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Star Trek

This nOde last updated March 8th, 2019 and is permanently morphing...

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Star Trek is an American space opera media franchise based on the internal linkscience fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. The first television series, simply called Star Trek and now referred to as "The Original Series", debuted in 1966 and aired for three seasons on the television network NBC. It followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (internal linkWilliam Shatner) and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel, built by the United Federation of Planets in the internal linktwenty-third century. The Star Trek canon of the franchise includes The Original Series, an internal linkanimated series, five spin-off television series, the film franchise, and further adaptations in several media.

In creating Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by the Horatio Hornblower novels, the satirical book Gulliver's Travels, and westerns such as the television series Wagon Train. These adventures continued in the 22-episode Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Four spin-off television series were eventually produced: Star Trek: The Next Generation followed the crew of a new starship Enterprise set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager set contemporaneously with The Next Generation; and Star Trek: Enterprise set before the original series in the early days of human interstellar travel. The most recent Star Trek TV series, entitled Star Trek: Discovery, premiered on CBS and was later made available exclusively on the internal linkdigital platform CBS All Access. The adventures of The Next Generation crew continued in four additional feature films. In 2009, the film franchise underwent a "reboot" set in an alternate timeline, or "Kelvin Timeline," entitled simply Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original show; their adventures were continued in the sequel film, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). The thirteenth film feature and sequel, Star Trek Beyond (2016), was released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary.

Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon for decades. Fans of the franchise are called Trekkies or Trekkers. The franchise spans a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics. Star Trek had a themed attraction in Las Vegas that opened in 1998 and closed in September 2008. At least two museum exhibits of props travel the world. The series has its own full-fledged constructed internal linklanguage, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek. In addition, viewers have produced several fan productions. As of July 2016, the franchise had generated $10 billion in revenue, making Star Trek one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Star Trek is noted for its cultural influence beyond works of science fiction. The franchise is also noted for its progressive civil rights stances. The Original Series included one of television's first multiracial casts. Star Trek references may be found throughout popular culture from movies such as the submarine thriller Crimson Tide to the animated series South Park.

The Star Trek franchise inspired some designers of technologies, the internal linkPalm PDA and the handheld mobile internal linkphone. Michael Jones, Chief technologist of Google Earth, has cited the tricorder's mapping capability as one inspiration in the development of Keyhole/Google Earth. The Tricorder X Prize, a contest to build a medical tricorder device was announced in 2012. Ten finalists were selected in 2014, and the winner was to be selected in January 2016. However, no team managed to reach the required criteria. Star Trek also brought internal linkteleportation to popular internal linkattention with its depiction of "matter-energy transport", with the famously misquoted phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" entering the vernacular. The Star Trek replicator is credited in the scientific literature with inspiring the field of diatom internal linknanotechnology. In 1976, following a letter-writing campaign, internal linkNASA named its prototype space shuttle Enterprise, after the fictional starship. Later, the introductory sequence to Star Trek: Enterprise included footage of this shuttle which, along with images of a naval sailing vessel called Enterprise, depicted the advancement of human transportation technology. Additionally, some contend that the Star Trek society resembles communism.

Beyond Star Trek's fictional innovations, its contributions to TV history included a multicultural and multiracial cast. While more common in subsequent years, in the 1960s it was controversial to feature an Enterprise crew that included a internal linkJapanese helmsman, a Russian navigator, a black female communications officer, and a human–Vulcan first officer. Captain Kirk's and Lt. Uhura's kiss, in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren", was also daring, and is often mis-cited as being American television's first scripted, interracial kiss, even though several other interracial kisses predated this one. In an interview Nichelle Nichols, who played the black female communications officer, said that the day after she told Roddenberry she planned to leave the show, she was at a fund-raiser at the NAACP and was told there was a big fan who wanted to meet her. Nichols said,

"I thought it was a Trekkie, and so I said, 'Sure.' I looked across the room, and there was Dr. Martin Luther King walking towards me with this big grin on his face. He reached out to me and said, 'Yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan.' He said that Star Trek was the only show that he, and his wife Coretta, would allow their three little children to stay up and watch. [She told King about her plans to leave the series.] I never got to tell him why, because he said, 'You can't. You're part of history.'"

When she told Roddenberry what King had said, he cried.

Computer engineer and entrepreneur internal linkSteve Wozniak credited watching Star Trek and attending Star Trek conventions while in his internal linkyouth as a source of inspiration for him co-founding internal linkApple Inc. in 1976, which would later become the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer.




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