Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

It's a Star Trek world,baby,and we're just here to live long and prosper

While the Wolverine movie did better than expected on it's opening weekend at the box office,the real battle begins this upcoming Friday with the shiny new version of Star Trek beaming into a theater near you.

Revivals and updates are nothing new to the Star Trek universe,which seems to grow faster than Tribbles over time. We've had big screen versions featuring the original cast,big screen versions focusing on the "next generation" and their adventures,several different spin-off series,not to mention old school cartoon shows,books,video games and merchandise galore.

Despite all of these bouts of pop culture recycling,there's still some life in the old ship left. Even with the ad campaign insistence that this is "not your father's Star Trek",I have a feeling that long time fans and new converts will have plenty to rejoice in as well as debate over at the next Trek convention.

In anticipation of the new movie,here's a look at various pop culture takes on the show past and present. To start with,Star Trek is best known for it's socio-political plot lines that highlighted the flaws of humanity. Therefore,it only makes sense to best parody the cliches of the show with that same fervent flavor as they did on In Living Color:

Star Trek's fame came not during the show's first run but from fans who flocked to the repeats and also brought about the cultural phenomenon of sci fi conventions,which gave many actors quite a bit more time in the spotlight.

The 1999 comedy Galaxy Quest took that and ran with it,having a Star Trek like cast of not so ready for prime timers be recruited by real space aliens to save their world. The aliens were convinced that Galaxy Quest was real by having viewed old transmissions of the show and it was pretty convincing there:

The power of fandom was the focus of the documentary Trekkies(which came out the same year as Galaxy Quest)which was so popular that it later spawned a follow up film that not only caught up with those memorable folks from the first film but went international in showcasing Trek love.

While there were plenty of amusing moments to be had,there were also some serious notes played about how the series did inspire people to do good things with their lives. Many of them became scientists and engineers due to believing in the positive notions expressed on the show. One of the most touching segments from the original Trekkies is an anecdote shared by James Doohan(Scotty)who encouraged a despondent fan not to ultimately give up on herself:

Folks are so enamored with the worlds created in Star Trek that a number of them strive to recreate those cultures to live by in our society. Frasier Crane found that out the hard way on one episode as he mistakenly gave a Klingon blessing at his son's bar mitzvah(which was very heartfelt in meaning,once the translation was revealed by a savvy young guest):

Trek fan love is now a hot topic,as a recent episode of CSI took place at a convention of "Astro Quest" followers,one of whom winds up dead. I didn't see this one but it looks like it was quite a far out space case indeed:

We'll know soon enough how well this revamp of the Star Trek legend will do both with the fans and the financial section but perhaps now more than ever is the need for hope for the future to be reborn. With the unsteady sway of the times facing us,a little push to go boldly where no one has gone before could be a help right now:

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