Remember When-It Wasn’t Cool to be a Trekkie
When I was born the original Star Trek television series was already in syndication, and the first new motion picture featuring the original cast was only a few years away. I saw Star Trek for the first time on daytime TV, and was hooked.
Back then it wasn’t cool for anyone, least of all a girl, to admit to being a fan of science fiction stories, and to do so was likely to earn a label-freak, nerd, tomboy-for just a few. Then something remarkable happened.
The fans stood up and made their opinions count. They petitioned TV stations to keep running the episodes, over and over again. Led by creator Gene Roddenberry, aficionados of Star Trek and other science fiction shows attended conventions, bought comic books and collectibles, found ways to keep the interest alive.
The series became a part of pop culture, and so gained relevancy and respect. A sequence of movies followed, and Star Trek remained, and garnered a larger audience.
I was a young adult when Star Trek: The Next Generation, or TNG to those in the know, first hit the airwaves. The new series featured a new cast headed by a more cerebral captain, Picard, and focused as much on character development and social issues of the 23rd century as it did space battles and first encounters. The mainstream appeal of this show opened the door for other series and movies, with widespread acceptance.
Finally, it was cool to be a fan.
The cast of the popular show The Big Bang Theory, about the ultimate fanboys, gets their Trek on.
This coming weekend the third installment of the latest Star Trek movie franchise will be released in theatres. For those who didn’t know, this movie continues the storyline of an “alternative” universe or “reboots” Captain Kirk and his crew. This new addition combines the magic of the original series with a “universe” of new potentials to explore.
Today, it is perfectly acceptable to admit I’m a Trekkie. When I stand in line to purchase tickets for the new movie, I will be surrounded by plenty of other fans. The labels don’t matter anymore, because it is okay to be who we are. We are the ones, who with the help of Gene Roddenberry kept the series alive for fifty years. We are here to stay.