I know that not everyone likes it and not everyone has a nerd style, but that’s always been mine. Star Trek has this other reputation…. it was a show that used the future to show us progress of a social nature. There are many documentaries nowadays that cover this aspect and interviews where the cast talks about this.
This first video is George Takei:
While I couldn’t find a clip of it, there’s also a scene in a documentary on the show where Takei talks about auditioning. He says it was the only role at the time that didn’t require him to put on a thick accent and play a negative stereotype. It was revolutionary.
The second is Nichelle Nichols talking about meeting a fan:
Ever since I first saw her talk about this, I thought it was just magical. I’d never looked at it that way because I had the luxury of growing up long after this event and this series. I grew up in the 80’s and though relations haven’t reached Star Trek levels, we’ve come a long way. I hadn’t known how bad it was.
That light bulb didn’t light for me until the first time I saw this quote from Whoopi Goldberg somewhere:
Well, when I was nine years old, Start Trek came on, I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I know right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.
While searching for where she actually said that, I found this video that just shows how the effect of the franchise continues:
They are also credited with the first interracial kiss on television:
The original cast continued to showcase social issues well into their movie days too:
This is from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and it always shocked me. We get stuck in our hate and some have trouble backing away from it. This was meant as a metaphor for how we were handling things at the end of the Cold War, but it also reminds me of the hateful ways that people anyone who is different from them while they are struggling. It takes that sentiment and puts it on center stage for us to be repulsed by our own ugliness. Its just one of the things I like about the show.
Star Trek is known for it’s fandom but it’s given all of us two great things: 1) inspiration for many of our technological advances and 2) an example of a better future.
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