I grew up thinking that Star Trek was a menagerie of badly dressed nerds who tried their best to re-enact a space-themed days of our lives. It was a show I never really gave a chance to while growing up. I dedicated my nerd-envy to the Star Wars franchise. A franchise that I’m still fiercely loyal to this day – maybe too loyal. My apartment (and a large section of my wardrobe) is embellished by a range of Star Wars paraphanalia. I’ve often fallen asleep in my star wars pyjamas staring at an R2D2 figurine next to my bed (it’s often at times like that that I start questioning whether I should seek help for my addiction).
So as you can imagine, when I was told I needed to watch Star Trek as part of my internship here at Pixel Dreams, I panicked. What sort of people had I gotten myself involved with? I was under the impression that I was bringing a light saber to a phaser fight. So, as defiantly as possible, I sat down and put on the first episode of The Next Generation. Every inch my mouse made towards the “play” button, felt like an act of betrayal towards Star Wars. And then… it started.
I must have sat there for three days straight, completely engrossed by visions of Picard, Sisko, and Janeway. How had I been so wrong? This wasn’t just some soap opera. This was life. Sure, it was in space and not everyone was a human, but it was life. Through their adventures, they dealt with issues that every individual encounters at some point in their life. It deals with sexuality, religion, culture, choices, morals, justice… and that was only the beginning.
It’s a show that teaches you lessons about life. It makes you appreciate the art of being human – an art that provides the most beauty, but also the most challenges. You learn that the greatest adventures come out of venturing into the unknown and that sometimes the greatest weapon you can use is collaboration. Picard’s sentiment is echoed throughout every episode: “live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.”
My heart will always belong to Star Wars, but Star Trek can have my mind. That’s not to say, I’m going to run out and buy a uniform and learn Klingon, but I can now value the importance of indulging in a little Star Trek (and, the rewards it can reap!). Live long and prosper; watch a little Star Trek. You never know what you’ll learn.