Star Trek turns 50 today. The original series episode "The Man Trap" premiered on NBC television on September 8, 1966. It's been around for 50 years, and for half of that, I have been a diehard fan.
Few things have influenced me as much as Star Trek.
I can remember being ten years old and sitting and watching my first bit of Trek: 1991's feature film The Undiscovered Country. Arguably one of the top three films in the franchise, I saw it and I was hooked.
I jumped on episodes of Next Generation and watched reruns with my dad. I asked him all sorts of questions. A casual Trekkie himself, he was not prepared for the barrage of inquires about the show, nor was he prepared for the pandoras box which he had opened up by showing me the world of Trek.
Of course the real fanaticism didn't hit until Deep Space Nine and Voyager. As a teenager, I watched those shows with fascination. As a young adult and United States Marine later on, I watched with all new eyes. The episodes concerning the War with the Dominion on Deep Space Nine really hit home as I caught up on the series when I came back from Afghanistan and Iraq. Issues that faced the Voyager crew every day about being 70,000 light years from home resonated with me as I struggled and missed my own family across the globe.
The tech side of me loved the show, but it was the characters that drew me in. The stories were captivating and still amaze me when watching reruns to this day.
As so many other Trekkies will say: Star Trek is more than just a TV show. It's a vision of the future filled with adventure that we can all be optimistic that will one day come true.
As the new show, Discovery, hits the airwaves (and the internet) in January, I hope a whole new generation can enjoy and be impacted as much as I was from this franchise.
Live long and prosper.