SpockNimoyThis day is hereby dedicated to Star Trek.

If you are in anyway informed about Star Trek, you should know that this show isn't just about Science Fiction. It's about humanity, evolution, hope. Look guys, I know that you're maybe expecting a fun little ditty on how cool star trek is, but I'm going to get a little serious. Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek was, in its time and possibly even today, Far Before its Time.

Let me tell you this story that gives me chills every time I think about it: Once upon a time, Nichelle Nichols. who plays Lt. Uhura (in the original series), resigned from the show. A few days, she changed her mind (thank god) because she got a pep talk from an American Hero.  Martin Luther King, Jr. saw her at an event and told her he was a huge fan and why her role was so very important.  In an interview, she recounts, "he was telling me why I could not [resign]. He said I had the first non-stereotypical role, I had a role with honor, dignity and intelligence. He said, 'You simply cannot abdicate, this is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought we'd see this on TV.'"

gene-roddenberryGot goosebumps? I do. Luckily she took his word and went to Mr. Roddenberry the very next day to take up the role again. When explaining her reasons to him, she says, "He sat there and looked at me and said, 'God bless Dr. Martin Luther King. Somebody does understand me.'"

After Star Trek was canceled, Nichols volunteered  as a recruiter for NASA, successfully recruiting minorities into the space program. She helped get the first woman into space, as well as the first African American. And it was all because she was on this one Science Fiction show.

Look I don't care about whether you think that Star Trek is cheesy and campy. It kind of is. But it was also a movement.

Uhura_and_Kirk_kissStar Trek had the first interracial kiss on TV, between Shatner and Nichols. And they knew it was a big deal, so much so that they actively flubbed every scene filmed without the actual kiss so that they editors had no choice but to include the kiss on the show!

In season one, some of the men in the background wore skirts. Because Roddenberry and his team figured that was the most logical progression of equality between the sexes.

Roddenberry envisioned the first officer being played by a woman. That was a little too far for the executives, so they put the Alien, Spock got the role.

There are just a few ways that Roddenberry tried to change the world through the magic of Television. We should all demand such excellence from our modern TV shows!

On a lighter note, here is a fun fact that has nothing to do with changing the world: Neither Shatner nor Quinto could make their hand do the quintessential Spock gesture, the Vulcan salute. Shatner resorted to fishing wire, while Quinto had his fingers glued together.


So, what do you think?