'Star Trek' reflects
Star Trek meant a lot to me growing up.
I had access to all the original episodes, and watched them quite often.
I loved Next Generation
throughout its duration, as well as Deep
Space Nine. Now the new series based on Gene Roddenberry's vision has finally
In a very serious way, Star Trek has affected
America's history. One of our test-space shuttles (the OV-101), which never
actually went to space
but served as a test bed for equipment,
was named Enterprise.
Star Trek was the host of the first interracial
kiss on television, and each series had a habit of paralleling important
issues into one show or
Star Trek is unique. It has been the one
show on TV in which humanity is idealized and humbled at the same time.
In the Star Trek universe,
humanity has gotten beyond the pettiness
of economics and racial politics and has united to go off into the galaxy.
Wherever we go, there is something unknown,
something more powerful, something new to understand. It's a very sobering
today's reality: We have attained so much,
but still have such a long way to go.
I am actually pleased with Enterprise.
Those who expected to see the utopian ideals of the Federation from the
Next Generation may not like it,
but I do because it's closer to us.
Enterprise is set as humanity literally
reaches out to the stars. Humanity has figured itself out racial
differences don't matter among the crew. On
the other hand, there's a definite animosity
to the "high and mighty" Vulcans, since humanity views them as having held
back aid and help in
getting to the stars. The ship is cramped,
not always sparkling, and the medicine isn't as great as other series'.
The technology is unwieldy at times,
though it gets its job done.
The universe of Enterprise isn't exactly
clean either. There are hostile aliens, there are those that are just hard
to communicate with, and unlike
every other series, we are under-gunned
compared to the rest of the galaxy. But there are a few things that even
this series has to teach us.
First of all, humanity works at its best
when we work together. That ship wouldn't run without all its crew giving
their best effort. Second, the crew of
Enterprise recognizes that they are out
there to learn, and to expect the unexpected.
Most important, however, is the message
of hope. The Star Trek series, and Enterprise in particular, should mean
something to us. They're not
about present events, though the scripts
will sometimes mirror important issues. It's about humanity at its best,
that we not only get to the stars, but
we go beyond, and we're still around hundreds
of years from now.
Gene Roddenberry died on Oct. 24, 1991,
but he left something behind we can still look forward to. Thanks.