The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Make it so, Star Trek No. 1

Illustration by Eugene Chang

“To boldly go where no man has gone before….”

That is the final line in the opening to the introduction of Star Trek.

The USS Enterprise is one of the most famous ships in the history of science fiction in my opinion. Helmed by brave Captain James Tiberius Kirk accompanied by his equally courageous crew, the USS Enterprise embarks on its 5-year mission, “To explore strange new worlds, To seek out new life and new civilizations.”

Given that, I’d take Captain Kirk over Luke Skywalker (the main protagonist in Star Wars) any day of the week. Star Trek has touched the hearts of millions of fans and started a phenomena that dates back to before Star Wars even existed.

Star Trek has spanned over five TV series and over twelve movies and that pace is still going strong as another series is in the making, set to be released in 2017 along with the current movie franchise.

Eleven years before “The Force” entered the common jargon of moviegoers everywhere, Star Trek had already achieved great success as a franchise, garnering a large and devoted fanbase. It was a TV show ahead of its time that inspired many real inventions that we continue to use today.

For example cell phones, more specifically flip-phones, were inspired by the communicators used in Star Trek by the Enterprise crew. Motorola’s Martin Cooper who has been dubbed the inventor of the cell phone acknowledged that these communicators were the inspiration for the cell phone according to The Daily Beast.

Another innovation we still use because of Star Trek is the sliding doors. When Captain Kirk would enter the bridge of the Enterprise he would go through sliding doors in a time when people still had elevator operators to open doors.

The show didn’t just inspire technological advancement but also advancement and progression in the then current social status quo.

The show used Spock, Captain Kirk’s second in command, as a character that explored his humanity because he was half human and half Vulcan (an alien race). Star Trek explored the humanity of each individual character and advocated interracial relationships in a time when it was not the norm.

Star Trek covered very touchy subjects during its time like racism and prejudice. Spock dated Commander Nyota Uhura, a black woman, which sparked major controversy at the time but later kept it in the original canon. The Enterprise crew was very diverse covering races from Russian to Japanese, to showcase Earth as a whole people, rather than separate nations. This allowed for the show to be accessible and relatable to a myriad of different people.

Going into statistics between the movie franchises, the newest Star Trek movie has the higher Rotten Tomatoes score with 87 percent compared to the newest Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith with a score of 79 percent.

Star Trek brings in billions of dollars from conventions to its merchandise. The fans also known as “trekkies” have been around a lot longer and are more devoted than Star Wars fans.

It all started with a show that blew away my mind as a child. Anyone can pickup Star Wars but it takes true fandom to follow Star Trek. The show started a movement that will last generations to come with a hope that we may all “live long and prosper.”

More to Discover