Star Trek’s 50 Years of Humanism
I’m posting this video montage from YouTube because I think it highlights one of the most important qualities that defines Star Trek as a concept: an unwavering belief in humanism as the path to a better future for all human beings.
In light of all the recent wild speculation over who will direct the next Star Trek feature film, or what the concept for a future Star Trek television series might be, I would urge all fans of Gene Roddenberry’s signature creation to take a moment to watch this video and reflect on what has made Star Trek not just great and meaningful, but also substantially different than the vast majority of the other major science-fiction film and TV series of the past few decades.
Star Trek, at its core, has never been about just one man, or one crew, or one ship. Where so many other films and television series seem to be predicated on the “great man” theory of history, in which we all wait breathlessly for some “chosen one” to deliver us from evil or calamity, Star Trek has always been about teamwork. Friendship. Cooperation. Peaceful coexistence. The power of ideas being greater than the force of arms. It’s about hope — not for deliverance from without, but for salvation earned through acts of compassion and courage.
At a time when Gene’s noble vision seems farther out of reach than ever, let us look back, remember, and then try to go forward with an eye toward keeping this dream alive for future generations.