Looking back on Star Trek at 50 from a mostly Star Wars fan perspective.


When I grew up, in the 80’s, it was a pretty binary time for fandoms, all across the board. It was one, or the other.  Beatles or Stones, Marvel or DC, Nintendo or Sega, and the most important one one of all, Star Wars or Star Trek.   As I mentioned before, my first memory as a child that I still recall to this day was seeing Return of the Jedi opening day back in 1983.  So, I was already well set in my ways, it was Star Wars, all day, every day.

I never really hated Star Trek though, I’d seen and enjoyed the Wrath of Khan, even had the book and record set.


But even still, Star Wars was the primary source of space adventures growing up for me. Even though I did really enjoy Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.   I remember when The Next Generation was going to come on, I’d read about it in Starlog magazine (yeah, I was a geek even at 7)  and I looked forward to seeing this new version of the show.   I watched it, and liked it enough to have a poster of the new Enterprise in my room, but even still, Star Wars was still my space sci fi of choice.

Years went on, and there was nothing really to keep my Star Wars fandom going save for  a few books and comics that would get published, and Star Trek began to take a little more of a foothold in my geekdom.   The Next Generation begat Deep Space Nine which begat Voyager, and I was eating all these shows up, well not so much Deep Space Nine, the fact that it was set on a space station that never really went anywhere kind of lost me there, it was ok though, in my book.

I’d seen most of the movies too, except for maybe the first Star Trek movie, which I’d heard was pretty terrible, so never went around and watched it, even still to this day.   Yet strangely I recall liking, (at the time) Star Trek V.  I was 9 when it came out, so can’t really be held too accountable for my taste back then)

Star Wars eventually retook that top spot back in 1995 when they released the movies onto VHS in a new box set, and then again in 1997, when I got to see the other two parts of the trilogy on the big screen for the first time in their Special Edition versions, (which, even though they’re not looked upon fondly now, it was quite an experience to see the movies on the big screen, even if George Lucas messed with some of the movie)

But by this point I’d learned to love both Star things Trek, and Wars equally.  It was possible to be just a geek in general, and not pick a side.     I missed the last Star Trek TNG movie, but thoroughly loved First Contact, still think that’s one of the better movies in the whole franchise.

So, it was from this perspective that when they announced JJ Abrams was going to reboot the classic Star Trek series into a new movie, I was more excited than upset that they’d dare re-do my childhood, cause it wasn’t really my childhood.   I did enjoy the loophole they wrote in there and the inclusion of Leonard Nimoy in the movie saying that the old canon still existed, these movies just are set in an alternate timeline, so things can change, but the original stuff is still there both in the canon, and obviously in real life, nobody took your Star Trek from you.

I even really enjoyed Into Darkness, which it seems now gets a lot of hate for some reason for being a bad movie?   I mean, sure the Khan thing could have been handled better, but Cumberbatch killed it in that role, as he does with most everything else.

I just finally had the chance to see the latest movie Star Trek Beyond this past weekend, and it was a blast as well, the new director Justin Lin put some new energy into the franchise, and compared to the overly long last movie, this movie moves at a quick pace, never gives you a chance to be bored, and then you’re out the door.   It’s also dope that Greg Grunberg also joins Simon Pegg now as actors who are in both Star Trek and Star Wars.

Basically what I’m saying with all this is, is that the new movies made Star Trek fun again.  So much so that even a die hard Star Wars guy like myself can get excited and love Star Trek just as much as the other franchise.  It just turned 50 last week,  and I’m glad for it, Star Trek definitely put it’s mark on geekdom, and I can’t wait to see where they go with it next.  In tv, or movies.



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