Captain James T. Kirk, aka William Shatner, recently weighed in on why Star trek is as popular as it is and why it had endured for 50 years.
It goes without saying that very few entertainment franchises have had the longevity and popularity that Star Trek has had over its 50 year lifespan.
James Bond. Superman. Spider-Man. Maybe one or two more. Like those, whether it has been via movies, television, games or books, there has always been a steady stream of Star Trek for fans to love and obsess over.
And none other than Captain Kirk himself has a theory why that is.
William Shatner has been making the rounds promoting his new Christmas album Shatner Claus: A Christmas Album as well as the upcoming reboot of Rescue 911 which he will be returning to host. And of course the subject of Star Trek comes up almost all the time. That is the kind of thing that happens when you portray one of the most iconic figures in all of science fiction.
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While being interviewed by Parade, Shatner was asked why he thinks Star Trek has endured for as long as it has. His answer talks not only about the allure of Trek, but science-fiction in general.
"Star Trek is science-fiction, and science-fiction, to a large group of people, is part of the awe and wonder of the universe. We speculate about what’s out there, and since we have no way of knowing, anyone’s speculation is as valid as anybody else’s. But it is of interest to people who look at the stars at night and wonder what’s out there and whether little green men are flying this way. Could we possibly see life? That brings up the question of death and all the stuff that we have no answers for. Science-fiction speculates an answer, and that, I think, is the fascination."
It’s tough to argue with that. Of any genre, science-fiction allows the reader or viewer to really escape whatever may be going on and just dream about what may be possible. That’s a powerful concept that Star Trek has always embraced with gusto.
Trek, unlike the many, many dystopian futures popular today, has always stressed a positive outlook, that the human race can and does do better. Sure, every once in a while we have to deal with a “Spock’s Brain” or Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. But those misfires are worth it for the greatness of things like “The Inner Light” and the last few seasons of Deep Space Nine.
And if anyone would know, it would be William Shatner.
Shatner Claus: A Christmas Album is available now.