This is totally from the heart: I love Star Trek.
My love is deep and kinda embarrassing. I’ve been watching Star Trek (the original with Kirk and Spock by Roddenberry) since I was four-years old in syndication. I’m now over 40, so it’s been with me for a while. It’s been with me through The Next Generation (with Capt. Picard), Deep Space Nine, barely with me through Voyager and with me through Enterprise (with Capt. Archer). I watched the animated version as a kid and still enjoy catching it unexpectedly.
This love of Trek has even been with me through conventions. In junior high, I talked my parents into dropping me off at a boat show so I could meet William Shatner (Capt. Kirk). I was lucky enough to see him and Leonard Nimoy together in Vegas about ten years ago with a bunch of gal nerd pals. It was totally awesome.
Gene Roddenberry has an inspiring story, too
Not just a smart guy and a good writer, Gene Roddenberry (the creator of Star Trek) helped save lives when an airplane went down and crashed. As the co-pilot, he managed to make it back to the airplane to save other people and led a group to the survivors’ rescue … including helping others. See The Oatmeal.
It’s more than that, too. Star Trek had the first inter-racial kiss during a time of civil rights issues. It added a Russian to its crew during the Cold War when “the U.S.S.R.” was a mortal enemy. It even had an alien, Mr. Spock, that humans could relate to.
Although the original was only on the air for three seasons, it’s left an impression on our society. Even now a new rendition of Star Trek is in the theaters and a new t.v. show just around the corner (Star Trek Discovery).
To me, it’s kinda like a sports team
Okay, so I’ve lived in Portland for about 20 years. The town doesn’t have many sports teams to discuss. Sure, I like the Trail Blazers (basketball). Yes, I like the Timbers (soccer). But Portland isn’t a sporty town like Denver is. (Great seeing all the orange and blue jerseys today! Go Broncos!)
But how other people talk about sports — that’s how I talk about Star Trek. Trust me there’s a weird vernacular like, “I love TOS and TNG. ENT doesn’t get enough credit.” That means something to people who like Star Trek. I also say things like, “NuTrek is okay, but I prefer classic because it follows canon.” It could all be explained, but it’s probably not worth your time in the same way you don’t want to hear about teams you don’t like or know nothing about.
Yeah, I’m one of those people who know the names of the episodes, too. My favorites are “Balance of Terror,” “The Enterprise Incident,” and the Vulcan Arc of Enterprise. I have many others I love, but that’s my short list. Movies? Wrath of Khan all day long. Without a doubt, Mr. Spock is my favorite character. Captain Archer is probably second, but isn’t my favorite captain — that’s Picard.
It’s not Star Trek vs. Star Wars
I hate when people ask Star Wars or Star Trek — it’s both, just like for me it’s both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. You can’t pick between great things, in my book. There’s enough room for everything. The Rolling Stones may’ve followed the Beatles, but they have an awesome blues edge. Star Wars has created a new generation of science fiction fans, some small items probably evolving from Star Trek. But it stands on its own; Star Wars has the power of myth going for it as well as awesome special effects.
It’s also not a choice among Firefly, Blake’s 7 or Dr. Who. They all have their place. We can all be fans of them all.
ReadyTalk loves Star Trek, too
So, why am I writing about this on a ReadyTalk blog? One word: culture.
You can imagine my delight when I arrived and saw a giant-sized Enterprise decal on the wall. Of course, it was next to a bunch of Star Wars decals. People here love science fiction, just like me. They even have some of the same geek-speak.
In fact, what drew me to ReadyTalk was their careers page; it was filled with science fiction references and some of the same pictures of decals up on the walls. I thought, “This is the company!” The role was perfect. I was lucky that the people are pretty darned fantastic, too. One of the executives of the company asked if I liked Dr. Who (because his daughter does). And during an interview, I told them I write science fiction on the side and one guy — Danny — threw up his hands with delight and claimed, “Interview done.”
So on this September 8, happy 50th birthday, Star Trek. You’ve made the world better and the culture at ReadyTalk richer.
What are your favorites?
Share the love with us. What are some of your favorite episodes, movies, characters or elements of Star Trek? Let us know who your favorite captain is, too.