It speaks to some basic human needs, that there is a tomorrow — it’s not all going to be over in a big flash and a bomb, that the human race is improving, that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids — human beings built them because they’re clever and they work hard. And Star Trek is about those things.
Today marks the 46th Anniversary of Star Trek. All those many years ago a small group of people decided to create an epic depiction of Man’s future. Amidst all of the turmoil and uncertainty of the 1960′s Star Trek emerged as a beacon of hope to an unsteady populace. Star Trek was not about the misuse and exploitation of science, nuclear war, famine, pestilence, or any other man-made folly that would forever doom our future. No, Star Trek was about what we as a society could achieve.
The Crew of the Starship Enterprise were altruistic, noble, and selfless. They were a multiracial, multinational mix of characters all working together. There was a Russian on the bridge… and a woman. An African American woman at that who had all of the same rights and standing of any of the men. It was a revolution veiled in science fiction and thanks to Desilu Studios it became a television show on September 8th, 1966 and the world was never the same again.
When Star Trek began its run it depicted technology which was fanciful for the time. Communicators, handheld computers, tricorders, and hyposprays to name a few. All technologies that have been realized in some form less than half a century later. Now, it’s no stretch of the imagination… it’s no chicken or the egg conundrum. Generations of scientists and visionaries grew up watching Gene Roddenberry’s “Wagon Train to the Stars.” It molded and shaped them to the point of it being rare when someone working at Motorola, JPL, or NASA doesn’t cite Star Trek as a major influence in their career choice. I am writing this on a wireless touch screen device while I am sitting outside on a park bench enjoying the last remnants of Summer. When I’m done I will beam the article up to our server where it will be free to be instantly disseminated to people all over the world. It’s a level of connectivity previously only imagined in science fiction. Star Trek has indeed changed the world, but don’t take my word for it…
The media is ALL over Star Trek’s birthday. Resident Trekipedia Larry Nemecek talks about this on his latest blog entry over at Trekland. He mentions how even Google beamed aboard for the celebration with its Google Doodle original series adventure, with special guest star Bobby “The Gorn” Clark in a recreation of one of the most iconic moments in television. From Google to news services all around the world, Star Trek is on the mind of millions. The franchise has boldly gone where no man has gone before… and thankfully shows no signs of stopping. Live long and prosper.