played Spock’s mama instead of Winona Ryder. Yes, it might have been a different movie. Maybe an even better one…

Where is Dave Chappelle when you need him? I mean, how hilarious would a sketch be that played all the scenes with Spock and his parents totally straight but with Madea in full housecoat glory the whole time? Please, please: someone must create and post this video on YouTube. The romance in the movie is also surprisingly hot, but cries out for some kind of satirical treatment. Why, Dave. WHY…

Starfleet is also headquartered in San Francisco. I live in SF so that’s cool. It was a great movie but was it just me? The science was pretty weak. Real astronomy and quantum physics are both pretty mind-blowing. Note to Hollywood: feel free to run these scripts past a scientist every once in awhile. Anyway, here’s a bit from an interview Perry did on BlackVoices:

How fun was it to work on ‘Star Trek’?
TP: It was really exciting. J.J Abrams is a fan and he called and asked me if I would be interested in doing the film and I was shocked. The timing was perfect and it was only a week. It’s a really small role. It really helped me to see what it’s like to be on someone else’s set.
What’s your role in the film?
TP: I’m the Commander of the Star Fleet. I run the school. I’m a pretty big guy, literally, and in the film.
Were you a ‘Star Trek’ fan?
TP: No, I only had two scenes with the two leads. I wasn’t a trekkie, but after seeing the trailer, I may become one.

TP: Oh no. They were top secret about the uniform. We had to wear rain coats to cover them up so that they wouldn’t be shot from the outside. This whole thing has been top secret, but it would be worth it when it comes out.
I know you mentioned that Abrams is a fan of yours, but considering you haven’t acted in films outside of your own, did you wonder if he brought you on to bring in a large African American base to the film?
TP: I don’t know if that is what he was thinking. Looking at him and talking to him, he is the Jewish version of me. He works on television and works on films. He does not stop. He writes as well. I was watching him work and rework the scene, and there’s something about my story that is so similar to him in what I’m doing. I think it intrigued him as much as it intrigued me. I don’t think that demographics was the case of me being in the film; because they would have given me a supportive role rather than just a cameo. I think it was about him feeling me out and me about him, and I think it worked out okay.
Was he the first to ask you to appear in a movie outside of your films?
TP: He was the first. It didn’t make sense to do a movie that I can do myself. I don’t want you to call me and ask me to do a film about a black family. I can do that myself. I don’t want to be in your movie doing that. Now, if you want me to do ‘Mission: Impossible’, or ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Wolverine’, which I was called for but I couldn’t do because I was doing ‘The Family That Preys’, but those sort of films, yes, I can do that.
You were called to do ‘Wolverine’?
TP: Yeah. I was set to go to Australia but we couldn’t work out the dates.
What part were you suppose to play? Was it the role that Will.i.am has in the film, John Wraith?
TP: Could be. I don’t know.

Wow — I would pay real money to see Tyler Perry or Madea actually play Wolverine.

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