I finally caught up with the bonus features on the Blu-Ray editions of the last few Star Trek movies this week, and one sentence kind of jumped out at me. It comes courtesy of Michael Fincke, an astronaut who appears on the Star Trek: First Contact (1996) disc via the featurette ‘Greetings from the International Space Station’:
I’d really love to be in heaven someday, looking down to see my great-great-grandchildren living on Mars and going to other star systems, and using some kind of faster-than-light drive.
But of course, the universe doesn’t stop at the edge of our planet’s atmosphere; the world as a whole is much bigger than that. So anyone observing the activity between planets, to say nothing of different star systems, would have to be looking at us from much, much further back — especially if they were doing so from a vantage point outside this universe altogether. And I can’t help thinking that we’d look pretty small to them, from there.
I know, I know, I’m being much too literalistic here. But that’s part of the fun of encountering old idioms in new contexts.