Tuesday, January 8, 2013



Some of us have always known that the world used to spin in uneasy peace. There were the stars and stripes, and the hammer and sickle. Two global superpowers, whose array of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles pointed at each other. Under constant threat of annihilation, people devised ways to put sense into their lives. There were the flower hippies, whose music, spoken words and non-protest protests had born a generation of pacifists. There were also the revolutionaries who wept and wailed in podiums, and in the streets, invoking rage from men demanding equality and justice.

As soldiers and guerrillas shot each other in the jungles of Vietnam in the name of ideological supremacy, and washer-sized machines lifted into space for scientific discoveries, the irony of the time had sparked an idea.

What if instead of mankind destroying the world, they become peaceful spacefarers who wished nothing but explore the galaxy?

That spark gave birth to what would become the Star Trek franchise. I was told the original series lifted the curtain of fear and opened the eyes of men to possibilities; of the what-ifs should nations and people were united in peace; and the color of one's skin never limits her aspirations in life. Sure, there were hostile alien civilizations, and galactic anomalies that threatened the Alpha Quadrant. But in Gene Roddenberry's imagination lies the promise that should mankind avoid self-destruction, we will sooner or later, leave the cradle that is earth and sail the ocean of stars aboard a space vessel similar to USS Enterprise.

I first thought that this blog would be about my attachment to the franchise, and how its massive fleet of starships had fascinated me at a young age. Later in life, I would recall playing Birth of the Federation on my desktop computer, and staying past midnight to watch an episode of Voyager before heading straight to Malate to resume my unceremonious binges.

There too were the scattered, fragmented recollections of watching Star Trek movies, in theaters and rented VHS cassette tapes. Most of these memories have been lost to oblivion - even the question of how I got hooked to the franchise will be forever unanswered. What endured, however, was the undying belief that we are meant to leave this soft ground to set foot on worlds not different from our own.

With the indoctrination successful, and with the news circulating lately about the contact between two commanders existing in alternate and present-day timelines, this post has gained significance. The story must now go beyond my own experience.

And thus, this post celebrates the vision of Star Trek, and how it continues to inspire others to study the heavens. In the early years of the series, when the episodes were seen in monochrome television sets and not on flat screens attached to room walls, not one among the casts would have ever imagined how the future would come too soon. Not Captain James T. Kirk or Commander Spock. And yet, in their lifetimes, they would receive a message transmission from a human outpost suspended half-way between the moon and the blue-planet's surface.

I still look at the faint lights in the night sky, and think of the Federation.

Shatner and Nimoy, the lead actors of the original series may never go to places where some men have gone before. But in their place are souls who were once silent and faceless witness to their voyages. 

And they remember. As we all do.

If the power of imagination rests in one's ability to turn dreams into reality, then Star Trek's vision has at long last, been fulfilled.


Eternal Wanderer... said...

you will be assimilated.

and be like the fab 7 of 9.


red the mod said...

Space. The Final Frontier.

Man's last vast and vacuous opportunity to make sense of his own seeming insignificance. But who is define what "life" or "alive" is? Neither flesh and blood, nor carbon and water. These are but myopic attempts of an inherently vague and amorphous definition.