If you ever create a sweeping space saga, one that touches the lives of countless fans across generations, we have some advice. Include a signature phrase that sounds vaguely religious. It really helps tie the franchise together. For Star Wars that iconic message is “may the Force be with you.” People across the galaxy far, far away fondly offer up that hopeful wish to one another. However, Star Trek‘s equivalent phrase, “live long and prosper,” seemingly doesn’t have the same broad appeal for members of the Federation. It’s primarily associated with Vulcans and Spock. But as this video montage shows, they’re far from the only one to say it. The Vulcan salute has lived a long and prosperous life across Star Trek‘s many iterations.
YouTuber John DiMarco is back with another Star Trek collection. Previously we told you about his supercut of characters saying, “Dammit, I’m a doctor, not a…” whatever it is they aren’t in that exact moment. Now he’s done the same with that iconic Vulcan greeting. This montage (which we first saw at Laughing Squid) includes all the times someone said that phrase, from the franchise’s first days to right now. Characters first told others to “live long and prosper” on the original cast’s show, animated series, and movies. Since then Star Trek characters in The Next Generation, First Contact, Voyager, Enterprise, Lower Decks, and Prodigy have said the phrase, too.
(Uh, can we go back and edit one into Deep Space Nine? Now that we know zero characters ever said the Vulcan salute, it seems weird, right?)
As DiMarco notes, the phrase and accompanying hand movement is the work of two people. Leonard Nimoy suggested the V-shaped gesture based on hand gestures he witnessed as a child in synagogues. Writer Theodore Sturgeon is responsible for the phrase itself.
Together they made some beautiful and lasting. Of course, neither of them could have imagined the saying itself would live long and prosper.