“My people are cautious, what you would call ‘cowards.’”

The Soul of Skorr sounds like a talisman in a video game, a Myst-like (remember Myst?) connotation that requires the unlocking of boxes, scanning of maps in order to locate the lighthouse that reflects the Sun’s rays to pin-point the exact location of the Ark of the Covenant, which will contain yet another map leading to the last-known location of … the Soul of Skorr. I don’t even think Tolkien could follow this story. Kirk and Spock beam down to a planet filled with previously-unknown alien species. A great, ancient, long-dead leader’s brain patterns were recorded and placed in the Soul of Alar.

A creature called the Vedala (a race of onions, but they resemble crudely revised Kzinti) tells the gathered principals the Soul needs to be recovered before a Holy War (the titular “Jihad”) will start and spread across the galaxy, and Kirk and Spock are conscripted to find it. They are taken to a place called, “The Mad Planet.” Not terribly encouraging, but at least they have travel buddies.

Lara, a warrior woman who is a skilled tracker and extremely forward in her fraternization with Kirk. A weird, yellow bird creature. A little green coward-insect/frog (with a voice reminiscent of comedian Andy Dick). A lizard/dinosaur dude with a gruff voice. This reminds me of The Dirty Dozen; more like the Dirty Half-Dozen. The Mad Planet is a volcanic hell-hole with hot, nasty lava flowing every which way. I don’t know why they’re going through all of this when they could use the transporter, but I guess the story would be severely truncated and boring if we didn’t have all these resplendent alien backgrounds to show off.

I feel like this episode could’ve been bigger; a hour’s length with a little more development. It seems silly with the stiff animation. Once inside an impressive dome-like structure, the party finds the Soul, but the doors lock behind them. Kirk reasons there is a traitor among them. “The Jihad” is decent science fiction that reminds of Poul Anderson or Ursula K. Le Guin, but becomes jarring and confusing toward the end, and more so when applied to Star Trek.

Twice a week, Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

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