Star Trek and Social Issues

Star Trek is not detached. The fact that Star Trek Discovery, the newest one of the franchise is part of CBS, a network where viewers are of an average age of 114 years old? It doesn’t help any.

While Marvel has crossed over to the mainstream, Star Trek still invokes conventions of superfans who really lag in the social skills area.

If you’ve never seen the earliest Star Trek, you perhaps don’t know that the initial series, which aired during the unrest of the late 60s, was intended to be veiled social commentary from the beginning.

Creator Gene Roddenberry used the Western craze to propose the show as cowboys in space to get Star Trek aired. But behind the scenes, Roddenberry ordered his writing staff in another direction. Original series lead James. T. Kirk William Shatner was a working stand in for John F. Kennedy during the Cold War as the team of the U.S.S. Enterprise, galactic transporting explorers who went to undiscovered corners of the galaxy, were intended to represent American liberalism.

The 1st interracial kiss on television occurred between Captain Kirk and Uhura, his Black communications officer in 1968, a move that NBC discussed heavily out of dread of being dropped by southern affiliates. Over the passage of three seasons, the crew also examined American Imperialism when the team arms a group of defenseless primitive aliens with rifles, probably sparking generations of conflict, and one cast member even references failed foreign policy of the early 20th century. With just a three-season run, it’s astonishing how many substantial topics the original series takes on, from isolationism to civil rights.

This was the time where Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, King, and JFK were all assassinated in less than 5 years, and riots were every day. At a time of much extreme conflict and tension, Star Trek got away with moving the audience toward painful topics because the setting incited fantasy rather than reality.

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