Carl reflects upon the past, present, and the future of the Star Trek franchise
It is a wonderful time to be a ‘Star Trek‘ Fan!
Forget the uncertainty surrounding the movie franchise (Paramount has) and look at what we are being treated to. ‘Star Trek: Discovery‘ is about to start its third season. ‘Star Trek: Picard‘ is gearing up to make it so on its second. ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ is making waves. ‘Star Trek: Prodigy‘ will be hitting Nickelodeon somewhere in the future and ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ will soon be warping across the TV screens worldwide. Adding to the fun, there are numerous books and tie-ins that are available for the fans to buy and collect alongside the material already available in stores and you have to admit, ‘Star Trek‘ is back in a big way. Not bad for a franchise that has been running for fifty-four years now!
September 8th, 1966 saw the first time we bore witness to the U.S.S Enterprise warp through the stars and the worlds beyond our own. We cheered and followed the intrepid crew every week for three seasons before the plug was pulled on Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, Checkov, Nurse Chappel, and Yeoman Rand. But thanks to syndication, the series was never too far from our thoughts, our hearts, and our TV screens. Logically making the leap from the small screen to the big, the series launched a theatrical franchise that, although seemingly paused at the moment, continues to live on. That first feature film ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture‘ saw the fans hit the theatres and catch up with their old favorites while it introduced a new generation of fans to the franchise and characters.
Three years later and what arguably was and remains the best of the movies ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan‘ hit the fans for six. Another eleven movies followed from there, the best being the second film to feature the Next Generation crew in ‘Star Trek: First Contact‘. Legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith composed the scores for five of those films, James Horner for two and Michael Giacchino for the last three. Every score for the movies brought something new and exciting to the table and they live on in the memory to this day.
‘Star Trek: The Next Generation‘ hit the small screen back in 1987 and brought a brand new crew, a brand new Enterprise, and a new look and hopes for the future. The show managed to outdo its predecessor by running for seven series before it floated off of our screens with an ending that drew tears from the fans (including myself) as Picard finally accepted the crew like his family. ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘ followed alongside ‘Star Trek: Voyager‘ and ‘Star Trek: Enterprise‘ before the franchise vanished from our screens. Nowadays though, the franchise has returned once more to bring joy to the fans who loved the whole thing from day one, the fans who joined along the way, and those new fans who are discovering the worlds and creatures that inhabit the ‘Star Trek‘ universe.
But despite the technology, some of which seemed fantastical at the time but has managed to become a reality in our everyday lives, the aliens we encountered on our travels and the worlds we visited, ‘Star Trek‘ has always been about the human spirit, the quest for knowledge and adventure, the seeking of ways to better ourselves while confronting topics that are relevant to the times with compassion and understanding while also giving us hope for the future.
It is for these reasons alone that the human adventure is only beginning and the legacy and future of ‘Star Trek‘ will always Live Long And Prosper.
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.
Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!