Let’s face it. This blog is going to be about a little bit of everything surrounding my life, from likes and dislikes to spirituality to life goals and to writing. I’m almost 40, I’m celebrating that and the direction I’ll be taking my life from this point forward, and I do have a lot to say at times. This is definitely a learning and growing process for me.
I love Star Trek. I’m not up to date on all of the new shows or even the old shows and the movies. I don’t necessarily chase down the comics or the old cartoons that surround Gene Roddenberry’s intellectual creative property, but I do love this series. A lot.
And I love this series because of everything it has always stood for since the earworm entered Mr. Roddenberry’s mind.
Star Trek has always been about diversity and the celebration of all cultures from all walks of life. The original Star Trek episodes, the movies, Star Trek: The Next Generation (and subsequent movies), and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine . . . those were part of my daily viewing life as a child and as a teenager. I never batted an eye or got bent out of shape because of the diversity of the cast from any of these shows. At the time, to me, they were science-fiction and entertainment. I was too young to understand the cultural significances and magnitude of Mr. Roddenberry’s vision for the future. Now that I’m older and the fact that we have the internet, I can better appreciate the nuances of everything that I missed from when I was young. I am that much of a fan of Star Trek.
Star Trek has a new series on CBS called Star Trek: Discovery. The captain of the ship, from what I’ve been able to gather, is an Asian woman, and, of course, the crew of the ship is quite diverse as well. It is as it should be if we’re following Mr. Roddenberry’s vision of the future, right?
Yet there are people out there whining and complaining that diversity is being shoved down their throats through Star Trek. That it’s a whole bunch of “social justice warrior-ism” going on . . .
I have to ask the question of how?
How is having a diverse cast social justice warrior-ism when Gene Roddenberry was the first one to start it? Have these people not paid any attention to the original cast of the original series? Have these people not paid attention to when the original series first premiered and the overall significance each person portraying a crew member had and continues to have on people everywhere? Do these people not understand that Uhuru was a black woman who was also portrayed as intelligent and in a position of rank? Do these people not understand that Leonard Nimoy was Jewish and portraying a half-Vulcan, half-human character with really deep cultural and personal conflict? Do these people not understand the significance of Walter Koenig portraying a Russian during the midst of the Cold War with Russia or the fact that George Takei, a man of Japanese descent, played a man of Japanese descent on a show meant to demonstrate unity amongst, not only humans, but other forms of life throughout a universe that we have yet to actually explore?
Star Trek still had its conflicts. The original series had a bad guy in the Klingons with peace coming along eventually. Star Trek: The Next Generation had the Borg, a species intent on assimilating all humanoid lifeforms and destroying all cultural differences by making everyone mindless slaves.
A female captain is hardly anything new for Star Trek. Voyager had a female captain. Captain Sisko of Deep Space Nine was an African-American man. Star Trek: The Next Generation had a woman doctor and a woman counselor on board as well as a blind man as an engineer.
I honestly do not understand how a show that always has been, and always will be, about diversity and the celebration of different cultures since 1966 is shoving diversity down people’s throats. If you’re one of those people who feels that way about Star Trek, you, my friend, are simply riding a trend on something currently popular, and you possess no meaning, no comprehension of what has always made Star Trek unique. This is the beauty behind science-fiction, that makes science-fiction so powerful for everyone who picks up a novel or turns on a television series or heads to the movies.
I’m also applying this to people who read Rick Riordan’s young adult series, Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase. If you’re complaining about the “deviant” behavior of the Greek gods or even the Norse gods (Loki, in particular); then you need to brush up on your Greek and Norse mythologies so you can better understand that Mr. Riordan isn’t shoving diversity and his social justice warrior ways down your throats but that he’s actually done research into the mythologies and has the basic understanding that the Greek gods (most of them, anyway) pursued mortals that caught their attentions, be they male or female, and that Loki himself was a shapeshifter, did take on the form of a woman many a time, and actually gave birth to children.
There is nothing wrong with having a diverse cast. There is nothing wrong with portraying human beings as being human beings. If you’re going to demand that Star Trek portray an all white cast with a male as the lead, you’ve just destroyed Star Trek. If you’re going to demand that an author portray a pantheon as similar to your religious beliefs, you have destroyed that pantheon and its history. And this is coming from someone who has also defended the castings for the Ancient One for Doctor Strange, The Great Wall, and Ghost in the Shell. This is coming from the person who knows Heimdall is the whitest god in all of the Norse pantheon and still approves of the casting of Idris Elba for the role in the Thor movies.
Yes, consider this a bit of an angry rant as well as it’s something coming from someone who really is a longtime Star Trek fan and as someone who digs into mythology, specifically Norse mythology, for the fun of it. I’ve had time to reflect on Gene Roddenberry’s vision. I’ve had time to think on what it means, not just for me, but for people I will never have the chance to meet in my lifetime who will have been impacted in some way or another by his work, by Rick Riordan’s works, J.K. Rowling’s, and my own. We have visions, and we are following them. Others have said the same thing I have about Star Trek and about Rick Riordan. Others will undoubtedly follow me as well.
As a writer, I accept that my stories will not be for everyone. I know it, I accept it, and I embrace it.
Now for some fun and totally random, yet related facts, about me.
Favorite Star Trek episodes:
The Trouble with Tribbles (original Star Trek)
Troubles and Tribble-ations (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 5)
Favorite Star Trek movies:
The Search for Spock
Star Trek Generations
Favorite Star Trek character(s):
Chekov, Uhura, Bones, Data, Captain Sisko, Q, Worf
Random Fact: Star Trek was the inspiration for one of my favorite RPG series, Star Ocean. Both share similarities, such as entities like the Federation and Pangalactic Federation, and the Prime Directive and the UP3. Earth’s first contact, in Star Trek, was with the Vulcans. In Star Ocean, with a race known as Eldarians, a species with elongated and pointed ears and a love of science and space exploration. The only differences between Vulcans and Elldarians are the use of symbology, or magic, and the means of reproduction. Vulcans have a yearly mating ritual, and Eldarians are basically test-tube babies.
Star Trek was also the inspiration for Galaxy Quest and The Orville. (The similarities are too hard to ignore, guys. Come on!)
What Star Trek means to me:
It is actually hard for me to imagine my life without Star Trek. It’s one of many sci-fi shows that has been watched with any type of consistency with both of my parents (who are divorced). Some might say my dad was the reason my mom got into Star Trek, but they would be wrong. Star Trek ran from 1966-1969, and my parents married each other in 1971. After their divorce, my mom watched ST:TNG and ST:DS9 because she liked them.
I was truly raised by geeks.
Anyway, Star Trek has been an integral part of my life. I may not have had much of a choice at the start (we were watching the movies when I was a kid and catching reruns on cable TV and via VHS), but even then I embraced the stories and the series. In reflecting on all that Star Trek has done in terms of diversity, it remains a pioneer in the science-fiction genre. Women and minorities moving forward, in positions of intelligence and command, that speaks volumes to me. I am actually very proud that my parents loved the original and the movies so much that they didn’t care if my brother and I watched them as well. And there were no lectures on how and why Star Trek was so important. The episodes, the movies, they were enjoyed for the sake of enjoyment, and everything I’ve realized about the series, the franchise, has come from my own personal reflection on the matter.
It’s inspiring because it does boldly go where no TV show had gone before. Bad pun, I know. However, I regret nothing!