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Category: Star Trek

Star Trek and the Civil Rights Movement

The year 1966 was a turbulent time in American history. The civil rights movement, which began in earnest in 1954, continued more than a decade later. U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War continued to escalate, as President Lyndon Johnson authorized additional troops, bringing the total from 180,000 to more than 250,000, as well as the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, prompting Martin Luther King, Jr., to begin speaking out against the war as well as racial injustice. In the midst of this, an ambitious science fiction television show premiered: Star Trek.

The Bloody Road to Star Trek’s Future

The future of the human race in Star Trek is a bright one. Humanity had struggled with war, disease, and hunger, but had “pretty much wiped ‘em out,” by the mid-twenty-second century, as Charles “Trip” Tucker bragged in the first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. But, as the theme song to the series made clear, “it’s been a long road, getting from there to here.” The path to the bright future of Star Trek’s Earth was a dark and bloody one.

Minneapolis and the Bell Riots

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the unrest that has followed, many have taken to the Internet to compare recent events with the Bell Riots from Star Trek, and others have questioned whether the comparison is apt, or even appropriate.

In the two-part episode “Past Tense” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s third season, a transporter accident sent Commander Sisko, Lieutenant Dax, and Doctor Bashir back in time to San Francisco in the year 2024. Sisko and Bashir were immediately taken into custody and placed into a Sanctuary District, while Dax was taken in by a wealthy media executive. The fact that Sisko was a black man, and Bashir middle eastern, whereas Dax was an apparently white woman (her spots notwithstanding, which were quickly dismissed as tattoos), was not lost on most viewers when discussing their treatment.

All Access Expansion a Renaissance for Star Trek

In late 2019, CBS and Viacom merged, bringing the two companies back together following their split in 2006. The two companies have a convoluted history dating back to the 1950s, when Viacom was created as the distribution arm of CBS. Viacom spun off in the 1970s, eventually acquiring Paramount Pictures and other media companies, then acquired its former parent in 1999. Following this latest merger, CBS has announced that it will be expanding, renaming, and revamping the CBS All Access streaming service this summer, and has added content from Viacom properties like Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central. This massive expansion gives the service a diverse range of content that will allow it to truly become competitive against rival streaming networks like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and most notably Disney+, which has exclusive in-house properties like Star Wars, Marvel, Fox television, and National Geographic.

Trek, Interrupted: The LUG Star Trek Roleplaying Game

A decade after the final supplement was released for FASA Corporation’s Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Paramount awarded the license to produce a new Star Trek roleplaying game to Last Unicorn Games. Released in late 1998, the first installment of the new game was the Star Trek: The Next Generation Role Playing Game Core Book, followed over the next two years by the Star Trek Roleplaying Game Core Book and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Roleplaying Game Core Book, as well as a number of supplements for each.