Live Long and Prosper!
Happy “Star Trek” Day everyone! On this day, back in 1966, the very first episode of “Star Trek: The Original Series” was aired. So, in honor of the show that subtly influenced me to become a die hard science fiction fan, I decided to postpone my Character Guide on Romana I and II to tell you a little bit about my love affair with science fiction, and how my Dad subtly influenced me to become a fan of science fiction all because of “Star Trek”.
Most of us, whether we are conscious of it or not, are deeply influenced by what we watch and absorb when we are young; and in particular, by what our parents also enjoyed. For example, I owe my inherent love for jazz and musicals because my parents liked it and played tapes, CDs and records of it when I was young. However, aside from my taste in music, I owe my inherent love of science fiction to my Dad, because long before I was a fan of “Star Wars”, I was watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with them.
My Dad used to watch “Star Trek:The Original Series” when he was younger, and enjoyed it quite a lot. So, when I was a child, every night after dinner, right before watching “Jeopardy” with a bowl of grapes on hand, I would watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with him and my mother every night.
At that point in my life, I didn’t have a clue on what was really going on, and didn’t really absorb the story points of each episode. However, what I did remember was the iconic Enterprise, and the characters in the show, such as Data (Brent Spiner), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), Worf (Michael Dorn), Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), and Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg). Aside from that, I remember loving the fact that this ship was exploring outer space. Also, at that point in time, I thought that shows and stories like this were cool, as I thought that everything my parents like was cool.
However, as I grew older, I discovered other things, and I didn’t really broadcast my geekiness to the world, as I unfortunately spent my pre-teen and teen years before the rise of geek culture and superhero movies.
So, because of that and “Star Wars”, “Star Trek” got pushed into the back of mind.
This all changed however when I became friends with a classmate of mine in grade school who also appreciated the same things I did- musicals, books, “Star Wars”, and of course, “Star Trek”.
Because of our friendship, and because a certain Broadway actor guest starred in an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager”, we ended up watching it, which reignited my interest in it. (And yes, I know that many people had issues with “Voyager”, but it has a very special place in my heart, and I really looked up to Kate Mulgrew’s Captain Kathryn Janeway, as she was the FIRST ever female to portray a captain in the lead role).
Watching “Voyager” allowed me to revisit my own childhood, in a way, and it made me realize how much I do love “Star Trek”, and science fiction in general.
Also, “Voyager” also allowed me to appreciate the stories more fully, as I hadn’t been able to do so when I was watching “The Next Generation”.
I call myself a Trekkie, as I was sort of raised up as one, although I haven’t really seen everything that the entire franchise has to offer yet. (I am making plans, however, to rectify that very soon). I did, however, dress up as a Starfleet captain once for Halloween, in which I had officer’s pips and all. (I was very proud of that costume, and in a way, it was also almost like my first ever foray into cosplay.)
I also pride myself as a someone who both loves “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” at the same time, as I think that there are things to love in both franchises, and that they are also very different and distinct from each other in their own unique way.
So, I owe “Star Trek” a lot, because if it weren’t for “Star Trek”, then my Dad would have never influenced me to become a big fan of science fiction, something that is very, very much part of who I am today. Without it, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Jules Verne’s novels, “Star Wars”, and even “Doctor Who”!
What does “Star Trek” mean to you? Have you watched all of the “Star Trek” movies and tv shows, from the tv shows to the new movies? Did your parents influence you to like things that have become a part of who you are as mine did? Let me know what you think in the comments below!