Star Trek turns 50

Star Trek turned 50 last week. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Star Wars was a three-movie series. It expanded with novels by Timothy Zahn, video games like Tie Fighter, Dark Forces, and Rogue Squadron, and eventually Episode 1. This was Star Trek time. A movie and TV empire.

Two feature films, Star Trek V and VI, came out while The Next Generation was still in its original run. Deep Space Nine and Voyager began shortly thereafter. Enterprise wouldn’t start until 2001, when Star Wars was back as a film franchise, prequel malaise or not. And Discovery will begin in 2017, the first time Star Trek will appear on the small screen since Enterprise finished its run.

Star Trek shows off a future that takes on challenges. It’s a future that imagines humanity coming together in ways that we can’t imagine in 2016.

Sometimes it’s a lighthearted mystery…

…other times it’s a serious examination of the law.

…or a look at morality.

It could take a light look at historical figures…

…or put their life outlook into relief when considering the idealized version of the future

Armin Shimerman may have put it best earlier this month. Star Trek is science fiction with wild technology and fantastic stories, but when it comes down to it, Trek is about the message.

Happy birthday, Star Trek.