Thursday, September 8, 2016

Happy Birthday Star Trek!

Fifty years ago today at 8:30 pm eastern time a revolutionary show debuted on NBC called Star Trek. Over the last  fifty years many people have been influenced by this groundbreaking show. It broke a lot of barriers that the younger kids today wouldn't understand and because so many things after took parts of this show for their own it may make Star Trek feel like it's just a bunch of sci fi tropes but that's only because they did them first.

I wasn't there for it but my dad was at the right age and became a fan of Star Trek. I can remember watching the original show with him and then, specifically I remember one of the TV stations would air a marathon on some holiday that I always watched. Then they decided to make a new TV show so my dad and I watched Encounter at Farpoint and I loved it. I played Star Trek with my friends, I had a sweet TNG lunchbox. I was a full blown fan by this point.

Over the last fifty years there have been five live action TV shows as well as a cartoon. There have been 13 movies including six with the original cast, four with the TNG cast and three new movies with the original characters played by new actors. The 13th movie, Star Trek Beyond, recently came out and an all new show, Star Trek Discovery, is set to debut in January. There have been countless books, comic books, action figures, board and video games over the years to keep the fans hungry for more Trek.

Starting with the new 2009 Star Trek movie by JJ Abrams Star Trek has lost the more science fiction bits and exchanged them with action which the average person could go see the movie and not think they're boring. This plan worked as Star Trek Nemesis, which released in 2002 and was the last "regular" Star Trek movie, made 67 million dollars and wasn't well received by fans. On the other hand the 2009 Star Trek reboot made 385 million at the box office and was loved, mostly, by regular Star Trek fans as well as non fans. I remember before the 2009 movie came out that if you said you were a Star Trek fan you would be labeled a nerd. I know in 2016 lots of people have identified as a nerd because that's what's hip now and more power to them.

Being a fan of Star Trek I've played many of their games over the years. I had the Star Trek TNG game on the original Gameboy, Star Trek on NES, Starfleet Academy, 25th Anniversary, A Final Unity, Tactical Assault, Birth Of The Federation and Legacy. That's all the video games I can remember but there may be more that i'm not remembering.. I also had the CCG game by decipher and the sweet Star Trek Trivial Pursuit, a game I've never lost.

Then there are the Star Fleet Universe games by Amarillo Design Bureau. The games in the Star Fleet Universe only has the rights to the original TV show and not the movies or new tv shows but their games are great and I like playing in their universe. I've bought and played Federation Commander which I've really enjoyed. I've also bought the Star Fleet Battle Force card game and the Federation & Empire board game which I'm sad to say I've never played because I can't get anyone brave enough to play. I've also bought the Gurps Prime Directive role play game books which is a great RPG. I've also bought the Star Trek TNG RPG by  Last Unicorn but haven't had a chance to play that yet.

With 29 seasons of TV shows, 13 movies and all kinds of books and games their is something for everyone with even a passing interest in Star Trek. I'm trying to introduce my daughter to Star Trek and I hope she'll enjoy it with me. My dad introduced it to me and I want to do the same for her. Now not everything Star Trek has done has been good but their is far more good than bad and I'm eager to see what the next 50 years brings. Live long and prosper!!

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