Before Star Wars and Planet of the Apes, there was Star Trek.
It was a low-budget TV show that got canned after three seasons, and yet it morphed into the original pop culture obsession that became short hand for weirdos with no lives, toiling away in basements and making model kits and home made costumes for convention trips.
In essence, the fandom that sprung up around Trek in its original iteration was the precursor to so much of what we identify as the disjointed shit-storm of Internet culture. Everything from head-canons to shipping/slash fiction to zeroing on details that would surpass the details of real life seemed to take hold of those who loved the show in its syndicated heyday. The convergence of this obsessive fandom, in combination with the runaway success of Star Wars, eventually resurrected Kirk, Spock, and McCoy from the abyss, and re-launched a new era of cultural dominance for Star Trek that would last for nearly twenty years, first as the original cast starred in successful movies, then an expansion of Trek for Television that extended to new characters and multiple series.
That being said, Trek has fallen on hard times. The fallow period between the cancellation of Star Trek Enterprise and J.J. Abrams slick reboot as a series of big budget action films felt like a necessary break. And say what you will about those new films, they at least led to a new series, albeit a slightly divisive one, in Star Trek Discovery. And yet…Trek feels much more like a niche thing than a cultural juggernaut such as Star Wars, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s become relegated to a special audience that is almost, but not quite, embraced by the mainstream. Most people know who Spock is, or who Picard is, or references to the Borg may be dropped on occasion, but it’s been a long time since people used Star Trek as the major cultural counterpoint to Star Wars.
For what its worth, I have and always shall love Star Trek. Perhaps not all iterations of it (I’m much more partial to the Original Series, and the films with the original cast, then any other version). But its a world that I enjoy, and the USS Enterprise will always be one of my favourite fictional inventions.
Some questions to consider:
- What is YOUR favourite Star Trek series?
- What about Star Trek do you find most appealing?
- When did you first come into contact with the property?
- What is your favourite piece of memorabilia/favourite collectible?
- What would you do if you could decide the future of Trek as a series?
Image Source: http://www.startrek.com/database_article/enterprise