“I haven’t faced death. I’ve cheated death. I’ve tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity; I know nothing.”
~ James T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Long ago, in the depths of the cold war, America had a prophet arrive. He spoke not of religious texts and damnation, but instead provided us with a vision of the future so hope-filled, so compelling, that it has indelibly marked the imaginations of man-kind ever since. Star Trek Day celebrates that vision, and the man who created it, Gene Roddenberry.
History of Star Trek Day
To today’s audiences, the original Star Trek series can seem hackneyed, corny, and even incredibly racist when viewed through the modern lens. To view it in this way overlooks the incredible strides that were made during it’s production, and how unthinkable some of the elements found within were. Consider if you will, Lieutenant Pavel Andreievich Chekov, a officer of Russian descent serving on board an American starship. In the days of the ‘Red Communist Threat’ this concept was inconceivable, but Gene dreamed of a day where it would be possible.
Then there was Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, who stood out not only by being a female officer on the deck of a naval vessel (since all starships are considered part of the Navy) but by being of African-American descent. Both of these elements created an incredible story for her, her position as fourth in command of the USS Enterprise not undermined by her position as a glorified telephone operator.
Star Trek speaks of a hope-filled future where our nationality no longer matters, and yet each of our personal heritages is still something we can be proud of. We are all citizens of the same universe, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
How to Celebrate Star Trek Day
The best and easiest way to celebrate Star Trek Day is simply taking the time to marathon the original series. Take care on the first episode, it is easily rated as one of the most spooky and unnerving of all episodes, and Spock is to blame. They hadn’t established that Vulcan’s lacked emotion at that point, so there’s a shocking surprise for those unfamiliar with the episode. Put together some themed snacks and pull your old uniforms out of the closet, no better way to get in the spirit of Star Trek Day!