There is no reason anyone who does not know me fairly personally should know this, but I am a Trekker. If you refer to us as Trekkies, you’re getting it wrong. I am a Next Generations Junkie, Deep Space 9, Voyager and the Star Trek: Enterprise, never REALLY grabbed my attention like Generations did.
Jean Luc Picard was my preferred fictional candidate for President during his series run. Boy we could have used him. The Prime Directive was about maintaining justice to create lasting peace. Crew members, Troy, the Empath/advisor, Geordi the visually impaired engineer and his bestie Data the android, were my favorites. Next Generation won my intellect and its harmonious crew made me happy. I wasn’t excited about the latest movie installments, but I was quickly won with a play on the origins of my favorite Star Trek crew to date. Star Trek The Original Series. (STOS)
STOS will Always have my heart. The year is 1966 and our world here in the United States is erupting with racial strife and disparity, the Vietnam war has begun and the country is divided. A little TV show appears imagining not only a future where humans of all nations and ethnicities are in harmony but where we have ventured outside of our galaxy to explore and befriend other species, beings and unknown entities in the Universe.
Above Poster Art by Juan Ortiz
As progressive as the concept of the show is there are some pretty Un-PC things about STOS, like Kirk. Everything about him really, the womanizing, the Earth all the way rhetoric and our way or the highway propaganda in many an episode. Not to mention the put up your dukes macho man mandate in every episode. But at the end of the day I love Captain Kirk, I loved William Shatner’s iconic timing and I loved the crew and there sometimes fantastic explorations best.
Its kind of remarkable that the show’s crew consisted of Mr. Sulu, a Japanese Pilot played by an actual Japanese actor (George Takei). A Russian co-pilot Mr. Chekov(Walter Koenig), impressive during the rise of Anti-Communism, and a multilingual Black woman communications officer Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) in the midst of Segregation and Voting Rights battles for Blacks across the Country. Our friendly Scottish engineer, Scotty (James Doohan), and the Captain’s home grown southern bestie Dr. McCoy (DeForrest Kelly) were thrown in for good measure adding melodrama and humor. Then the alien crew member who was born to reason, that we would come to know as a Vulcan, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
Uhura. She is my shining star. She does not appear in every episode, nor does she get a whole lot of lines in many episodes. But she’s there and by now you probably know how hard it was for actress Nichelle Nichols to deal with being the only black woman on the show and treated as far less then an equal. And how Dr. Martin Luther King had to remind of her the impact of just being there, being seen and on our screens night after night in a world where Black people were not considered equal was so important. He couldn’t have been more right. Seeing her in that context still blows my mind, almost every time.
On the rare occasion she has a significant part in the story it’s divine. And although I believe its entirely sexist to have her and every other woman on the show barely dressed in most episodes, the costume design as it applies to she and Nurse Chapel and every alien woman guest starring on the show gives me LIFE! We’ll talk more about Lieutenant Uhura in the future don’t you worry.
Kirk may be a holy roller egotist but he’s a charmer. Ultimately he won me over in the end through his bromance with Mr. Spock that makes my heart sing, Spock is where my heart truly lies. Spock was my my first weird guy crush. He was logical, respectful, and he was half alien! Which was awesome. He was like your inner voice of reason except hot and with pointy ears. He might as well of had tatoos and body piercings. I loved everything to do with Spock. I loved his loyalty, his nobility and ability to fix almost any problem, and love his friend so dearly. Nimoy radiated soul in a character that was supposed to have contained his every emotion.
Nimoy went on to star in other parts, direct films, including two of my favorite Star Trek feature films III and IV. He shot several photography books including the Full Body Project which is series on female beauty embodied by Large women. Yay for the Fat Bottomed Girls! When I learned that Leonard Nimoy had died it was pretty heartbreaking. Lucky for me and everyone else who loved his legacy of television, film, music and photography, his spirit lives on in his creative work. So in celebration my favorite Sci-Fi actor ever and the series I love: RIP darling Leonard Nimoy. Live Long and Prosper babies. #LLAP