Will Star Trek ever die? While there are plenty of cynical fans out there who will give you a dozen reasons why it might (and more than one opinion as to who’s to blame). Even veteran actor and Trek luminary, George Takei, has been known to be a little critical of Star Trek productions from time to time, as he said in an interview with comicbook.com earlier this week: “The rebooted (Star Trek films) are missing that magic ingredient that makes a Gene Roddennbery Star Trek so unique and singular,” Takei says. “The rebooted version is a rip-roaring good space opera. Lots of photon battles, lots of hanging on alien planet cliffs – but that’s it, it’s action adventure. The additional element is not there.”
But don’t think “Uncle George” is only critical of the Trek movies from the Kelvin-verse. He’s been equally critical of other Star Trek “enterprises” – like the animated series that ran in the 1970’s:
You know, the animated version is really not one of my favorites … You know that could be done with an animated version or alien civilizations that could not be created on a soundstage. Fantastical floating cities, but none of that was explored. The aliens again happened to be two arms, two legs, two eyes. Sometimes they had four or eight eyes, but it was limited, so I don’t think that the animated, we really reached its true animation potential.
But me, I’m more of an optimist – I firmly believe that as long as there are fans, Star Trek will continue to – as Mr. Spock might put it – live long and prosper.
After all, it was the fans that really created the movement that changed Star Trek from being an oddball, 60’s sci-fi action adventure TV show into a cultural icon. In fact, it’s safe to say that Star Trek fans helped re-invent fandom in a way that has served as a blueprint for dozens of TV shows and films that followed it.
Whether it’s fan conventions, fan films, fan fiction or even fan-constructed shuttlecraft that cruise the streets of the city in search of its next mission (or on the way to the grocery store), Star Trek lives on. In fact, Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry, claims Trek will never die in this article on the WTOP (Washington’s Top News) website. Rod is an executive producer for CBS’s new TV series, Star Trek: Discovery which will run on the network’s streaming service, CBS All Access.
Trek continues to inspire creators of all types whether they’re fans, filmmakers or inventors who are striving to create practical versions of the technology imagined and used in Star Trek. This week, author and scientist Mark E. Lasbury released his book “The Realization of Star Trek Technologies” which explains the role scientists and researchers played in the formulation of storylines for the television shows and movies – and the impact that Trek-knowlogy had on real-life scientists and inventors who attempted to bring sci-fi to life in the lab.
Star Trek will continue to live on – if only in the form of tractor beams, holograms and tricorders currently being invented in labs around the world today.
Finally, I want to share an awesome news report from the ABC-TV affiliate in Albany, NY – just a couple hours down the road from James Cawley’s replica Star Trek TOS set and soundstage in Ticonderoga. And while I might have mentioned the set tours in a previous post, you have to check out the report that aired on Channel 10 News to catch the enthusiasm and nostalgia the facility and franchise bring to the surface: