Unless you avoided social media yesterday – or don’t have a lot of geek friends – you may have missed that yesterday was the 50th Anniversary debut of Star Trek. That’s the original series, the one that featured cardboard sets, kitschy costumes, and the multi-ethnic crew of the Starship Enterprise that has become so engrained in pop culture today.
Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek premiered fifty years ago, but the original series only ran for three seasons and a total of 79 episodes. That in itself is impressive, given how deeply Star Trek has embedded itself in our collective imaginations. The various films featuring the original crew of the Enterprise were of varying quality – the most iconic being The Wrath of Khan – but that and the stalwart dedication of its fans have made Star Trek into a pop culture entity that’s really unrivalled.
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While I’m not a huge Star Trek fan, I admit that I got a wee bit choked up at this brand new Star Trek 50 trailer, which was released today and can be seen above. The show itself is a well-made one, if a little campy by today’s standards, and most importantly it featured a diverse cast, pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable on television at the time. Star Trek continues to push those boundaries even now, and while there have been many legitimate criticisms of the direction of the reboots, there’s no doubt that they’re keeping the spirit of the original series alive.
With the upcoming TV series Star Trek: Discovery, we can hope that the spirit of the original series and all its spinoffs will continue to endure. Star Trek relied on the concepts of diversity, respect, exploration, and the greater good – and it seems that we need those now as much as we did in 1966.