The Trek Effect

If you haven't been able to tell, we have a wide variety of fandoms in our house.  One of The Captain's oldest fandoms is flight/space - hence why we have a subscription to Air and Space from the Smithsonian!  September's issue had a cover after my own heart by featuring the USS Enterprise hull.  In the cover article, 10 "superfans" discuss how Star Trek has made an impact on them as well as on our culture. I loved the article and wanted to share some of my favorite answers. I think fellow Trekies and non-Trekies alike will be intrigued by the answers!

Favorite Story: from both Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr. and as Fondest memory from Phil Plait (author, The Bad Astromer)"Devil in the Dark" showed that who was the monster isn't always that idea of television up to that point was fairly one-dimensional. There was a good guy and a bad guy, and the good guy wins in the end in [Devil in the Dark] you had this rock monster - the Horta- where we're killing its young by mining its eggs...I love when there is depth and complexity to the bad guy.

Favorite Character: From Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian air force captain, European Space Agency astronaut. Crew member, International Space Station expedition 42 and 43. 199 continuous days in space.  Jadzia Dax. Seven of Ten note: I had completely forgotten this character's name, but couldn't forget her iconic image! She is a symbiotic being from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She bears the humanoid appearance of Jadzia, but she shares her consciousness with Dax - a 300-year old creature who gives Jadzia access to skills and memories of Dax's previous hosts!

Trek Tech (what do you want us to have now): From Eugene Roddenberry, Jr. The replicator.  The minute we can control the atom and replicate anything we want - including the replicator, so everyone has access to a replicator - money loses all value. What then becomes valuable is the individual. The idea. The point of view. The differences that we all share. It wouldn't solve every problem, but the hope is that everyone has access to food and what they need to take care of their family, there will be less need...

Something Star Trek got wrong: from Samantha Cristoforetti Too many species look like humans (probably due to the limitations of makeup and special effects).

Lesson or inspiration: from Carolyn Porco planetary scientist. Star Trek presented to us a Utopian vision of ourselves, wedded to the enduring saga of good versus evil, writ cosmically large across the galaxy and into the future...It gave a comforting assurance that humanity has what it takes to become an interstellar civilization, that we do indeed have a future beyond Earth.

Check out the September issue of Air and Space for more interviews with Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr., Simon Pegg, and Marc Okrand (invented the Klingon and Vulcan languages...).

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