It’s the same reason we look up at the night sky, something humanity has been doing for a very long time. Incidentally, 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy; but we know space travel probably won’t be widely available within this generation. Star Trek artificially brings it within our grasp an hour at a time—two if you’re watching a movie.
Star Trek goes beyond the idea of just being a road trip in space. There are forays into the progression of science, the proposition of various classes of planets, and the development of interpersonal relationships. While the characters of Star Trek explore the universe, the viewers explore possibilities. Morality and ethical questions abound. We are at turns encouraged, disappointed, and surprised along the way.
There are degrees of personal engagement with these fictional adventures. It’s a human tendency to ‘write ourselves’ into the stories we read and watch. I couldn’t figure out why someone I knew began acting different after my own novels started getting published, but that person may have imagined being one of my characters. It would be a stretch since I make every effort to create characters vastly different from people I know. Then again you can’t predict how people might see themselves.
People pretend to be someone else, often someone they admire, for a myriad of reasons. Unfortunately, my own face better lends itself to impressions of Einstein and Elvis than famous women. However, I think I’d make a half convincing Vulcan female. They seem to choose actors and actresses with more prominent facial features for Vulcan roles. Not that I have any expectations of being on a Star Trek show—can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t act. Instead of a triple Hollywood threat, I’m more of a triple hazard. I have the unique talent of being able to trip over a cord that’s halfway across the room, for example.
I’d probably rate as a lower ranking ‘Trekkie.’ I love the various series, look forward to each movie, and would attend a convention if the opportunity came up. However, a more committed Trekkie or ‘Trekker’ owns a uniform and sets aside other things to attend a convention. There are clubs devoted to various species of Star Trek aliens and devotees come from all walks of life, with various levels of commitment.
There are Star Trek sites online, from the official StarTrek.com to those set up by fans. (I’m not following the Twitter site because anyone who twitters non-stop fills up my homepage and prevents me from seeing other tweets.) For those of us who write, there’s fan fiction. Take the basic premise, some of the known characters, and create a whole new story. Look around in any library long enough and you’ll find a pantheon of author names with published Star Trek novels. Of course you must respect copyright and find the current publisher working with the franchise if you want to see your story in print. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but ignoring copyright can get you sued.
As for the upcoming movie, some will love it, some will hate it, and non-Trekkies will wonder what all the fuss is about…until they read this.
Thanks for reading. 😉
Phyllis K Twombly