Fifty years ago today, a television series inspired audiences with the wonders of space exploration. With Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’ put a mirror to our society and asked viewers to ponder the big questions at time when technology was quickly advancing and the space race was at its peak. Star Trek also inspired one of the first and most engaged fan communities ever. The conventions and forums created as a result of the show’s success resulted in some of the earliest fanfiction stories based on a televised series.
Fandom was a natural extension of the show’s appeal. The growing phenomenon of fanfiction on sites like Wattpad builds on the groundwork laid by these early Star Trek fans. Today, many people on Wattpad still write fiction inspired by the Star Trek franchise.
“Star Trek has been an important influence on my optimistic outlook for humanity and what we are capable of. We don't need to be afraid of new technology or unknown worlds that are fundamentally transformative. I have a lot of faith that, collectively, we have the capacity to grow and figure out how to tackle the problems along the way. The spirit of tolerance and cooperation that fills the Star Trek world has served us well for the last 50 years and continues to be a great model for us.”
The Starfleet crew represented Roddenberry’s optimistic view of a utopian earth. It was the first series to televise an interracial kiss and purposefully cast a diverse set of actors to further the view that humanity was at it’s best when united.
The stories told on Star Trek filled people with hope and curiosity. It’s fitting that the franchise’s newest installment is set to return to television at a time when many emerging technologies are once again changing the way we view our modern world.
It’s an exciting time to celebrate 50 years of Star Trek. With whisperings of alien contact in the air, new earth-like worlds being discovered, and plans set to colonize other planets, who knows what the next 50 years will bring!
Explore new worlds or create your own by checking out Wattpad’s official Sci-Fi profile.