Star Trek: A Legacy

Matt Lanetti

Star Trek has gone in and out of popularity ever since it’s creation in 1966. Star Trek started out as a simple television series, with very little funding. It’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, never realized what a huge following it would one day have. Probably no one thought it would have a huge following, as Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS for short) was canceled after only 3 years. In the following years, the relatively unknown TV show would become a cult classic. It wasn’t until 1987 that the show was brought back as Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG for short). After that, several more TV shows were made for a total of 6. An additional 12 movies were made as well! Countless video games, board games, novels, and comic books have been created too. Star Trek is a unique saga in that it is almost too large to fully comprehend. People will often become obsessed with TV shows or series, devoting years of their lives to understanding and memorizing every little detail. It is nearly impossible to do this with Star Trek, it is simply too much material.

Star Trek has passed through some pretty serious changed in popularity. The most notable being the huge gap between TOS and TNG, 21 years. The most recent gap was from Star Trek: Enterprise, which ended in 2005, to the 2009 movie, Star Trek. The 2009 Star Trek, often called The Great Reboot, was directed by J.J. Abrams. Not to be confused with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first of 12 Star Trek movies. The Reboot, although exceedingly popular, presented a great challenge to the producers of the next movie. Most people who saw the 2009 film probably didn’t notice it, but it isn’t set in the same universe as most other Star Trek media. The Reboot was set in a mirror universe. Star Trek has done this before, it’s probably the best way to get out of contradicting yourself. Instead of trying to work around previous media, they will simply have it set in a different universe where they are free to do anything. It’s great and all, but it means a slightly different history has to be created, and the next film has to follow the same course of events.

The next film is set for release on May 17. Star Trek: Into Darkness, is probably the third most anticipated Star Trek film to date, after The Wrath of Khan and The Reboot. The reason for this anticipation is very simple, the enemy has yet to be named. J.J. Abrams refuses to name the enemy, but actors in the film have hinted that he has previously appeared in the franchise. That doesn’t exactly narrow it down as there are 716 TV episodes total, and 11 other films. Most fans think it will be one of the two:

The Q Continuum- a race of immortal, all powerful beings who’s only goal in the galaxy is to have fun, even when it gets in the way of human life.

Khan-  the last survivor the The Great Eugenics Wars, a time in human history when people mutated and enhanced their genes to fight others, Khan is a super human. He has lived for hundreds of years and hates Kirk for exiling him to a barren planet. Khan is undoubtedly the most popular enemy in Star Trek. Technically Kirk already killed Khan in The Wrath of Khan, but because the new series is set in a different universe he could still be alive.

In the only commercial for the new film, the antagonist only says one line: “I am better than you… at everything”. This line sounds exactly like Khan, and now as the film inches closer to release, it is likely it will be Khan.

Star Trek is a legacy. It is more than a series, and far too expansive to be a franchise. Most fans were born long after The Original Series, and many will never know a time before The Reboot. I doubt Star Trek will ever die out, it will go into periods of unpopularity, only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes greater than before.