Star Trek for me is warm summer nights in Kentucky, with the screen doors letting the scent of approaching dusk sneak in, me sitting on my mini-trampoline, playing with action figures, Saturday at 7 p.m. when my dad and I would watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved it. I didn’t understand it. Every commercial break, he would have to explain to me everything that had just happened on the show.
Star Trek for me is going to the movies with Daddy, holding his hand while we walked in, sharing the biggest bucket of buttered popcorn they sold. Seeing Generations to a packed house, Insurrection to a nearly empty one. Being moved to tears when Vulcans and humans made First Contact, being emotionally devastated by the creative decision that ended Nemesis.
Star Trek for me is being in college, watching Voyager on the floor, staying up to watch the end even if that meant being up until one in the morning.
Star Trek is knowing that there was some perverse fan fiction thing that I didn’t understand. That I then understood very clearly about 15 years later. Finding amazing sisterhoods of women who taught me new and very special ways of enjoying the movies and series. Women who believe that love is greater than the galaxies, and romance is the invisible force that holds the stars together.
Star Trek is meeting Brent Spiner, talking to him, posing for a picture, his arm around my lower back, my hand on his shoulder, knowing how many girls would have killed to be so close to him.
Star Trek is watching J.J.’s reboot and meeting all the characters from the original series for the first time. You see, I’d never watched TOS, except for a few times when I was eight and it aired in syndication in the afternoon. I couldn’t relate to them. But these new versions, they looked like me, they felt like me, like I could be one of them. I love those characters – Uhura, Spock, Kirk, Carol, Bones, Chekov, Sulu and omg Khan. I wish they were real. I feel like they’re my friends. I wish I could live and work and learn and laugh on the Enterprise. Alas, I was born in the wrong century.
Most of all, Star Trek is the vision of, the hope for, and the belief in the human spirit and all of which we are capable. An Earth without poverty, war, or discrimination. Where everyone’s strengths are valued, and we unify to go beyond our greatest imaginings. As Kirk put it, it is –
“… a dream. A dream that became a reality, and spread throughout the stars.”