starfleetRecently, I rediscovered the multiple Star Trek television series and movies that have been produced over the last 60 years. All of them are available through Netflix or Hulu. For those of you not aware of the series and movies from the franchise, here they are in chronological order (source: Wikipedia):
blue = television / red = movie

  • The Original Series (1966-1969)
  • The Animated Series (1973-1974)
  • Star Trek (ST): The Motion Picture (1979)*
  • ST II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)*
  • ST III: The Search for Spock (1984)*
  • ST IV: The Voyage Home (1986)*
  • The Next Generation (1987-1994)
  • ST V: The Final Frontier (1989)*
  • ST VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)*
  • Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)
  • ST Generations (1994)**
  • Voyager (1995-2001)
  • ST: First Contact (1996)**
  • ST: Insurrection (1998)**
  • Enterprise (2001-2005)
  • ST: Nemesis (2002)**
  • Star Trek (2009)***
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)***
  • Star Trek Beyond (2016)***
  • Discovery (beginning 2017)

* based on The Original Series
** based on the Next Generation
*** reboot and based on The Original Series

My love for science fiction doesn’t have any limits, or at least no limit I’ve discovered. I’ve seen some really poorly done science fiction movies and shows in my life that don’t need to be remembered. Out of everything that I’ve watched though, Star Trek has been the one series that kept coming back to. Although some of the television series and movies don’t need to be watched again once seen, the majority of the production has been exceptional for the time they were produced.

The back story of the series has remained largely unchanged and in fact, the Enterprise series, goes into more detail than any previous show or movie. Enterprise was a prequel of The Original Series. Earth suffered through a third world war in the 21st century that saw nuclear weapons, genetically engineered soldiers, and near destruction of the population. A few pioneering humans repurposed weapons of war to create the first sub-light star ship that prompted first contact from an alien species, in this case, the Vulcans. The show starts approximately 100 years after first contact when the first Enterprise (NX-01) was cast out into the stars to explore the universe. This series, I believe, is the closest to what our potential future could be in the next 300-500 years or so, war and all. This is also the series I’m currently watching and am in the fourth and final season.

My wish for us as a species to get beyond things like hate, racism, inequality, and senseless death is what makes the Star Trek franchise so addictive to me. Every movie and series, except for portions of some of them, all portray the human race as having solved all of their problems on Earth allowing them the ability to seek out other life without prejudice or preconceptions. Yes, there is still violence, in all of it. The violence though is typically in defense of the ship or crew and often yields positive results due to a greater capacity to accept, respect, and learn. This is the type of future that I hope my daughter sees in her lifetime. A species of people who embrace their differences, cast aside prejudices, and learn to live with each other for the common good instead of greed. Poverty is gone, money is no longer needed, hunger is eradicated, everyone sees the Earth as our home with countries being united behind that.

I hope that the new Discovery series lives up to the standards that the previous series and movies have created. I’m not happy with the fact that it’s only available on CBS All Access in the U.S. forcing me to subscribe and pay so that I can watch the ONE show. I cut the cord a while ago and haven’t looked back and I can only think that they’re doing this on purpose as major networks are losing money because of the streaming trend. CBS All Access costs $6/month and would add the services I already pay for, cutting into the “cord cutting” savings I’ve achieved. I get they need to make money, but c’mon, the reviews of the service are horrible AND you’re paying for that. Why can’t CBS link up with Netflix or Hulu (like ABC, FOX, NBC, etc.) and just stream through established services? It doesn’t make sense. I’ll end up watching the series through some other service or online so I don’t have to pay the additional $6/month.

Shows, like Star Trek, give people who foresee a bleak future for our species some hope, even if it is science fiction. My wish is that this happens for us before my lifetime, but current signs don’t show that will happen. It’s questionable if it will happen in my daughters lifetime. We need a modern “Kir’Shara” moment on Earth.