Spock, Kirk, and McCoy from Star Trek (CBS)

Star Trek Has Always Been Political

Keith D. Wilson

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A lot has been made of the newest incarnations of Star Trek and how they’ve gone “too far” with being “too political” and no longer a reflection of Gene Roddenberry’s vision. Frankly, I think much of this is coming from people who have no idea of what Trek is or where it came from. From the beginning, Star Trek has been a political show, offering commentary on the current status and in holding up a mirror trying to tell us that we can do better.

Some people look at Star Trek as a utopian future society. I argue that it isn’t, even during the era of the original series (hereafter referred to as TOS). Whether we look at the first pilot (“The Cage”), the second pilot (“Where No Man Has Gone Before”), or the first televised episode of the series (“The Man Trap”) there was an attempt to make the show relevant to something grounded in the real world. In “The Cage” we had a woman as the first officer, just for starters. In “Where No Man Has Gone Before” we had the concept of a being with absolute power and the ramifications of that power. In “The Man Trap” we have genocide, with McCoy killing a creature that was probably the last of its species.

TOS also clearly presents us with a diverse bridge crew, with multicultural representatives who demonstrate competence on the job and who are accepted as equals and professionals. If we think about US society at the time…

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Keith D. Wilson

I’m just a tech-minded guy with a wicked sense of humor and curiosity about tech, science, sci-fi, politics, and other stuff.