Happy Belated Star Trek Day!
I was yesterday years old when I learned there was a Star Trek Day. I found out about it through Levar Burton’s Instagram page. Watching his Instagram story had me go look up Star Trek on Google and seeing various Twitter posts on fans celebrating this great day.
Learning that Star Trek is 55 years old now is incredible to me. This franchise has been a part of my whole life ever since I was a toddler. My dad was (and still is) a huge Star Trek fan, so my introduction into the world came from him.
I still remember seeing and hearing the end credits to Star Trek: The Next Generation in his room. I also remember getting an Enterprise D ship toy to play with. I think I was four at the time. I used to think the Next Generation crew was inside the ship, so I would try to open it having a hard time getting the ship to open.
I asked myself ‘’Why is this ship so hard to open’’? Eventually, I did get it to open and to my surprise, Captain Picard and his crew weren’t in there. There was no main deck to see, it was just weird knobs. It was so disappointing at the time, now it cracks me up thinking about it now.
Around the same time, I also got a Locutus toy to play with (this is Captain Picard as a Borg). At the time, I didn’t know anything about Locutus or the Borg. I remember thinking ‘’he looks like Captain Picard’’. Then one day, I had made the mistake of dropping the Locutus toy on top of the Kerosene heater we had in the mobile home. I couldn’t reach the toy, it was too deep inside the Kerosene. So watching it melt into liquid was quite an image.
It could have been my way of defeating Locutus for Picard.
Like The Next Generation, I would soon see Star Trek: The Orginal Series on TV and get used to seeing the main characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov and their colorful costumes. I would see it so much that in a crazy way the characters felt like people I knew in real life. I remember being scared seeing that alien that would come up at the end credits of The Original Series.
Yep, Star Trek was nonstop in our household growing up. I remember seeing Deep Space Nine on TV, I didn’t see the show that much, but enough to remember some of the main characters like Captain Sisko, that crazy-looking Ferengi character, Odo and Kira. I never saw Voyager and knew about it around that time.
As cool as the shows were, it was the movies that got me a little more into Star Trek. I can’t remember which movie I saw first because so much Star Trek was coming to me all at once. Star Trek: The Search For Spock still remains my favorite ST movie to this day. I really enjoyed the story and the pace throughout the movie.
There was a good amount of humor in it too except for that sad part of Captain Kirk’s son getting killed by a Klingon. Seeing Spock united with his old friends was really touching at the end of the film. The Search For Spock just has a charm about it that I really like. I sometimes wonder why this movie isn’t in the contender for GOAT Star Trek films like The Wrath Of Khan or First Contact?
Speaking of Star Trek: First Contact, Seeing that movie was quite a thrill. This movie was my introduction to the Borg. When it gets to the part where the Borg is taking over Picard’s ship, the movie starts to feel like a horror movie. Seeing the Borg touch crew members and having them become one of them was wild to me. It was amazing that they got defeated with how untouchable they feel.
THE WRATH OF KHAN
The next Star Trek movie I saw was The Wrath Of Khan. This has to be the most intense movie out of all of them. That scene where Chekov and Captain Terell gets these creatures forced into their ears by Khan and his crew haunts me just thinking about it. Plus the cat and mouse game between Captain Kirk and his old nemesis Khan Noonien Singh is enough to keep a viewer on edge while watching this movie.
Thankfully, the good guys win again, but, the very sad ending explains why The Search For Spock needed to be made.
OTHER STAR TREK MOVIES
Then I would see other good Star Trek movies like Generations, Insurrection, and The Undiscovered Country. Dr. Solomon and General Chang were great villains in Generations and The Undiscovered Country.
I almost forgot about Generations while writing this, it just shows how MUCH Star Trek I accumulated in my kid years. With all the Star Trek I’ve seen, I somehow still felt like I wasn’t all the way into Star Trek-like my dad was.
That would all change during the Christmas of 2001 when I got a PlayStation 2 for Christmas! I was 12 then. I felt so hyped about getting that console for Christmas plus the two games that my dad got with it. One game was called Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, which was a fun medieval game fighting soldiers & monsters. The other game I got was called Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force.
I think I played Baldur’s Gate first a little before trying the Star Trek game. When I played Voyager, from the story at the beginning of the game, I was hooked because it made you & your character feel like they were a major part of the Voyager. Ensign Monro was the main character of this game. You could choose Ensign Alexander Monro or Ensign Alexandra Monro to play with throughout the game.
Then there were the weapons you could use to take down the bad guys/girls. The Phaser, The Phaser Compression Rifle, The I-MOD (the best weapon to take down the Borg), Scavenger Rifle, The Stasis Weapon, The Grenade Launcher, The Tetryon Pulse Disruptor, The Proton Burst (a powerful weapon!), and the Arc Welder/Dreadnought Weapon.
You can gain this list of weapons throughout the game that can help defeat more powerful enemies. You have different kinds of enemies you’ll be battling to help the Voyager crew stay alive including the Borg (you can’t escape these guys) and the Klingons.
My favorite part of the game was exploring the Voyager ship and interacting with various crew members. Some would act annoyed with Monro if they didn’t want to be disturbed at the time.
Playing this game, I felt the weight of the Star Trek universe on the TV screen when I would play it every chance I could. It was that addicting! If Elite Force didn’t get me into Star Trek (it did), then playing Star Trek: Armada 1 & 2 games would seal the deal.
These games were unbelievable! They were like Age Of Empires games (greatest game series of all time!) but just in space. You get to create bases to defeat your enemy whether it was the Klingons, the Romulans, the Borg (of course!) even the Federation could be the opponent you would have to fight.
Watching the space battles was incredible. They felt so real! The story arcs were well done too. Around this time, I was obsessed with Star Trek! The Star Trek games pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go until I became a young adult. The obsession cooled off some, but my love for Star Trek was as strong as it’s ever been.
Star Trek would continue to stay around and make a resurgence with the recent Star Trek movies with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, and Zoe Saldana. It took a while to get to this group as I was used to the Original Series of Kirk, Spock, and crew. But the new guys (not new anymore) have done a good job of making the Star Trek train keep ongoing.
I haven’t seen the recent shows such as Picard and Discovery. I may check those out on my days off.
Star Trek has been a part of my DNA since I learned how to talk. The legendary characters, the amazing stories, the movies, the games, and the lessons of being able to like & love different kinds of people & species. Now that I think of it, I can’t imagine my life without the Star Trek Universe.
Long live Star Trek! Live Long and Prosper.