As Trekkies, we have a strong bond with the fandom. If you were to ask any one of us where we were–or what we were doing–when we first discovered Star Trek, we could probably give you the exact hour we watch that life-changing first episode. Trekkies are passionate; we’ve gone where no one has gone before, walking through life with a very different sense of the world around us. We’ve grown up with it, shared it, dressed up as our favorite characters, and used it to cope with our darkest moments in life. Star Trek isn’t just some weird fandom, it’s a part of us.
Since today is the 50th anniversary of this life-changing franchise, I asked some of my blog buddies to write how Star Trek has impacted their lives. This idea came about from Ora J. McGuire of Oops, Wrong Cookie, who wrote how Star Trek has been with her throughout her life. I thought this was a great idea, and invited others to share their stories.
So, let’s celebrate this franchise’s incredible milestone together! Please make sure you check out the incredible work these people have put into the world on their own sites! They are pretty amazing, and I’m so thankful that they could help me out. Also, make sure you share your Star Trek stories with us in the comments below!
ORA’S STORY | BOLDLY GO
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise…
My dad likes telling stories from his childhood. I’ve heard more than once how when he was in his teens, he used to eat half a sleeve of Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies and drink a glass of milk while watching Star Trek. I guess I sort of kept that tradition going.
I was born in the mid-1980s. Three-year-old me would get a bowl of Trix and eat it on a Saturday morning while watching Star Trek: TNG. Being that young, I didn’t possess the cognitive reasoning that allowed me to separate actors from the character or the facts from the fiction. It took a year or so for me to figure out that Geordi didn’t need his visor to read books on Reading Rainbow because he was a character played by LeVar Burton, or that Captain Kirk (I’d seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture thanks to our brand new VCR!) wasn’t really that into emergency 911 calls (Rescue 911 – if you’re old enough to remember that).
Will Riker was my first celebrity crush. (Because Wesley was too…sweaters…no…) I wanted to be Natasha Yar when I grew up (sidenote: I was unaware that character died until my darling husband gave me the entire TNG series on DVD for Christmas a couple of years ago – I think my mom may have censored that one for me…). Data was a favorite character. It took me hours to learn how to do the Vulcan sign with my hands and once I learned how, I walked around for days telling everyone to “live long and prosper.”
Celebrating 50 incredible years of Star Trek is not only celebrating something that joins millions of people together across the fandom. It’s celebrating stories, lives, and the voyages of us all.
To boldy go where no one has gone before…
Of course, now I have the years and knowledge to understand how much Star Trek: The Original Series, TNG, and all the other iterations have had on my life.
Star Trek wasn’t in my vocabulary for the first nine years of my life. Whether it was general disinterest in anything the “adults” were doing or just not being exposed to it, I’m not sure. But in 2001, Star Trek: Enterprise began its four-year television run and I became aware of–and later obsessed with–the Trek universe. My dad has always been a sci-fi geek and he got my brother and I into it too. My brother, five years older than me, was my hero, so when he started watching Enterprise with my dad, I begged my parents to let me stay up and watch it, but being nine-years-old, I was frequently asleep before the show aired. I enjoyed what I saw, but Little Hannah couldn’t handle a late bedtime.
Several years later, Enterprise waltzed back into my life. I was in high school and made the varsity tennis team so my practices would run late. My dad picked me up on his way home from work every night. After one practice, we made homemade pizza for dinner and I asked what he was going to watch on TV.
“Remember that Star Trek series from the early 2000s? I started watching it again.” Being the great dad that he is, he went back to the first episode that night and had me watch from the beginning. Let’s just say that my life has never been the same.
After watching Enterprise obsessively, the first JJ Abrams Star Trek blockbuster was released. Say what you want, but the reboots have been incredible and only boosted my interest in getting back to the basics and watching all of the old series. Netflix became popular and all of the Star Trek series were loaded.
But what does this all mean to me? Star Trek, besides being innovative, progressive, and fun, was a way for me to bond with my dad and brother. Not that we needed to cement our relationship, as I’ve always been close with my whole family, having something so pure and fun and geeky to discuss has elevated some conversations to the next level.
Besides making (and understanding) Trek references, I’ve had very intellectual conversations with my parents and brother on the merit of Star Trek. I wrote a paper on the Prime Directive and humanity’s responsibilities for space exploration in grad school. Hell, I even got into an argument in that class because some lady disagreed on what the Prime Directive said! And, on a less serious note, I recently named my Fantasy Football team “The Federation.”
So, what is Star Trek to me? It’s a nerdy family pastime that’s not only strengthened my familial bonds, but opened my eyes to an entirely new way of thinking and hope for the future of our planet.
MANDY’S STORY | WHAT STAR TREK MEANS TO ME
Sitting down weekly to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation with my parents is one of the earliest memories I have—and it’s one I’ll cherish forever. My parents are pretty nerdy people (I am named after Spock’s mom, after all), and my mom has been a fan of the franchise since The Original Series, so it’s no surprise that they’d want to introduce me to Gene Roddenberry’s world at a young age. But I’m not sure if they knew how much it would affect me.
TNG is filled with amazing lessons about humanity, friendship, love and morality. It taught young me about how to treat people who didn’t look like me or act like me or speak like me. It showed me that even though we live in a world filled with strife and war, people can overcome all of that if only they work together. It helped my imagination leave the atmosphere, and made me look forward to to the day that Earth realizes we’re not alone in the universe.
I have such a deep love of TNG that I even immortalized it on my body in the form of an Enterprise D tattoo.
Basically, I wouldn’t be the well-rounded nerd I am today without having fallen in love with Star Trek all those years ago. And I look forward to the day that I get to share the love with the next generation of Curtis nerds so they, too, can have such lasting, wonderful memories of going boldly where no one has gone before.
SAILOR HOOTS’S STORY
I first remember watching Star Trek when I was about 7 years, in the living room with my Dad, he was a massive fan and would always get so excited when it came on, and that made me excited too. I’d get to sit down with Daddy and go to space, this was my favourite.
Years later and I’m still a massive fan of the Star Trek series, re-watching TOS and TNG (my faves) at least once a year, I have models of different Starfleet ships around my house and I’ve collected several comics, manuals and art pieces. I guess you could say it was my gateway to sci-fi and fandoms.
I’m also going to blame Star Trek for my steady life long interest in Astronomy. I’m always gazing up at the stars, watching, wondering, asking myself: “was that the Enterprise or just a shooting star?”.
So thanks Star Trek, for opening up my mind to so many incredible possibilities, actualities and fantasies, and for teaching me to always Boldly Go.
DEPEPI’S STORY | THANKS MOM
I can’t remember how old I was; I just remember watching Star Trek TNG with my Mom every week. We loved Captain Picard and Data. For me, Data was the dearest, but Picard was also a great pool of wisdom. I know it was late at night, but I could stay on the couch with my Mom watching it and enjoying the ride. This only happened with Star Trek, by the way. So, Star Trek day was especial.
Becoming a Trekkie was just a family thing. I shared it with my Mom, and we both love knowing more about what’s new. We also watched all the movies together (from the Original Series onwards). We would go together to the cinema, and share time on the couch.
TNG was a way for my Mom to teach me new stuff and make me think. In fact, she still believes Star Trek is one of the best shows for kids. It’s entertaining, and it makes you think. Of course, not everything is perfect, but for is, it’s our Universe.
So, what’s Star Trek for me? Family. Every time I watch a Star Trek episode or a new film, I recall all those funny and warm moments with my Mom.
Because my family is plenty of female Trekkies, there’s no other option but to join us. As the Borg say, resistance is futile. And so, whoever enters into our sphere, ends up cheering up Star Trek.
MY STORY | HOW STAR TREK SAVED ME
For the longest time, I was never interested in Star Trek. I used to think it was this weird show with ridiculous costumes and big hair. Little did I know that it was so much more than what I thought: a show with rich, complex stories, lovable characters, and a lasting legacy.
When I was a junior in college, I went away to England to study abroad. After I came back, I found myself stuck in the worst dorm building on my campus, away from where my friends were staying, and bunking with a roommate who was less than thrilled that I had moved in. I was also taking several tough classes, feeling isolated, and missing England like crazy. One night, while I was home for the weekend, I was up late watching Top Gear on BBC America. The episode had ended, and Star Trek: The Next Generation came on. Normally, I would flip to a different channel, but for some reason this particular episode caught my attention. I can’t remember which episode it was, but I was hooked from then on out.
Star Trek was with me through the rest of my junior year. I was instantly drawn to Data. He and I liked the same things (Sherlock Holmes stories and cats), and we’re both a little awkward at times. I felt such a connection to Data from the moment I saw him; he will always be my favorite character. Thankfully, Star Trek tagged along for my senior year. Prior to the academic year starting, I had broken up with my boyfriend of two years, and had to get my wisdom teeth out. When my senior year started, I was excited to finish my college career strong, until it all went to pot about halfway through. My classes were dragging me down, my school threatened to keep me from graduating, and my cat of 16 years passed away.
It was around this time that I had discovered the poem Data wrote for his cat, Spot. I also found out about how upset he was in Generations when he thought Spot had died. These instances somehow comforted me, and helped me get through all of the dreadful occurrences that were happening. Had it not been for Star Trek–and Data–I don’t know how I would have finished college with a sound mind.
Since then, Star Trek has meant so much to me. It’s hard to explain in full what it means to me, but in the simplest terms: it was there for me. Star Trek is my comfort fandom. I know it sounds really silly, but when I feel lonely, I watch Star Trek. When I need to feel some joy or have a good cry, I watch Star Trek. It’s there when I need it most, and will always be there. I don’t know why it took me so long to come around to the fandom, but I’m so thankful it did.
So, what does Star Trek mean to you? How did you join the fandom? Let’s celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary! Share below in the comments so we all can nerd out together as one big Trekkie family.
HUGE thanks to everyone who shared their stories! This was such an amazing project, and I hope you’ve found other Trekkie people to follow! If you haven’t yet, make sure you enter my Star Trek giveaway, running until Sept. 22nd! LLAP, Nerds! \
Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for?