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First Contact Day!

by Pstonie (5 April 2004)

That's right. As you, and a lot of other people who call themselves Trekkies, didn't know, today is first contact day. I base the idea of first contact day on the aptly named movie, Star Trek - First Contact, and confirmation from StarTrek.com. According to the information from these sources, Zephram Cochran makes first contact with the Vulcans on the 5th of April in the year 2063. Of course, people would much rather have 'Misty from Pokémon takes a bath day' or 'Peter Jackson farts in a jar day' but here it is none-the-less.

Now, I will be celebrating first contact day by sleeping in and then walking around the house in my boxer shorts. Instead of making a day log out of that, I chose to talk about the Star Trek phenomenon instead. I write this, thinking back to what it is that makes Star Trek so special to me, keeping in mind that most readers may have never watched more than one episode of Voyager. You know who you are.

The Star Trek phenomenon, as I call it, started almost forty years ago as a television series that starred the crew of the Enterprise. They were essentially the characters that nearly every person on the face of the planet knows as Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Scotty and so forth. The core of the phenomenon is embodied by six diverse television series and ten motion pictures to date.


Picard and Kirk, Generations
For me, Star Trek is brilliant. It is entertainment that I do not believe has ever been rivalled. It has always had a message, but more than that, it is an idea, a vision, an ideal. On many occasions, the message that an episode tried to convey was pretty literal. TOS handled topics such as racial bias, sexuality and many other things that were problematic at the time. It handled these issues literally, yet no one knew they were being educated. These messages that the shows conveyed ultimately rang true to the idea.

This idea, or vision, was the central focus of the later series named The Next Generation. The idea that the human race as well as the person can be better than they are was paramount throughout the series and became stronger towards the end. As far as entertainment goes; the characters had actual development, the plots had the entire universe, and beyond, to take on. They truly went where no one had gone before.

In the modern day, Star Trek is, of course, represented by Enterprise.

I personally think that the human race can learn a lot from the ideal that Gene Roddenberry had presented so many years ago. If there is one thing that I could wish for the human race, it would be that the core, the idea of Star Trek would live on forever.