Over the past fifty years there has been seven hundred and twenty-nine entries in the ‘official’ Star Trek universe, ranging from those original episodes to a short lived animated series, spin offs and reboots in an alternate universe. The one thing that has tied them all together has been the vision of a brighter future, a future where mankind’s drive is not about oneself but rather serving a great good.
And I’m not even diving into the countless books, games and fan made works that have all contributed to the tapestry of the second most enduring entertainment franchise on the planet. What is it about Star Trek that draws people in? Why are the die-hard Trekkies so enamoured with the franchise?
Star Trek for me shows us that there could be so much more out there, it’s led technological revolutions in fields of communication, propulsion, exploration and those original episodes led by William Shatner’s James T. Kirk inspired many to join NASA and explore the final frontier.
The series helped me become a film maker and a blogger and because of that I’ve met some of the cast and crew and discovered that in the beginning it was just a job but it became so much more – they created a family that you can still see today at the major conventions States-side, they get up for panels and discuss about how they keep in touch and how it was the best gig they had.
Then there are the fans, those crazy, whacky people that new players to the franchise have to be prepared for. Some will cosplay and be thrilled to meet the stars at signing tables, yet other’s will just have a passing fancy with the show and not know every detail, but then there are those who have a wall dedicated to a particular character or series (I know my sister had a huge poster of Wil Wheaton when she was growing up… although she denies it now!)
After almost twenty years in constant production (from 1986 – 2005) CBS claimed Star Trek was suffering franchise fatigue and decided to cancel the fledgling series Enterprise. Now, eleven years on from that dark day we are about to be enveloped by a new silver screen show and it’s going to be great to see all the old message boards light up again as spoilers drop and images appear from the set.
I’m so happy that CBS decided to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek by returning her to where she belongs… episodic format. But how will Star Trek prosper in this internet age? We’ll soon find out.