Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the debut of the original Star Trek (well, in America at least: sorry to Canada that we didn’t do this two days earlier), so fittingly the tributes and odes were pouring in from fans around the globe. However, it was George Takei who best summed up what the franchise is really all about, and in doing so explained why it is so beloved and has endured for so long.
The O.G. Sulu was a guest of super nerd and Trekkie Stephen Colbert on The Late Show last night, and Takei shared his memories of the “very special” first time he went to work on the series, where franchise creator Gene Roddenberry described to him and the rest of the cast at their first table read what story the space adventure show was really telling.
“Gene explained to us what Star Trek was all about,” said Takei, “He said that the Starship Enterprise was a metaphor for Starship Earth, and the strength of this starship lay in its diversity coming together.” Roddenbery then explained that the possibilities of “infinity diversity in infinite combinations” (IDIC) would force the crew, representing the many people of the planet, to combine their abilities to solve problems as one.
Okay, fellow bright-eyed optimists, you aren’t alone in getting emotional at such a simple and elegant idea. We’re feeling that flicker of beautiful hope too. Because that’s why Star Trek has really lasted. Beyond the fun, beyond the action, beyond the characters, it is a franchise about hope, a hope that things will get better, because we as people will get better.
Like Andy Dufresne said, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” No wonder Star Trek still going strong after 50 years.
Which Star Trek episode do you think best exemplifies the idea of Starship Earth? Tell us in the comments below.