Star Trek Day
America received a prophet long ago in the midst of the cold war. His vision was not one of religion and damnation. Instead, he offered us a vision of the future that is so hopeful, so compelling, it has been indelibly etched on the minds of all mankind. Star Trek Day honors this vision and Gene Roddenberry, the man who made it.
The original Star Trek series can appear cheesy, corny and even racist to modern audiences. It’s easy to overlook the amazing production efforts and the unimaginable elements that were contained within. Think about Lieutenant Pavel Andreievich Chekov of Russian descent, who served aboard an American starship. This idea was impossible in the days of the “Red Communist Threat”, but Gene envisioned a day when it might be possible.
Next, Lieutenant NyotaUhura was born in Nigeria. She stood out because she was a female officer on a navy vessel (all starships are part of the Navy), and also because she was of African-American descent. These two elements combined created an amazing story for her. Her position as fourth-in-command of the USS Enterprise was not weakened by her role as glorified telephone operator.
Star Trek speaks of a future in which our nationality is no longer important, but each person’s personal heritage is something that we can be proud. All of us are citizens of the same universe and that is all that matters.
Star Trek Day can be celebrated by simply watching the original series. Be careful with the first episode. It is easily rated among the most disturbing and frightening episodes. Spock is responsible. It wasn’t clear that Vulcans lack emotion at this point. This is why the surprise ending of the episode surprised many. Make some snacks and get out your old uniforms! It’s a great way to celebrate Star Trek Day.