A few weeks ago I went on a kick of watching non-Star Trek related movies that had at least one of the actors from one of the various Star Trek series in them, one of these being, Hennessy (1975) with Patrick (Captain Picard) Stewart. Another one being Broken Angel (1988) with William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Brock Peters (Joseph Sisko) and Roxann Dawson (Lieutenant Torres)!
With that in mind, watching those two movies got me to thinking here recently about the subject of Star Trek, and the message that the original series conveyed in both the TV show and the Movies (to me anyway.)
Before I continue, let me preface what I am about to say, with this… In my travels, I have unfortunately been forced to deal with people who have a streak of racism and or some other form of bigotry, I have also seen the results of such bigotry, either on TV, or in some cases in movies, about the bigotry that man can show his fellow man…
With that said, in the 1960s and 1970s, tensions were high among a lot of different ethnic groups, I mean there was the threat of Nuclear War hanging over literally everyone, the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, and various and assorted protests against a war that was becoming more and more unpopular!
Fortunately as time went on, these tensions began to ease, and the elements of change needed to handle these problems seem to have been at least mostly put in to place to handle these problems, such actions as the end of the cold war, the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc…
Now back in the 60's though there was a very unique Television series that came on the air, that at least to some extent, not only touched on these issues, but had actually seemed to try to show the world what it could be and the harmony amongst a human population that lived in peace. The name of this show is Star Trek.
Now Star Trek in and of itself was very much a land mark series in and of itself, I mean this show has spawned more then a few series as well as several movies, and has helped further the careers of such prolific actors and actresses as Matt Frewer (Eureka), Wil Wheaton (Also of Eureka fame), Michelle Forbes (The Killing), Jerry Hardin (The X-Files), Ashley Judd (Flypaper), along with literally dozens upon dozens of others!
I mean Star Trek can literally be said to be LEGENDARY!
With that said though, in the beginning, before Captain Katheryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew were traveling through space in Star Trek: Voyager, before Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) and his crew had their station to govern in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, or before Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of his Enterprise were traveling the cosmos, heck even before the release of the pre-quell series wit
h Scott Bakula, there was the crew of the Starship Enterprise which was being commanded by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner)!
I mean what can I say about the original Star Trek? This series literally spawned a whole culture of fans of space, and has helped kids to get their first doses of Outer Space! (I know that this series definitely helped me to get a better understanding of Outer Space, astronomy, etc…)
But there is another side to Star Trek that I think a lot of people have either not thought with before or have forgotten, and that is a message that I believe is hidden between the lines in the series…
I'm not talking about some weird Da'Vinci Code type of thing, no this is more a message that seems to be conveyed by the actions and the people on this series. What is this Message?
Well remember I mentioned above about the fact that the 60s were marked by a lot of strife, rather it be the fear of Nuclear War, or fighting a war that seemed to be constantly growing more and more unpopular, etc…
Well simply put Star Trek seemed to send the message that bias, bigotry, and well basically all of this hatred is useless and as a matter of fact, if we can all get along, we could actually end up going farther, and doing more for the world and humanity as a whole, then we could have ever thought possible!
I mean the best example of this is the cast members and their characters alone! The following is what I am talking about:
1. Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), a white man who never shows importance amongst any of his crew, and who actually ends up working well with everyone!
2. Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) a Russian Man, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) a Japanese Man, Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) A Black Woman and Captain Kirk all going on missions together and treating each other with the same respect that they would treat anyone else. This alone is actually quite a powerful message in that at the time that this TV series was released, the idea that these nationalities and races could get together and live in perfect harmony with each other was almost un heard of!
3. The next example that I thought that I would give is the respect that is shown amongst the other species in the Star Trek Universe. I mean these people of the Federation really do believe in peace, and I think that is awesome!
Now I know I am using pretty basic terms here when I mentioned (White Man), (Black Man), (Russian Man), etc… And if I have offended you, I apologize. But the point still stands, if ever there is a good barometer in which to gauge for which to show the necessity and importance for peace, and to stop all the hate and bigotry in the word, I do believe that Star Trek truly maybe one of the best examples upon which to gauge the necessity and importance for peace upon.
So on behalf of the crew over here at ABM, I would like to personally thank Gene Rodenberry and the cast and crew that helped bring Star Trek in to the world, I don't know if what I have stated above was the intended message, but regardless the message is well received.