What is the relevance of the Star Trek series to humanity?
The new Star Trek franchise has just made its debut in the United States and we couldn't help but say something about this fantastic saga out of Gene Roddenberry's head. The original series lasted less than ten years in the 1960s, but its ramifications extend to the present day, with special emphasis on the sequel Star Trek, which featured the second most famous captain. after James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard.
As the episode's own opening theme said, the series was intended to take men into space: “to the final frontier, ” featuring the voyages of the starship Enterprise on its mission to explore new worlds, seeking new life forms and new civilizations. Going boldly where no man has ever been. But after much time and speculation, what was Star Trek's contribution to humanity?
Dr. Margaret A. Weitekamp, curator of the National Air and Space Museum's Smithsonian Space History Division and Ph.D. in history, says the series has helped define and inspire modern creations. Since the advance of astronomy and technology used by NASA, leaving definitely its mark on the history of mankind.
More than technologically
For starters, according to Dr. Weitekamp, when NASA began its action to recruit candidates to become astronauts, it was the Liutenant Uhura figure they chose to star in the campaign. Actress Nichelle Nichols, who plays Enterprise Communications Officer, symbolized that everyone could be a part of the space program.
Image Source: Divulgation / StarTrek Unfortunately we are still much further away than we would like from the technological level presented in the Star Trek universe. Teleporters and warp speed are not yet part of our reality, as some people believed before the beginning of the 21st century. Still, when it comes to global communication, today we are more advanced than Roddenberry predicted in his series.
Weitekamp also says that, as a franchise scholar, she is very intrigued to learn that the series promoted much discussion in the fields of social and political inclusion at the time it was launched. So it is very interesting to note that what could be a “simple” television series has managed to provide so much discussion worldwide.
In conclusion, as Mr. Spock would say: "Long and prosperous life!".