Star Trek is the subject of Newsweek’s upcoming issue, “To Boldly Go… How ‘Star Trek’ Taught Us to Dream Big.” The May 4th edition arrives on newsstands tomorrow, April 27, but you can check out some of the Star Trek-related stories online right now.
The essay We’re All Trekkies Now says “we’ve put a sort of Vulcan in the White House,” making comparisons between Human-Vulcan hybrid Mr. Spock and biracial President Obama.
As played by Zachary Quinto, the young Spock loves his human mother, but longs to assimilate completely into his Vulcan father Sarek’s ways, eschewing messy emotions the way all Vulcans do. Young Spock is constantly being told by Vulcans and humans alike that he’s either seething with inappropriate emotions–indeed, he takes Kirk by the throat at one point–or that he’s not emotional enough and shouldn’t be so repressed. Obama may or may not be a fanâ€”the White House says he isn’t, but Trekkies have claimed him as one of their breed ever since he said, “I grew up on ‘Star Trek’â€”I believe in the final frontier,” at a campaign stop last year. If he does check out the new movie, I can imagine he might feel a special empathy for Spock’s position, given the chattering class’s insistence that he needs to show more emotion, too.
In another Trek-related story, Vulcans Never, Ever Smile, former Star Trek writer Leonard Mlodinow writes about creator Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s role in the television sequels and his thoughts on why the franchise has held up after all this time.
If someone in the industry was going to use the word “special” in conjunction with “Star Trek” when it first began in September 1966, it would have been followed by the word “loser.” The launch was about as successful as a North Korean rocket, despite the many nights when my brothers and I chose to watch the series instead of doing homework. “Star Trek” was such a grand failure that after it folded Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator, became a pariah. “I was perceived as the guy who made the show that was an expensive flop, and I couldn’t get work,” he said. “Thank God college kids discovered the show because I made enough money lecturing to pay the mortgage.”
There’s also Famous Life Forms On ‘Star Trek’, a photo gallery of famous people who’s guest-starred on the various Star Trek television series or appeared in the films.