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One of the Greatest Pluses of Star Trek

Updated on June 10, 2022

The culture

Sci-Fi buffs used to spend hours discussing science and gizmos, concepts and special effects.

Then came Star Trek.

This was the only show that took the time and input the creativity to go from an Alien Whatsit to portraying actual exo-cultures; the how and the why and the what.

Star Trek didn't just give you a guy with a rubber head, it gave an entire culture. It went into the bits and pieces so that just as an anthropologist can discuss the practices and belief of the Yanomamo of South America, we can discuss the Klingon love of Opera or the Bajorian religion, or how Ferengi elevated Capitalism to a religion.

The effort put into creating full cultures is what will keep Star Trek alive for

No longer can an author toss in an Alien Whatsit and focus on the humans as if Aliens have no purpose, no culture and just attack for no reason

Since Star Trek took our imaginations, we don't just accept 'Others'. We need to know who and how and what and why the Alien does/thinks/ believes.

For as is evident, an Alien Whatsit doesn't see itself as an Alien Whatsit.


Previous to the Star Trek Universe, Aliens were 'Monsters from the Id'.

Think of the movies Alien(s) in which the Whatsit could only be Nuked; no
discussion, no treaty, no co-existence. No thought of communication.

The creators of most sci fi saw Aliens something like Cockroaches or scorpions; beyond the ability of reason to be killed on sight.

Humans were running around, in panic, fighting, dying, things were being destroyed and it was just mindless.

War of The Worlds, for example.

Sure it was easier and more politically correct to have people fighting non-Terrans but what was the point?
Special Effects?

Star Trek started with one 'Vulcan'. .

Yes, a half-breed, but enough of an Alien to keep us 'fascinated' to coin a term.

By the time STNG (Star Trek ; Next Generation) aired, the focus was not simply to have an non-Terran, but to introduce the culture of the species. To explain and clarify so that what was exposed made sense.

Brain over Body

There is no question that the Science of Star Trek was far more precocious than any before or since.

From our computers to our cell phones, now to the development of Tricoders...the minds behind the tech of Trek were just that many steps ahead to be genius.

It was as if they saw now, and could extrapolate twenty years in the future, and beyond.

Any version of Star Trek developed on the same principles as the previous; such as Deep Space 9 will gain views.

Not because we need to see another planet blow up or ship fly through a worm hole, but because of the full creation of understandable, workable cultures and the inter-play of characters.

The Genius of It

The ships of Star Trek don't fly around aimlessly, don't see every other species as an immediate threat.

The characters "seek out new civilisations", just and Anthropologists will travel to an area to observe and collect data on an unknown culture.

Understanding another culture is key for an Anthropologist, and many Governments will utilise their skill so as to be able to usefully interact with that culture.

To understand what is important to them, what is not, how they view the Universe and each other is vital.

What Star Trek did is take this concept into space.


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