Today, Star Trek is a huge franchise with an unparalleled number of series, movies, and books. It’s fascinating that there have been dozens of follow-up shows and feature films when the original only lasted 3 seasons and was almost canceled by the network earlier. The show was ahead of its time in more ways than one. Not only was it extremely influential in the world of entertainment but it also impacted real-life science and culture like nothing else.
Why Star Trek Was Important for American Culture
Star Trek was an incredible series largely due to the way it saw the world and how it broke down stereotypes. Series creator Gene Roddenberry had a unique vision that took the genre behind the typical sci-fi offerings of the time. The cast was incredibly diverse for the time, which was by design. Roddenberry wanted to show a future of equality and hope for all mankind. Featuring a Russian, a Japanese man, and a black woman in prominent roles was a bold statement in the 1960s. Particularly, placing a woman of color as the ship’s Lieutenant rather than a small subservient role was an important step during the civil rights and women’s equality movements.
How Star Trek Influenced Science and Technology
If you look back at the communication devices Captain Kirk and crew used, they look an awful lot like the flip phones that we would be using decades later. Furthermore, whenever you saw Spock and company walk through an automatically opening door, the technology didn’t exist and someone on the other side would slide the door open to look like it was automatic. Of course, it’s more common today than to find a door that you open yourself. It seems that inventions borrow a lot from the world of Star Trek. We’re still waiting on engineers to perfect transporters so Scotty can beam us up, but we’re not quite there.
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