Let me state right off the bat that I am not a Star Trek fan. I like it just fine but it’s never been anything that I get particularly excited about. That being said, I highly respect it. For it’s importance to the science fiction genre. For breaking new ground in the television landscape as well. I remember watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with my Dad late nights when I was probably about two or three. It was always a show that I thought was cool looking but I knew I was a little young to be understanding the more nuanced storytelling going on in the series. Though I did get an appreciation of the cast of characters especially Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Data. As the years went by, other Star Trek series such as Deep Space Nine and Voyager also premiered.
I remember my Dad liking Deep Space Nine due to Captain Sisko, a black Captain in the Star Trek universe. When I got older, I really started to appreciate Sisko more and more. But my favorite Captain would have to be Captain Janeway in Voyager. I really connected with the strong female Captain and how her whole mission was to get back home. Voyager also had the added benefit of having the Borg be a prominent presence within the series. They were the only villains that I knew about and was always intrigued by their entire being. So even as I type this, there are more things I like about Star Trek than I really remember.
The movies have always been something hit or miss. I’ve seen every Star Trek movie but I think I only really like three of them. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek Beyond. First Contact would have to be my favorite because it is a time travel story and a Borg story at that. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It is a strong Star Trek story but one that works on many different levels. I saw this in my 20’s and found it highly enjoyable. You really got a sense of how nasty the Borg were and how personal Picard’s vendetta against them was. Also meeting the man who got humans noticed in the galaxy and learning that he was not all that cracked up to be was funny how history paints our heroes.
There is also something really important and that was diversity. My Dad had to tell me how important it was seeing Uhura in the original Star Trek series. Seeing a black woman play an important part in the series and not play a maid or anything stereotypical as that. As I got older and learned more and more about the series, I really have to appreciate what Gene Rodenberry was going for in his series. That we may have problems now but with exploration and thought and discovery, we can work past our issues. So thank you Mr. Rodenberry for your series and the mark it has made on society.