I don’t think I had much choice in becoming a Star Trek fan.
When I was young my parents, who were already Star Trek fans, and I lived in Norway. We didn’t speak the language and spent a lot of inside taking refuge from the cold. This means that, as an only child in the 80’s, there were only two ways to entertain myself: my imagination, and the new technology of VHS. Star Trek was there for both.
When I wasn’t watching The Original Series, which my parents had delivered to us every month or so, then I was watching recorded episodes on tape my grandparents had sent to us from the US, or I was watching the Star Trek films 1-4 on tape, over and over, and over again until the tape began to wear out.
I would build Star Trek inspired things out of Legos and pretend I was leading away teams with my Lego phaser. Yeah, I was a lonely and strange kid in a distant and foreign land, but the adventures of Kirk and Picard helped. But at the end of the day it was our library of VHS which shaped where my early interests could go, and with so much of the series available I was bound to become a fan.
My mother even painstakingly sewed a TNG Star Trek uniform for me to be Data for Halloween one year once we moved back to the states. It went vastly unappreciated at school as I had to explain who I was to other kids who at least picked out that I was something from “Star Track”. It was still great, though.
Despite a sojourn in the late 90’s to a galaxy far, far away, Star Trek was always there. Even as an adult I was able to appreciate the more mature themes imbued into the characters and stories, the values of the Federation, and the humanistic ideals put forth by Gene Roddenberry. The depth of those concepts didn’t register with my young mind, but when I was older it all added a brand new layer of Star Trek for me.
Star Trek gained even more meaning when I became an adult.
These days, with various communities online, and in games such as Star Trek Online, and websites like this, it is so much easier to feel the community that exists around Star Trek. Now we have this great chance to share ideas and memories not just with those few friends we had and our families, but with a world of other people similar to us. With new Star Trek television series heading our way, we have the chance to watch the community expand and diversify, much like the Federation itself. As a new contributor here, I am excited to see and experience new worlds of Trek thoughts, experiences, and opinions.